How to Install and Configure the Direct Cable Connection Feature

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SUMMARY

This article describes how to install and configure the Direct Cable Connection (DCC) feature in Windows 95 and Windows 98.

MORE INFORMATION

Overview

This overview describes how two Windows 95 or Windows 98 computers can use the DCC feature. This feature enables you to establish a connection between two computers quickly and easily by using a parallel cable, a null-modem serial cable, or an infrared connection. After you have established the connection, the DCC feature facilitates the transfer of files from the host computer to the guest computer. The host can act as a gateway to an Internetwork Packet Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange (IPX/SPX) or NetBIOS Enhanced User Interface (NetBEUI) network for the guest.

For example, if you have a portable computer, you can use a cable to connect it to your work computer and network. To establish a local connection between two computers, you must connect a compatible serial or null-modem parallel cable to both computers, or both computers must be equipped with infrared devices.

Before you can transfer files from the host to the guest computer, the files must be in a shared folder, and File and Printer Sharing services for either Microsoft or NetWare networks must be enabled in the Network option in Control Panel. You can also apply share-level security to the shared files. For more information, click Help on the Start menu.

To establish a local connection between two computers, you need a compatible serial or parallel null-modem cable.

The DCC feature provides you with a cost efficient, yet slow network connection between two computers. Also, the DCC feature can act as a gateway to the rest of the local area network (LAN). With the DCC feature, you do not need to configure any interrupt requests (IRQs) or input/outputs (I/Os) for an adapter, and the expense of a null-modem cable can be considerably less than that of a network adapter and cable. Also, the DCC feature can be used only when needed and it does not need to be constantly running on your computer.

The capability of the DCC feature is vaguely similar in functionality to Interlink for Microsoft MS-DOS 6.x that enables you to transfer data through the serial port between two computers. However, the DCC feature in Windows 98 actually uses the Dial-Up Networking architecture to connect to another computer. The DCC feature enables a two-computer network to be set up over serial or parallel cabling. To share resources when you use the DCC feature, you must install the full Dial-Up Networking support, and you must share folders and printers with other users.

The Steps to Install and Configure the DCC Feature

To Install the DCC Component

  1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add/Remove Programs.
  2. Click the Windows Setup tab, click Communications in the Components box, and then click Details.
  3. Click to select the Direct Cable Connection check box, and then click OK.
  4. Click OK again.
NOTE: if you are prompted for the Windows 95 or Windows 98 CD-ROM, insert the disk into the CD-ROM drive.

In Windows 95

In the Copy files from: box, type: x:\win95, and then click OK (where x represents the drive letter of your CD-ROM drive).

After the files are copied to the computer, you may be prompted to restart your computer. Click OK to restart the computer.

In Windows 98

In the Copy files from: box, type: x:\win98, and then click OK (where x represents the drive letter of your CD-ROM drive).

After the files are copied to the computer, you may be prompted to restart your computer. Click OK to restart the computer.

Both Windows 95 and Windows 98 provide a Direct Cable Connection Wizard to establish the connection between two computers. The wizard runs when you use the DCC feature for the first time. The wizard enables you to designate one computer as the guest and the other as a host. Before you run the wizard, you must install the DCC feature on each computer and connect them with a null-modem serial or parallel cable, or with an infrared device. For more information about how to set up and use the DCC feature, refer to Help, or to "I am unable to connect my Windows 95 computer to my Windows 98 computer" in the Networks troubleshooter section.

To start the Direct Cable Connection Wizard

Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to Communications, and then click Direct Cable Connection.

To set up the DCC feature:

When two computers are connected by means of the DCC feature, one computer functions as the host and the other computer functions as the guest. The host computer has the privilege to assign a password to the connection (as well as separate passwords for any folders that it wants to share with the guest). The guest computer can access any folders that are shared by the host, but the host cannot access the shared folders on the guest.

First, you need to set up the DCC feature on the host computer, and then you need to set up the DCC feature on the guest computer. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, click Communications, and then click Direct Cable Connection. The Direct Cable Connection Wizard is displayed.

In the first dialog box of the wizard, you must identify the current computer as either the host or the guest. Then, click Next. In the second dialog box, you can observe a list of available ports. You must select the port that you plan to use, connect your cable if it is not already connected, and then click Next.

NOTE: When you use an infrared link for the DCC feature, you have to locate the virtual communications (COM) port that the infrared device uses before you run the Direct Cable Connection Wizard:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Infrared Monitor.
  2. In Infrared Monitor, click the Options tab to list the virtual COM port that the infrared device uses.
  3. Use this COM port to select the port to use in the Direct Cable Connection Wizard.
If you are setting up a host computer, the third dialog box of the wizard gives you the opportunity to specify a password. After you have entered a password (or declined to enter a password), click Next. Your host computer is ready. If you are setting up a guest computer, the password step is omitted.

When you have set up both computers, you can begin to transfer files immediately. Or, you can click Close to exit from the wizard. When you are ready to transfer files, you can run the DCC feature again on both computers.

NOTE: When you first establish a connection, your guest computer may be requested to enter the name of the host computer. Enter the name of the computer without any backslash (\) characters (do not enter the universal naming convention [UNC] path of the host computer, only enter the name). Ensure that you share any host computer folders, which contain the files that you want to copy to the guest computer. For information about sharing folders, refer to "Sharing Folders with Other Users."

Windows 95 and Windows 98 supports a serial null-modem standard (RS-232) cable and the following cables:
  • Null-modem serial cables
  • Basic 4-bit parallel cables, including LapLink and InterLink cables that had been available before 1992. Parallel cables transmit data simultaneously over multiple lines, whereas serial cables transmit data sequentially over one pair of wires. Therefore, parallel cables are faster than serial cables.
  • Extended Capabilities Port (ECP) cable. This type of cable works on a computer with ECP-enabled parallel ports that must be enabled in the basic input/output system (BIOS). This kind of parallel cable enables data to be transferred more quickly than a standard cable.
  • Universal Cable Module (UCM) cable. This cable supports the connection of different types of parallel ports. The use of this cable between two ECP-enabled ports enables the fastest possible data transfer between two computers.
  • The use of the DCC feature over an infrared link.
NOTE: ECP cables provide faster performance than any of the other alternatives, but they require an ECP-enabled parallel port on both computers. A UCM cable can be used with different types of parallel ports.

For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
142324 Cables That Are Compatible with Direct Cable Connection

To Order a DCC Cable

A DCC cable, referred to as a high-speed DirectParallel cable, may be obtained from Parallel Technologies.

To contact Parallel Technologies by phone:

Inside the United States: (800) 789-4784
Outside the United States: (425) 869-1119

Or, contact the company by means of the Internet or by e-mail message:

Internet address:
http://www.lpt.com
E-mail messages can be sent to: sales@lpt.com

Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

The third-party products that are discussed in this article are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.

Properties

Article ID: 298446 - Last Review: January 31, 2007 - Revision: 1.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 95
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbinfo kbnetwork KB298446

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