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Old 04-11-2012, 15:40
Dunnroamin
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I've just acquired a refurbished desktop computer to use alongside my existing desktop machine. Both are using XP (although I don't yet know how uptodate XP is on the new m/c). They are on a shelf only a yard apart so can be connected by an Ethernet crossover cable. My existing machine, which I will call the Host, connects wirelessly to a BT Infinity Broadband router.

I found a website which gives a step by step guide on how to connect my two computers. It said: Before connecting the two computers with the Etherrnet crossove cable, make sure they both have the same WORKGROUP. The Host has MSHOME alongside Workgroup in System Properties, so I switched to the new machine, which I will call the Recipient, and opened System Properties, and changed the Workgroup title to MSHOME, the same as the Host m/c.
The guide said: Now both computers have the same Workgroup, connect the Ethernet crossover cable to each, and Windows will automatically recognise the new network. Unfortunately it didn't. The guide also said: Simply open Networks from the Start Menu or Control Panel and you should see the other (recipient) computer by its name. In Control Panel, the nearest thing I could find to Networks was Network Connections, which showed LAN or High-Speed Internet..........Local Area Connection 3, symbolised by two small monitor screens with a yellow triangle and !. This connection was described as Limited or no connectivity, NVIDIA nForce 10/100 Mbps E...

TROUBLESHOOTING.

The guide went on to say: If you don't see the other computer under Networks, you will probably have a PROMPT at the top of the Networks window saying "Networks Discovery is turned off". Select TURN ON NETWORKS DISCOVERY and FILE SHARING, I could not find any Prompt or reference to Network Discovery, and have, so far, been unable to connect the two machines.

I have verified that the Ethernet cable is a Crossover cable because the colour of the wiring is different at the two plug ends, being brown on pin 1 at one end and, I think, orange/white at the other. I was wondering, does it matter which end is plugged into which computer? Can anyone offer any suggestions on this problem please.
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Old 04-11-2012, 15:44
whoever,hey
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Why dont you just go through the router?
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Old 04-11-2012, 15:58
max99
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Assuming the router is in a different room, make life easy for yourself and buy a wifi adapter for the new machine. No need for messing around with Internet connection sharing and ethernet cables.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Edimax-EW-77...2041026&sr=8-2
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Old 04-11-2012, 17:49
totalwise
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crossover cable is the main thing
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Old 04-11-2012, 18:31
s2k
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If you are connecting 2 machines directly rather than through a router, you will need to give them fixed IP addresses.

Although this is doable its going to be a bit of a faff, and for the sake of a couple of quid on a Wifi card not really the best option.
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Old 04-11-2012, 18:54
Maxatoria
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getting it to use the machine as a router can be a pain so just get a wifi dongle/card and job done and alot less hassle
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Old 04-11-2012, 19:34
Stig
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If you connect two PCs by a crossover, you will expect the see the 'limited connectivity' message as there is no Internet connection and the PCs have given themselves APIPA addresses.

It should work though. If you type \\hostname (where hostname is the name of the other PC) you will see any shared folders.
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Old 04-11-2012, 20:35
JeffG1
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My existing machine, which I will call the Host, connects wirelessly to a BT Infinity Broadband router.
Not quite on topic, but you realise that you are wasting a lot of the potential of BT Infinity by connecting wirelessly, when you can buy a 30m ethernet cable on Amazon for 3.40?

(You'd probably want to splash out another quid on a pack of cable clips )
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Old 04-11-2012, 20:38
1saintly
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Well, until the OP tells us exactly what they are trying to achieve by connecting them this way?
This could result in lots of replies all for nothing!
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Old 05-11-2012, 14:02
Dunnroamin
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Why dont you just go through the router?
The Recipient computer does not have the necessary wifi hardware, plus the fact that I already have an Ethernet crossover cable to hand, and the Step by Step Guide I followed says how easy and straightforward it is to use the Ethernet route, but makes no mention of IP addresses, made me think this was something an ignoramus like me could handle - silly me, nothing about computers is a simple as the boffins make out.
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Old 05-11-2012, 14:09
Dunnroamin
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Assuming the router is in a different room, make life easy for yourself and buy a wifi adapter for the new machine. No need for messing around with Internet connection sharing and ethernet cables.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Edimax-EW-77...2041026&sr=8-2
All I want is an easy life, if the suggestion you make involves "configurations" and installation of codes or addresses, I'd rather leave that alone, thanks all the same. Ideally, I just want to Plug and Play.
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Old 05-11-2012, 14:12
Dunnroamin
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crossover cable is the main thing
Got one - it doesn't work.
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Old 05-11-2012, 14:13
max99
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All I want is an easy life, if the suggestion you make involves "configurations" and installation of codes or addresses, I'd rather leave that alone, thanks all the same. Ideally, I just want to Plug and Play.
In that case, run a long ethernet cable to the router or buy a pair of homeplugs.
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Old 05-11-2012, 14:42
Dunnroamin
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If you are connecting 2 machines directly rather than through a router, you will need to give them fixed IP addresses.

