Can I access my PC's hard drive from my laptop?

motionman

Active Member
At the moment I can't physically get to my desktop PC workstation due to recovery from an injury. It's asleep in the loft and I can't climb the ladder! I would like to get to the apps and files on my PC's hard drive.

My PC is connected to the router via a cable and the router is physically accessible to me. My laptop connects wirelessly to the router. Is there a simple network that I can set up so that I can open apps and files on my PC from my laptop?

Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.

Both my PC and laptop run on Windows 10 Home 64bit.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Anydesk is free and you can set a password for access so you dont have to manually authorize the request on the other end.

Of course PC needs to be turned on for this to work but if your PC supports wake on lan anydesk can use that to power up the PC at least from sleep state.
 

Jamie

Distinguished Member
The suggested solutions are going to require some setup on the desktop PC though, once setup it's possible but not without getting up there at least once
 

oneman

Well-known Member
You can even do it with Chrome though I prefer Team Viewer which is free for home use.

As others have said somebody will need to log onto the PC to install the software and configure it.

TeamViewer also supports Wake On Lan which allows a PC to be woken up from sleep mode via a special network request. You might need to configure the BIOS of the PC to understand this request but most PC have the feature switched on by default.
 

motionman

Active Member
Thanks again for the replies. I'm hopefully starting to understand this! So as I understand this so far:
  • I can access my loft-bound desktop via apps such as AnyDesk or TeamViewer.
  • My desktop needs to be awake and I can do this through the wake-up on LAN facility (which may or may not be enabled, currently on my PC.)
  • If it's shut down a simple re-boot will get it in a state to access it via one of the apps from my laptop?
I've found this, which I hope is a good guide to enabling the wake-up on LAN facility:


It mentions "peer to peer". Can someone enlighten me on what this is?

If my desktop is awake (say after a re-boot) can I then enable the wake-up on LAN from my laptop?

Any observations on the relative merits of either AnyDesk or TeamViewer would be helpful.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Thanks again for the replies. I'm hopefully starting to understand this! So as I understand this so far:
  • I can access my loft-bound desktop via apps such as AnyDesk or TeamViewer.
  • My desktop needs to be awake and I can do this through the wake-up on LAN facility (which may or may not be enabled, currently on my PC.)
  • If it's shut down a simple re-boot will get it in a state to access it via one of the apps from my laptop?
I've found this, which I hope is a good guide to enabling the wake-up on LAN facility:


It mentions "peer to peer". Can someone enlighten me on what this is?

If my desktop is awake (say after a re-boot) can I then enable the wake-up on LAN from my laptop?

Any observations on the relative merits of either AnyDesk or TeamViewer would be helpful.
I prefer Anydesk as it doesn't have nags like Teamviewer does and Teamviewer will kick you from the connection under certain circumstances if you don't pay for it.


The above outlines what you can do and how to change settings, you can have a basic wake from sleep which may just work out of the box, install anydesk and when done put PC to sleep, see if laptop Anydesk can wake it.

If you want the wake from shutdown you most go into the UEFI/bios of the PC and enable wake on lan and configure windows settings that they outline.
 

motionman

Active Member
Just a note on pricing, AnyDesk seems to be £20/month and TeamViewer is £8/month, both after their free trials.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Just a note on pricing, AnyDesk seems to be £20/month and TeamViewer is £8/month, both after their free trials.

Have they removed the free version ?, I have been using anydesk for a while and never paid for it.

Teamviewer has/had a "free" version that will kick you from connections if it thinks your using it for business use.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
Have they removed the free version ?, I have been using anydesk for a while and never paid for it.

Teamviewer has/had a "free" version that will kick you from connections if it thinks your using it for business use.
The only time I've had a problem with team viewer is if they suspect you are using it for commercial usage, so if you are connecting to Windows Server OS or multiple PC and even then you must be using it a lot. Aside from those you really shouldn't be 'kicked' from your connection.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
Thanks again for the replies. I'm hopefully starting to understand this! So as I understand this so far:
  • I can access my loft-bound desktop via apps such as AnyDesk or TeamViewer.
  • My desktop needs to be awake and I can do this through the wake-up on LAN facility (which may or may not be enabled, currently on my PC.)
  • If it's shut down a simple re-boot will get it in a state to access it via one of the apps from my laptop?
I've found this, which I hope is a good guide to enabling the wake-up on LAN facility:


It mentions "peer to peer". Can someone enlighten me on what this is?

If my desktop is awake (say after a re-boot) can I then enable the wake-up on LAN from my laptop?

Any observations on the relative merits of either AnyDesk or TeamViewer would be helpful.
Peer to Peer means it must be on the same network at home. You can't send a magic packet over the internet (actually you can but its complex) so there must be PC, laptop, router or some other device preferably wired on the same network. In your case you aren't doing it over the internet so not a problem.

You also have to be aware that it won't work if a PC has been shutdown, it has to be on sleep or hibernate. This may cause a problem after power outage in which case I would change the BIOS of the PC to always power on after recovering from power outage.

If the PC is awake then no need to WOL, WOL is there to deal with the situation where your PC is sleeping or hibernating and thus can't be reached. If you power setting set to never sleep or hibernate then no need to worry about WOL but of course its using more power when you aren't using it.

