> My thought is: That hard drive would make a great back up
> disk. Can this be done? Is there any way to hook it
> externally to my new machine and use it for a backup?
It can be done, it's pretty simple -- though there are a few 'learning
points' on the way.
The way I suggest you go is to set up a peer-to-peer network. The most basic
network uses two network cards with BNC connections (round co-ax connectors
with a bayonet fitting), a length of thin ethernet cable to connect them and
two terminators to end the network. As someone else said, you can buy the
parts yourself or get one of the home networking kits.
To set up thin ethernet you put the cards in the PCs, put a 'T' connector on
each BNC connector link the cable between the 'T's and put the terminators
on the other end of the 'T's. In Windows 98 you open up the Network settings
in Control Panel to: install card drivers (usually plug & play now), give
each of your PCs a name, install at least one network protocol that is the
same on both PCs, set up file & print sharing on both. The you can right
click on the drives you want to share in Explorer and, with luck, you will
be able to use Network Neighbourhood to see the other PC and copy files
between the two. The Backup software that comes with Windows will work fine
across this link.
I ran a system like this with a PC and a laptop for a while. I later
migrated to use network hubs (you use Cat 5 cable with RJ45 telephone type
plugs to connect each PC to the hub rather than running cable just between
the PCs) to accommodate an ISDN router. Right now I have between 3-4 PCs
running on a peer to peer network a bit more sophisticated than the basic
model described above -- but still without a server or any server software!
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