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Need Help Connecting two computers together

by butter / December 21, 2005 2:12 AM PST

I have read a lot of the posting about connecting two computers together, but I am still puzzle.
I have two computers that I want to connect together so that I can use to exchange files between them.
The computers are sitting side by side and they are desktop Micro-Towers.
First one computer is a 1.60 gig intel pentium 4 with operating system windows 98 SE (build 4.10.2222). It has 20 gig hard drive and Toshiba DVD-RM [CD-ROM Drive]
Memory Modulesis 96 megabytes installed memory.

Second computer and the one I use all the time. It is a Gateway, processor 867 megahartz intel pentium III with 40 gig Hard Drive an Memory Modules 512 Megabytes installed memory. It has a Matshita DVD-ROM Sr-8586 and Lite-On CD-RW [CD-ROM Drive]

I went to BEST-BUY Store and the clerk told me I could connect the both of them using a Cat-6 RJ-45 Crossover Cable. I purchased the cable and I have it here at home. My Internet connection is Cable and I also have a Linksys Wireless-G 2.4 GHz Broadband Router which my to children use to connect their laptops to the internet.

Now I am asking anyone for step by step instruction on How to connect the two desktop computers together so I can share data between them.
Thank You for your help


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Need Help Connecting two computers together
by jcrobso / December 21, 2005 4:28 AM PST

How many RJ-45 ports does the router have?? Do both of the PCs have network cards in them. Have you hooked them to the router? John

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Butter, It Depends On What You Want To Do With Them
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 21, 2005 4:51 AM PST

Tell us first, do both computers have ethernet cards in them? Also, does the Linksys router have at least two ethernet ports that can be plugged into the computer ethernet cards?

Unfortunately, the "cross-over cable is designed for a direct connection between one computer's ethernet card and the other computer's ethernet card but that may not be the best option for you..Technically, it's that simple..Plug in the cross-over cable into both computer ethernet cards, then use the settings to share files and folders on both computers and the they should be able to "see" each other.

ON the other hand, if you want both of the computers to connect easily to the internet, PLUS share files and folders, it's easier to plug each computer into the wireless router IF it has ethernet/RJ-45 ports..IN that case, the cross-over cable is not needed or used.. A standard ethernet cable is used and then the files can be shared from each machine.

Hope this helps and let us know more so we can continue the step by step.


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Yes, ethernet cards are in both.
by butter / December 21, 2005 5:43 AM PST

I do see a place to plug the crossover cable into the back of each computer. I have connect both of the computers using the crossove cable. Now, on my gateway computer that connection is were I connect to the internet, This cable connects to my router.

If I connect the two machines this way I will not be able to connection to the internet.
I was think that there would be a way for me to connect both computer together and also continue to connect to the internet.

On my router I have 4 each places that I can connect the Cat-6 RJ-45 cable or a cable that has a plug like the one on the crossover cable, in-addition it has the connection for the modem cable. In other words, I could connect 3 more cables to my router.

I hope this is making some sense to you.

Oh, I want to thank You Again for Your Help

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by ice_bear_joe / December 21, 2005 6:01 AM PST

If you only use your gateway computer to connect to the internet you can leave it as it is.You just need another
ethernet card for the gateway to connect it to the other computer by the cross-over cable.

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ice-bear-joeThank You.
by butter / December 21, 2005 6:14 AM PST
In reply to: Butter

I Thank You for the reply but I wanted to know if there is another way to connect the two computers together. I am a newbie for sure and I am not sure I could install another ethernet card. I would have to take the computer to the Geek Squad for them to install another ethernet card in my gateway computer. I was hoping maybe I could use one of my USB plugs on the computers or something else that would not cost the price of computer services.
But Thank You so much for an answer to my question.


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Butter, OK, At This Time, Disregard The Cross-Over Cable..
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 21, 2005 6:24 AM PST

Obtain two separate (regular) ethernet cables and plug the cables from each computer's ethernet jack to the jack on the back of the router..(Each computer will be connected separately to the router through a standard ethernet cable) It's the easiest way to connect both computers to the internet AND share files at the same time.

