There are several ways of sharing files between 2 (or more) PCs. The simplest is some sort of removable media such as a memory stick or DVD. You might run into problems if your file is bigger than the size of the memory stick. The trouble with copying files around, is that if more than one person is working on it there will be issues around who has got the latest version. This is where a network comes in handy. Don’t you need a server to share files? No! You can share a directory of your hard drive with other people and you can both edit the file. This ensures there is only one copy of the file. It’s so easy even my parents can follow these instructions. First you have to pick a computer to be the server. This is where the files actually live, so you are best off picking the computer with the most free space on it.
- On your desktop, double click on My Computer.
- This will open the list of devices and hard drives. There is a column for Free Space.
- Make a note of the free space, for each local drive.
- Make a note of the drive letter, with the most free space.
- Create a folder at the top level on the drive with the most free space.
- Call the folder “shared", so that the address bar in Windows Explorer reads “C:\shared” - where “C:” is the drive letter with the most amount of free space.
- Inside Windows Explorer, find the “c:\shared” folder, right-click on it and select Properties.
- A window will pop up with information about the folder. Click the Sharing and Security tab.
- Click the Share this folder radio button. The Share name will be filled in for you with the name of the folder.
- Click the Permissions button to alter how much control you want to give the other person. To give yourself an easier life just set the permissions to Allow Full control to Everyone.
- Click Ok until you are back at your desktop.
- Use the mouse and click the Windows Start menu.
- Select Run…
- Type: command and press return.
- In the box that opens up type: hostname
- Make a note of what the hostname is.
- Close the box.
\\david\sharedwhere david is what my
hostname command spat out and shared is the name of the folder we are sharing.
Hurray you have just set up a shared folder on your PC. Next we are going to move to the other machine and set up access to that shared folder.
- Load in Windows Explorer.
- From the menu bar at the top, select Tools, then Map Network Drive…
- Select a drive letter. I usually pick a letter that is furthest from my other drive letters, for example “Z:".
- Set the Folder to the share name we constructed above, substituting your hostname in place of mine.
- Check the Reconnect at login to make sure your connection doesn’t disappear when you switch off your computer.
- Click Finish.
- Windows will think about it for a while (I don’t know why but this can take up to a minute).
- Windows Explorer will refresh with your new “Z” drive.
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