How to Connect a Clamshell to a Windows 7 Laptop


According to Time, the first system to use a clamshell case was the Grid System's Grid Compass 1101, a laptop announced in 1982. Today, "clamshell" mode refers to a laptop that continues to run with the lid shut. Normally, when you shut the lid on your laptop, the computer automatically enters sleep or hibernation mode. If you want to connect two computers running Windows 7, you can use an Ethernet crossover cable to create a connection. Once you connect the computers and set up clamshell mode on one of the laptops, you can shut the lid on the clamshell-enabled computer and access files and folders between computers.

Enable Clamshell Mode

  • Click the Windows Start button and choose "Control Panel" on the computer you want to access in clamshell mode.

  • Type "Power" into the "Search Control Panel" field and select the "Change What Closing the Lid Does" option.

  • Click the "On Battery" drop-down list in the "When I Close the Lid" section and choose the option to "Do Nothing." Select the same option for the "Plugged In" drop-down list. This option places the computer in clamshell mode when you close the lid.

Connecting the Computers

  • Connect both laptops with a crossover cable. A crossover cable allows for the transmission of information between both computers. Depending on the type of computer you own, a standard Ethernet cable may work. The crossover cable connects to the Ethernet port on both laptops.

  • Click the Start button and select "Control Panel" on the computer that you don't need to run in clamshell mode.

  • Type "Network" into the "Search Control Panel" field and then choose "Network Sharing Center."

  • Select the "Unidentified Network" icon. If you have more than one network, Windows labels the Unidentified Network option as "Multiple Networks."

  • Click the "Network Discovery and File Sharing Are Turned Off. Network Computers and Devices Are Not Visible. Click to Change..." link if it displays. Click the option to "Turn on Network Discovery and File Sharing." At this point, you should see icons for both computers in the Network window. Access the computer in clamshell mode by double-clicking its icon.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want to access your computer while in clamshell mode, you need to attach an external keyboard, mouse and monitor.

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  • Photo Credit Gary Ombler/Dorling Kindersley RF/Getty Images
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