June 6, 2012

Share Files Between your Vista Laptop and your Android Tablet

You may be one of those who have purchased an Android tablet in order to complement your Vista laptop on Internet research and downloading or to perform other tasks that could be more easily performed using a tablet computer. In such a case, you may want to be able to access files in your Vista laptop from your tablet or the other way around. You may also want to transfer files between the two computers.

During the olden days of computing and before networks became ubiquitous, there came a phenomenon called the sneaker net wherein people (supposedly wearing sneakers on their feet) go from one computer to another carrying a diskette by which files are copied from one computer to another. Those bygone days are gone forever but you can still appreciate the sneaker net's usefulness when it comes to moving large files as you will note later.

There is an Android app that you can install in your tablet and use to connect to your folders and files in your Vista laptop. It is called AndSMB and you can download, install and use it freely on your Android tablet. To setup file sharing between your Vista laptop and your Android tablet, you have to install AndSMB on your tablet, setup your Vista laptop for file sharing, and create a connection in your AndSMB tablet app. From here, you can freely transfer files to and from the two computers with ease.

First go to your Android tablet and open Google Play. Search for the AndSMB app and install it in your tablet. Turn on your Vista laptop and login using the Administrator account. Open your Vista's control panel and click on Network and Internet. Click on Network and Sharing Center and near the bottom of the window, click on the downward arrow opposite network discovery. Click on Turn on network discovery and then click on the Apply button. Do the same for File sharing. While on this window, check that Password protected sharing is turned on and if not, turn it on also. Close all your Vista's control panel windows.

To make a safer file transfer to work, you need to have a regular account in your Vista laptop that uses a password to logon. If your account has no password, go to the Control Panel and set up a password for the computer account that you're using. Always use a regular account for file sharing. Never use a folder that belongs to the Administrator for file sharing purposes. Once all of these requirements are met, then your Vista laptop is ready for file sharing with your Android tablet.

In you Android tablet, run the AndSMB app and tap on the Add button. Go back to your Vista laptop and open again its control panel. Click on System and Maintenance and then click on System. Find out from here your Vista laptop's computer name and copy it exactly as it appears here to the blank opposite Hostname in your Android tablet. On the blanks opposite Username and Password, type in your Vista logon user name and password exactly as you're using them on your Vista laptop. On the Local dir portion of your tablet's panel tap on the browse button and navigate to the Download folder in your sdcard device.

Tap the OK button and on the blank space opposite Remote dir, tap the browse button. Tap the Users folder and then tap on your Vista laptop's logon name. Tap Downloads from the folders that will be shown and when the Downloads folder is selected, tap on the OK button. Tap the Save button and type a good name for the connection and tap on the Ok button twice. Now whenever you want to transfer files from the two folders on your Vista laptop and your Android tablet, turn on your Vista laptop and login to it and then turn on your Android tablet and open the AndSMB app. On your Android tablet, select the connection that you want and tap on the Connect button.

Tap on the Device file browser or the SMB file browser depending on what type of file transfer you want to make. To copy from your Android tablet to your Vista laptop, tap on the file you want to move and then click on the Upload button. To do the reverse, tap the SMB file browser, tap on the file you want to copy to your Android tablet, then tap on the Download button.

This will work fairly well on small files. However, when transferring large files, the transfer speed is a little slow since it's using the network to move the files from one location to another. When copying large files, I advise you to go back to the sneaker net method but this time using your USB pen drive for this purpose. It would be a lot quicker to move large files this way than to use your file sharing connection.

If something goes wrong, check that your Vista laptop's name. your user name, and your password are all correctly entered on the connection panel in your Android tablet. Sometimes, it takes a while for the network to ready itself for file sharing so give it a little more time to set itself up.