Want to connnect two Windows 98 machines without spending much on networking equipment? An easy way out is to connect them with a direct serial or parallel cable, using the Direct Cable Connections feature.
For this, you’ll need an RS232 serial cable, or a parallel cable having a male connector on both ends. You can find this easily in any computer accessories store. Connect the two PCs using this cable. Go to Start>Settings>Control Panel and double-click Add/Remove Programs. Click on the Windows setup tab and select Communications>Details and select the check-box next to dial-up networking and Direct Cable Connection. Click OK and you’ll be prompted to provide your Windows 98 CD.
Go to Start>Programs>Accessories>Communications and select Direct Cable Connection. This will start the Direct Cable Connection wizard. Select Host if the machine you’re configuring has the resources to be shared. Next, you have to select the port having the direct cable connection.
Finally, you’ll be prompted to enable File and Print sharing. If it’s not installed, then install it from your network properties. Restart your machine and share a folder on this machine by doing a right-click and choosing share from the context menu. You’ll have to run the wizard on the other PC, this time as guest, after which you’ll be able to access the shared folder.
Use ethernet cable
While you can network two PCs using a serial or parallel cable, it will not work very fast because the ports support very low transfer rates. If you can spend some money for two network adapters, (which aren’t very expensive these days), then you can hook two PCs together using an ethernet cable. This gives a much faster connection. You don’t need a hub. All you’ll need is a cross-over Ethernet Cat-5 cable to connect the two. Ensure that the network cards are installed on both and at least one protocol is also installed. We recommend you put TCP/IP and NetBEUI. The former can be used to share an Internet connection, and the latter is good for small networks. To add a protocol, go to the Control Panel>Network and click on Add. This will open the ‘Select Network Component’ box. Select Protocol and click on Add. Next, choose Microsoft and the protocol you wish to install. You’ll need your Windows 98 CD. Also enable File and print sharing by clicking on the corresponding button in network properties, and checking the corresponding check-boxes.
Next, create users on each machine from Control Panel>Users. You’ll come across the ‘Enable Multi-user settings wizard’ that’ll ask you to enter a few details. This will create separate profiles for each user, including desktop environment and e-mail settings. That’s it. Login, click on Network Neighborhood, and you’ll see the second machine. To share files, right-click a folder you wish to share and select ‘Sharing’