Cross over Cables


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USB OR Cat5 Crossover Cable

USB or Cat5 Crossover Cables are not the same!

There are numerous types of USB OR  a Cat5 crossover cables to transfer files from one computer to another computer with out a network.

The easiest to use is a special USB cable that allows you to connect two computers via usb ports. No external power is required unless your computers are over six feet apart then I recommend a powered usb hub to keep the signal loss low thus not corrupting any files. The cable I have is a older version that uses a network type setup, the newer cables use the preparatory Explorer interface and is much easier.USB or Cat5 Crossover Cables - Cat5 network cable crossover cable

You can also use a Cat5 cable that is wired to be a crossover and use your network cards in the two computers. The setup for this is somewhat involved and requires you either make or buy the crossover cable. You also have to setup the network cards to have the same subnet and mask.

The advantage to the Cat5 network crossover is speed and length of the cable, you can set the speed for both computers to 100/full and have a cable of up to 30 feet.

USB Crossover cable use:

Plug the cable in both systems, you will have to load drivers for each system to use the cable. Most cables come with drivers. Depending on the cable you have you will connect directly to the other computer or will have to setup a network type of connection. If you have to use the network type setup you have to share the volume, or folder that you want to connect to.  Once you have the connection then you can use any file transfer program to move/copy your files, like Explore or a file manager program. To insure you are connected just open My Computer and you will see the new drive(s) from the other computer.

Cat5 Crossover cable use:

First you need to obtain the cable, most electronic stores that have network devices and cables for sale have them, they should be about the same price as a normal Cat5 cable.

Next you have to setup the NIC's in each computer to the same subnet, normally because you are not connecting to the internet and do not have to worry about being hacked you can use 192.168.1.x. You can change the x to 1 for the first system and 2 for the second system. Then you need to put in the subnet mask which is You can put in the gateway address as, it doesn't matter what you use. Windows will balk with out the gateway address, so use it. For this to work you must set the 'Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP' option on

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Setup NetBIOS

the WINS tab of the TCP/IP Properties Advanced tab. You can designate one of the systems as the DNS controller and the WINS controller with out actually installing the services, I suggest the first computer ip for these address. This will assist when you are trying to connect from one system to the other.

Note: Insure both network cards have the same speed and duplex set, you can change these parameters from the properties page, then go to the network card properties on the advanced tab. If the speed and duplex are not the same the computers will not connect.

Now connect the cables and do a 'ping' command from each system to the other, you should get a reply, if not then check your parameters. Then try 'ping' command by each systems name, again you should get a reply, if not recheck your parameters.

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Last thing about using the Cat5 crossover cable, security. Because you are using a network connection you will have to setup the security, that is you have to grant permission to one of the systems from the other system.

Such as the first system we will call 'One' and the second system 'Two'. System One needs to know that system Two is a trusted system. Create a user id on both systems with the same name and password, say the name you use is 'Transfer' or something simple, give that id full rights (Administrator) to both systems. Then on the volume or the folder you want to transfer your files give 'Transfer' full right to folder or volume.

Go to the second system and search for 'One' by name or IP, once you find it right click on the icon, select 'Explore' if you have the security set correctly it should open. Right click on the volume or drive and select 'Map network drive', if a security box opens then use this format for the id: One/Transfer then type in the password you gave the id. It should connect and open a window to the drive/volume. Start your copy process.

If you don't transfer files from one computer to another very often or this is a one time deal then delete the transfer account and the crossover network connection. This will insure someone that doesn't have rights to the computers from gaining access with out your permission.

USB or Cat5 Crossover Cables: A P.S.

I have been asked numerous times about turning a USB cable in to a Cat5 network cable or turning a Cat5 cable in to a USB cable. It would be easier, cheaper, and faster to buy the cable you need.

You can not take a USB cable and make it in to a Cat5 network cable nor can you take a Cat5 cable and turn it in to a USB cable.


You can use a cat5 or cat6 crossover cable to remote control another computer however due to the preparatory nature of the USB file transfer cable you can not use one for remote control of another computer...

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