Solved How to back up two computers with one device

Dell / Inspiron 17r
July 24, 2020 at 09:02:18
Specs: windows 10, 2.3/8
I currently have two PC laptops; each is backed up by an external hard drive. Is there a way that PC # 1 could access data from PC #2's hard drive without manually connecting/reconnecting the hard drives? If this is not possible, is there a device I could use that would allow either PC to access both hard drives?

Thank you.
Brian W


See More: How to back up two computers with one device


✔ Best Answer
July 25, 2020 at 08:19:12
Re' - ' is this problem fixable?

Yes... just a matter of getting computer to router connections correct, be they wifi or cat5/ethernet.

You have a router. What make/model – and where are you located?

Re’ the two computers in different rooms. Get a homeplug kit and then you can connect the two computers to your router and thus the usb ports that way.

Depending on where you're located depends which homeplug adapters I'd suggest.

In the UK (and that other place across the North Sea) one can get Devolo kit; for me the best there is - but sadly not available in Canada/USA.

The homeplug system is plug-in modules (they go into a mains outlets) and have at least one ethernet port. You locate one adjacent (as is possible) to your router and connect the two with a standard ethernet cable.

Plug another into a convenient outlet where another computer is situated, and connect the module and the second computer a standard ethernet cable. the second computer will then be able to access the other computer (and its resources when shared) and also the usb ports (devices attached).

A bit more about homeplug networking...

https://www.devolo.co.uk/internet-i...

https://stevessmarthomeguide.com/po...

The ip address you entered is one of the default ip addresses used to setup a router and access controls etc. . If you connect a computers to a router - directly via cat5 (ethernet) cable or homeplug system, or wifi, the router is effectively invisible; and you don't use that ip address unless you're logging in to access its setup etc. Other devices on the network will be visible - and resources available (as long as the computer with the resource) has enabled to share that resource.

In my earlier #8 I posted two links re’ using usb ports on a router and accessing devices attached to them. Have you digested them to whatever degree?

With the computer in the same room as the router – and a cat5 cable between the router and the computer - you ought to be able to access the usb port(s) on the router and anything attached to them.

Similarly if you’re able to on the internet via wifi then the usb ports ought to available as well. Cat5 is faster, more stable and more secure; and for me and many others is preferred to wifi. If both computers are using wifi to get the internet then they ought to be able see each other at least; especially if you enable a share on each.

A bit more about homeplug networking...

https://www.devolo.co.uk/internet-i...

https://stevessmarthomeguide.com/po...

What make/model is your router; and where are you located?

The ip address you entered is one of the default ip addresses used to setup a router and access controls etc. . If you connect a computers to a router - directly via cat5 (ethernet) cable or homeplug system, or wifi the router is effectively invisible; and you don't use that ip address unless you're logging in to access its setup etc. Other devices on the network will be visible - and resources available (as long as the computer with the resource) has enabled to share that resource.

A few how to network windows 10 computer - so as allow accessing/sharing content/resources.

https://tinyurl.com/y55m2p4h

https://tinyurl.com/y55m2p4h

https://tinyurl.com/y4qze7gr

Logically this presumes that both are on a network via router...; be that cat5 or wifi connection whichever for each computer; i.e one can be wifi and the other cat5, or both wifi or both cat5..

message edited by trvlr



#1
July 24, 2020 at 09:53:22
Are these two computers networked?

If so then it's essentially a matter of setting up a share for the appropriate drive to allow another networked computer to access that shared drive?


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#2
July 24, 2020 at 10:22:22
trvir,

Thank you for your response. The two computers are not networked.

Brian W


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#3
July 24, 2020 at 11:09:30
Then you'd have to network them together (or both to a network drive) or continue backing up individually.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

message edited by T-R-A


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Related Solutions

#4
July 24, 2020 at 14:02:39
In daze oh yore, networking for average home dude seemed very arcane and “how the h... does you do it...?” Usually meant they opted to use a system called cable connect, via serial ports(?) if I remember correctly; or was it parallel? Otherwise they ported data between wherever using floppies, then CDs...

