Newbie Network Question - Direct Cabling Not Working

Posted on 2004-09-15
Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I have a desktop, a laptop and a router. They are both connected to the router with sepaprate LAN cables, and my DSL modem is also connected to the router so I can access the internet. I set up a network so that my desktop can communicate with the laptop, and it has worked fine.

When I use a direct LAN connection between my desktop and laptop, however, both the laptop and desktop display error messages that say that a netwrok connection is unplugged. When I try to reboot with the cable connected btwenn the desktop and laptop I am still getting the error message. Shouldn't they be able to communicate with the cable directly connected between them?

Thanks in advance,
Question by:njb
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Accepted Solution

Justin Durrant earned 150 total points
ID: 12066787
Hi njb,

You need to use a crossover cable for the direct connect

LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 12066836
Thats right, youll need a crossover cable.. It looks exactly the same as any other network cable, but inside two of the pairs is switched..
LVL 57

Assisted Solution

by:Pete Long
Pete Long earned 50 total points
ID: 12066838
Networking Two Pc's with a crossover cable

Here what a crossover looks like and how it differs from a
straight through cable

OR my website :0)

*****Setting up on XP*****

Basic XP Home Networking Guide - How To Network Two PC's

Description of File Sharing and Permissions in Windows XP;EN-US;304040

*****General Info***** (Good site with Networking info & Illustrations)

How to set up a home network without using a hub

Setting up a home network between two computers

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Home Network Kit
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Expert Comment

ID: 12067464
Why on earth would you need to connect the machines with a crossover cable when they can connect through the router/switch as you state in your post?
LVL 25

Expert Comment

ID: 12069029
i agree with rid 100%.  a crossover is for connecting 2 PCs together, uplinks between switches/hubs, or interfaces between routers, NOT for connecting a PC to a router which is your situation.  Why are you trying to directly connect the 2 PCs together??  The correct way is to have them both plugged into your Router as you mentioned.

Expert Comment

ID: 12069256
LVL 25

Expert Comment

ID: 12069304
was "LOL" supposed to contribute something to this discussion?

Author Comment

ID: 12070564
I aplologize if I wasn't clear about what I was trying to accomplish. I am trying to connect the 2 computers together *without going through the router*. I am curious to see if I could connect the 2 machines directly together and continue to have a network between my laptop and desktop in case my router ever went down.

Now that I have clarified my intent, does that mean that the crossover cable is the way to go? Also, can I just purchase one (a crossover cable) andjust connect the machines  or will I have to modify anything or any settings?


LVL 15

Assisted Solution

mattisflones earned 50 total points
ID: 12070585
Yes, a crossover cable wil make you able to do that..
If your computers gets their Ip-adress and so on from a DHCP (automativally) today, you will have to set that up manually to achieve connections.. ex:
Computer1: IP= and Subnet=
Computer2: IP= and Subnet=
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 12070596
You can get a crossover cable in most stores that sells networkcables. (Remember to tag it so you dont mix it up with ordinary cables later! Thats rally anoying!)

Expert Comment

ID: 12072834
you could  do it your self just have a look at it will show u a handy dandy way to make least you could gain some experience by doing it by your hand
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Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 12104505

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