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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    I have a laptop which is running xp home and an older model desktop which has windows 98 on it which I no longer use. I would like to use the desktop as my backup hard drive. Can I delete all the folders/files off the desktop unit leaving just windows 98 so that the unit fires up, and transfer files from my laptop to desktop using an USB cable and third party software on my laptop such as Paragon or Winbackup.

    Then will I be able to read my desktop unit on my laptop and transfer files back and forth.

    I am not interested in having my desktop unit connected to internet but simply use it as a backup harddrive.

    Hope I explained what I wish to achieve


    Alan

  2. #2
    Bronze Lounger
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    In creating free space you should uninstall unnecessary programs before deleting unwanted data. You may find that the available drive space on an older desktop is so small that it isn't worth the trouble.

    You may also find that a computer old enough to be running Win 98 has connectors that you definitely won't like unless you have an Ethernet card. USB2 is forty times faster than the USB connector you may find you have if you do have USB. The type of cable you need is a crossover cable, unless you have software such as LapLink, which is the traditional 'gold standard' for file transfers between laptop and desktop. These days few users have need of it.

    On the other hand, if it is a functioning computer with a keyboard and monitor and does have enough free space, then you might want to keep it in use as an offline machine. You might even add a few parts, which you can probably purchase at a computer junk shop, such as an Ethernet card and additional drive(s) and memory. In poking around the computer in its present form, check the Windows\Fonts directory for any nifty TTFs that Microsoft has dropped, as assorted treasures have been left behind and are expensive to replace. You might also look into the possibility of (clean) installing a more up-to-date open source operating system, such as Ubuntu, and open source software, which are compatible with Windows.

    Drive it 'till the wheels fall off. Just be forewarned that you are backing up to a location less reliable than the computer it is coming from. If you have a fast enough connection, you might prefer to give cloud backups a try. Microsoft offers 25 GB free of charge.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Thanks Peter, it does have a couple of usb ports and I was hoping you could just connect usb to usb.

    The desktop computer although is several years old and running win 98 it still appears to be in good running order and has enough hd space to allow backup of my laptop. I was hoping after setting it up to no longer use the screen and keyboard and just use the laptop to view/alter files just like a standalone hd. From what you say I believe you cant do that


    Alan

  4. #4
    5 Star Lounger
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    why not use a network cable? I believe you could do what you want with that.

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Can you get a network cable with a usb fitting on one end, as the Desktop doesnt have a network input

    Alan

  6. #6
    Bronze Lounger
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    You can get all manner of things if you shop around or go dumpster diving. We are in the same boat in that I have older computers which still work and are of no value to anyone else, aside from parts or component-bartering. I have just the opposite of what you want: a 10/100 LAN connector, but mine is from PCMCIA to EtherNet, which is to say a a PCMCIA adapter at the laptop end of things, and not the desktop. The USB slots on the computer are slow, but this baby has a theoretical maximum of 100 MB/s (or whatever it is). I have had LapLink since Win 95, and have a bagful of different cables to prove it, and it was the single best piece of bundled software (and hardware, in that it included a cable) that I have ever got with a new computer. Once upon a time desktops ruled the roost and laptops were worth their weight in gold. Now laptops outnumber desktops (I think).

    Please excuse my rambling. The cable that you can get with LapLink is USB male both ends and I think is a type of crossover cable, and by all means check out what LapLink has to offer these days (they do have specials), but if your laptop has an Ethernet connector it would be simpler, less expensive, and more flexible, to get an Ethernet card for the desktop if you have a spare slot on the motherboard. That would give you the network connector you want on the desktop. It's an easy do-it-yourself project. I have a laptop that was Win 98 and that I upgraded to XP, which was no problem but for the cost, and XP is a more comfortable system to network. That is the reason I suggested an open source platform (unless you can get the upgrade to XP at a good price).

  7. #7
    5 Star Lounger
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    One of these:

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...rnet%20PCI/ISA

    Or exactly what you are asking for is this:
    http://www.amazon.com/RJ45-Ethernet-.../dp/B0036ZHNJW

    Make sure you find one with 98 support.

  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    Thank fellows yes this looks like what I'm after (USB to LAN RJ45 Ethernet 10/100 Network Adapter Card) to fit to my desktop. I will try it anyway unless someone here says what I am doing will damage my laptop.

    Alan

  9. #9
    Bronze Lounger
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    That is incredible. I am just blown over by those prices. When I think of what I paid.... (Sound familiar?)

  10. #10
    5 Star Lounger
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    I would look around a little before you purchase the usb unit. The one I linked doesn't have very good reviews although I don't know if the bad reviewer's situations are the same as yours. I was just showing you the TYPE of hardware that is available.

    I carried a Linksys version of this in my repair kit for years as in the "old" days it was not uncommon to work on machines that did not have network cards. About 10 years ago I purchased the one I have for around $10. It still comes in handy at times when I want to eliminate the onboard NIC as the problem when troubleshooting network issues.

  11. #11
    New Lounger
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    Thanks again, yes i am looking around for the most suitable, some are as low as $2 plus $2 postage from hong kong. Will have a look at my local pc store over weekend and see whats up. In the end I may just buy a stand along hd and pension the desktop unit off - but we will see

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