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There are a few ways that you can copy files between two computers using a USB connection.

I have a Windows 98 SE PC that won't recognize the other drives. So I can't use my CRW. I want to get some files off the old hard drive. Can I run a USB from the new machine to the old?

Yes, you can. And a few other alternatives are available also.

Some alternatives include:

  • USB to USB connections, as you've thought of (though you'll need a special cable). Windows Networking has a good introduction to the topic.

  • If the machine is really toast, you might install its hard drive in the new machine.

  • Use a package like LapLink to copy the files. They often have special cables that will allow you to connect printer ports or serial ports to each other to transfer files.

  • If both machines have a network adapter, then use a hub or a reversing cable and network them together. This previous article: Can I network two computers with just a cable? covers exactly that.

Article C2198 - October 6, 2004 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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3 Comments
Arun Mahendrakar
January 22, 2006 11:13 AM

Very informative site thanks.

Rachel
January 22, 2009 2:26 PM

can I transfer wab files to my cellphone address book? How? Using usb port/cable?

Morpheus Exegis
January 4, 2012 9:32 AM

or another option run a crossover ethernet cable. fast transfer and good intro to keeping both computers connected. or if you have a wireless connection setup on both use a fileshare and transfer over wireless.

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