I have a home network consisting of a raspberry pi connected to a wifi router via an ethernet cable and a laptop (running windows) connected to the router wirelessly. My dilemma is if i get rid of my router and connect the raspberry pi directly to my laptop using the ethernet cable, will it function normally? Or will I have to make some changes in the network configuration of the pi before removing it from the router? I imagine that I may have to create a new network on windows but I also want to maintain the old network configuration on raspberry pi so that I can connect it back to the router easily.
The Pi will be expecting to talk to a DHCP server when it starts up. The DHCP server will give the Pi an IP address and act as a gateway to the wider network.
At the moment the router is acting as the DHCP server.
You have to configure your Windows box to act as a DHCP server (Google should show how).
Once you do that I think everything will work (not positive as I don't use Windows).
The Ethernet connection should automatically be used in preference to the wireless connection.