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From this thread, Windows Easy Transfer is a solution to connect two Windows computers over USB to USB, but this software only transfers user settings, documents, and application, all in one step. It is used to migrate a user from one PC to another.

I need a netbook to access the DVD drive of a laptop. The netbook does not have an optical drive.

Is this impossible over a USB-USB cable?

Is it impossible to use USB in the same way ethernet it is used for networking? Why is a USB-USB connection different for computer-computer versus computer to specific devices like printers/scanners etc? A computer is simply not detected as a device, while printers are.

Update: I'm aware I can use a cross-over ethernet cable; I simply don't have one. I will try a normal cable though, at the suggestion below that Windows might detect and update the direct connection.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Have a read on this article, it does explain allot to things involved with USB to USB networking and an give you insight to what you need to buy.

  • This software. lets you use USB ports over an existing Network. But that is also something else again.

I do however suggest using a cross over cable to connect your two pc's

A guide here

Another proper guide here

One thing to rememeber with this type of network, using computer names will not work (it could- but most likely not) So when mapping drives use the IP Adress not NetBiOS name, the same when browsing. \\ in explorer bar (not IE)

You can also use ipconfig /all for more verbose detials of the network settings

enter image description here

I would strongly suggest not trying to use USB to USB, because on BIOS based computers do not support this natively.

For example. Using a macintosh, during boot you can use a fire wire cable to connect 2 macs and they can use each other resources without any problem by a press of a button, usually "T" on boot.

USB to USB is a bit like Sisyphus

enter image description here

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Most PCs and network devices now a days do detect themselves that they are in a "cross over situation" and resolve this by software. You should be fine with a normal network cable. – BetaRide Dec 16 '11 at 9:36
Yes, you should be fine.. but if you want to be sure. Use a cross over – ppumkin Dec 16 '11 at 9:51
If one of the systems is gig e it should do autonegotiation – Journeyman Geek Dec 16 '11 at 12:33
@BetaRide: AFAIR the auto-crossing feature in mandatory for all Gigabit Ethernet ports. This the reason why most devices support it. – Robert Dec 16 '11 at 12:38
I tried a normal ethernet cable, and switched TCP/IP to automatic settings for both PCs. Their IP addresses became &, with subnet mask, but they couldn't ping each other. Does it matter what IP address and subnet mask they have? – Steve Dec 16 '11 at 12:39

Is there a special reason why you don't want to use a network cable? If both devices on the same WLAN you don't even need a cable.

You can share the DVD drive via the context menu on your laptop and access it as a network drive on your netbook. (Make sure both devices do use the same workgroup name.)

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The special reason is I simply don't have an ethernet cross over cable, and a straight ethernet cable hasn't worked, although I may have set TCP/IP settings incorrectly for that. I can't ping either PC from the other over wireless; see this thread:… – Steve Dec 16 '11 at 12:44
Then you should resolve this problem. The USB cable soltion is not likely to make you happy. – BetaRide Dec 16 '11 at 14:20
Thanks. It was resolved yesterday. – Steve Dec 17 '11 at 12:57

I found a resource on the web, you can achieve two PC's CD-ROM drive sharing using a USB data link cable, see:Reference1, Reference2

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Can you summarize the information in your answer in case the links go dead? – jonsca Nov 16 '13 at 4:05

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