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Transferring data across 2 PCs with a firewire cable

I have 2 PCs sitting one next to the another, and have them linked with a firewire cable, as I want to transfer files back and forth. When I look in Network Connections, both PCs now show an active 1394 connection, so I assume I am half way there.

However, after an hour of frustration searching Google et al for help, I am no nearer to seeing how to use this connection to copy files from one PC to another. I dare say it's fairly straight forward and I am missing a simple step; if anyone could be kind enough to give me a 1, 2, 3 ... guide to what I should do now  - e.g. what steps exactly to copy xxx.doc from PC1 to PC2 - I'd be grateful!

Many thanks,

Martin
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martinlest
Asked:
martinlest
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1 Solution
 
J-A-LCommented:
Cool. I haven't done it via firewire before... but, if you want to use LAN, you can use a cross-over LAN cable to connect 2 computers.

Jeff
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J-A-LCommented:
You should put each PC on the same workgroup...
say MSHOME, or WORKGROUP which is found in control panel/system/Computer name

Also, share C: drive on each PC if you want to copy everything

You can use explorer to explore the network and connect to the other PC.

Jeff
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DanKosterOwner, Technology ConsultantCommented:
I don't know about halfway, firewire requires the same setup that you would have with a cross-over cable or network cables and a hub.  Easy if you are familiar with networking concepts, but not quite so if you haven't.

To get the network setup, the easiest thing to do is take advantage of the 'Internet Sharing' tool built into XP.  Right-click on your Internet connection and go to the Advanced tab.  Turn on the Internet Connection Sharing checkbox.  Even if you don't want to surf the net via Firewire, this will automatically configure the TCP/IP settings for you.

Now, when you plug in the firewire, it should automatically get a valid IP address and be able to talk to the other machine (and surf the Internet).  XP has a 'home networking wizard' which may help you to set this part up, but I have never used it, I only know how to do this manually.  

Find a folder that you want to share, right-click it and choose 'Sharing'.  Then you can setup the share and password protect it.  You will also want to go into your Firewall settings (if you are running SP2) and make an exception for File and Print sharing.  

To access the share, just click Start -> Run and type in \\ComputerName\ShareName.  The computer name is found in the 'System' control panel icon, under Network Identification.  

If you need more details, just ask.  Hope this helps get you started.  Try the Home Network wizard, might make things a lot easier.  Find it under Control Panel -> Network Connections -> Set up a home or small office network (on the top left)
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martinlestAuthor Commented:
This is clearly going to be more complicated than I imagined it would be! I should add that one of the PCs has a 2MB ADSL connection but the other is not internet enabled, nor do I want it to be, so presumably the Internet Sharing tool is not going to work?....

Both PCs have the same workgroup name: when I enable both 1394 connections, icons appear in the sytem tray and they both look active, lighting up blue from time to time and showing data transfer (even though I am not transferring anything). If I do a search for another PC onhenetwork (in normal XP search facility) I get no result though..

Martin
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DanKosterOwner, Technology ConsultantCommented:
If you don't want the other machine to have Internet access, then no you don't want to use the Internet Connection Sharing wizard.  However, if you are making that choice for security reasons, be aware that you undo some of that security by linking these two.  If any worm gets on the Internet enabled machine (Machine A) and it is network aware, it may find the other machine via Firewire (Machine B) and infect it as well.  On the bright side, B won't be able to send millions of e-mails when infected, but it also won't have access to keep anti-virus files up to date.  So you either keep B unplugged completely (limit functionality), or you plug it in and secure it (with an Internet Security suite that's kept up to date and other precautionary measures)  Security and usefulness will always be playing a nasty game of tug-of-war.

In order for the two machines to talk to each other, they need to have valid IP addresses on the same subnet.  By default, Windows will create a random address when there is no server to assign one, but this is hit or miss.  Sometimes I get the random address, sometimes I get 0.0.0.0.  Just for consistency, I would recommend manually setting IP addresses.  Open the Network connections and right-click your 1394 connection, choose properties.  Go to the Internet Protocol properties and choose to manually assign IP address.  One machine A, make it 192.168.x.1 (where x = anything between 1 and 254).  Subnet is 255.255.255.0, gateway and DNS is blank as long as you want to leave the Internet out of this.  Do the same thing on B, but make the IP 192.168.x.2 (where x is the same number used on A).