Very few had a hub - they weren’t exactly cheap... But one could exchange data and share peripherals using a serial/parallel cable as above, or using an Ethernet cable - and no hub... - if the computers had Ethernet facility...

Called peer to peer and simply needed a cat5/Ethernet cable which linked the Ethernet ports on each computer to the other.

Still works today and M$-land have a how to (set it up) here (for win-10).

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us...

Haven’t tested it ‘cos I is using Macs these days. But I think it’s pretty complete and easy to follow?


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#5
July 24, 2020 at 15:36:36
Addendum - the ethernet cable for a 2 computer P2P arrangement is a cross-over type.

https://helpdeskgeek.com/networking...

They're around wherever; as are cross over adapters (two types) which either would link two conventional (non crossover) cables - and thus achieve the oross over effect; or is simply attached to one end of a single cat5 cable and then plugged into the ethernet port on one of the 2 computers.

This link explains crossover network setup in a slightly different manner to M$-land; and is a general guide.

https://www.techperiod.com/connect-...

I usually prefer the adapter (either variety) approach as it means I don't have mixed types of ethernet cables hanging about to confuse me at any time (re' which is what...)

BTW - don't use the cheapest cross over adapter; pay a wee bit more and get decent one.

message edited by trvlr


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#6
July 24, 2020 at 16:11:09
T-R-A,

Thank you for your response. I'm not sure what I'm going to do now.

Brian W


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#7
July 24, 2020 at 16:18:22
trvir,

Thank you for your response. I saw a video that connected an external hard drive to a router via USB and the drive's data was accessible wirelessly to the computer. I have two laptops each with a different IPv4 address. If I connected two hard drives to the router's two USB ports, would I be able to access the data from either hard drive on both computers?

Thank you.
Brian W


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#8
July 24, 2020 at 16:29:50
You have a router; and it has 2 USB ports?

And your two computers are connected to it?

Presuming so you have a network - a typical SoHo lan (Small office Home office local area network).- and it includes networked usb resources.

The USB ports ought to allow a device plugged into them to be accessible over the network.

These links discuss it more fully:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explor...

https://homenetworkgeek.com/what-is...


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#9
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#10
July 25, 2020 at 02:14:48
NAS is so often overlooked for general home use. Often I think it’s the price which deters, certainly multi drive units. But a two drive mirror system can be reasonably priced?

I have a (now considered ancient) QNAP ts210 which is a mirror system. For me QNAP is the one to go for. Solid tech support if needed, and remote access facility (from outside one’s home/office) doesn’t require using QNAP and paying a fee, unlike some of the other brands.


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#11
July 25, 2020 at 03:16:00
"Addendum - the ethernet cable for a 2 computer P2P arrangement is a cross-over type."

That's no longer true (no longer meaning any equipment made in the last 10-20 years) as all ethernet devices nowadays are auto-sensing and will adapt themselves to the cable being used. Saves a lot of messing about with crossover cables.


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#12
July 25, 2020 at 03:33:01
If one computer has an auto-sensing Ethernet port, can it
connect to a computer that has a plain old Ethernet port
with a plain old Ethernet cable?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#13
July 25, 2020 at 06:43:44
Yes. Only one of the clients has to be auto-sensing.

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#14
July 25, 2020 at 06:48:24
One learneth sumat usefool every day...

Wasn't aware that current ethernet kit is that smart... And I have a couple of cross over adapters and at least one cable; as well as cross over serial/parallel cables (one or other if not both).


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#15
July 25, 2020 at 07:36:12
trvir,

Thank you for your response. I don't think that the cross-over cable method will work as the computers are in different rooms.

My router has two USB ports. I plugged in the external hard drive into one of the ports and ran "\\192.168.1.1" and got error message "The network path was not found" and error code 0x80070035. I then ran the Windows Network Diagnostics and got error message "The remote device or resource won't accept the connection." I have very, very limited knowledge about networks: is this problem fixable?

Thanks again,
Brian W


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#16
July 25, 2020 at 08:19:12
✔ Best Answer
Re' - ' is this problem fixable?

Yes... just a matter of getting computer to router connections correct, be they wifi or cat5/ethernet.

