need to connect two computers w/ethernet cable

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Pat

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I have two desktops between which I would like to transfer files now and then. 

I don't know how to tell each computer that it's connected only to the other computer and via the ethernet cards. The setup wizard is very easy if I use the parallel or serial ports, but I'm not a network literate user yet and can't figure out how to do the ethernet type of setup. I don't want to get any kind of internet connection involved, and lots of choices and settings and options seem to involve internet protocols or whatever they are. 

Anybody know the quick way to do this? 

--pat

 

blueblood

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Pat said:
I have two desktops between which I would like to transfer files now and then.?

Anybody know the quick way to do this??

--pat

What operating system on both computers i.e. XP Home/w2k/etc ??
 

Alaskansnowbirds

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Pat said:
I have two desktops between which I would like to transfer files now and then. 

I don't know how to tell each computer that it's connected only to the other computer and via the ethernet cards. The setup wizard is very easy if I use the parallel or serial ports, but I'm not a network literate user yet and can't figure out how to do the ethernet type of setup. I don't want to get any kind of internet connection involved, and lots of choices and settings and options seem to involve internet protocols or whatever they are. 

Anybody know the quick way to do this? 

--pat

First let me say that I'm NO expert on this.

Assuming (there's that word) that you're running XP, you need what they call a "crossover" ethernet cable. If you don't have one you can get one at most any place that sells computer items. I even think Wal-Mart has them. Once you have the crossover cable you just plug it into each computer and XP should know that you're connected. Then run the "setting up home network" wizard and you should be connected.
 

Ned

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You will need a cross over Ethernet cable and manually assign an IP address to each computer. ?I would suggest assigning 192.168.0.1 to one and 192.168.0.2 to the other. ?Use 255.255.255.0 for the subnet mask and nothing for DNS or the default gateway. ?These settings are access from the Properties for the network connection under TCP/IP protocol. ?You also need File and Printer Sharing enabled on both computers. ?When we know the OS version, we can tell you if you need to do anything additional.

For occasional file transfers, a USB thumb drive is much easier.
 

Lowell

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Pat,
Just in case your not familiar with them, ethernet cables look like large phone cable connectors.
 

Karl

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As was said before, you need a crossover cable; not a 'straight' cable. It's easy to tell the two apart. Hold both end connectors of the cable side-by-side, facing the same direction (i.e. both pointed away from you) and both with the locking tab facing downward. Then look at the color of the wires. If they are exactly the same from side to side, you have a straight connector. If one has an orange wire on the far left and the other connector has a different color wire on the far left, you have a crossover cable. I'm just using orange as an example, but if they look exactly the same, you've got the wrong one.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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You will need a cross over Ethernet cable and manually assign an IP address to each computer.

I don't think you have to manually assign addresses with XP - at least I never have when I use a crossover cable. The Home Network Setup Wizard seems to take care of that stuff and the shared folders are visible from either machine.  IP addresses are assigned automatically.

But I usually use a USB  storage device, aka "thumb drive", to move/copy files.  It's such a simple way to do things, even though it is a two-step process to get from one system to another.  And just about everybody knows how to copy a file from oner disk drive to another...
 

Ned

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RV Roamer said:
I don't think you have to manually assign addresses with XP - at least I never have when I use a crossover cable. The Home Network Setup Wizard seems to take care of that stuff and the shared folders are visible from either machine. IP addresses are assigned automatically.

True, but sometimes the wizard doesn't work and I've found that manually setting up a simple network works all the time.  But the USB drive is the easier method.
 

Pat

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All:

Thanks for the crossover cable heads up.  I am using XP media center edition. SP2.  Sorry to have left that key bit of info out. I wanted to do the cable method partly to learn something new.  I bought an ethernet cable yesterday, but it's probably straight.  Threw out the packaging, so I will find somebody who can use it.  50'.  In the meantime, tomorrow I'll get a crossover cable.

