How to assign your computer a static IP address
If you have a home network, each computer or device on the network needs to have a unique IP address. You can allow your NAT device to assign IP addresses with DHCP, but assigning static (permanent) IP addresses makes it easier to manage, as you always know that a specific system has a specific IP address. Here's how to assign a static address in XP SP3:
1. Right click My Network Places and select Properties.
2. Right click the network adapter for which you want to set the IP address (for example, Local Area Network or Wireless Network Connection) and again, select Properties.
3. On the General tab of the Properties dialog box, under "This connection uses the following items," highlight "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" and click the Properties button.
4. Click "Use the following IP address."
5. Enter the IP address you want to assign to this computer (it should be a private address on your local area network, such as 192.168.x.x where the first x is the same for all your computers and the second x represents the individual computer).
6. Set the subnet mask (usually 255.255.255.0 for a home network), the default gateway (the address of your router, usually 192.168.x.1) and the DNS server address (usually provided by your ISP).
7. Click OK.
8. Click Close.
9. Open a command prompt window and type ipconfig to verify that the assigned address is shown as the computer's IP address.
SOURCES & CITATIONS : Vol. 10, #26 - Jul 6, 2010 - Issue #436 http://www.wxpnews.com/archives.cfm