How to Transfer Computer Data Using a Cat 5 Cable

By Rebecca O'Brien

Whether you've purchased a new computer or want to retrieve files from another computer, you'll probably want to move the files all at once. If both computers have Ethernet ports, you can do this any number of ways, using a Cat5 cable. Windows XP supports a file transfer method known as Direct Cable Connection, which connects two computers with a special Cat5 cable. Windows Vista doesn't support this method but will allow file transfer over an existing network.

Create a Direct Cable Connection in Windows XP

Connect the two computers with the Cat5 crossover cable. Plug one end of the cable into each computer's Ethernet port.

On each computer, open the Network Connections window through Control Panel. Select "Create a New Connection." Select "Set Up an Advanced Connection." Now select "Connect Directly to Another Computer."

On the computer that has the data to be transferred, click "Host" when prompted for the role. Select the connection type, which is the name of your Ethernet port. Give the other computer access by clicking the checkbox by its name. Click "Next" and "Finish."

On the other computer, click "Guest" when prompted for the role. Select the same connection type you did for the host computer. If you would like to be the only user allowed to use this connection, select "My Use Only;" otherwise select "Anyone's Use."

Access the other computer from the Network Connections window. From here, you can explore the other computer and transfer files.

Share Folders in Windows Vista

On the computer that has the files you would like to transfer, open My Computer. Navigate to the folders you would like to share. Right click on the folder name. Select "Share."

In the dialog box, select "Advanced Sharing." Click on the check box "Share This Folder." Change the "Share Name" to something easily recognizable.

Click "Permissions." If you only want to transfer the files, click on the checkbox to allow read access and deny all other access. If you want to be able to edit files, click on the checkbox to allow full control. Click "OK" until all dialog boxes are closed.

On the other computer, open the Network and Sharing Center from Control Panel. Click "View Networks and Devices." From here, you can access the files on the other computer.