cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Networking & sharing input devices

Razer
Grafter
Posts: 1,390
Thanks: 3
Registered: 17-11-2012

Networking & sharing input devices

I'm planning on buying a new build with Win 7 64bit, which I am going to want to have connected to my current Win XP 32bit system so that I can more easily swap files between the two. I don't particularly want to set up a network, but given how slow USB transfers to external HDD can be (especially with a number of large files, and not to mention the plugging in, transferring, unplugging and plugging into other PC to transfer is just a pain in the arse), I think I'm going to have to. There are several problems which I need to find suitable solutions for, the first of course is the networking.
I had thought about networking using firewire, only to find that apparently Microsoft, in their 'wisdom' removed firewire support after XP or Vista. I had thought about networking with USB 3.0, if it's possible, but that would require buying a USB 3.0 card for my current build and I'd rather not spend more money on my current build. My current computer has only one ethernet port, and so will my new one. So I can't network them via ethernet, unless I can use my router (TG582n ADSL2+ firmware) as an intermediary. Is that possible? If so, is there some guide (I can't seem to find any information on doing it), and how well does it function?
Another problem I have is threefold: I would like to use one keyboard, mouse and monitor (I think) for both computers. In searching about I find something called a KVM Switch. It seems an ideal solution on the face of it, but in reading reviews these things seem to be somewhat hit and miss in functioning, and I also rather worry that switching the monitor will cause a problem as my current build already doesn't work properly again if the HDMI cable is disconnected from my monitor and reconnected (I have to reboot to get full function back). Yes, my monitor does have four HDMI inputs, but only one is intended for PC input. Yes, it also has VGA input, but I rather don't want to be using VGA for one PC build when having gone to the expense of a GPU that has HDMI output (though ultimately I may have to).
Something else I came across is a software solution to a shared keyboard and mouse, there are several such programs, one of which is called Mouse Without Borders. Of course this does not deal with a shared monitor, unfortunately, so I may have to buy another TV for the other build. Of course this program and others require a system that is networked. Another reason why I'd need to network. I have some concerns with this type of program too, however. If they work by computers being networked, then I'm not so sure that I could boot a 'slave-PC' (inputting text during boot sequence, or even accessing the BIOS), when the 'networked-to-the-Master-PC' Slave-OS hasn't loaded (I think it wouldn't be able to accept the proxied keyboard/mouse input). Does anyone have any experience with such programs to tell me if they can be used this way? I can't seem to find any information regarding this.
I do have another keyboard and mouse (a wireless mouse which incidentally might interfere with my current build as it's the same brand as the currently used wireless mouse), but I'm trying to work this way to save space and money, otherwise I'm going to have to buy another TV and move my whole setup to another room to accommodate the two full setups which would result if I can't do what I'd like and I really don't want to do that. Any thoughts, anything I'm missing, not thinking about?
Why so difficult? Computers, who'd have them?
38 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,450
Thanks: 695
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Networking & sharing input devices

Regarding the networking issue why are you putting them on different internet connections instead of connecting them both to the same router and sharing the same connection?
Is your XP Home or a higher version. If it is higher and you get them networked you could remote desktop in from the Win 7 machine.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Razer
Grafter
Posts: 1,390
Thanks: 3
Registered: 17-11-2012

Re: Networking & sharing input devices

Hi Jelv,
Thanks for your reply.
I'm not putting them on different internet connections. I don't know why you got that impression. Huh I intend connecting them both to my one router ("acting as the intermediary"). My XP system is Home, alas, and probably neutered where networking is concerned as a result (I wouldn't be surprised to be told Grin).
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,450
Thanks: 695
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Networking & sharing input devices

I got the impression because you raised the issue of networking - if they are connected to same router they are already networked (XP home included). All you need to do is make sure that where you set the computer name you specify the same workgroup name.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
PeeGee
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,077
Thanks: 44
Fixes: 3
Registered: 05-04-2009

