Can a PC running Windows 7 and a PC running Windows XP connect via one UTP network cable without other peripheral device for file sharing purposes? If so, how?
Yes, it can be done, but it requires a special type of UTP cable for the process called a crossover cable or at least one of the PCs would have to have a network adapter that supports Auto-MDIX. Most older 10base-T and 100base-TX adapters require the crossover cable while some newer ones may have Auto-MDIX. Although the Gigabit Ethernet spec says that Auto-MDIX is optional, most manufacturers seem to implement it. So if you have Gigabit Ethernet adapters in the computers, a normal patch cable should work without problems. If, for some reason, you have Gigabit adapters where at least one of them does not support Auto-MDIX, you will need a Gigabit Ethernet crossover cable (previous versions only swapped the 2 pairs used for 100base-TX and prior while the Gigabit adapters use all 4 pairs and need them all swapped).
Once the physical layer is taken care of, you will need to modify the IP settings on your network adapters so the machines will be able to talk. This aspect is covered pretty well in this article: //www.makeuseof.com/tag/build-local-area-network-router/