--pat
 

Alaskansnowbirds

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Pat said:
All:

Thanks for the crossover cable heads up.  I am using XP media center edition. SP2.  Sorry to have left that key bit of info out. I wanted to do the cable method partly to learn something new.  I bought an ethernet cable yesterday, but it's probably straight.  Threw out the packaging, so I will find somebody who can use it.  50'.  In the meantime, tomorrow I'll get a crossover cable.

--pat

Pat,

It's NOT a hard and fast rule but crossover cables are usually orange in color I think.
 

ptribe

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Unfortunately, this is what I do most every day is work on computers.  With windows XP, the setup is fairly easy, all you will need is a good crossover cable like previously mentioned and you will be able to directly connect the two computers.  Once connected, you will have to join them to the same workgroup for them to see each other.  That's that.

If you decide that this is going to be a common thing or you have more friends (LAN party) I would suggest buying an inexpensive router/switch (@$50) so you can easily connect up multiple machines and even share an internet connection.  These also work very well as a personal firewall to protect your network.  If you have any further questions I would be happy to help you out, just shoot me an email.
 

Pat

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Well, I'm sure I started this project with a chip on my shoulder.  I've avoided networking all my corporate life because of the headaches.  I have attached my attractive yellow crossover cable to the two computers.  Then I tried the network setup wizard.  Nada.  No connection.  Just that "limited connection" complaint. 

I have called the workgroup "xx."  I did not know that the other computer has to be attached to the workgroup. I'll have to look for how to do that.  WHY CAN'T I JUST PLUG IN THE CABLE AND IT WORKS???!!!!!  I'm getting too used to plug and play, I guess.  This looked like it would be a lot easier with the parallel cable, but I imagine that's infinitely slower.

I tried the addresses suggested.  The one ending in 1 isn't accepted, because it's "being used elsewhere."  My computer does have a wifi modem installed but not attached. The other computer does not.  Both have built-in ethernet cards. 

I guess I'll go back and try to do it again.  I really hate this.  Need to find a computer geek in the neighborhood where I'm housesitting.

--pat
 

blueblood

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Pat said:
Well, I'm sure I started this project with a chip on my shoulder.? I've avoided networking all my corporate life because of the headaches.? I have attached my attractive yellow crossover cable to the two computers.? Then I tried the network setup wizard.? Nada.? No connection.? Just that "limited connection" complaint.?

I have called the workgroup "xx."? I did not know that the other computer has to be attached to the workgroup. I'll have to look for how to do that.? WHY CAN'T I JUST PLUG IN THE CABLE AND IT WORKS???!!!!!? I'm getting too used to plug and play, I guess.? This looked like it would be a lot easier with the parallel cable, but I imagine that's infinitely slower.

I tried the addresses suggested.? The one ending in 1 isn't accepted, because it's "being used elsewhere."? My computer does have a wifi modem installed but not attached. The other computer does not.? Both have built-in ethernet cards.?

I guess I'll go back and try to do it again.? I really hate this.? Need to find a computer geek in the neighborhood where I'm housesitting.

--pat


One suggestion in case you haven't tried this - turn off all firewalls on both computers.
 

Pat

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bb:  Yeah, I did turn off the firewalls sort of late in the process.  I find the Win firewall disconnects me all the time.  Have to leave it off a lot.  However, when I tried to install Zonealarm on my XP Media Center PC, it crashed.  The PC did. 

I'm just doing something wrong or clicking on the wrong items or not deselecting something.  Eventually I'll get it right, and it'll be a known task.  I hope. 

--pat
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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It's not simple because a LAN connection between computers is capable of many things and there is no way to "know" what you intend for it to do (and not do, since it also opens both computers to a number of security "holes"). Sharing files is one thing, sharing printers another and sharing internet connections is a third. Share everything? All the time? In one direction or both ways?  Etc Etc Etc.

