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I need to transfer some data from a Windows 7 desktop to a newly assembled Windows 8 desktop. I have a LAN cable. Do I need any extra tools? Another question is can I also connect Windows 8 to Ubuntu 12.4?

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You just connect them up with an ethernet cable.

Be aware that if they are connected directly, you need a crossover/null-modem cable. If you have a router/ethernet switch, you can use standard Cat5 ethernet cables.

For sharing between Windows computers, it is easiest to use the homegroup feature (first introduced in Windows 7).

For sharing with Ubuntu, see Share Files between Ubuntu & Windows 7 computers. It essentially involves:

  • setting workgroups on each computer
  • sharing the relevant folder
  • accessing the folder from the other computer (through Network (Windows), or Places > Connect to Server (Ubuntu))

To share anything else (eg. printers), consider using Samba.

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you don't need crossover cables if one adaptor is gig-e. I don't think windows 7 supports null modems any more. – Journeyman Geek Oct 28 '12 at 14:45
    
I have connected windows 7 with DOS using a crossover cable – ronalchn Oct 28 '12 at 19:08

The method I used between windows 7 systems works without a hitch between windows 7 and 8- set up static IPs between them, preferably on a seperate subnet, and just connect them together. If one of the adaptors supports gig-e, don't worry about using a crossover.No reason that shouldn't work with ubuntu as well.

You can then just use fileshares or other methods to transfer files over.

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No, network cables need to extra tools or drivers. Just like your power cable doesn't need an extra tool.

To transfer files you can set up shares on one or both computers and just copy files around, then.

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