how to share an external drive with OS X

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Oats, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. Oats macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2003
    New York
    When I enable sharing on Mac OS X, the only thing I can share is my user directory! I want to be able to share an external USB drive that is connected to my Mac over the network. I have OS X 10.4.

    Do I have to do such a thing in the terminal?

    I found a program to do this, but it appears to make changes to the permissions of my drive, which I don't like.
  2. Oats thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2003
    New York
    Really, how can people consider OS X a complete and mature operating system with such a feature unavailable?

    I know that many users only care about sharing their personal folder, but Apple may be taking simplicity a bit too far. There ought to be a level of OS customization and functionality in between the simple options OS X has now and hacking hidden .plist and .conf files via the Terminal.
  3. spyderracer393 macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2006
    thats really bizzare, because i can share any volumes mounted on my Mac. Are you the administrator of the computer? That is my best guess - if you aren't, it may only allow your user account, rather than the whole computer.
  4. telecomm macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    It's not just you.;)

    From the remote computer, the OP needs to connect by logging in to his admin account, then selecting the mounted volume.
  5. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    Do you mean sharing it to other people, or to other computers you use?

    I can share the external hard drive between my iMac and Powerbook, when you connect it pops up a login box, and you just enter login details for the computer that the hard drive is attached to and choose the drive you want to mount.
  6. disconap macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2005
    Portland, OR
    If you log in from a remote computer using the admin login OF THAT MACHINE in stead of guest or a lesser permissions user (or your admin/user login on the machine you are accessing with), you should have access to all connected volumes. I'm accessing a firewire drive plugged into a remote machine right now...

    EDIT: Telecomm beat me to it. :)
  7. Oats thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2003
    New York
    I should have been more specific:

    I want to share a USB drive, connected to my Mac, so that I can remotely access the USB drive with my other windows PC.

    Anyone know how to do this? I could only figure out how to share my user directory with the "Sharing" control panel. There do not seem to be any options for sharing any other directory or drive over the network. I am an admin on both the Mac and the PC.
  8. tombarnes macrumors 6502


    Feb 26, 2006
    Cornwall, United Kingdom
    You need the new Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station! This has a USB port on it so you can have a networked drive!

    I promise I am not an apple salesperson! (although it sounds like I am!)
  9. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Oct 14, 2005

    OS X (like every other *nix OS I've seen) uses SAMBA to provide file and print services to Windows clients.

    By default, SAMBA is configured so that only your home folder is shared out.

    If you want to change that default, you need to edit the SAMBA config file (/etc/smb.conf) by hand, or use SharePoints.
  10. Aperture macrumors 68000


    Mar 19, 2006
    I tried this a few months ago and finally got it to work. Heres what I did:

    1. Mount the HD on your desktop.
    2. Right Click > Make Alias
    3. Use SharePoints to share the Alias across your network
    From here, I made a shortcut on my other Windows machines on the network that linked to the alias of the HD that linked to the HD. Phew..:)
  11. Oats thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2003
    New York
    thanks for this response, this clearly lays out my options. based on SAMBA or not, i still think there is no excuse for OS X not building in support for such a thing in the GUI. windows makes this very easy...
    1) right-click on any folder and get the properties
    2) go to the "sharing" tab
    3) choose to share the folder, set permissions, etc.

    i just got a new macbook, so i am going to be using OS X as my primary OS now, for the first time since OS 9 about 5 years ago. looks like to get OS X to do the things I am accustomed to, I will have to brush up on my Unix. what a shame. though the guts of OS X is very advance, it seems like the UI has taken a step backwards in many ways, IMO.
  12. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Oct 14, 2005
    Keep in mind, the example you gave above was setting Windows up to share with another Windows client.

    Setting OS X up to share with another OS X client involves one step:

    1) Enable "Personal File Sharing"

    That's it. When you connect/authenticate from another OS X client, you can pick any volume to mount.

    I guess the point I'm going after is that both Windows and OS X make it easy to setup sharing amongst other boxes running the same OS.

    When it comes to setting stuff to to share amongst other boxes running DIFFERENT OSs, Windows is only easier because it expects everyone else to pretend that they're Windows. It's not like Windows gives you any choices on sharing your C: drive out as a NFS or AFP, right?

    It's too bad Microsoft doesn't provide a client that allows Windows to map to your Mac's AFP shares. ;)

    Attached Files:

  13. vm7118 macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2007
    NJ, USA
    Sorry to resurrect an old thread. I came here facing the same problem as OP, except I'm sharing from a mac to a mac. So it's definitely not the case that both windows and os x make it easy to share to the same OS... only windows does. and, more specifically, windows makes it easy to share files/folders with 90% of the computer-using world. Macs make it easy - sometimes - to share with the other 5-8% of the world that also uses macs, and it's debatable as to how easy it really is because I can't see my external drive when I enable personal file sharing and then log in with an admin account on that machine.

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