Although this is doable its going to be a bit of a faff, and for the sake of a couple of quid on a Wifi card not really the best option.
I don't mind spending a couple of quid on a card but, if you haven't realised it already, I'm not particularly computer literate, first, I wouldn't know where to stick a WiFi card (no rude suggestions, please) so, if it involves removing covers and digging around inside the case to identify the one correct vacant socket among several similar but incorrect ones, whilst, at the same time trying not cause a static discharge that will ruin everything, I think I will pass. You mention giving them (the two computers) fixed IP addresses. Can you say where these "addresses" need to go (presumably the same locations on each computer?) and do the addresses need to be the same for each machine? The Host machine (on which I'm typing this) must already have an IP address (although I'm not sure where to find it) so, I'm assuming this would not need to be changed so, would the new machine need the same address or a different one and, if so, how does one know what address to give it?
I don't understand your use of the term "faff" , do you mean it is a complicated procedure or difficult to achieve a satisfactory result.
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Old 05-11-2012, 14:44
Dunnroamin
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If you connect two PCs by a crossover, you will expect the see the 'limited connectivity' message as there is no Internet connection and the PCs have given themselves APIPA addresses.

It should work though. If you type \\hostname (where hostname is the name of the other PC) you will see any shared folders.
Where should I type \\hostname, in the Run box?
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Old 05-11-2012, 14:51
chrisjr
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I don't mind spending a couple of quid on a card but, if you haven't realised it already, I'm not particularly computer literate, first, I wouldn't know where to stick a WiFi card (no rude suggestions, please) so, if it involves removing covers and digging around inside the case to identify the one correct vacant socket among several similar but incorrect ones, whilst, at the same time trying not cause a static discharge that will ruin everything, I think I will pass. You mention giving them (the two computers) fixed IP addresses. Can you say where these "addresses" need to go (presumably the same locations on each computer?) and do the addresses need to be the same for each machine? The Host machine (on which I'm typing this) must already have an IP address (although I'm not sure where to find it) so, I'm assuming this would not need to be changed so, would the new machine need the same address or a different one and, if so, how does one know what address to give it?
I don't understand your use of the term "faff" , do you mean it is a complicated procedure or difficult to achieve a satisfactory result.
You can get USB dongles for WiFi so no need to go anywhere near the innards of the PC. And they are more or less plug and play. The drivers for the dongle should install automatically and from then on it is just necessary to select your WiFi network and enter the security password for it to connect. It is also not uncommon for the PC to remember the WiFi connection details so you only need enter them once and all subsequent connections happen automatically.

Connecting two PCs together and sharing an internet connection between them can defeat the most computer literate if the two computers decide they are not going to play nicely. And of course if the PC with the internet connection is switched off both PCs lose connection.

Much easier to connect each PC separately to the router. Either by using a WiFi dongle or PowerLine plugs that use the mains wiring to connect PC to router.

Example WiFi dongles

http://netgear.co.uk/home/products/w...g/default.aspx

Example PowerLine units

http://netgear.co.uk/home/products/p...g/default.aspx
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Old 05-11-2012, 15:18
Stig
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Where should I type \\hostname, in the Run box?
Yes, e.g. \\Recipient
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Old 05-11-2012, 16:02
Maxatoria
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I've done the cable to other machine before and it can be a pain to setup and the moment i mention IP addresses/subnet masks/dns servers/messing with firewalls & AV and bridging links your eyes will probably glaze over so its not a job for the faint hearted compared to buying a cheap usb wireless adapter slapping it in and waiting while it installs some drivers and then giving it your wireless key and job done
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Old 05-11-2012, 17:36
s2k
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I don't mind spending a couple of quid on a card but, if you haven't realised it already, I'm not particularly computer literate, first, I wouldn't know where to stick a WiFi card (no rude suggestions, please) so, if it involves removing covers and digging around inside the case to identify the one correct vacant socket among several similar but incorrect ones, whilst, at the same time trying not cause a static discharge that will ruin everything, I think I will pass. You mention giving them (the two computers) fixed IP addresses. Can you say where these "addresses" need to go (presumably the same locations on each computer?) and do the addresses need to be the same for each machine? The Host machine (on which I'm typing this) must already have an IP address (although I'm not sure where to find it) so, I'm assuming this would not need to be changed so, would the new machine need the same address or a different one and, if so, how does one know what address to give it?
I don't understand your use of the term "faff" , do you mean it is a complicated procedure or difficult to achieve a satisfactory result.
Not meaning to be rude but if you aren't that computer literate I genuinely dont think this is the best route to be taking as its fairly easy to break your existing connection and can be tricky to configure correctly.

