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How to use direct cable connection?

Posted on 1997-12-14
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-23
How do you use direct cable connection?

I tried connecting two computers with a laplink parallel cable, and running direct cable connection. No matter what I tried, I got as far as "verifying user and password" on both machines, followed by disconnecting from cable, and then "could not log in".

I tried setting the workgroups the same. I tried changing the username used to login on the guest machine to none (escape key) to match the "noname" default on the host. No good.

What does it take? I've used network cards, I've used dialup networking, I could not get direct cable to work.
Question by:Keybounce
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Expert Comment

ID: 1550914
I have been sucessful with serial cables, but not parallel.
LVL 25

Expert Comment

ID: 1550915
KeyBounce: If your using an actual laplink cable, you have a connector for either a com port or parallel port. Try using a com port instead of a parallel port and it should work fine.

Here is the direct cable info you need when considering how to connect two computers in this manner.
You can use the Direct Cable Connection tool to establish a direct serial
or parallel cable connection between two computers. Windows 95 supports
serial null-modem standard (RS-232) cables and the following parallel
cables for use with Direct Cable Connection:
 - Standard or Basic 4-bit cables
 - Extended Capabilities Port (ECP) cables
 - Universal Cable Module (UCM) cables
Parallel cable connections are faster than serial cable connections. Use a
serial cable with Direct Cable Connection only if a parallel port or cable
is unavailable.
ECP cables work on computers with ECP-enabled parallel ports. ECP must be
enabled in your computer's CMOS settings for parallel ports that support
this feature. ECP cables allow data to be transferred more quickly than
standard cables.
UCM cables support connecting different types of parallel ports. Using a
UCM cable between two ECP-enabled ports allows the fastest possible data
transfer between two computers.
Pin Connections for a Serial Cable
This section describes the wiring specifications for serial InterLink
cables that can be used with Direct Cable Connection. To make a serial
InterLink cable, make a serial cable with either a 9-pin or 25-pin female
connector on both ends, and wire the cable as follows:
   9-pin   25-pin              25-pin   9-pin   Description
   --------------             ---------------------------------
   pin 5   pin 7    <------>   pin 7    pin 5   Ground-Ground
   pin 3   pin 2    <------>   pin 3    pin 2   Xmit-Rcv
   pin 7   pin 4    <------>   pin 5    pin 8   RTS-CTS
   pin 6   pin 6    <------>   pin 20   pin 4   DSR-DTR
   pin 2   pin 3    <------>   pin 2    pin 3   Xmit-Rcv
   pin 8   pin 5    <------>   pin 4    pin 7   CTS-RTS
   pin 4   pin 20   <------>   pin 6    pin 6   DTR-DSR
The Ground (GRD) line is the reference signal ground for all other lines.
The Transmit Data (TD) line is used for sending data.
The Receive Data (RD) line is used for receiving data.
The RTS (Request To Send) line is used by the data terminal equipment (DTE)
to indicate that it is ready to send data.
The CTS (Clear To Send) line is used by the data communications equipment
(DCE) to indicate that it is ready to receive data.
The DSR (Data Set Ready) line is used by the DCE to indicate that it is
ready to communicate.
The DTR (Data Terminal Ready) line is used by the DTE to indicate that the
DCE should initiate communication.
Pin Connections for a Parallel Cable
This section describes the wiring specifications for parallel InterLink
cables that can be used with Direct Cable Connection. To make a parallel
InterLink cable, make a parallel cable with male DB-25 connectors at both
ends, and wire the cable as follows:
   25-pin              25-pin   Description
   ------              --------------------
   pin 2    <------>   pin 15   N/A
   pin 3    <------>   pin 13   N/A
   pin 4    <------>   pin 12   N/A
   pin 5    <------>   pin 10   N/A
   pin 6    <------>   pin 11   N/A
   pin 15   <------>   pin 2    N/A
   pin 13   <------>   pin 3    N/A
   pin 12   <------>   pin 4    N/A
   pin 10   <------>   pin 5    N/A
   pin 11   <------>   pin 6    N/A
   pin 25   <------>   pin 25   Ground-Ground
Here's a problem that you may face after you have enabled a connection in this manner.
You may experience either of the following symptoms:
 - When you try to connect to a server or provider using Dial-Up
   Networking, you may receive the following error message:
      Another Dial-Up Networking connection is active.
      Disconnect the other connection, and then try again.
 - When you try to establish a connection using Direct Cable
   Connection, you may receive the following error message:
      Cannot connect to host computer. Make sure you have run Direct
      Cable Connection on the host computer and you have connected
      your cable to both computers.
Both Dial-Up Networking and Direct Cable Connection use the same network
interface (Pppmac.vxd). You cannot have more than one instance of
Pppmac.vxd running at one time.
Close Dial-Up Networking to run Direct Cable Connection, or close Direct
Cable Connection to run Dial-Up Networking. You cannot run both at the
same time.

If you need more, let me know!
Best regards,

Author Comment

ID: 1550916
I do not have a serial cable, only parallel. Ok, so it may not be a lap-link brand cable, but it does work with laplink on one of the two machines in question, and a different machine. I don't have laplink on this machine, and when I tried copying laplink from the computer I wanted to talk to, it didn't work. I figured laplink checks serial numbers and won't talk to itself.