Unfortunately, I don't see the operating system listed of your main computer so I'm guessing a little here.

For the network connection, make sure that BOTH computers have "File and Printer Sharing For Microsoft Networks" enabled so they can "see" each other.

1. On an Windows XP machine, open the Control Panel, then double click on the "Network Connections", RIGHT click on the "Local Area Network" icon, choose "Properties". On the "General" tab, make sure the "File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks" is installed and has a CHECK mark in the box next to it. If it doesn't, make it so.

2. On a Win 98/ME computer, (I'm not a Win 98/Me computer so I'm doing this from memory), open the Control Panel, then double click on the "Network" icon. When that loads, on the "Configuration" tab, look in the white network components section and and verify the "File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks" is installed. If it's not, choose to "Add" that "Service". Also make sure the "Client For Microsoft Networks" is installed.

Once that's done, there are a number of websites which will tell you how to set up your wireless network. Here are just a couple.:

What is the Network Setup Wizard in Windows XP? Do I need to run it?

After you set up the Workgroup/network name on the main XP computer, you then should be able to simply open the Control Panel of the Windows 98 computer, double click on the "Network" icon, choose "Identification" tab,(At least I think it's that on Windows 98) then choose to join the workgroup by typing in the Workgroup name. In order to then "see" all the folders on both computers, you'll need to acess each computer, RIGHT click on the folders you want to share, choose "Sharing" from the menu, then enable sharing for that particular folder.

Hope this helps.


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Thank You Grif
by butter / December 21, 2005 7:20 AM PST

I already have one ethernet cable connected from my gateway computer which has XP as the operating system.
This is the computer that I will be using most of the time because it has more memory and a newer operating system then the other computer.

Now I am going to BestBuy and return the crossover cable for a standard ethernet cable and use it to connect the windows-98 computer to the router.

I will let you know how I make out after I get the cable and follow the rest of your instructions.

Thank You So Much Again. I am so much a Newbie and in need of so much help.

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Butter, Good Enough..One Thing About The Windows 98...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 21, 2005 7:38 AM PST
In reply to: Thank You Grif

The XP computer will be the best machine to set up first using my original instructions..ONce you've got the Windows XP set up with a Workgroup name and made sure the "File and Printer Sharing" is installed and CHECKED, then follow the procedures I described earlier to insure that "File and Printer Sharing" are enabled on the Windows 98 machine. ONE MORE THING on that Windows 98 computer..While in the "Control Panel/Network section, click on the "File and Printer Sharing" button and make sure you've got both boxes CHECKED.

Hope this helps and let us know how it goes.


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Grif - Got the Ethernet Cable
by butter / December 22, 2005 9:04 PM PST

I got another ethernet cable and plugged it into the router and the computer with the windows-98 operating system. I already have a cable connecting my Gateway windows-XP computer into the router.

I followed all the instructions and I see a shared document icon in My-Computer that is using windows-XP and I see a Web-Folder in My-Computer with the windows-98 computer.

They are not connecting or communicating at all.

I decided to open the case of the windows-98 computer and see if the ethernet card was pushed in the slot tight because this machine has been moved around some.
I did not see a board in a slot for the ethernet connection, I see a square small box on the mother board next to the USB-connection box. They look like they are connected to the Mother Board.
I ran a computer profile program on the windows-98 machine and I found that the Communication Section has listed
1. V.90 K56flex HSP PCI MODEM and

In the Network Drives Section, it says NONE DETECTED.

I googled the Microsoft Virtual Private Network Adapter and found you set that up using the Dial-up Setup connection.

Now my question is do I really have an Ethernet Connection or do I have to buy an Ethernet Board and have it install down in one of the slots next to the phone connection board.

