Connecting a Laptop with a Desktop
to transfer data between your laptop and a PC, or
between two PCs? Here are some tips that can get you
those of us who lug a laptop around, updating and
backing up (or transferring) your precious data on
a PC or any other storage medium plays a vital role.
Fortunately, the process of transferring data from
a laptop to a PC or from one PC to another is relatively
simple, all you need is a LAN card enabled PC, and
some software that makes this task a breeze.
Over here lets have an overview of the various protocols
required for establishing a connection between two
computers, then have an overview of the various freeware/commercial
software available that lets you transfer
Direct Cable Connection (DCC) is the most common way
of connecting two PCs for transferring data. For using
DCC, the following network components play a vital
1) File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks
is used when one need to share a drive/directory/file
over a network.
2) Dial Up Adapter using an enhanced mode (32-bit
and 16-bit) NDIS driver. The NDIS driver is automatically
installed on installing Dial Up Adapter.
3) IPX/SPX compatible protocol. Similar to TCP/IP,
but it is installed to avoid conflicts between the
two, so TCP/IP can be used for Internet and IPX/SPX
for data transfer.
Once these protocols are installed, reboot your PC.
To enable file sharing during a remote connection
go to Network option in Control Panel and click File
And printer sharing for Microsoft Networks. Then select
File and Print Sharing. Select the option that you
want to share.
Now start Windows Explorer and right click on the
drive/folder/file you wish to share. A sharing option
will ask you the for access type (read only, full,
password dependant). Select the appropriate option
as per your requirement.
Your PC is now fully prepared to share files and folders
via remote connection.
of freeware and shareware software is available that
allows you to transfer data between two PCs. Many
are available for free on the Web, but the better
have to be paid for.
Microsoft's Direct Cable Connection happens to be
one of the oldest one around. Since it comes along
with the operating system you only need to make a
few minor adjustments to get things going.
Direct Cable Connection can be accessed via Start
- Program Files - Accessories - Communications. If
you are using DCC for the first time, you might need
to tweak around with some of the settings.
On starting DCC click on Change. Since you shall be
using your desktop as a Host, select it and click
Next. Plug in your serial/parallel cable and choose
the appropriate port. Click Next and enter a password
if you wish to enable security. Use the same configuration
for your laptop (or the second PC), except that it
should be configured as a guest.
It should be noted that both the ends of the cable
should be similar. A serial pin at one end and a parallel
at the other just won't work! Microsoft's DCC supports
serial/parallel port connection only. There is no
support for transferring data using an USB port.
LapLink (www.laplink.com) allows you to transfer data
via a parallel/serial port at a rate of about 4 min/
MB. LapLink also provides USB support thus allowing
you to transfer data via USB port at much faster speeds
as compared to parallel/serial port transfer. Along
with that, it has a plethora of options that makes
the overall task simpler. LapLink informs you about
the network components that are mandatory for a remote
The software includes variety of options of the like
added security, remote connection via modem, DUN,
network, cable or even wireless (using Bluetooth enabled
devices) connection. A task scheduler and facility
for voice chat adds icing to the cake. And if you
get stuck around, there's a comprehensive help menu.
The only downside to LapLink is its cost; it's priced
at around Rs 7500. Plus the entire package is a whooping
11MB. So if you are always on the move and need to
download data from various PC's, you are forced to
have a backup copy of the software and you need to
install it every time on the second PC.
Link Maven is a shareware that can be downloaded from
com/lmaven.htm. There isn't much difference between
Microsoft's Direct Cable Connection and Link Maven,
except the fact that it has a different interface
and configuration options and it is a non-Microsoft
Anurag Phadke can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org