You have a router. What make/model – and where are you located?

Re’ the two computers in different rooms. Get a homeplug kit and then you can connect the two computers to your router and thus the usb ports that way.

Depending on where you're located depends which homeplug adapters I'd suggest.

In the UK (and that other place across the North Sea) one can get Devolo kit; for me the best there is - but sadly not available in Canada/USA.

The homeplug system is plug-in modules (they go into a mains outlets) and have at least one ethernet port. You locate one adjacent (as is possible) to your router and connect the two with a standard ethernet cable.

Plug another into a convenient outlet where another computer is situated, and connect the module and the second computer a standard ethernet cable. the second computer will then be able to access the other computer (and its resources when shared) and also the usb ports (devices attached).

A bit more about homeplug networking...

https://www.devolo.co.uk/internet-i...

https://stevessmarthomeguide.com/po...

The ip address you entered is one of the default ip addresses used to setup a router and access controls etc. . If you connect a computers to a router - directly via cat5 (ethernet) cable or homeplug system, or wifi, the router is effectively invisible; and you don't use that ip address unless you're logging in to access its setup etc. Other devices on the network will be visible - and resources available (as long as the computer with the resource) has enabled to share that resource.

In my earlier #8 I posted two links re’ using usb ports on a router and accessing devices attached to them. Have you digested them to whatever degree?

With the computer in the same room as the router – and a cat5 cable between the router and the computer - you ought to be able to access the usb port(s) on the router and anything attached to them.

Similarly if you’re able to on the internet via wifi then the usb ports ought to available as well. Cat5 is faster, more stable and more secure; and for me and many others is preferred to wifi. If both computers are using wifi to get the internet then they ought to be able see each other at least; especially if you enable a share on each.

A bit more about homeplug networking...

https://www.devolo.co.uk/internet-i...

https://stevessmarthomeguide.com/po...

What make/model is your router; and where are you located?

The ip address you entered is one of the default ip addresses used to setup a router and access controls etc. . If you connect a computers to a router - directly via cat5 (ethernet) cable or homeplug system, or wifi the router is effectively invisible; and you don't use that ip address unless you're logging in to access its setup etc. Other devices on the network will be visible - and resources available (as long as the computer with the resource) has enabled to share that resource.

A few how to network windows 10 computer - so as allow accessing/sharing content/resources.

https://tinyurl.com/y55m2p4h

https://tinyurl.com/y55m2p4h

https://tinyurl.com/y4qze7gr

Logically this presumes that both are on a network via router...; be that cat5 or wifi connection whichever for each computer; i.e one can be wifi and the other cat5, or both wifi or both cat5..

message edited by trvlr


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#17
July 26, 2020 at 07:07:47
trvir,

Thank you for your response. I have a router/modem provided by my ISP; it’s a Sagemcom but there is no model number given. I’ve used homeplugs before so I can try that approach. In regard to the error code that I got when attaching the external drive to a USB port on the router, I noticed many uTube videos that all claim to solve that problem. I’m going to try them and see what happens. I’ll get back to you to report my success or failure.

Thanks again,
Brian W


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#18
July 26, 2020 at 08:35:28
Who is your isp?

If you login to your router's admin pages it ought to show the model number of the router?

On my Sky (UK) router (admin login) the maintenance tab shows that information. Sky use their "own" router these days; whereas in the past they used tweaked Sagem and one or two other makes as well.

This is one relatively simple check to consider:

https://tinyurl.com/y2ajkxtx

Going back to basics a little; can you share a file/folder between the two computers? If not then you have something amiss. This presumes you have enabled a shared item of a given computer; without which you likely won't see/find the shared computer. Resolve that issue first and likely the usb problem will disappear...?


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#19
July 27, 2020 at 15:18:28
trvir,

Thank you for assistance. What ever I tried didn’t work so I think I’ll buy an NAS as a way of sharing files between two computers.

Thanks again,
Brian W


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#20
July 27, 2020 at 16:38:05
Have you managed to share files/folders between the two computers over your lan?

