View Full Version : Best way to transfer files between computers?
What´s the best way to transfer files between a PC and a laptop. I´ve tried a parallel connection with direct cable connection through Windows but I´m not having any luck.
6th Jan 2001, 19:52
Best way has to be LapLink - I use LapLink 95, but there's probably a later version. Check http://www.travsoft.com . You can also set up a peeer-to-peer connection between the two computers, but haven't been there, don't have that tee shirt.
Do you have the right parallel cable? The correct cable cross connects two pins - can't remember which and can't find the scruffy piece of paper I had it written on.
(I Sit, I Watch, I Smile)
6th Jan 2001, 20:50
I'm trying to do the same thing. I was told I could 'usb to usb' (faster connection), but i can't get it to work. Damnation.
I'm using win 98 vn2. Any ideas would help please.
6th Jan 2001, 21:26
how are you connecting the m/c's when you do usb-usb.Do you have a usb hub in between?'cos a straight usb cable between the systems can be problematic (it can pop both systems)In fact I've been told it can cause a fire."
Take a look at
[This message has been edited by bodger (edited 06 January 2001).]
6th Jan 2001, 23:45
You're an ace and you may have saved my computers from mass fireworks. Thank you sooooooooo much.
Bugger that a direct cable doesn't work. Now i've got to try and explain to the dealers what a usb bridge is. Thanks again.
Mac the Knife
7th Jan 2001, 00:06
If your laptop has a network port then consider throwing an inexpensive network card in your PC & setting up the two as a peer-to-peer network. Not difficult at all & may be the cheapest as Win9x has all the networking folderol built in. If your laptop doesn't have a network port it might be cheaper to go for Laplink (network cards for laptops can be expensive).
Now what about my bl@<hidden> Icons.......?
7th Jan 2001, 01:53
All these solutions require the laptop and the desktop to be near each other at the time of transfer and both have to be running for the transfer to work.
I'm not being frivolous when I suggest that you do not ignore the possibility of a portable CD-Rom writer. Computers can be remote from each other and the transfer can be accomplished "asychronously". That is the PCs are not actually interacting with each other. And the files are backed up on the CD of course.
Much more expensive, naturally. See my earlier thread on this subject.
BTW I'm not prejudiced; I am a LAN devotee and would otherwise recommend the installation of network cards etc. I use Coax to avoid the need for a USB hub. A PCMCIA NIC for the laptop will set you back about £100. That for the PC can be found for £15-30. Coax is cheap and can be bought from PC World or Maplins in made up lengths. Software (except for some NICs) is all in the Windows packages.
[This message has been edited by fobotcso (edited 06 January 2001).]
7th Jan 2001, 02:08
I suspect you're using the wrong sort of cable, nip down to PC World and buy a 'Belkin' cable (it'll say on the packaging that it's for file transfers). I use this method with the 'Direct Cable connection'option and it works a treat, if you get stuck just read the Windows help as it explains what to do.
7th Jan 2001, 12:08
I do kind of agree with fobotcso that a CD-Writer is a neat way of transferring files - and undoubtedly a good way of backing-up and archiving files. But to quickly transfer files from desktop to laptop before starting off down route, maybe it's not the most elegant way to go.
I suspect that the latest version of LapLink will handle USB comfortably - transferring files is what LapLink is all about.
But (while I don't use it myself) my copy of LapLink can also used on a network, or (with a modem) over the internet. It also supports serial and parallel connections. Apart from some fairly sophisticated file transfer techniques (you can create scripts to transfer only the files you need to be transferred on a regular basis), LapLink can also be used to take remote control of another computer over the internet, and can also be used in a "chat" mode for real time one-on-one communication.
Also agree with Specaircrew that you certainly do need the right cable (haven't heard of Belkin, but agree that it must be specifically for file transfers). My copy of LapLink 95 came complete with both serial (9 pin + 25 pin to 9 pin + 25 pin) serial cable, and a parallel cable.
It's a useful piece of software to have around.
(I Sit, I Watch, I Smile)
7th Jan 2001, 14:38
I had problems using an old version of Laplink twixt my desktop ME machine and my WIN98 notebook. However, on the front of the latest PCW is a freebie Laplink professional... about 5 mins to instal on both machines.. join them with a serial cable and it just works like magic.
7th Jan 2001, 15:17
It would probably work its magic faster through the parallel port.
The USB transfer is easy and speedy...the cable comes with a little program that works like a browser. Copy n paste and it's done...around £30 I paid some 6 months back.
7th Jan 2001, 15:37
is that just connecting straight through the usb ports?Is it a special cable?ie is it A-A ended?
Danger Danger Will Robinson! Make sure you are using the correct cable to connect your PCs together.
Having had the misfortune to connect two PC power supplies together via a cable, I can tell you that data cables aren't really up to carrying 30+ amps for more than about 0.1 seconds before the entire length of cable ignites. http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/eek.gif
(I was using a software/hardware emulator pod in place of the CPU in one machine for development. The pod had been wired up incorrectly - not by me, I hasten to add!)
[This message has been edited by mik (edited 07 January 2001).]
8th Jan 2001, 18:21
Best way to transfer between machines is undoubtedly over a LAN. PCMCIA adapters can be had for about £50 and once for the PC (get a PCI one) at around £15-20. Forget Coax (sorry fobotcso) it can be a pain in the ar$e. Get a Cat5 crossover cable (not a standard patch cable). Faster and more reliable than Coax, and no need for a hub if it's between 2 machines.
Dead easy to set up and totally PnP.
bodger, yes, this is a special USB-USB cable with some electronics between the plugs...it does not work like a network...you access from either side the other unit like a local harddrive.
Just tried (never thought of that before) to open a text file through the cable and it works...just like I said as accessing a local drive.
12th Jan 2001, 10:41
The cheapest and easiet way to transfer is a standard laplink cable and the 'FastWire'(FW2) application. Much better (quicker and error free)than Laplink. Dead simple Master and Slave. I use this regularly for files over 30MB, 5-10mins and no problems.
13th Jan 2001, 03:13
USB zip disk is best for transfeering between machines and when it all turns to **** you still have the files on the zip disk.
16th Jan 2001, 18:11
Cheapest, easiest, best! I guess it all depends on other constraints. Im my case these constraints are multiple workstations and speed of transfer.
If I were starting over for a one-to-one transfer, I think I'd go for Bluetooth with the iMac and its laptop. And that's not just to curry favour with Danny!
In yesterday's (Mon 15 Jan 2001) Times Interface there was a review of the Bluetooth wireless technology and it was impressive. Midland Mainline Trains are to run a trial of Bluetooth on the London-Leeds run. There'll almost certainly be bandwith problems initially. But on a one-to-one basis it is terrific as my son-in-law's kit shows.
BTW, AP, if coax cable gives you a pain in the backside, you must be using it for a purpose for which it was not intended. :)
The benefits of UTP over coax are its flexibility and resilience. But coax takes more nodes and goes further and you don't need hubs. My domestic LAN has 14 nodes and two printers on servers using coax. Never a hint of a problem over two years and using cables made up myself. Only two golden rules with coax; don't bend it too tightly (use a large radius of curvature) and terminate properly. (Not difficult to make up your own terminators at 50p each and never more than two).
I keep an old spare Ethernet NIC to put into a PC I am working on and a short length of made up coax and I can backup to my laptop or swap files to the sick PC at Network speeds of 10 mega bits/sec (or >60 MBytes/min in practice). When you've got a GByte of data to move it's the only acceptably quick way.