In this scenario I would say you would probably be best off buying a USB WiFi adaptor. Something like this as an example. This way you can join the PC to the router in the same way as you have with the others, and let the router handle stuff like IP addresses. Everything else you have mentioned about filesharing seems to be correct so it would probably be fine once they are all on the same network and can see each other.
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Old 05-11-2012, 18:26
1saintly
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All I want is an easy life, if the suggestion you make involves "configurations" and installation of codes or addresses, I'd rather leave that alone, thanks all the same. Ideally, I just want to Plug and Play.
Well why dont you tell us what exactly you want to do when you have them connected?
Well, until the OP tells us exactly what they are trying to achieve by connecting them this way?
This could result in lots of replies all for nothing!
You may just want to move a few files across, or get the other computer onto the internet, if you tell us then we can help you by providing the easy and simple way of achieving it.
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Old 07-11-2012, 00:53
Dunnroamin
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Well why dont you tell us what exactly you want to do when you have them connected?


You may just want to move a few files across, or get the other computer onto the internet, if you tell us then we can help you by providing the easy and simple way of achieving it.
Connecting the "recipient" pc to the internet would be useful, but it's not my main requirement, however, if it comes as a bonus to file sharing, backup, and as a standby in the event of breakdown or virus infection of my main machine, fine.

As things are at the moment, with the two computers unable to "speak" to each other, any stuff on the main machine would have to be loaded either onto a memory stick or burned onto a CD before I could download it to the recipient.

Surely it makes sense to make this second computer as versatile and flexible as possible.
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:55
whoever,hey
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I still dont understand why you didn't just network it properly, whether that be long ethernet cables or wifi.
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:56
Helmut10
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'Surely it makes sense to make this second computer as versatile and flexible as possible'

That's exactly what people have been telling you. Get a USB Wireless Dongle, or install a Wireless Card, or Network Cable to connect this 2nd PC to the Router.

That's the point of a Router to do this sort of job and why it's given that name.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:01
whoever,hey
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Surely it makes sense to make this second computer as versatile and flexible as possible.
Bloody hell. i didnt even notice that comment. I obviously didn't imply it in my first post.

Cross-over cables were easier 20 years ago when networking was a pain. Then people invented lots of protocols to make it easier for you, and in fact automate it for you. Thats where we are now.
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Old 07-11-2012, 13:48
Dunnroamin
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Bloody hell. i didnt even notice that comment. I obviously didn't imply it in my first post.

Cross-over cables were easier 20 years ago when networking was a pain. Then people invented lots of protocols to make it easier for you, and in fact automate it for you. Thats where we are now.
Gentlemen, Gentlemen ! (and ladies too, where applicable), I note your frustration with me, and I apologies, but let me say in my defence - before coming to DS with my problem, I Googled Ask and typed in the question: How do I connect two computers. Links to several sites appeared, all implying how easy it was, I chose the one that seemed to most suite my situation (two computers, side by side, on a shelf - 18 inches apart! and therefore not requiring 30 feet of Ethernet cable) and which described most clearly the steps I should take. There was no mention of IP addresses, or that Wifi would be an easier and better solution, just the importance of asigning the same Workgroup to both machines. I did not follow instructions from some out of date publication of 30 or 40 years ago, but from an uptodate, current website. I was attempting to help myself rather than bother the good people of DS. In the end, that which was supposed to be "so easy" turned out to be anything but.

Whenever I have a computer problem, I always try to solve it myself, and I am invariably told how straight forward and easy the solution will be, but this, and past experience, has convinced me that such claims either come from academics with phd's in computer science or from people who don't inhabit the same world as me.
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