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#21
July 28, 2020 at 05:37:40
trvir,

No, I was not able to share files/folders. Even though the purchase of a NAS sounds appealing, I’ll try again. However, I’ll be off-site for 10 days and will try when I return.

Thanks again for your assistance.
Brian W


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#22
July 28, 2020 at 07:44:49
if you can't get the basic share between win-10 computers to work at present then unlikely you'll have any joy accessing/sharing the usb ports/devices on the router.

Itt would be useful (wise?) to resolve that issue first?


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#23
August 10, 2020 at 11:05:16
trvir,

I was unable to get the basic share between the two computers to work. I can reconfigure my workspace so that both computers would be in the same room. Is there an A-B switch that I could use? The input would be USB cables from my four external backups and the output would also be USB cables going to my two computers.

Thank you.
Brian W


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#24
August 10, 2020 at 11:39:15
trvir,

It should be an A-B-C-D switch.

Brian W


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#25
August 10, 2020 at 14:46:59
Well usb switch boxes exist... which does surprise me a little.

These are a few such devices (from the big river/forest company) and they have them in UK and N.American sites.

These from UK site

https://tinyurl.com/y4fp8rna

https://tinyurl.com/yy7sqh3u

and this from the USA site:

https://tinyurl.com/yxbmn6d5

If you search whichever site using "usb switch box" (no " " ) you'll get a lot of various boxes. Be careful you're looking at the configuration you want; and also not hdmi...

Some describe them a kvm switches - which isn't strictly true; at least not in the way I interpret that definition - having used true kvm switches a lot in the past (which relied on cat-5 interfaces between computer and the actual switch which was elsewhere.

Can you elaborate on what you did (the steps you followed) trying to set up a a simple network between the two computers (via the router)?

Did each computer "see" the other one on the lan?

I still think it's possible to network the computers so as to allow you access/share their resources - be they internal or external to the given computer It works fine with windows upto win 8x; and although a true PIA (from the comments of more than a few out there - Skully) it is (ought to be) basic to win-10 as well.

Incidentally - not likely an issue here but - be aware that if one wishes to connect two computers via usb cables.. one DOES NOT use standard usb cables, One has to use a crossover cable; and they usually ain't cheap or easily available. Using a standard (non cross-over) cable can result in damage to either/both usb hubs on the two computers. At least that was the warning I came across aeons ago when investigating direct usb links between two computers.

Remember that you can buy 'n try from the big river outfit; and return within (30 days usually) if it doesn't work for you.

message edited by trvlr


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#26
August 11, 2020 at 08:17:02
trvir,

I was following an uTube video and I have made some progress in setting up the sharing but it still doesn't work. On Computer #1, the external drive is now marked with a sharing icon. I used ip config to gets its IPv4 address. When I used "run" to enter that address on Computer #2, I got "You do not have permission to access <ip address>. Contact your network administrator to request access."

How can I get permission so this will work?

Thank you.
Brian W


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#27
August 11, 2020 at 11:14:31
You have the two computers able too see each other?

Presuming so, select the internal drive on one, then a folder - and share that folder.

When you can do that, ideally on each computer a shared folder can be accessed by the other computer, one can the concentrate on sharing the external items.

Basic sharing needs to be enabled first.

ALso, if you have any firewall settings (in either windows system) they may block access to a shared folder etc.; so temporarily disable the firewall to test the computer folder/file sharing. Ideally do this test etc. “off line” so as to safeguard yourself against possible random hacking...


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#28
August 11, 2020 at 12:15:35
trvir,

The external drive that is attached to Computer #1 has the shared icon symbol; that drive is not visible on Computer #2 as I got an error message that I don’t have access to the IP address of Computer #1.

How to I go “off line” to make the test that you describe?

Thank you.
Brian W


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#29
August 11, 2020 at 13:23:53
to go off-line if using ethernet to access the internet: disconnect the router from the internet (simplest way).

Works equally for wifi of course; but if only using wifi - either disable wifi on the router, or (probably easier) switch off wifi on the computer.

Confirm you're not oniine by trying to connect to say google, or dudkduckgo, or computg.net - as logically if you're not online you won't be able to get the computer to go whichever site you choose?


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