Re: Networking & sharing input devices

I have used a KVM switch for some time without problems, though not with USB nor HDMI. I currently use a HDMI 3-port auto-switch into my TV (2 computers + Bluray player), but that has a problem with video sometimes (results in "not supported") when switching, cured by turning the TV off/on. The computer graphics is 1920x1080@60Hz, which is fairly universal.
Instead of a KVM switch, you can use a number of programs for remote access. VNC, and variants, is available for MS Windows, MAC and Linux systems. XP Home has "Remote Access Auto Connection Manager", "Remote Access Connection Manager" and "Remote Desktop" services (though I haven't used them).
Plusnet Fibre (Sep 2014), Essentials (Feb 2013); ADSL (Apr 2009); Customer since Jan 2004 (on 28kb dial-up)
Using a TP-Link TD-W9980 modem-router.
Razer
Grafter
Posts: 1,390
Thanks: 3
Registered: 17-11-2012

Re: Networking & sharing input devices

Quote from: jelv
... if they are connected to same router they are already networked

So that answers my question as to if I can use my router as the intermediary. Thanks. So it means I will be able to access files on either computer via either computer, right?
@PeeGee. Re: the hub, sounds much like what I fear would happen with a KVM switch.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,610
Thanks: 209
Fixes: 15
Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Networking & sharing input devices

I've used a KVM for several years now (10+) I currently use a usb one that has video + audio + 1 usb cable. Just plug in to each computer you want to use and switch using the keyboard shortcuts (scrlck *2 then 1-4 for mine) to switch between the pc's. Doddle.
I got this one of ebay several years ago when my latest pc didn't have any ps2 sockets. (the round keyboard/mouse ones)
I certainly wouldn't go back from using a KVM now.
We used them all the time a work, when you have a rack of 20 servers and one screen you need to be able to switch easily.  Cheesy
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,450
Thanks: 695
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Networking & sharing input devices

Quote from: Razer
So it means I will be able to access files on either computer via either computer, right?

Not all files/directories automatically - you have to share the directories first. You'll also be able to use the printer from the other PC if you share those as well.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Razer
Grafter
Posts: 1,390
Thanks: 3
Registered: 17-11-2012

Re: Networking & sharing input devices

@HmcB. Nice to read someone with a positive experience of KVM. What are your video connections from the PCs, VGA or HDMI?
@Jelv. I'll bear that in mind. Thanks.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,610
Thanks: 209
Fixes: 15
Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Networking & sharing input devices

Mine are all VGA no hdmi in here.
Razer
Grafter
Posts: 1,390
Thanks: 3
Registered: 17-11-2012

Re: Networking & sharing input devices

OK, thanks.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,022
Thanks: 540
Fixes: 9
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Networking & sharing input devices

Razer keep your costs down mate and save some money. No need for a KVM, just buy a crossover cable of suitable length and plug it into both computers network sockets.
Then setup the ip addresses mannually so that they're next to eachother and then setup windows sharing.
IF you want to see the other machines desktop then use something like TightVNC installed as a server on the old machine - you can then connect to it using the same mouse and keyboard and see the screen in a window. Job done.
No routers, switches, extra power supplies, extra cables etc needed. Just one network (Cross over) cable and thats it.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,610
Thanks: 209
Fixes: 15
Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Networking & sharing input devices

Then how is he to get internet on the both pc's?
A network cable from each to the router then he can connect using vnc if needed.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,450
Thanks: 695
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Networking & sharing input devices

Quote from: 7up
Razer keep your costs down mate and save some money. No need for a KVM, just buy a crossover cable of suitable length and plug it into both computers network sockets.

Why would he need to do that when he's already said they will be plugged in to the same router?
Quote from: Razer
I'm not putting them on different internet connections. I don't know why you got that impression. Huh I intend connecting them both to my one router ("acting as the intermediary").
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,022
Thanks: 540
Fixes: 9
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Networking & sharing input devices

Fair point, didn't realise he was putting both online.
In that case even better - just download TightVNC and the old machine can be used headless.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!