Shared USB ports?

June 12, 2009 at 13:34:03
Specs: Windows XP
Is there some kind of hub or device that will allow 2 PC's (next to each other) to share usb ports?
I mean for example, a hub that is attached to PC A and to PC B, with some shared usb ports in between, so you could plug a USB stick in and access it from either computer. My partner and I have adjacent PC's, and I was wondering if you could do so rather than fiddling under the desk trying to plug USB stuff in, that you could have something on top of the desk where we could both, say, plug our MP3 players in and copy music.
Any ideas? I don;t really know where to start looking.

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#1
June 12, 2009 at 13:38:01
I don't know about the USB part of it, but you could accomplish what you want to do - copy music, share peripherals, by networking the two computers. Two ethernet cables and one switch is all you'd need. That way one computer could have a USB peripheral plugged in (printer or mp3 player, let's say) and share the peripheral over the network with the other computer.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;555375
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#2
June 12, 2009 at 14:14:16
Well, the 2 computers are kind of linked together with rj45 cables into a broadband router, but not technically networked. Is there any way I can utilise this to accomplish what I wanted?

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#3
June 12, 2009 at 14:19:35
Yes, absolutely! If they are both already hooked up to the same router, you're halfway there.

Look here for instructions on how to setup sharing. Since both computers already have Internet access (is that correct?) you've probably completed steps 1-4 successfully already. Start with step #5 and continue from there.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;555375
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#4
June 17, 2009 at 10:23:00
There is a hub for usb that basically is a changer. You plug in your usb hardware and then you can switch between the computer. It basically is a button you push from the hub that activates the hardware on the computer want it two, but both can not use the hardware at the same time. But you dont have to plug and unplug each time you want to use.

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