Can I make a Belkin USB Cable Act Like A Direct Crossover Cable?
November 27, 2011 10:51 PM   Subscribe

I bought a Belkin Easy Transfer USB Cable for Windows 7 thinking it would act much like a direct crossover cable connection would. Instead, it only seems to let me transfer the files and folders needed to set up your old Windows profile on a new copy of Windows, rather than giving me access to all files, folders and partitions, which is what I need. Is there a hack to get this cable to do what I want it to do?
posted by Effigy2000 to Technology (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
USB is the wrong interconnect to use for this job. What you actually want is an Ethernet crossover cable. If you've got gigabit Ethernet ports on both PCs (which you will do if they're not more than about four years old) it will shovel bits fast enough that disk speed, not cable speed, will be your bottleneck. GigE will also most likely work if you use an ordinary Ethernet patch cable instead of the crossover one.

What you will find after connecting a couple of Winboxen using an Ethernet cable is that both of them will report that the network connection has "limited connectivity". All that means is that Windows didn't find a DHCP server and doesn't know the address of a DNS server. However, both PCs will auto-allocate themselves IP addresses in the 169.254.x.x range, and each should be able to see the other's network shares.

If your task is to extract everything from a source Windows box and put it somewhere on a new target one, you're best off not using Windows on the source (server) side; instead, boot up the Trinity Rescue Kit and pick the "Fileshare all drives, no security" option from the startup menu. That will sidestep all the NTFS access restrictions on your source partition(s) as well as meaning that no files are locked as in-use, so your target (client) box will get full access to everything.
posted by flabdablet at 3:28 AM on November 28, 2011 [3 favorites]

+1 to everything Flabdablet said.

If you need a crossover cable, you can buy them here. You will pay much, much more in the store -- Monoprice sell good cables for very cheap, and have fast and reasonably-priced shipping. What's not to love?
posted by schmod at 7:02 AM on November 28, 2011

In practice, all implementations of gigabit in laptops, desktops, and such have the ability to do automatic crossover. So if one of the machines has gigabit ethernet, plug a normal ethernet cable between them, if the link lights come on, you should be good.
posted by fief at 9:46 AM on November 28, 2011

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