How do I make my laptop an extension of my desktop?
March 5, 2005 5:45 PM   Subscribe

I recently bought a laptop, and would like to know the easiest way to allow everything on my laptop to be acccessible on my PC, and vice versa. Windows file sharing won't cut it.

The desktop resides in my dorm, and my school filters SMB traffic, so I wouldn't be able to access files if I were in another building. I've got VNC on the desktop, and I'm thinking about using synergy while in the room, but I'm looking for something that will let me transfer files between the two as well.
posted by borkencode to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
This may sound too simple, but have you considered using a USB flash disk? I store working copies of my spreadsheets and such on mine and carry it between work and home, so I always have the latest copy. I've been meaning to get around to some kind of auto-sync so that I wouldn't have to risk losing important data should the flash disk screw up somehow, but I haven't gotten around to it quite yet.

If you want to do it over the network, you could try installing an SSH server, then using SCP (winscp) to move files back and forth.
posted by odinsdream at 5:58 PM on March 5, 2005

If your using XP on your laptop you can use offline files. Create a share on your PC and connect to it with your laptop. Offline files will create hidden local copies of what ever you choose (except database files) and keep them synced. This works surprisingly well for a native windows utility, practically like magic.

The disadvantages are having to connect the two occasionally (in this case in your dorm room where your imune to the SMB blocking) to keep everything synced up and the database restriction.

The advantage is you can use this even when a network connection is not available (like at an airport or when you go home for a holiday). And you have a built in back up if/when one of your drives crashes.
posted by Mitheral at 7:30 PM on March 5, 2005

Windows XP's built-in Remote Desktop Connection software supports mounting the local hard drive on the host machine or vice versa. In the connection options, look under "local resources" and make sure disk drives are checked.
posted by ori at 9:40 PM on March 5, 2005

I've been using FolderShare since I read about it in response to a similar question here on AskMe (can't find the thread now, unfortunately). It only shares folders you explicitly define, not the whole volume, and there's a 1500 file limit to the free version. It syncs via the web - I don't know enough about SMB filtering to know if that eliminates this as a possibility for you.
posted by zanni at 1:23 PM on March 6, 2005

Both computers have XP Pro, I'm looking in to Ultra and Tight VNC, right now. Windows Remote Desktop almost does what I'd like, except in reverse. If I'm on my laptop I can connect to my desktop, and see the drives there, but I can't see the desktop drives on the laptop, which is what I'd really like.
posted by borkencode at 2:50 PM on March 7, 2005

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