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It's not clear what exactly you mean. Generally, you don't connect two computers together using a USB cord. You can use a "cross-over ethernet cable" to connect the network jack of one computer to another computer. This allows transferring files and/or sharing an internet connection. If you have a wireless router you can enable Windows "File and Printer Sharing" on each computer and transfer files that way. Please provide more details of what you're trying to accomplish by connecting the computers together with a USB cable, and we may be able to give you a more specific answer.
If your running xp, make sure the netowrk card is not disabled, make sure you rnot using a cross over cable. use the cable you got with the routers. Try reinstalling the network card, goto dell support andenter you model to get the drivers.
1 thing to check. goto start ,control panel. double click on netowrk conections. right click on the main conection witch is the card in your pc, goto properties. andin the list internet protocol (tcp/ip) click this. and pres properties.
make sure in here obtain ip addres is automatically. and obtain dns is auto too.
only way I can think of doing that is if you used a cross over cat 5e network cable between the desktop and laptop and assigned static ip addresses to them so your desktop would have 192.168.1.2 and your laptop would have 192.168.1.3 both with subnet mask of 255.255.255.0 and on the desktop put the default gateway as the laptops ip address.
Not sure if you would have to use internet connection sharing on the desktop to get it to work as ive never done it that way.
Would be a lot easier to just connect the desktop via a network cable directly to your router ( assuming you have a router ) if not buy a router and use that instead.
as long as you have the ports for it yes, are you trying wireless, or a wired connection? depending on how old or new your laptop is you may be able to connect the telephone line right into your laptop, although that would be dial up and very slow so i would recommend using a cat5 cable aka normal internet cable
If the router is turned ON then automatically your laptop wireless card will detect it and connect to the router.
To say in otherwords, now your notebook and Router are simple network.
You need to contact your router support to configure the router to get Internet. After automatically your notebook gets the Internet from the Router.
The above message is just by what I understood from your message.
If the issue is different, and if the router is already configured to Internet and if there are other systems connected to the router and able to access Internet, then replay back, so that I can explain accordingly
Please check your internet connection. Check for loose cables connections from your PC to the internet outlet. Your should be able to automatically plug and start if your internet connection has no hitches