How to Transfer Data between Computers

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

With the many advances in computing technology, Internet connection literally offers a million different ways of transferring data from one computer system to another. The means of file or data sharing is normally undertaken in relation to limiting expenses for the deployment of computer architecture and maximizing the potentials of a network environment. Aside from the use of file hosting websites currently widespread on the Internet, there are more traditional and simpler means in case a user intends to share data files with other systems without access to an Internet connection. The following steps to accomplishing this task take into consideration that both machines although of different architecture use similar Operating System platforms.

Materials Needed:
- USB data cables
- CD or DVD media
- floppy disk
- crossover cables
- Flash drive
- router
- Ethernet cable
- Network Interface Cards
Step 1
The most common method of sharing files regardless of the Operating System or the configuration is via another storage device like a CD or DVD media, floppy disk (if still supported), and the increasingly popular Flash drive. Insert the media into its corresponding hardware device and transfer the data to it.
Step 2
Eject the container media and plug it into the receiving system and copy the data from it into the local storage disk. The only concern with this method is that both machines must support the container media that will be used. To use USB data cables, proceed to the next step. To implement LAN solutions, go to Step 3. Serial or Parallel connections can be done by following Step 7. To use crossover cables, jump to Step 12. Go to Step 18 for Linux-based machines.
Step 3
An alternative is the use of USB data cables which are not only cheap but also support faster data transfer rates. The use of this method also eliminates the storage limit of using media like CD/DVD, floppy disk, or Flash drive. Simply plug each end into the USB ports of the machines and run the accompanying file transfer program. A limitation to this method though is it is generally supported only under the Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista Operating System environments.
Step 4
In more traditional concepts, implementing a LAN is still the easiest way of sharing data among virtually limitless number of machines. This method normally involves a routing device like a hub, switch, or router hardware. Connect the machines into the ports of these devices.
Step 5
Once connected, one machine normally functions as the Server which directs the data transfer traffic among the connected Clients. Activate the File and Print Sharing feature for all connected machines.
Step 6
Go to the 'Network connections' option under the 'Control Panel' and configure the IP address that will be used by each machine.
Step 7
Proceed to the 'System Properties' tool of the Control Panel and click on the 'Computer Name' option. Click the 'Change' button and make sure that all connected machines are using the same Workgroup.
Step 8
Similar to the USB data cable, Serial or Parallel cables may also be used. These types of data sharing connections usually require programs like LapLink to detect the communication protocol between the machines. Connect the cables to the correct port located usually at the back panel of the machine.
Step 9
Once firmly connected, launch the supporting program. Allow the software to detect the connection.
Step 10
When the graphical user interface is displayed, simply click and drag the files that will be shared from one machine to the other.
Step 11
Close the application and disconnect the cables when done transferring data.
Step 12
To initiate a crossover cable connection, first make sure that both machines are under the same workgroup by following the instructions in Step 6.
Step 13
Connect each end of the crossover cable to the NIC of the machines. Make sure that they are firmly inserted into the port to avoid unnecessary disconnection.
Step 14
Click on the 'Start' Menu, select the 'Control Panel' option and choose the 'Network Connections'. Right click on the icon and select Properties. Make sure that the 'This Connection Uses the Following Items' window shows the Client for Microsoft Networks, Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), and File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks.