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- Posted on
May 27, 2005, 1:31 am
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Just wondering if it is possible to setup a connection between 2 comps
using 56k modems.
I am trying to hook up my sis's laptop to my computer so she can use
it as a proxy sevrer, unfortunately having spent the best part of a
day fitting a 20m network cable from my room to hers i realised the
connection on the back of her laptop was for a 56k modem not a
So i have 3 options: 1. invest in a external usb network card, 2. dcc
which i have used in the past and is really slow or 3. find a diff
way of connecting them.
Being a cheapskate id prefer to use the option that requires the least
amount of monetary investment, and having plenty of telephone
extensions lying around the house (dont ask why :D ) i was thinking
using the 56k modems to connect the two, dont know if it is possible
to do this though.
Any suggestions feedback would be greatly appreciated, and as always
thanks in advance for all replies.
(ps. I connect to the internet using an external USB DSL modem)
A while back I bought some null-modem cables by mistake, I meant to buy
serial cables for hooking a few PC's up to one external modem and
switchbox. I exchanged the cables, but it got me reading up on them and
webpages said I could link computers with null-modem cables via serial
ports? I've never tried it, but can it be used for transferring files
(slowly I presume) or is there some other simpler purpose? Just wondered
if anyone knew. Would be a handy way for rescuing data if there was no
network card or usb port available on a PC.
Traditional Serial ports typically max out at 115/128Kbps. That's 100 times
slower than even 10mbps ethernet and a thousand times slower than dime a
dozen 100mbps 5 buck ethernet NICs.
If you're trying to 'rescue' data just move the hard drive into the second
machine and copy it. Or, better yet, install cheap 5 buck NICs in the
machines so you can transfer data on a regular basis.
David Maynard wrote:
Thanks for replying, I never realised the transfer rate would be so
slow. You're right, if I can carry a null-modem cable around I might as
well carry a network card instead.
I've never actually tried putting a hard drive with an OS installed
inside another PC, I've always used USB network adaptor or network card.
This would be a good idea if the drive doesn't boot? I know I could see
the files if I installed it as an extra drive, but would the fact it may
also have an OS on it cause any problems, or is the OS always 'dormant'
if it's not the boot drive. Sorry, these are things I should really be
trying for myself.. :)
The short version is, under that scenario, the O.S. on the second drive
would be 'dormant'.
I qualified that because it's not necessarily true if one is doing a clone.
When the PC boots from the hard drive it does a basic load from the drive's
boot sector, which contains a loader that points to the O.S.. During load
of the selected O.S. (XP in this case) XP will load it's registry, which
then tells XP where all it's parts live. So, since it loads the registry
from wherever the boot drive says it is, it won't be looking to the files
on the 'alien' drive.
When doing a clone, however, one can run into the situation where the
registry points to the wrong drive because the drive letter assignments get
copied along with the registry and, if one had let XP 'install' the drive
before hand then it's been given an ID, that's stored on the drive, and
assigned a drive letter, which XP records in the registry. And that
assignment will, obviously, not be the same one as the current boot drive.
So, after the copy, the clone has the same registry information that points
to the original drive, except you want the files on the new drive to be active.
E.g. If the original drive was C and you add a new drive which gets
assigned D: The registry says everything is on C. You clone to D and the
registry on D says the exact same thing: everything is on C. You swap
drives thinking D is now C (because Win9x worked that way) but location
makes no difference to XP/2000 as it has written an ID to the drives so it
knows which one is which regardless of where they are: old drive is C and
new drive is D, regardless, because that's what they were assigned and
XP/2000 has saved that information, which was faithfully copied with the
clone. So, you boot from the new drive, the loader grabs the O.S. on the
new drive (because the basic loader references by raw partition, on raw
disk, on raw interface. e.g. part0, disk0 and that you DID change by
swapping them), and loads the registry from the new drive... which tells XP
that the O.S. is on C and that the drive you just booted from is D.
Clearly, not what one intended.
