Shared External HD Question

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gdprof27, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. gdprof27 macrumors member

    gdprof27

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #1
    Hey gang,

    15" PB user here, 1.5 Ghz. Wife just got a Dell Inspiron 6000 and we would like to get one external HD to backup music, MS Office files, video, etc.

    I don't know if this kind of toipic has already been covered and apologize if it has.

    Can anyone give me a primer of what I need? Is it as simple as plugging in the HD to a USB hub and then connecting the hub to whichever laptop is on the desk?

    If this is already covered here can someone post a like ot the thread? I'm going to Best Buy today to pick up all the Star Wars stuff and would love it if I can get an external HD as well.

    Help me MacRumors Forum...you're my only hope.
     
  2. wako macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    #2
    Well PC and Mac simply doesnt mix on one HDD.


    What I did was simply partition my HDD (200gb) to two seperate HDD. So you can store your data on half of it, and the other for your wife.


    It works out fine for me because you can still read the data even if you are reading the parition that is NTFS or FAT32 works vice versa as well. You simply cant write from PC to the Mac partition and vice versa.


    There might be a better way for this, but thats how I came to cope with using a external HDD for my PC and Mac.

    On a sidenote though. You might want to rethink about getting a external HDD. For myself I got a HDD and simply bought an enclosure. It can save you a couple bucks. Thats what I did with a bunch of my HDD laying around. :)
     
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #3
    First concept -- you won't plug both of them in at the same time -- a hard drive is monogamous... only one mate at a time.

    Second: Does the Dell have Firewire (IEEE1394)? If so a Firewire drive will be preferable to USB 2.0. USB 1.1 is right out. I highly recommend that you use a hub on each machine -- because with constant plugging and unplugging you're going to damage a USB or Firewire port sooner or later. You don't want to know how expensive it is to replace a Mac motherboard once you have fried the USB or Firewire controller by accidentally inserting the plug cockeyed and sparking the power line to the data lines.

    Third: If you are drive swapping (sounds a bit kinky :p ) then the drive will have to be formatted with the FAT32 formatting scheme. Macintosh HFS+ is unreadable by PCs, and NTFS is unwriteable by Macs. Watch out for file naming conventions. File names with illegal characters will discombobulate the other OS . The popular one is naming Mac files "Photos 2/3/2005" the slashes play Hob with Windows. Make sure the file extensions are on the files as well; letter.doc for Word files instead of just letter.

    Fourth: If you haven't purchased yet, consider an Ethernet attached storage drive from LaCie, Tritton. Buffalo, ioGear, Seagate etc. This allows you to attach the drive to the network, not the computers, and thus is available to both machines simultaneously without plugging and replugging.

    Thanks
    Trevor
    CanadaRAM.com
     
  4. emotion macrumors 68040

    emotion

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    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #4

    Format as FAT32. pc and mac can read/write to that format with no problems.

    avoid ntfs like the plague. even though there is NTFS support available in osx, it's far from trouble free.
     
  5. emotion macrumors 68040

    emotion

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    Manchester, UK
    #5
    Missed the request for what connection. I'd get a firewire as both machines support that. The drives i use have triple interfaces (lacie d2). maybe that's a good option.
     
  6. nomad01 macrumors 68000

    nomad01

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    Birmingham, England
    #6
    Doesn't this make things a little slower though? I've been considering something similar myself (after just losing about 8 years work while "in-between" backups :( ) as I have a Windows machine that I use as a music/file server. Not sure how well it would work with backing up large volumes over the network.
     
  7. emotion macrumors 68040

    emotion

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    Manchester, UK
    #7
    If you are gigabit connected all over then technically you're connected faster than firewire 400s 400Mbit/s. You may have some startup on the tcp but once the transfer gets going it should be reasonable.
     
  8. gdprof27 thread starter macrumors member

    gdprof27

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #8
    We will only have one machine plugged in at a time.

    Not hardwired into the machine but there is a PC card slot.


    I'd love to get one but I'd like to know which specific one to get...can someone provide a link to a specific HD that fits this description?



    Thanks for the advice gang...please keep it coming!
     
  9. Danksi macrumors 68000

    Danksi

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Location:
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    #9
    Google some reviews before buying though. Some Net-Drives look great on paper, but users have had problems. They're a bit more money than a simple external drive, but I certainly can see the advantages to having one. Some also provide a Firewire or USB2 connection for external drives, for future expansion.
     
  10. gdprof27 thread starter macrumors member

    gdprof27

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    #10
  11. emotion macrumors 68040

    emotion

    Joined:
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    #11
    You'd share the data OK but youare limited by 1. the 100Mb/s speed of the interface and then 2. the 54Mb/s limit of your wireless router.

    Looks like a nice device though. I have two D2 triple interface external drives with no probs (one is FAT32 for sharing with a PC, the other HFS+)
     
  12. gdprof27 thread starter macrumors member

    gdprof27

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    #12
    ok....now, different question. Is it possible to have it plugged into the router and plugged directly into a USB of the Powerbook or Dell?
     
  13. emotion macrumors 68040

    emotion

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    #13
    i don't know the answer to that. see if they have a pdf manual on their website.
     
  14. gdprof27 thread starter macrumors member

    gdprof27

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    #14
  15. kbonnel macrumors 6502

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    In a nice place..
    #15
    From the reviews that I have read (Toms Networking is a good one), they work well. I did read something about them having a hard time with Long names on the Macintosh, but I don't know if that is the case. There is a 10/100 model and a gigabit model. From looking at the speed tests, the gigabit model only really shows improvement when using Jumbo frames, which would require a really nice switch to take advantage of.

    Kimo
     
  16. gdprof27 thread starter macrumors member

    gdprof27

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    #16
    Now there is also this Ethernet drive from Iomega. It doesn't have a print server but is about half the price. Will this hook into a Linksys router and allow both a Powerbook and a Dell laptop to share music, pics, video and Office docs?
     
  17. gdprof27 thread starter macrumors member

    gdprof27

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  18. GreenDice macrumors member

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    Oct 5, 2005
    #18
    I have one on my network right now. Works great. Easy to set up for Windows. Still waiting for my PowerMac to arrive. I have a printer connected to it and allows all computers to print to it.
     
  19. gdprof27 thread starter macrumors member

    gdprof27

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    #19
    Please le tme know how that turns out as I am waiting on any prchases until I am sure that this is what I need.

    Does anyone else have a shared External HD between a Mac & PC laptop?
     

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