Connecting Two Windows 95/98 Computers
With Direct Cable Connection

First version: 1997 | This revision: 03.17.2004 (GMT+8)


Whatever method you decided to use, you'll first need to get the cable. The most common method is to connect by the parallel/printer port, followed by the serial port, but the parallel port is faster. The cable in this case is often called a null modem cable, also called by some people as a laplink cable. Prices vary, but may cost less than an equivalent of US$20.

Next, the software. The easiest is to purchase a dedicated software, such as LapLink for the job. However, this can be an expensive option. Windows 95/98 comes with a "free" program called Direct Cable Connection (DirectCC.exe), but this requires some working knowledge of setting up a network.


Here is how you set up BOTH your PCs to use DirectCC:
1. Install DirectCC.exe from the Communications category in the Windows Setup section of Add/Remove Programs under Control panel. It will also tell you that you'll need Dial-Up Adapter if it is not installed already (it is usually installed already). Let it reboot if Windows asks you after adding the program. Reboot the machine yourself if Windows doesn't ask.

2. Configure network settings
a) Go to Network Properties under Control Panel and add the following components (you can find them under the manufacturer Microsoft after clicking the Add button):

Client = Client for Microsoft Networks
Protocol = IPX/SPX-compatible Protocol
(replace with NetBEUI if IPX/SPX doesn't work)


b) Click the button that says File and Print Sharing and select "... give others access to my files"

c) select TCP/IP -> Dial-Up Adapter and click Properties. After the warning screen, go to the Bindings tab and deselect File and Print sharing for Microsoft Networks. Click OK once to saving this change and exit.

d) Change the Primary Network Logon to Windows Logon.
e) Switch to Identification page and select a computer name for each computer. It may be already configured to use your Dell Service Tag by Dell. If not or if you don't like that, you may change it to something you want. Write the names down in case you can't remember them. The Workgroup name is less important, but preferably be the same.  COMPUTER NAME MUST BE DIFFERENT FOR EACH COMPUTER!

f) Click OK to exit Network Properties. Windows will then install the necessary components so make sure you have your Windows CD handy.
g) Allow Windows to reboot the machine.
h) When Windows asks you for Microsoft Networks Login, I recommend that you leave everything as is and do NOT give it a password, and click OK.

3. Enable file sharing
a) Decide which is the host and which is the guest computer - the Guest can access the Host but not the other way round.
b) Open My computer of your Host computer, and right click your hard drive icon to which you need to gain access, and select Sharing on the context submenu.
c) Select Shared As and give it a name and switch the Access Type to Full.  You may give it a password if you so desire for added security when you are online.

d) Click OK to exit.
When done, your hard drive icon should now have a hand underneath indicating it allows shared access.

e) Continue w/ the next drive letter if any.

4. Connect your cable.

5. Run Direct Cable Connection on both PCs from this program group:
Win95 = Start\Programs\Accessories
Win98 = Start\Programs\Accessories\Communications

a) Set one computer as the Host and the other as Guest (as you have decided when enabling file sharing.

b) Select the port with which you have connected the cables.

c) Follow the instructions to finish configuring DirectCC and continue to start the connection process.


6) Repeat for DirectCC on the guest computer....

After verifying the "password", which you may or may not have set to none, DirectCC may ask for the Host computer's name, type the Host's name which you gave when setting up the network components....

The next step may take a few minutes to occur....

If everything is setup correctly, it will open a screen window that shows all the drives' names, which you can enter to access your data files and start your transfer....


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Disclaimer :
This is an online self help guide created for my family and friends.  It remains under construction and will be modified, refined, and updated continually (when time permits).  While tweaks and applications have been tried and tested extensively on different systems to ensure compatibility and stability, Spymac Network, Inc. and I accept no responsibility for any loss of data as a result of computer failure, so
use at your own risk please.
Remember: Always backup your important data before any modification!