If the old drive is still in the system (you think it's D because you
'swapped' them) then things will appear, at least initially, to work
because Windows will see the old drive as C and use it's files, just like
it did before the clone. But remove the old drive, or delete it's files,
and the system fails since the registry points to it for the O.S. (and
everything else for that matter). Try to boot without the old drive and
it'll hang just as soon as the registry loads and informs XP that the one
existing drive is D and the O.S. is on a nonexistent drive C.
That XP/2000 makes drive assignments static is a definite advantage for
complex systems because you don't have to worry about the addition of new
drives/partitions scrambling the existing assignments and where existing
things live. Say you had put together a system with 2 drives, one as master
on IDE0 and the other as master on IDE1, and you put the O.S. on C and
program files on D. With Win9x, if you added a slave drive on IDE0 it would
be assigned D, moving the existing D to E, which would break every registry
entry to programs on it (there are a lot of other drive/partition
variations that can cause the same problem). And one can easily see that an
ISP, for example, would not like the idea of the user database suddenly
appearing on a different letter assignment simply because they added a new
drive to expand storage space.
With XP/2000 the new drive (partition) gets a previously unused drive
letter, the existing assignments remain as they are, and nothing is broken,
So, with XP/2000's static letter assignment you don't have to worry that
adding in another drive, be it permanent or, as in your case, temporarily
to copy files off, will interfere with the existing installation.
TCP/IP over a serial line is straight forward, if slow, when the
machines run some flavor of Unix. The OP didn't state his OS.
You can get a 10MB PCMCIA NIC for the laptop on ebay for a few bucks.
It sounds like you need a hub, to. Cheap on ebay.
a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m
Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
Actually, you CAN connect two computers together using two modems. I used to
do it all the time in my COmmodore 64 days. You just run a normal phone
cable between the two modems, set them up to NOT look for a dial tone, have
one call out, and have the other one "pick up" once the first has started to
initiate the call. The connection would be slow, you have to use a terminal
program, and with the advent of network cards, would be a poor choice.
BUT.................. it CAN be done!!!!
Internal NICs are quite cheap.
If the cable you spent the best part of a day fitting isn't from a
hub/switch/modem, or a crossover cable (for computer to computer
connection), then you have the wrong cable.
56K Modems are even slower.
The DSL modem doesn't have NAT?
On 26 May 2005 18:31:56 -0400,
You are trying to give her internet access?
How does your system connect to the internet?
Networking cable (and the network of course) _IS_ the best
way to go, excepting perhaps if she wants wireless
abilities. So presuming she has a free card slot or USB
port, you'd get the appropriate card/gadget- either can be
had for under $20 after rebate. Wired lan is BY FAR faster
than any other alternative.
DCC is blazing fast compared to using two modems. This #2
would be preferred over the modems.
More time and trouble than it's worth. USB network
adapters are pretty cheap and the fastest method mentioned-
but an internal PCMCIA or cardbus card would be even better.
Frankly I would consider getting a router, hooking DSL modem
to it (assuming it has this ability) and then to your and
her systems. That gives you an extra layer of protection
and your system doesn't have to be on for hers to work,
yours doesn't have ANY overhead from USB use or being a
proxy either. Plus, wifi routers are dirt cheap now, it
could give her wireless access- and wireless cardbus, PCMCIA
or USB adapters aren't much if any more expensive these days
Either form of traditional networking (wired or wireless) is
much better... kinda why that's what everyone uses. Just
look around for deals if you want it as cheap as possible.
Thanks for all the replys i guess it would be best to try nic in her
laptop, only thing is ive tried opening it up b4 and have been
unsuccessful, i dont know if this is cos its a packard bell and the
use titanium screws or something, but i only manged to get half the
screws off it, the rest wouldnt budge.
If it dont have a free pmcia slot i guess i could always remove the
modem and put it in there, or just go for a usb card
Thanks for the replys, and i double checked what cable it was:)
I think if you used 2 modems you would need to use phonelines and tie up
two phones. Your options depends on what kind of hardware is on the
laptop. If the laptop has a card bus (PCMCIA?)you might be able to get
a laptop card bus network adapter. Everything for laptops seems to be
expensive but this is like a $45.00 item. Another option might be a USB
to ethernet adapter which might be cheaper $25.00.
Just Two examples.
If you are going to be constantly unplugging something, get something
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