Copying Large
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File Transfer With Out Using A Network

How to..." do file transfer of one 50 GB image...

It is possible to do a file transfer without using a network, using a USB, parallel, or even a serial cable that you can use to attach one computer to another computer.

You have a 50 GB image of your current Operating System install and want to save it to another computer but you do not have a network or an external hard drive with enough space. So how do you copy the image from one computer to another with out a network or deleting a large amount of data off your external hard drive?

Before the age of USB and common networks computers only had parallel and serial ports.

The company Lap Link was the first to really use a twisted pair telephone cable with a serial or parallel port adapter for file transfer between two computers.

With out any type of 'booster' between the computers you could get a connection from one computer to another as far apart as twenty-five feet.

Although not cheap it was the only way to transfer large amounts of data at a fairly fast speed. In that time period most hard drives were in the 30 to 100 MB capacity, and most files were under 1 MB in size (this was just before the 3.5 inch 1.44 MB floppy was introduced).

Add in a network with powered hubs and the transfer speed increases again by Megabits.

When networks became more common and most computers had a network add on card the transfer speed picked up, with what is known as a "cross over cable" (see How to make a crossover cable  ) you could get a though put up in the Megabit range depending on the distance between the computers.

But what if you still live in the pre network dark age or don't have a network handy to transfer those files?

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Then you either invest in something like Lap Link or a crossover network cable (commonly known as a Cat5 or Cat6 cable) that has some of the wires crossing from one pin on one end to a different pin on the other end.

You can make your own crossover cable if you want to, however the crimper tool, the cable, and the end connectors would be more expensive than to buy a cable all ready with the wires crossed.

Once you have the cable if you use Vista or Windows 7 you can use the 'Peer to Peer' network setup already installed on the computers.

XP and older Operating Systems (OS) you have to do some configuring to the network, see this page about File Transfer on how to setup the network.

With all Operating Systems you have to configure the user ID and password for the user that will be transferring the files plus the shares for the files to do the transfer, that user ID has to have normal user rights on both computers or you will get a security error when you start the transfer.

I get questions on the Q and A forum all the time about how to turn a USB cable in to a network cable or a network cable in to a USB cable. The answer is: you can't. Period.

You can however use a pair of USB Network adapters in conjunction with a crossover cable to connect two computers that either don't have a NIC or the NIC has failed in one of them.

Unless you are transferring a large amount of data an external hard drive would be a lot less work and you would have a back up of the data.

My thoughts on using crossover cables and USB transfer cables (yes I have all three types, most computers don't have a serial port these days any way).

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