How To Set Up a Direct Cable Connection Between Two Computers in Windows XP

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Article ID: 305621 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q305621
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SUMMARY

A direct cable connection is a link between the input/output (I/O) ports of two computers by using a single cable rather than a modem or other interfacing device. In most cases, you make a direct cable connection with a null modem cable. You can use a direct cable connection to transfer information between the computers to exchange files, access resources, and so on.

To Make a Direct Cable Connection

  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Network Connections.
  2. Under Network Tasks, click Create a new connection, and then click Next.
  3. Click Set up an advanced connection, and then click Next.
  4. Click Connect directly to another computer, and click Next.
  5. Choose the role this machine will play in the communication. If this computer has the information to which you need to gain access, click Host. If this computer will access information from the other computer, click Guest.

To Set Up the Host Computer

  1. Click the connection device that you want to use for this connection (a parallel or serial port, or an infrared port), and then click Next.
  2. Grant access to the users who are allowed to connect by selecting the appropriate check boxes, and then click Next.
  3. Click Finish to end the configuration process.

To Set Up the Guest Computer

  1. Type a name to identify this connection, and then click Next.
  2. Click the connection device that you want to use for this connection (a parallel or serial port, or an infrared port), and then click Next.
  3. Decide whether this connection will be available for all users (click Anyone's use), or only for you (click My use only), and then click Next.
  4. Click Finish to end the setup process.

Troubleshooting

  • To create a direct network connection that acts as a host, you must be logged on as Administrator or be a member of the Administrators group. Guest direct network connections do not require administrator-level rights.
  • If you specify your connection as a host when you create it, the connection appears as Incoming Connections in the Network Connections folder.
  • You can create multiple direct connections by copying them in the Network Connections folder. You can then rename the connections and modify connection settings. By doing so, you can easily create different connections to accommodate multiple ports, host computers, and so on.
  • Direct connections can bypass authentication requirements. This is useful for devices such as handheld computers. You must configure this setting in the host incoming connection.
  • If you create a direct connection by using a serial (RS-232C) cable, the port that you select in the New Connection Wizard is enabled for connections that use a null modem.
  • If you are logged on to your computer as Administrator or a member of the Administrators group when you create a direct connection, you see a list of connection devices to choose from that includes all of the parallel ports for the computer, infrared ports that are installed and enabled, and COM ports. If you are logged on as a user who is not a member of the Administrators group and you create a direct connection, the list of devices includes the parallel ports for the computer, infrared ports that are installed and enabled, and only the COM ports that are configured with null modems. If you need to use a COM port for a direct connection, ask your system administrator to configure one of the COM ports on your computer with a null modem by using the Phone and Modem Options tool in Control Panel.



REFERENCES

For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
295940 The Option to Select a COM Port Is Not Present When You Set Up a Direct Cable Connection













Properties

Article ID: 305621 - Last Review: July 15, 2004 - Revision: 1.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbhowtomaster KB305621

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