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A question for the computer experts...
Old 10-09-2005, 02:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My old image processing computer was showing its age (a 300 MHz Dell), so I picked up a new very fast (and cheap!) e-Machines job (2.8 Ghz). I have linked them together through an ethernet switch or hub, or whatever you call the little box. So far so good, and I can access hard drives between the machines. That is, if I am on the old machine I can pull files off the new machine's hard drives and vice versa.

Now my computer "expertise" stopped along about DOS 5, so here's my question.

While I can access hard drives between the machines, and set up CD drives and card readers to show up between them, I can't actually get access those things. Is there something unique about the hard drives (already I am getting a glimmer of an idea...) that allows access across the network, while the other devices don't allow it? Or do they, but I haven't got it configured correctly?

A final minor point, the e-Machines is a cheapy, and probably not the most reliable brand around. But after I leave it on say 24 hours, and it is in standby mode, I can move the cursor up to the icon that starts up the computer but the cursor disappears when it's over the box and nothing happens if I click on it. This machine has never been on the 'net, and I don't have a bunch of software from unreliable places on it. I'm pretty sure it's virus free. Any notions what's happening?

Thanks... I 'preciate your input.



[b]Coral, model extraordinaire...


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A couple of ideas
Old 10-09-2005, 03:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Remove the hard drive from the old dell, and it may, cross your fingers be able to be placed into your new e machine or beside it. Power supply will be the same, only cable that may be different is the data supply. I have seen on the internet a cable that takes an old hard drive and hooks it to a usb port. Your new computer then will recognize it as a new drive automatically at start up with just raw data.
As long as you were not running Linux, Sun Microsystems, Unix, or any other non microsoft windows operating systems on that disk, you will be fine. Whatever you do, do not reformat the disk or place anything magnetic around it, bounce it, get it wet. I had a windows 98 machine, and took the hard drive out of a compaq presario and hooked it directly to my Microsoft professional 64 bit machine I built from scratch and I was able to pull all of my files I wanted off. By hooking it direct, the computer saw it as a source of files only and the file transfer was very simple. You may also have to have the same or similar computer programs to recognize files that you have on your new machine.
For instance, open office, which is downloaded for free at www.openoffice.org does not always allow all microsoft office suite files to upload fully with all of the bells and whistles of word, excel, powerpoint. But also there is no way in this green earth that I am paying 300 bucks for something that I use once a year when I can get a basic free version. On Word, when searching for older office files, you also have to change the search functions to look for the older file formats if you are looking for word files, and the same is for powerpoint, excel and other microsoft programs. If you want to save yourself some money, use the openoffice instead of buying it if you have to.

I have a co worker who bought an e machines from wal mart. He is already having trouble with the dvd burner. Make sure everything works, or else you wont be having much fun. Computers can be really frustrating. BTW, are you running on the amd athlon, sempron chipset. You may want to check out www.amd.com if you are not running on the 64 bit microsoft xp operating system which has been out since, July. Programs, and especially large files run really well with the 64 bit operating system, much faster. I ran the xp, until I was able to upgrade and it is noticeable. Virus protection is a little slow right now, with mostly www.avast.com offering a free virus protection for 64 bit xp machines. The good news is, its kind of like the macs, there are not a lot of 64 bit machines out there.

As far as networking, you may need to configure your new computer to register as being on a network through your control panel. Hope any of this makes sense, but a few things to look at.
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Re: A question for the computer experts...
Old 10-09-2005, 04:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you can see the harddrive on the network, but can't write to it, then you haven't properly created the Share. It was not clear exactly how you had set this up. But generally you plug both computers into a router. If you have a cable or DSL modem, then you hook that to the router also. Then both computers can access the internet.

To set up a share, go to explorer, and navigate to a hard drive or folder on a drive, and right click on the drive letter or folder name. Then select "Sharing and Security" and then put a check mark in the two check boxes in the sharing section. That will generally make the folder or drive accesible from the other computer. You can access it through "My Network Places" in Explorer, or you can map a drive letter to the shared folder or drive.

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: A question for the computer experts...
Old 10-09-2005, 05:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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On my win 98 e-machine, I right click my C drive, click Sharing, and check the box that says Full. Same on my wifes Compact Presario (new), which runs XP.

But I have NOT tried to access her CD drive, so I don't know about that?

When her machine goes to sleep, just moving the mouse makes it ready to use,..don't have to click on anything.

Hope this helps some [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]
P.S. Maybe just turn off the Sleep Mode.
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Whoa, back up guys... the hard drives are 100% okay, no problemo
Old 10-09-2005, 06:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Whoa, back up guys... the hard drives are 100% okay, no problemo at all across the network.

It's the other data sources; the CD drives, card readers, and (gasp, how antique!) the floppy drives I can't get access to over my mini-network. There is no internet connection on this little network (and never will be!).

I can do the "share" thing on the non-hard drive thingies, and get them to show up across both machines, but showing up and transferring data from them seems to be different issues.

For example, I have a USB cardreader plugged into the Dell. I did the "share" thing on it and if I look at the network from the e-Machine, I "see" the card reader on the network. But if I put a card in it and try to read that cards data from the e-Machine, zip, nada, zilch, zero...

Or maybe you just can't access those type of devices across the network. In that case, I'm just spinning my wheels. But I can't find anything that says that...

As far as the e-Machine. I knew it was a chance on reliability when I bought it. So far everything has worked just fine. Come see me in a year or so.

Anyway at what I gave for the e-Machine 'puter (with no monitor, no printer) if just the motherboard holds together, I'll probably be ahead of the game. All the other pieces can be pulled out of junkers I've got laying around here...

Can you imagine stacks of old Dell machines in the closet? See there's this state auction where they give... er... sell the state's old machines (typically $5 for a pair of 300 MHz machines with CD and 4 GB harddrives).
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Re: Whoa, back up guys... the hard drives are 100% okay, no problemo
Old 10-09-2005, 06:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Like Mr Smith said, you've got to map a drive letter to your CD on the other machine in order for you to be able to read it on another machine that's hooked up to your network. Make sure that the CD is shared and you then map the CD from the one that you want to view it on.
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Re: Whoa, back up guys... the hard drives are 100% okay, no problemo
Old 10-09-2005, 07:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I regularly map usb drives, cd drives, flash drives, external card readers, etc across the network and they are fully accessible. In general, if it looks like a hard drive or printer to the computer its on, then it can be accessed from other computers on the network. That being said, I have had one problem with a computer not wanting to see other devices. It was an AMD processor. But I have 7 other computers I've used on the same network and everyone of them can see all devices that I share and/or map.



Cheers,
rfs
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Re: A question for the computer experts...
Old 10-09-2005, 10:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have been running an e-Machine here for about 3 years now, and it's been a wonderful computer! The only weakness I've found is the power supply. When and if it does go out, be sure and replace it with one that has a little higher wattage. I finally put a 450 watt power supply in mine, and no trouble with it since. And, I use this poor thing pretty darned hard, too! As far as the sharing problem, it sounds like you are on the right track, and I am assuming that you have some FILES shared on your XP machine. One of the wierd thing about some versions of XP is that if you don't share at least one file, it just doesn't work right. I'll have to see if I can make it work with another computer on my network, I guess I've never tried that before! Good luck!
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