Any ideas? No, dialup ip was not running at the time.


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Accepted Solution

Roelants earned 200 total points
ID: 1550917
Please have a look at my question and its thread on the same problem (DCC) in this forum.
Since you don't succeed in making LapLink work, I suspect a hardware or configuration problem with your computer.
I never had a problem with copying LapLink, altough I always assure to give different names to both computers just to keep them apart.
LVL 25

Expert Comment

ID: 1550918
Roelants, your proposed answer is a comment and doesn't resolve the issue!

Keybounce, in order for laplink to work properly, you must use the install procedure, not just copy the files. If you need to build your own laplink cable, follow the procedure above. You can then use this cable right within windows for a direct cable connection.

Expert Comment

ID: 1550919
Holy cow -- all this to connect 2 computers ??  It sounds worse than a network . . .

I have found the Win95 Direct CC program to be impossible to use consistently, serial or parallel, although I have established connections with serial cables (regular modem cables, not Laplink cables) and a null modem adapter.  

I would suggest getting decent software:  Laplink, Procomm, Tranxit, etc.  I now use Laplink and experiences below refer to that program.  However, as far as connecting goes, I would guess that general cable issues are the same.  

Tranxit is pretty straightforward but does not handle long filenames.  Laplink is complex and confusing but does everything you could want once you get it set up.  One problem with LapLink is all the settings -- it's possible to tweak it until you need tech support to get it right again, and they ain't friendly over there.  You will first be reprimanded for not using real LapLink cables.

Laplink SERIAL cables (blue) have connectors for 9-pin and 25-pin ports. They are not, however, parallel cables, despite the 25 pin connectors.  Laplink parallel cables (yellow) have only 25-pin connectors.  They are not the same as printer cables, although they connect to a  parallel port.

Laplink itself will not connect via printer parallel cables -- you need the yellow Laplink parallel cable.  However, I have had very good luck with serial connections by Laplink, as well as DCC, Procomm, and Tranxit via both plain old serial (modem) cables and the gray Belkin "Direct Cable Connection" cables sold at WalMart, with (*IMPORTANT*) a null modem adapter ($5 at Radio Shack)inserted somewhere on the cable(s) between the 2 machines. I suspect this adapter is the main difference between Laplink and normal serial cables -- laplink cables have one built-in. I do know that the null adapter is also needed for Direct CC connections.  WalMart also sells a Belkin DCC cable that says parallel on it, although I haven't tried it.

I have serial connections in my house between 3 computers as long as 40 feet -- only part of this is "genuine" Laplink cable.

Here is more info from a message to someone else:

This is not a direct answer, but we have 3 PC's.  They are all connected by serial cables and switch boxes and can all transfer files, look at one another's drives, chat, and be operated remotely one from the other.  They also all can use two printers, either directly (printer parallel cable and switchboxes)or via another machine (serial cable and switchboxes via Laplink and Tranxit).

To do this, you simply need the machines connected by either parallel or serial cables (parallel is faster) and a transfer program like LapLink (my choice), Procomm, Tranxit, or others.  Connections can also be made using Direct Cable Connection which comes with Win95, but this software is crude and unreliable.  Of course, you need an open port of the appropriate kind on each machine, or a switch to channel the input or output source.

Technically, this setup is not a "network."  The ethernet approach you want to use is supposedly fastest of all, but setup is complex and more expensive. "Window 95 Secrets" by Livingston and Straub (IDG books) has some good info on both networking and cable connections with Win95.

Expert Comment

ID: 1550920
Re all commments, note that the original question seems to refer to Laplink CABLES, not the program Laplink.  The cables are sold by the company that makes the software.  I think (s)he was trying to make the connection using the "Direct Cable Connection" software included with Win95 (what I call "DCC"), not Laplink software.

Expert Comment

ID: 1550921
I use DCC to great satisfaction (except for the speed, only 96kb/s) to make a 2 computer peer-to-peer network where I share all the drives and one printer on both computers at the cost of a simple laplink/intelink cable. What you can't share is a connection to the internet.
You can buy the cable for merely 5$.
To install DCC you can follow the guided step-for-step help that is build into Win'95, at least for me this worked out fine.
LVL 25

Expert Comment

ID: 1550922
Suobs: Laplink does have a serial/parallel cable (red).

Keybounce, if it will help you, I will post the entire process from the Microsoft OEM site, just let us know what you would like to do!

Author Comment

ID: 1550923
(sorry, I thought I had answered this a while ago)
No, it is not a true lap-link brand cable. It is a cable used to connect two other machines by parallel port, and it works with laplink. It doesn't work with direct cable connection.

Author Comment

ID: 1550924
Ok, here's what I'd like to know.

1. I have a parallel direct connect cable. It works with laplink on two computers (A and B). It doesn't work, as far as I can tell, with DCC on windows 95 (B and C). Why not?

It's not a case of a null printer adapter; as I said, the cable works on another pair of computers, using laplink.

It's not a case of mis-configured DCC; I've followed the directions. I've done DCC with serial.

RIght now I'm using an ethernet card, so it's kinda moot now, but I really would like to know what's up.


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