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Setting Up a Second PC

When you purchase a second PC, such as a laptop or a second home PC, you'll probably want to transfer files from your current PC to the new one. For example, you might have data files on the current PC that you want to place on the new one. The best way to transfer files is through a network. Hour 13, "Networking with Windows XP," explains how to put together and configure a network. Nevertheless, some people do not want to install networking hardware to transfer a lot of files from one computer to another. Perhaps you're setting up a new laptop and don't want to purchase a network card for the laptop.

Windows supports a feature called direct cable connection that lets you transfer files between computers without the need of a network and without moving data between the PCs via disk. The cable must be a DirectParallel cable, a special cable that connects one PC's parallel port to another's, or a null modem cable connected between the two computer serial ports. If both computers have an infrared eye, as most laptops have, you don't even need a cable; the infrared links serve as the "cable" between the two machines.


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