You didn't specify if you were using Active Directory on your home network (or if it was just a work group). You do mention DNS and DHCP, but you weren't clear if you were talking about the DNS & DHCP configuration information in the network settings of the Vista client system (of if you were talking about having DNS & DHCP servers in your home network).
I'm guessing that you're just talking about joining it to a home work group...but I need to know if you're using a server in your home network (or just Peer-to-peer networking).
If it's just a Peer-to-peer work group, then you're probably getting your IP address dynamically from your DSL (or Cable) router. Don't try and set anything statically...let windows get the IP address & DNS/DHCP information from your router.
If you have a server in your work group that's handling DNS/DHCP...then let me know and I'll re-post instructions for how to do that.
If everything's set to Automatically Detect on your Vista Client, then maybe you're not connecting successfully to your work group for some reason (there are lots of reasons why you might not be connecting).
Try disabling the Windows Firewall in Vista (just until you manage to get your client connected).
If you've got a software firewall (security suite, etc.) then you may need to disable that as well (just until you're connected).
If you're playing with joining to a WiFi Access Point...then there are whole series of things that you'll need to check - let me know if you need that list of things.
I recommend keeping it simple to start and just try to connect through your Wired Network Interface Card (NIC) first - then play with Wireless later.
If you're using a Windows 2003 Active Directory Network (or 2008 for that matter) and you have Domain Admin level access (or can provide these instructions to a Domain Admin), here's the procedure...
Typical wired clients need either domain credentials (name/password) or a certificate to perform authentication for secure wired access. To join the domain and receive domain credentials or certificates, wired client computers need a successful connection to the wired network that contains the domain controllers of the domain. To access a secure wired network and join a computer to a domain, the wired client user must manually provide their domain user name and password. Once connected to the wired network, the wired client user can join the computer to the domain.
<b>Two Methods for Joining a Wired Windows Vista Client to a Domain</b>
* User configures their wired computer with a bootstrap wired profile using an Extensible Markup Language (XML) file and joins the domain
* User manually configures wired computer with bootstrap wired profile and joins the domain
<b>User Configures Their Wired Computer with a Bootstrap Wired Profile Using an XML File and Joins the Domain</b>
In this method, the user configures their wired computer with a bootstrap wired profile using an XML file and script that has been configured by an IT administrator. The bootstrap wired profile configured by the XML file allows the user to establish a wired connection and then join the domain.
The following are the steps for this method:
1. An IT administrator configures another Windows Vista-based wired computer with a bootstrap wired profile that uses PEAP-MS-CHAP v2 authentication with the validation of the RADIUS server certificate disabled.
2. The IT administrator exports the bootstrap wired profile to an XML file with the netsh lan export profile command and creates a script file to execute that will automatically add the profile on the user's computer.
3. The IT administrator distributes the new wired computer, the XML file containing the bootstrap wired profile, and the script file to the user using an appropriate method. The script file contains the netsh lan add profile XML_File_Name Connection_Name command.
For example, the XML file can be stored on a USB flash drive with a script for the user to run to add the bootstrap wired profile.
4. The user starts the computer and performs a logon using a local computer account.
5. The user runs the script file to add the bootstrap wired profile.
6. After the script is run, Windows Vista attempts to connect to the wired network and prompts the user for an account name and password.
7. The user types their domain user account name and password and the Windows Vista client computer connects to the wired network.
8. The user joins the computer to the Active Directory domain.
<b>User Manually Configures Wired Computer with Bootstrap Profile</b>
In this method, the user manually configures their wired computer with a bootstrap wired profile based on instructions from an IT administrator. The bootstrap wired profile allows the user to establish a wired connection and then join the domain.
The following are the steps for this method:
1. The IT administrator distributes to the user the instructions for configuring a bootstrap wired profile that uses PEAP-MS-CHAP v2 authentication with the validation of the RADIUS server certificate disabled.
2. The user starts the computer and performs a logon using a local computer account.
3. The user executes the steps in the instructions to configure the bootstrap wired profile (see "Appendix A: Configuring a Bootstrap Wired Profile" in this article).
4. After the bootstrap wired profile is configured, Windows Vista attempts to connect to the wired network and prompts the user for an account name and password.
5. The user types their domain user account name and password and the Windows Vista client computer connects to the wired network.
6. The user joins the computer to the Active Directory domain.