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Thread: Direct Cable Connection Problems

  1. #1
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    Direct Cable Connection Problems

    I'm trying to get an old laptop (running Win95) to connect as client to another machine using a null-modem cable.

    I've tried connecting to both WinME and Win2000 and am pretty sure the cable is correct according to the spec defined in the Win2000 help file.

    When I try to connect the host on WinME and the direct cable network option each remain impassive as the client shows the message that it is disconnected. Occasionally, just before it says that, there is a message saying something like it is verifying username and password. Wherever possible the hosts are set to be as tolerant towards usernames as possible and not to require passwords and the client has a valid (administrator) user name on the Win2000 system anyway.

    Has anyone any idea what is going on here? What do I need to do to get the connection working? Eventually the required setup is actually Win95 to WinME but anything working at this stage would be an improvement!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    are you using an ethernet cable? If so make sure it is a crossover cable for direct connections between PC and PC.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #3
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    No, it's a Direct Cable Connection, i.e. one using serial/parallel ports. In my case it's serial because my parallel connector housing is too big to fit on the laptop!

    I've got all the stuff active that I think I need; DCC server, NetBEUI, and so on but it still will not connect. I've found a lot of info at http://www.wown.com/j_helmig/dccmain.htm which I'm now delving into. Maybe the answer will be hidden there.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Serial cable (1 bit connection) up to 10 KBytes /sec

    That looks to be like one smoking connection

    Anyway, sorry I didn't really read your post that carefully. Where did you get your serial cable from? I am guessing it is the cable especially if you can't get it to recognize the network when connected...

    this site breaks down file sharing between windows 95 and windows 95.. using a Direct Cable Connection.

    http://compnetworking.about.com/gi/d...c%2Findex.html


    If I were you I would go the USB route if possible.. it seems a lot faster and with less effort.

    Have you tried from within windows 95 to launch the direct cable connect utility?
    Launch the "Direct Cable Connect" utility in windows 95 (It is probably in the "Accessories" menu.)

    Make sure your windows 95 is up-to-date with the latest updates from MS, if you can find them..

    Good luck and keep us updated with your progress.

  5. #5
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    'fraid USB is not an option. It's an old Laptop and the reason I'm trying to do this is that the floppy drive is bust and it's not worth spending a lot of cash for an expensive new one and I can't find a cheap one!

    I'm really just trying to get the laptop connected to a desktop machine by some means (other than string ;-)). I've been able to connect using an old version of laplink (under DOS - how simple that was) but it should be easy to use DCC under Windoze.

    I'm going to see if I can put together a parallel cable which will fit in the machine. Maybe it'll work.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    I am going to go out on a limb here, and pray that the laptop has a PCMCIA slot.

    if so why not pick up a cheap LAN card, and go the ethernet route.. I mean 100Mbit is fast, real fast, alot faster than parallel, USB, or serial connections.

    http://3btech.net/com10pcmciet.html

    19.95 for a Compaq PCMCIA ethernet adapter. Then buy a cheap crossover cable and your all set.

    plus the adapter can be used to connect the laptop to the internet..

    But I can see that you want to get your current setup to work.

    Have you tried setting it up to use passwords and usernames? That may work.. then again it may not.

  7. #7
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    There is indeed a PCMCIA slot and my first thought was to get a cheap E-net card but my attempts were foiled when I found the only cards I could locate were for the 32-bit CardBus and so, of course, did not fit.

    It may still be an option in the future but without a source (at low cost!) it's not immediately available. I did try with a DE660 I had lying around but it didn't work. Whether the fault is in the card, the slot itself or even the dangly connector, I don't know but it would certainly be the nicest option.

    I must admit that I've not tried setting DCC up to use passwords.

    So far I have found that I *can* get a connection having installed LapLink professional and I've also been able to get the parallel cable to fit so at least it's a bit faster than serial.

    It's got to be as much of a challenge now to get this Direct Cable Connection working than anything. I don't intend to be beaten by a mere computer, even if Bill Gates is behind it all!

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    I think for your older laptop you need the 16Bit ethernet adapater.

    http://www.outpost.com/product/1352766

    That one is $39.99.
    I am pretty sure that one will work in your legacy laptop.

    What you can try is taking the laptop to a place like circuit city and let them find the correct adapter for your laptop. They will try each and every one until they find a match.. that way you don't have to waste your time and money.

    I know this cable thing is screwy. I have you tried installing windows 95 on the desktop and then seeing if you can get it to work? I mean it should work flawlessly between windows 95 and windows 95 with the direct cable connection.

    Just an idea or two.

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    It's rather a long way to my nearest Circuit City store... several thousand miles ;-) but I know what you mean and sadly there aren't any similar places in my area. Mail order tends to be the order of the day.

    I had thought of tring the connection to a Win95 machine (I even have one of those on my network!) but since the ultimate intention is to link to WinME, it wouldn't really prove anything.

    I came across a utility which diagnoses these problems for a parallel link but sadly, it won't load on the laptop; 40Mb isn't enough memory!

    At least the laplink solution seems stable and gives access to the devices required.

  10. #10
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    http://www.lpt.com/Support/DCC-SetUp/dcc-setup.htm

    The site above offers extra information. This should work for you. So when you connect the cable, set up DCC, and then go into the network connection settings, what does it show?

    Can you see the DCC connection listed in the networking options of either machine?

    Can you ping them?

    Have you tried what I suggested earlier, about setting up the accounts to use passwords and usernames?

    From the link above, did you follow these steps exactly?
    I. Windows 95/98/Me To Windows 95/98/Me Direct Cable Connection Setup

    Install The Direct Cable Connection Feature If Not Already Installed
    Windows Networking Setup For Direct Cable Connection
    Naming Your Computer
    Sharing Files
    Sharing Your Drives
    Repeat Network Setup, Naming Computer And Sharing Your Drives for Your Other Computer

    Did you double check to see if DCC is installed on both machines? Did you restart after installing them?

