ARCHIVED: Directly connecting computers and sharing files
If you want to share files between two computers that are not connected to a network, and prefer not to use removable media, you can establish a direct connection between the computers.
On this page:
- Direct connection using a crossover cable
- Direct connection using a null-modem cable
- USB networking
Direct connection using a crossover cable
If one or both computers use Windows 8, 7, or Vista
If one or both computers use Windows 8, 7, or Vista, to use a crossover cable to connect them:
- Connect the two computers using the Ethernet crossover cable.
- On a computer running Windows 8, press Win-
xto open the Power User menu, and then select . In the upper right-hand corner of the window, next to "View by:", select either or . Click .Note:For help navigating, see Getting around in Windows.
On a computer running Windows 7 or Vista, in Classic View, from themenu, click . Then, double-click .
Note: If this doesn't match what you see, refer to Getting around in Windows.
- At the top of the main portion of the
Network and Sharing Centerwindow, double-click the icon.
- If network discovery and file sharing are disabled, the following
message will appear:
"Network discovery and file sharing are turned off. Network computers and devices are not visible. Click to change..."Click the message to enable network discovery and file sharing; you may be prompted for an administrator username and/or password.
- In the dialog box that opens, select . This allows you to initiate file sharing on the two computers without affecting the settings for any other networks.
- Icons for both computers should now be visible in the
Note: If one of the computers is running Windows XP, it can take some time for that computer to appear in the
Networkwindow. You may also need to configure the Windows XP computer according to the following section. window. Double-click a computer icon to
share printers and other resources.
If both computers use Windows XP
If both computers use Windows XP, to use a crossover cable to connect them:
- On each computer, from the menu, select , or and then .
- Double-click , and then select the tab. Enter the name of each computer and the name of the workgroup; the name of each computer should be unique, but the workgroup name must be identical for both.
- From the Control Panel, double-click on both machines, and then connect the computers using the crossover cable. If either machine's status is shown as "Disconnected", the cable is either not firmly seated or bad.
- After the connection is made, enable file sharing for each computer. Right-click the icon for the network connection, and then select . Click the tab, and then click .
- In the
Windows Firewall Settingswindow, click the tab, and make sure that is selected on both machines.
It may take some time for both machines to obtain IP addresses and appear in the window.
Direct connection using a null-modem cable
In Windows XP, if you do not have an Ethernet card, you can also make a direct cable connection using a serial or parallel null-modem cable:
- From the menu, select , or and then .
- Double-click .
- In the "Network Tasks" portion of the window, select , and then click .
- Click , and then click .
- Select , click , and then select a role for each machine. One will be the host, and the other the guest. In general, the host should be the machine with the files to be transferred, and the guest should be the machine to which the files will be copied.
- On the host computer, select the port (serial, parallel, or infrared) you will use for the connection, and then click .
- You will be prompted to grant access to users connecting to the computer. Choose the appropriate options, click , and then click .
- On the guest computer, type a name for the connection, and then click .
- Select the port (serial, parallel, or infrared) you are using for the connection, and then click .
- Select or as appropriate.
- Click , and then click .
To connect two computers using Windows with USB networking, purchase a USB networking cable from a commercial vendor. Connect the computers using the purchased cable, and then follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Some of the instructions in this document were adapted from Microsoft's Connect two computers using a crossover cable.
This is document axtm in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2013-11-07 00:00:00.
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