Emulate USB thumbdrive with laptop

25 pts.
Tags:
USB Flash drives
I'm looking for software that would present a folder on one computer to another computer as if it were a USB thumb drive. In my job I carry around a lot of bootable USB thumb drives. What I'd like to be able to do is have a piece of software on my laptop that would allow me to:
  1. Choose any folder on my Windows laptop
  2. Connect my laptop to the other computer with a USB male A to male A cable
  3. The second computer sees the selected folder on the Windows laptop as if it were a USB flash drive
Any suggestions welcome, if this can't be done strictly in software and there's hardware device that will accomplish the same thing. The main requirement is that the second computer should not need any software/driver installed and should see what is presented as a USB flash drive.

Answer Wiki

Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.

This company provides a product they affectionally dub the ‘Wormhole’, that allows you to connect two computers via their USB ports, and drag and drop files both ways, using either computer’s mouse and keyboard. I use one personally around the office, and it works great! The software and drivers are completely contained in the hardware, and it installs on Windows 7/XP just like a thumbdrive. Very handy!

http://www.j5create.com

http://www.j5create.com/our-products/wormhole-switches.html

Discuss This Question: 6  Replies

 
There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.
Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.
Send me notifications when members answer or reply to this question.

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
  • TomLiotta
    I can imagine a small market such a product, but it would be expensive to create. It's an interesting idea, and I might even use it. I haven't heard of such a thing. I wouldn't be surprised if USB device vendors have something similar in their development labs.   Device drivers are not trivial. Ask printer vendors why so many printer drivers for Windows 98 were not rewritten for Windows 2000. Or why so many that run under Windows XP couldn't be back-leveled for Windows 2000 after XP became common.   In your case, you'd need to create both server and client drivers, the server (device) side for your laptop and the client (host) driver that auto-installs on the client PC. And there would need to be client versions for each OS version that you wanted to support.   You might do best by using a Linux (or maybe Win98) laptop. That should make it easier to create the server side of things. Access to the hardware layer should be easier than with any Windows version later than Win98.   A significant part of the problem will be the USB spec itself. There are USB hosts, and there are USB devices. You're wanting your laptop to cause its USB components to act like a device. I don't know anything close to enough about how the physical components (chips, circuits) are used, but it's very possible that your laptop simply can't physically emulate a USB device. Study some details in the Wikipedia Universal Serial Bus page to see if you find loopholes in the protocol.   But seriously, since USB flash drives go up to 128GB, it hardly seems worth it. If you need to carry around more than 128GB, something is really out of whack.   Tom
    125,585 pointsBadges:
    report
  • TomLiotta
    Sorry... 256GB and even 1TB USB flash drives are apparently available now. I'm not ready to pay for them (nor need them). -- Tom
    125,585 pointsBadges:
    report
  • TomLiotta
    @Toejamfloyd: Cool device. Searches didn't show any evidence, but it's not obvious what search terms could be used. It seems to be built the only way it could make sense -- as a device that sits in the middle and services two hosts at the same time. Do you have any cost figures? -- Tom
    125,585 pointsBadges:
    report
  • drs933
    Thanks everyone for the input.  It seems there is no device that does exactly what I'm looking for and I think you're probably correct Tom that the reason there isn't is that it may not be possible to get a USB host to act like a USB device.   
    25 pointsBadges:
    report
  • TomLiotta
    The device noted by drs933 seems to be exactly what you asked for with a couple extra functions. I still haven't come up with a good set of search terms to find it without already knowing the company name or the product name, or perhaps going through a large number of search results and checking many of the links. Given the number of threads and discussions around the internet about why no such device can be found, I'm pretty sure that appropriate search terms are hard to figure out. But a link was given by drs933that works. You have to decide if it's affordable.-- Tom
    125,585 pointsBadges:
    report
  • TomLiotta
    I added another comment about the 'Answer' from drs933 a day or so ago, but don't see it yet. It seems ideal for your needs unless it costs too much. Why wouldn't it be sufficient? -- Tom
    125,585 pointsBadges:
    report

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

To follow this tag...

There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Thanks! We'll email you when relevant content is added and updated.

Following