If you haven't already done so, you need to create some shares on both computers that you can access.  You can share your entire C drive or whatever, but I recommend limiting it to specific folders for security reasons.  (No reason to give smart worms access to your Windows folder, etc)

Okay, now the two machines are really connected and talking.  XP by default looks for new network resources, so that's your occasional traffic.  You should be able to type \\MachineA from the Start-Run box on Machine B.  If it doesn't work, try \\192.168.x.1.  If that doesn't work, it's probably the firewall that's giving you trouble.  Open up the control panel, go to Windows Firewall, Exceptions, and make sure File and Print sharing is checked.  Don't panic too much, the firewall settings default to local subnet only (in other words, you aren't opening file and print sharing to the whole Internet).
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martinlestAuthor Commented:
Dan,
The first paragraph makes a lot of sense of course and is something that I have thought quite a lot about.The main reason for getting a second PC was for gaming (just MS Flight Simulator, in fact), and given that I have encountered problems in the past when running games with anti-virus software and so on installed and that I have a pretty good PC already to do all that 'workhorse' stuff, there seemed no point in enabling my gaming PC for the internet. I had hoped howver (is this true?) that when I disable the 1394 connection after finishing transerring files (assuming I ever get that far!), there is then no contact between the two PCs that any worm or whatever could exploit, just the now 'dead' (is it?) firewire cable. Of course I could physially unplug the cable from the back of the PC if necessary - I am not going to be copying over files every day. (Which means I could  transfer files using my external firewire drive as a 'middle man' but that's a bit defeatist I feel!).

I'll try setting the IP addresses etc. as you suggest and post back here in a short while (hopefully!) with a progress report.

Thanks for the information!

Martin
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martinlestAuthor Commented:
Some progress. I have specified the IP addresses as you suggested and I have set up a folder on one PC for shared access, which now has the 'supporting hand' underneath it. When I search for a computer on this PC it still can't find the other however. I assume it doesn't matter which PC I make 192.168.1.1 and which 192.168.1.2 ?

When I go over to the second PC and search, it finds my first PC OK, but if I double click on the found PC icon, I get a message saying I may not have permission to access the file. (I am the administrator for this PC). Also 'network path not found' error message. So seemingly getting closer, but not there yet!

Martin
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DanKosterOwner, Technology ConsultantCommented:
Argh, I don't know what happened, but I just finished writing a long answer to your questions, and got an error when I submitted.  So I'm afraid this time I'm not going to be quite as detailed as I'm running out of time.

First to address the security issue...you are correct in thinking that when you disable or unplug the connection, machine B will be safe again.  But that is only until you re-enable the connection.  If machine A has gotten infected with something you don't know about, it could very well get onto machine B the second you re-enable the connection.  I can definitely relate to problems with anti-virus software.  All anti-virus products use up some resources and slow a machine down, but I have switched over whole-heartedly to Trend Micro products.  Get a trial of PC-Cillan and try it out, it hardly makes a dent in my machine compared to what Norton did.  

It does not matter which machine has which IP, so long as they are different.

As for security and password issues, this is a little out of my range of experience.  I haven't tried setting up a peer-to-peer (server-less) network in years, and certainly not in XP.  One thing I do know, if an account doesn't have a password, it blocks remote access for security.  So first off, make the user account name match on both computers, and give them the same password.  See if that helps with the permission problem.  If not, you may want to try going back to google or find someone who knows more about how XP security works in a peer-to-peer environment.  
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martinlestAuthor Commented:
That happens all too often -  I know excatly how you feel!!!

I'm going to risk no Anti-virus stuff on my second PC: it's not a big risk - my first PC is well protected,  I'll just have to remember not to have the 1394 connection enabled when I am online. I have enabled the XP firewall on both PCs (well, no, XP on the gaming PC, Norton on the other) and set exceptions so that they allow communication on the IP addresses I have specified. Given (famous last words here, I know!) that I think I have had one virus on my PC in four years - and that was because I connected to the internet with the firewall disabled - I don't think I will have any problems. I backup my setup with drive imaging software too, so even if I did get infected I could just wipe the PC and have everything back pretty quickly.

I's not just the performance dent, it's having to keep the virus definitions up to date on two PCs. Seems to me that by enabling internet connection just so I can download virus definitions would not be the most sensible thing to do - I'm increasing the risk of infection by being able to go on line. I'm sure you see what I mean.

Now I've sorted out the IP addresses, and the firewalls (that was the problem - I'd forgotten to configure one of them to allow access) and added some folders for sharing, everything's working fine. I did a search for compuers on the network, then dragged a shortcut to my start button, so now I'm just a click away from my file transfers. Isn't technology wonderful (?!)

Thanks for the comments - I'll OK your posts so you get the points.

Regards,

Martin
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DanKosterOwner, Technology ConsultantCommented:
FYI - Trend Micro's PC-Cillan will share definition files via home network.  So you actually could have the anti-virus running on the game machine and it would get its definition updates from the other machine, without having Internet access.  (And of course, the best games are the ones played with others in my opinion)

Glad you got everything working.  Firewire networking is so cool, my server and desktop are side by side, and I've switched them to firewire since it's faster than Ethernet.
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martinlestAuthor Commented:
Well maybe I could look at that option then.

There is the option to 'play' (we simmers don't look on it as playing!!) Flight Simulator 2004 with others through the programme itself and a site called Vatsim. Supposed to be very realistic, but haven't tried it myself. Like to be in sole control of my Jumbos!!

M.
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martinlestAuthor Commented:
The Trend Micro site is useful - scanned the PC and no problems reported.
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