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Windows 7: Computer as USB drive?

07 Mar 2011   #1

Windows 7

Can I boot my Win7 or XP PC into a USB mode where the computer can be used simply as an external USB drive?
Mac has this feature and it can be very convenient for large file transfers. do I connect two PC to swap the files. Win 7 to XP?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64

you need a specific cable type for it.
Connecting Two PCs Using a USB-USB Cable | Hardware Secrets
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2011   #3

W7 Professional x64

Do you have a network cable and a switch? If so it's a very simple task to do. If not I would suggest purchasing a $5 crossover cable from your local computer shop, and we can give you directions on how to set up a direct connection between the two machinse.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Mar 2011   #4

Windows 7

I have a home network running through a router with wifi too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2011   #5

W7 Professional x64

In that case, I think the simplest route is to simply do a file transfer between the two systems. It'll take a bit of setup at first, but will be easy to do after the setup is complete.

If you're wanting to transfer files to the XP machine, the simplest route is to do it from the W7 machine ("pushing" the files rather than "pulling" them). But first, we need to know the name of the machine running XP. Log into the windows machine, right click on the "my computer" icon, and select "properties." The second tab, "Computer Name" will tell you (it'll be next to the line labeled "Full Computer Name:"). Having determined the name of the machine, I would then suggest you establish a shared folder, if you haven't done so already. With this, our work on the XP Machine is done for now.

Now, let's move to the Windows 7 machine. Having logged in, you then need to run a command prompt (the guide is for an elevated one, but elevated or not should work in this case). Next, type in \\XPMachineName (substituting XPMachineName for the name we gathered above). Having typed this in, you may be prompted for a username and password. If so, type in XPMachineName\XPUsername and your password in the password field. After that, a window with \\XPMachineName should pop up, and you'll see the folder you shared up above show up, double click on it to open it. At this point, you simply select the files you want to transfer, and drop them in the folder, and the transfer will begin.

If you have any troubles, respond and I'll do my best to help you through them. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)

There are mane ways to transfer files between two PCs. What's more convenient depends on your setup and the amount of data you need to transfer.

Personally I use the two following methods :

If I need to transfer relatively small amount of data (meaning less than 8 GB) and I am not in any particular rush, I just use a USB flash drive (the limit is the size of the drive, 8GB currently). Of course, I can use an external hard drive to do this for larger chunks of data, but that would be rather slow with USB2, while not every computer is equipped with an eSATA port (the new USB3 might change the equation as well).

If I need to transfer more than 8GB or if I am in a hurry to transfer a large file (say a 4GB video file) I use sftp. This is way faster than USB in my experience (remember, with USB you need to transfer the same stuff twice!), although it requires some setting up (once) and then turning the sftp on. I suppose I could use it always, but sometimes it's easier to plug in the flash drive.

Now, instead of the sftp you could use simple ftp, I just do it this way out of security paranoia (for the same reason I do not use file sharing or Microsoft network features described by Matt; of course they work just fine as well and lots of people use them instead of the ftp).

Of course, one of your machines must be setup as a "server", while any other can just run one of the multitude of ftp or sftp clients (putty, for example). I use Cygwin to setup the server, but this is because I use Cygwin for several other things as well. There are many other possibilities to setup a sftp server in Windows (if one of your machines is Linux, then you're all set to begin with) for example, freeSSHd and Cerberus ftp.

Hope this helps!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Computer as USB drive?

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