    To check if Direct Cable Connection is already installed … Look for the Direct Cable Connection on your Accessories Menu:

    Windows 95 - Start / Programs / Accessories / Direct Cable Connection

    Windows 98/Me - Start / Programs / Accessories / Communications / Direct Cable Connection

    Try the password and username thing, then double check to see if DCC is installed on both machines. Make sure any firewalls or other software are disabled.

    Try removing any non essential protocols. ANd if you must use them, make sure the protocols are the same on both machines.

    Hope that helps.

    Do you have CDROM access on the laptop? If so, why not upgrade the laptop to windows ME? I mean 40MB of ram meets the minimum for windows ME.

    I ran ME on a P1 166mhz on 32MB of ram, with a 2 gig HDD. Resources were a bit rough, but it worked. I used an external CDROM to install it, but after that it was smooth sailing.

    Just an idea to ponder.

    The reason I asked about hooking up WIn 95 to win 95, and see if DCC works would be that you would rule out the cable being at fault, but since you successfully got laplink to work, then the cable should be fine.

    On both machines you should have them configured as so:

    Click on the Configuration Tab of the Network panel to examine your network components. You may already have some of these network components installed.

    You will need to have Client for Microsoft Networks, Dial-Up Adapter, TCP/IP, NetBEUI, (optional IPX/SPX), and File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks.

    Make sure all of those are installed on both machines. Then try it again.

    Have you named both PCs? Have you named both workgroups? You have to use something in the workgroup field to get them to see each other, but the workgroups don't have to match.. though in all my networks I have them matched, except at work.

    If you didn't put anything in for the workgroup, this might be the cause of your troubles, then again, it may not.

    Finally, some more info about getting DCC setup and started:

    Set up and Start up Direct Cable Connection On Both Computers

    Plug in the DirectParallel® Connection Cable to the LPT1 parallel ports on both computers.
    Start up Direct Cable Connection from Start / Programs / Accessories / (Communications /) Direct Cable Connection. When Direct Cable Connection (DCC) opens, follow the Wizard and set up one computer as the Host and the other as the Guest.
    Starting with the Host computer -- Select Host - Click Next - Select the parallel port you want to use (for example Parallel cable on LPT1) - Click Next - Click Finish. The Host computer DCC connection will start listening to the parallel port for a DCC connection attempt from the Guest computer and it will display a message "Waiting for a guest computer to connect ...". If it does not get a DCC connection attempt from the Guest computer within about 30 seconds, it will continue to listen but will change the message in the DCC window to "Status: Waiting to connect ..." and "Is the guest computer running?". The Host computer will continue to listen and wait for the Guest Computer to make a valid DCC connection.
    On the Guest computer -- Select Guest - Click Next - Select the parallel port you want to use (for example Parallel cable on LPT1) - Click Next - Click Finish. The Guest computer will attempt to connect to the Host computer and will display "Status: Connecting via ...".
    Once the DCC connection is established it is recommended that you Map a Host shared drive on the Guest computer. *
    * Drive mapping allows for full use of resources on the other computer. In some cases you can also map a drive to the guest computer from the host (this is not guaranteed). This allows full peer to peer networking over your Direct (Cable) Connection.


    Hope that helps.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    I'd chance to say if you could rig up some parallel cable, that was made for direct cable connections, your worries would be resolved. That is just my theory..

    Further, and this comes from the expert exchange:

    (1) Make certain that you are using the right cable.
    A null serial cable or a laplink cable.
    Do not use modem serial cable.
    If I can recall, can't read the previous posts, you said you had a NULL modem serial cable.. not sure if it is the right one or not..

    (2) Go to the network in the Control Panel, install both machines with NETBEUI and IPX/SPX protocols.
    (3) Try connecting from W95 to W98/ME.


    One final thing about the passwords, and this is what I was getting at earlier:

    A couple of tips - when starting each PC, make sure the username under which you're logged in is the same on both machines. If you don't have the exact same user name on both machines, create a set of user names that match.
    Last edited by Big Booger; March 17th, 2003 at 05:48 AM.

  12. #12
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    Well I've got it working at last though I can't be certain just how!

    I tried a whole heap of things, starting with a new DCC server on a Win95 machine. Initially it behaved exactly the same as everything else had been so I completely uninstalled all DCC networking components from the laptop.

    It behaved differently but still didn't work. I set the server to require passwords which at least proved that I was getting some communication as it asked for usernames and password but still the connection was refused.

    The laptop had a load of other comms stuff which included hyperterminal and phone dialer so I removed them. I don't think it worked even then. The laptop also was set to be a member of an NT domain at some time, now disabled but the name was still there so I removed it.

    The last thing I remember trying was to remove all TCP/IP protocols attached to the Dial-Up Adapter and ensure that it ONLY had NETBEUI on both client and server. This *seemed* to do the trick but since I had changed so many things by then and my memory could have been faulty, it could have been something quite different!

    Anyway, it's working now, eben on the desired WinME machine! I suspect (also from hints I've read elsewhere) that NETBEUI is the best bet for having a chance. I guess TCP/IP is just too grown up for it! ;-)

    In response to your questions, though, there is no CD access to the machine.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Well,

    I can tell you this, you can also upgrade the machine from a network install, in case you ever wanted to try it.

    Just copy the contents of your CD onto your HDD into a machine that has a CD rom. hook them up via DCC, and run the setup.exe from the laptop over the network.

    I have seen windows 98 installed like this numerous times at work.

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