Personally I've had any need for Anydesk so I can't comment on all its features, I've always used TeamViewer (well LogMeIn before that became paid for) which is free for personal use and fast and easy to use and supports lots of devices to remote control and remote control from for example if I wanted to remote control a Windows PC using a Mac or vice versa or even using an Android tablet or something, no problem. And you can push the install to a switched on PC but you need the licensed version for that I think.

One thing to remember is make sure you have the option to auto-accept connections from a specific user else the PC will come up with a prompt to accept the connection.

The only other option I would consider is Remote Desktop Connection but you need to be on Windows Pro or Enterprise.
 

motionman

Active Member
So does the app, whichever I go for, need to be downloaded to my loft-bound PC and then configured or can I download the app to my laptop and configure the LAN from there (provided my desktop is awake)?

Does the fact that my laptop is not wired to the router but is connected by Wi-Fi make any difference?
 

jimscreechy

Active Member
You also have to be aware that it won't work if a PC has been shutdown, it has to be on sleep or hibernate. This may cause a problem after power outage in which case I would change the BIOS of the PC to always power on after recovering from power outage.
Hey oneman: With most PC's (certainly all that I've encountered) you have to have them in sleep or Hibernate mode, they can be completely switched off.

You do have to make sure that there are two settings enabled the first is in the BIOS. In most boards its in Advanced settings the same place where you set the PC state after power loss then there is a WOL option. You have to disable fast boot for it to work.
1621325434438.png


The second is in the advanced config for the network adaptor in Windows - WOL, Wake on Magic Packet, Wake on Pattern Match, shutdown WOL. The terms vary depending on your card and you may have more than one. If none are present you may need a driver update.

Anyway I use it for my home devices and it works a treat when they are totally switched off... of course he will still need to access his PC to set it up, so it may be a solution moving forward but for now would still require physical access.
 

motionman

Active Member
I have installed the free version of AnyDesk to link my desktop PC and my laptop. All seems to be working well and I can now access my desktop's HDD from my laptop. I did need to go up to my desktop once!

I expect that TeamViewer and AnyDesk would have performed the task as would other apps. I chose AnyDesk as the download for the free version of TeamViewer was difficult (if not impossible) to find on their website, for me. I'm not sure that they wanted you to find it so you would opt for one of the subscription ones. Also, their support was limited to a web chatbot that just directed you to their website pages so no live interaction, although you can submit a ticket. I was able to speak to an adviser at AnyDesk who helped me configure the app.

Thanks again for all the assistance.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
I have installed the free version of AnyDesk to link my desktop PC and my laptop. All seems to be working well and I can now access my desktop's HDD from my laptop. I did need to go up to my desktop once!

I expect that TeamViewer and AnyDesk would have performed the task as would other apps. I chose AnyDesk as the download for the free version of TeamViewer was difficult (if not impossible) to find on their website, for me. I'm not sure that they wanted you to find it so you would opt for one of the subscription ones. Also, their support was limited to a web chatbot that just directed you to their website pages so no live interaction, although you can submit a ticket. I was able to speak to an adviser at AnyDesk who helped me configure the app.

Thanks again for all the assistance.
For future reference, there is no separate download for 'free' version of Teamviewer. Its the same download and you are prompted at install time if its for personal use.
 

motionman

Active Member
Thanks for clearing up that one. It is always with trepidation that I click buttons with price tags on them! I'm sure TeamViewer is up to the mark and note that some commercial outfits (Acronis True Image is one) use TV as their remote access software. They would help themselves by having a human being on the end of the phone to deal with inquiries.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
Thanks for clearing up that one. It is always with trepidation that I click buttons with price tags on them! I'm sure TeamViewer is up to the mark and note that some commercial outfits (Acronis True Image is one) use TV as their remote access software. They would help themselves by having a human being on the end of the phone to deal with inquiries.
Having humans on the phones costs money which means paying.

We actually have a teamviewer contract at work as it support dual screen and GPU acceleration, sometime most home users won't need to worry about. I don't think I've ever need to contact their helpline but I'm sure its very good.
 

motionman

Active Member
Using my remote access software (AnyDesk) I have an issue with my email client, Outlook. I can see and read my email. However, the reply, reply to all, and forward buttons are greyed out so can't be used. Also, I note that in the title it says "Unlicensed Product". Does anyone know if this is linked to the remote access software or that I need to look elsewhere to resolve this? My Outlook software is paid for and licensed and works on my desktop.

Any ideas or solutions would be appreciated.
 

motionman

Active Member
How did you activate the newer computer ?
Thanks for your reply.

The sequence of events was:

  1. Installed AnyDesk app on my desktop (in the loft!).
  2. Recorded the code that was allocated to it.
  3. Installed the app on my laptop (back downstairs).
  4. Connected the two computers from my laptop.
  5. Opened Outlook on my desktop from my laptop.
It may have nothing to do with the remote access app? I have been sorting email issues with my ISP and this is not concluded yet. I was just wondering if this was a characteristic of these apps. There seem to be a few wrinkles to learn such as the file transfer facility.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Sky Glass, Epson Laser Projectors plus Home Cinema Subwoofers and More…
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

PrimaLuna debuts Evo 300 Hybrid integrated amplifier
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Astell&Kern announces AK ZERO1 in ear monitor
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
McIntosh launches MI1250 power amplifier
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
AVForums Podcast: 13th October 2021
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Vestel launches Red Bull TV app on European smart TVs
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom