How to Copy Files Using a LAN Cable From One Computer to Another

While connecting two computers together via an Ethernet cable may not be the most economical way to share files, it does have the advantage of providing an extremely high-speed transfer rate, which makes it ideal for sharing large files between two PCs. In order to do this, however, you will need an Ethernet "crossover" cable, which is essentially a basic Ethernet cable with a pair of wires that have been crossed to allow for cross-computer connections.

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Crossover cables look exactly like Ethernet cables, so make sure you get the right kind.

Step

Plug the crossover cable into the Ethernet ports on both computers, then turn on the computers and wait for the operating systems to load.

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Open the Start menu on one of the computers—the one with the latest version of Windows installed, preferably—and click the "Control Panel" option.

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Open "Network and Internet" followed by "Network and Sharing Center."

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Double-click the "Unidentified Network" icon in the top portion of the new window that appears.

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Make sure that both "Network Discovery" and "File Sharing" are turned on by opening the "Network" tab and checking to see if there is an information bar containing the statement: "Network discovery and file sharing are turned off. Network computers and devices are not visible. Click to change..." If this bar is there, click the "Turn on Network Discovery and File Sharing" button, then click the "No, make the network that I am connected to a private network" button to enable file sharing.

Step

Double-click the network icon for the other computer to access and share files between the computers.