Sorry for being so needy but I am truly a Newbie that is trying to understand computers. Happy

Thanks Again

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Butter, Can You Connect To The Internet??
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 23, 2005 2:16 AM PST

...with the Windows 98 machine? If there is an ethernet card installed on the machine and it's working correctly, you should be able to connect simply by double clicking on the Internet Explorer icon on your desktop. (The blue "e") In addition, the best place to find whether you have an ethernet card installed is in "Device Manager". On the Win98 computer, RIGHT click on "My Computer", choose "Properties", then click on the "Device Manager" tab, then click on the + sign next to "Network Adapters". If it's there, it will be listed as a "Fast Ethernet Adapter" or something similar.

The shared computers/folders probably won't show up in "My Computer" but will instead show up in the "Network Places" or "My Network Places" icon on the desktop of both computers..(As I mentioned before, you'll need to enable "Client For Microsoft Networks" on both machines to see the "Network Places" icon.

If you have to purchase an ethernet card, (they're quite cheap, about $10), you should be able to install it yourself. Just follow the instructions that come with the card. Here's a link that should help also:

How To Install The Ethernet Card

Hope this helps.


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I'll get the Ethernet Adapter
by butter / December 23, 2005 3:59 AM PST

Thanks Again Grif.
I will get the Ethernet Adapter and install it.

I did out look in the Device Manager and I see listed:
1. Dial-up Adapter
2. Dial-up Adapter #2 (VPN Support)
3. Microsoft Virtual Private Networking Adapter
4. WAN Minipost (ATW)
There is no ''Fast Ethernet Adapter", so I will go out and buy one. I am going to install it with your help. Happy
I have already taken the cover off the computer and it looks like it will be Ok for me to do this.

Anyway, I learning.
I will let you know how I am making out with this soon.

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The Two Computer are Connected.
by butter / January 12, 2006 8:38 PM PST

Hi Grif
I did get the computer connected and they are communicating just find. I did buy a USB Data Link Cable from JetLan to use to connect the two computers and It is working Great. I can move, share and do everything I wanted to do connected to both machines.

Thank You so Much for Your Help and I am so sorry it has taken me so long to reply and let you know how I made out, but the Holidays got in my way.:-)

Anyway, I hope You and Yours have a Wonderful New Year.
All the Best to You.

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Re.: Connecting 2 computers
by Rtistic / December 23, 2005 11:16 PM PST

I have just recently researched this subjust in order to connect a notebook to my Word PC for files transfers and backup. The simplest solution is whats called a USB/USB Bridge (or network) cable. I just ordered one from for $40.00 Canadian. It is the Inland U-Connect USB 2.0 to Network Link (B451-1074), but there are others on the market. The cable comes with a driver disk and explorer like software for dragging and dropping files. Some only have the capability to work when the USB is plugged into each computer, others will work across a network.
Here is a link with all the information you need.

Hope this helps . .

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Cable worked out Great.
by butter / January 12, 2006 8:17 PM PST

Hi Rtist
I took your advice and purchased the USB Data Link Cable. It has worked out just find. I am able to move data around on both machines now.

Thank You Again for this information.
The Cable made it so easy to connect the computers together even for a Newbie like me. Happy

Sorry for taking so long to reply but the Holidays got in the way. Oh, Happy New Year to You and Yours.

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Re.: Bridge Cable
by Rtistic / January 13, 2006 12:39 AM PST

I'm glad everything worked out!
It was actually my boss that got me started on this, as he wanted to connect an office PC to his new Notebook and trasfer data files. He is also on a wireless network.
I decided to pursue it myself . . was getting tired of burning CD's to install programs on another PC.
Doing it via the wireless network means assigning folders as shared and all that.
I ended up purchasing a bridge cable from Tiger Direct but have not tried it yet.
Instead I went for the gusto and bought a Maxtor 300GB external hard drive that will connect using USB or Firewire. Just install the drivers and you're away. Comes with a Backup program as well. Best investment I ever made!! They have dropped in price considerably over the past couple of years.
If you have any other perdicaments by all means shoot me an email. Happy New Year to you too.

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Big Thank You
by butter / January 13, 2006 3:54 AM PST
In reply to: Re.: Bridge Cable

Thank You so Much for offening your help to me and If I need some help in the future (and I probably will and I adding you to my email address book. :-)) along with learning what is in my computer I will really be emailing you.

Thank You Again

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