A USB-to-USB solution is easier to set up than a LAN cable, since it is defined as a file sharing connection. For an example see:
http://www.usb-ware.com/usb-2-usb-data-link-file-transfer-cable-uc250.htm

[edit]Corrected typos 1/3/2006[/edit]
 

Pat

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Gary:  THAT'S IT!!!  For now I just wanted to hook a USB cable between the two and transfer files. I copied the web page. Wonder if the local computer stores have this item. All I want to do is set up a system to back up music between the two computers.  Then, if mine explodes with the MH, like JID points out, I'll be able to refill my replacement iPod with my backed up music.  Vice versa for the other guy's music.  I'm getting there.  I love projects like this.  It's always fun to learn something new.

I would still like to get this crossover cable working so I can print on his printer eventually.  I'm house sitting here, it turns out, 4 months a year.  Might as well be comfortable.

--pat
 

blueblood

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Pat said:
bb:? Yeah, I did turn off the firewalls sort of late in the process.? I find the Win firewall disconnects me all the time.? Have to leave it off a lot.? However, when I tried to install Zonealarm on my XP Media Center PC, it crashed.? The PC did.?

I'm just doing something wrong or clicking on the wrong items or not deselecting something.? Eventually I'll get it right, and it'll be a known task.? I hope.?

--pat

Wow - that's a lot of problems with firewalls that I haven't seen or experienced before.

I'd recommend going back through process from ground zero. With any Internet connection disabled -Turn off both computers - turn one and disable the firewall - then the next.? Next, each PC?s Ethernet adaptor needs to be configured with a static IP address and a common Subnet mask. As was mentioned before assign the first PC an IP address of 192.168.0.1 and the second PC an address of 192.168.0.2. Both machines should use the Subnet 255.255.255.0.

Also, as mentioned before you?ll want to make sure that both machines have been configured as members of the same workgroup. Any name will work for the workgroup name. All that?s left to do now is reboot the system. Upon reboot, go to Command Prompt (Start-ALL Programs-Accessories-Command Prompt) and try to Ping the other PC. To do this, just type PING and the IP address of the system you?re trying to reach (eg? C:\>PING 192.168.0.2). You should get 5 replies.

If for some reason your Ping returns a timeout message, you might have another problem. The most common issue has to do with Windows XP and the Internet Connection Firewall (ICF). The Windows XP Network Setup Wizard will sometimes enable ICF on your Ethernet adapter. ICF is designed to protect you from threats outside of your network by blocking unauthorized traffic from reaching your PC.

ICF is supposed to be used only on the interface that directly connects to your Internet connection; however, if ICF is being used on an interface that is being used to connect to another PC, it will block all the transmissions being sent to it. It will not even respond to pings. As a result, ICF must be disabled in order for this to work.

To disable ICF, simply right-click on ?My Network Places? and select Properties. Right-click on your LAN connection and then select Properties again. Go to the Advanced tab and uncheck the box that reads ?Protect my computer and network by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet.? Click OK. Now try to ping the other PC again. Hopefully it'll work.
 

Pat

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The USB connection kit I got at Radio Shack worked as advertised.  The installation instructions were written by someone whose native language is English, which was the important thing.  The software instructions were hilarious, they were so incomprehensible.  When I tried to click on cancel to stop the copy operation, it wouldn't stop. Actually, it didn't seem to react to any of its buttons.  If there is better quality software, I'll go for it.  I assume all of these pc link USB cables work with all the software packages.  There are plenty of downloads available.  Know of any that are well done in fairly good English?

I sure like this little gadget, though.  And it was reasonably fast.  Think I could use an extension USB cable with it and not lose data?  The cable is about 6' long, and 10 would have been better.

Now I'm going to learn to connect these two Ethernet adapters. 

--pat
 

Pat

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bb:  Thanks for all the info.  It has been copied and will be pored over extensively.  I WILL make this work.  I agree about returning to ground zero.  One benefit I got out of the efforts is that the two little blue netowork screens don't load, which speeds up my computer boot time considerably.  And my CompuServe ISP software seems to work without them.  Now to make sure that Media Center or other media software doesn't require them.  On my Sony, I had to have all the network stuff going for the various media software to function.  I'm sure glad to get out from under that complicated system.

--pat
 
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