Can you share files from an external USB hard drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by VoodooDaddy, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2003
    I have an external usb hdd attached to my mini. I was able to network with my new macbook easily, but I couldnt find any way to access the external drive. I have all my music on that external hdd, and want to be able to stream that to the new macbook.

    Thanks for the helps.
  2. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    share with.... windows? share with itunes? share with ftp? share with other macs?

    need more details here.
  3. VoodooDaddy thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2003

  4. Danksi macrumors 68000


    Oct 3, 2005
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    If you run iTunes on the MacMini, you should be able to stream your music, using iTunes, to your MacBook. If you take a look in iTunes Preference on the MacMini, you'll need to enable Sharing. Then on the MacBook's iTunes preference, enable 'look for shared'.

    If you need to access other type of files etc... I recently found a very easy to use solution:-

    I have an external USB drive connected to my iMac. Then accessing it via Wi-Fi from both an iBook and Windows XP Pro machine. Works well.

  5. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
  6. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    Well, if you need more than just music, you can go ftp into the mini and check out the (hidden) /Volumes folder, which should list all the mounted drives so you can go take a peek into them and get what you need.
  7. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2005
    On the moon.
    Wow. I didnt know that.

    Janey's knowledge is 1337.
  8. VoodooDaddy thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2003
  9. VoodooDaddy thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2003
    I'm going to revive this old thread instead of makin a new one. The music sharing problem has been solved with itunes sharing.

    But the problem still remains that I can't see the external hdd for other files.

    I have a mini with a usb2 hdd attached (this is my computer). My wife has a macbook. There are files on the hdd that were hers from her old, retired Vaio computer that she would like to access but the external hdd does not show up on the network.

    I tried sharepoints but apparently I didn't know what I was doing because it didn't work. I set up the external hdd as a new share but it didn't show on the network. (Sharepoints may very well work, I just don't know how to mak eit work).

    The hdd is fat32. It may be that if it were HFS it would show, but the thing is I still have a couple of windows boxes and at some point I may need to hook that drive to those for backup purposes so I can't reformat it.

    So basically how can I share files from that hdd to the macbook wirelessly? Someone suggested in the /volumes directory but I don't know how to access that (isn't that hidden?)
  10. element0 macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2006
    Are you serious? WOW, Macs are even lamer than i thought

    Just another reason why a mac isn't for serious computer users. I got a mac and use one at work regularly and i am constantly being irritated by stupid things like this. and before you mac fanboys start shout " but it's windows file sharing" it is not, the protocol is called samba and works seamlessly on linux and windows.
    And before i start getting flamed i ask you this. WHY DOES THE HOME DIRECTORY GET SHARED BUT NOTHING ELSE? This means that the mac supports samba but is just too lame to add shares to other folders and drives. Why is this? Does this seem incredibly stupid to everyone else. This is just one of the many reasons why i am constantly being irritated by my macs. using a mac is so abstracted from using a computer they are just irritating, it's like trying to type while wearing mittens
  11. elfin buddy macrumors 6502a

    elfin buddy

    Sep 16, 2001
    Tuttlingen, Germany
    I really have no idea what you're talking about (it would help if you learned some better grammar and re-read your post before hitting "Submit"), but I've never had any trouble sharing my entire hard drive across networks if that's what I wanted to do. My Home folder is just one of the options to mount when another Mac tries to connect.

    Oh, and another thing to aid your mental health...if you get worked up so much over using computers that you need to type in caps, perhaps you should set aside technology for a while and wait for it to be more user-friendly. :rolleyes:
  12. rafifreak00 macrumors regular


    Aug 7, 2006
    Kansas. No, not on a farm.
    SharePoints should do the trick... you can select which drives to share and permissions- I share them with my Windows machine and my friends log onto it when they are at my home.
  13. macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2006
    Having the same issue

    I am having the same issues with sharing a FAT32 drive between Macs on an AFS network. I downloaded and ran Sharepoints, and it works for other situations (folders on the local hard drive) but just not for an external FAT drive. I can't seem to find any evidence of this particular set up working anywhere. Anyone know first hand if it works, or have a definite answer that it doesn't?
  14. CPAMac macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2006
    Symbolic Link?

    I'm able to see the external USB drive on the Mac mini here in the house from both Windows and Linux by creating a UNIX-style symbolic link to the (note the Mac GUI based Alias you can create looks similar, but I don't believe it will work). It does mean a one time trip into the Terminal and the command line, but it's not terribly painful :) .

    Fire up Terminal on the Mac. Since the Mac wants to share the home directory, that's the simplest place to put this symbolic link, which will look like a folder in your home directory, though it's actually the entire external drive.

    To create the link, use the "ln -s" command. The syntax is:


    Replacing NAME-OF-EXTERNAL-DRIVE with the name assigned to the external drive and replacing LINK-FOLDER-NAME with the name you want the folder to have when you look in the home directory.

    A folder with that name should now appear in your home directory. When you open that folder on the Windows box, you should see the contents of the external hard drive and be able to read and write from the drive.

    At least, that's what I've just gotten running here and Windows and Ubuntu Linux seem happy about it.
  15. stguitar macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2006
    well sadly, i tried this, and i get a error. it says something like the link is no longer available or something?

    did anyone get this to work with something built into the OS? i can try sharepoints, but was hoping to avoid using third party software
  16. CPAMac macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2006
    Symbolic Link?

    I'm not a UNIX expert by any measure, and diagnosing these things by long distance is difficult at best, but we can try.

    When does the error arise? When creating the symbolic link at the terminal prompt? Or when attempting to connect from the Windows machine.

    If the former, note that any typo or "bad reference" to the name of the linked drive will create problems.

    If the link is created, can you follow it from Finder on the Mac itself? Or does that also create an error?

    In Windows, can you see the home directory on the Mac?

    I'm using OSX 10.4.7 on the Mac, and Windows XP Professional SP2 on the Windows box. I also can access the USB drive from a machine running Ubuntu Linix 6.06.
  17. wytevett macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2007
    Northern Minnesota
    I have OSX Tiger. The above command worked like a charm. When I connect with my wife's Windows XP sp2 laptop, the external usb drive shows up like a folder.

    The name of my external drive has a space character in it "WD Backup". I put quotes around the "/volumes/Name Of External Drive" segment of the command.

    I don't know if I needed to do this, but IT WORKED!

    Thanks for the HELP!
  18. blackscooby macrumors 6502


    May 12, 2005
    Cheshire, UK
    Yonks old post, but BRILLIANT ! Means my Mini CAN become a Media server easily enough with a shared USB drive :apple:

    Nicely shared USB hanging off my Mini, and shared via WiFi LAN to my XP box.

    Simple, yet effective.


  19. erikamsterdam macrumors regular


    Apr 21, 2006
    So I came across this old post googling for the same problem. I had tried Sharepoints, and just out of curiousity and for old time Linux' sake I dove into smb.conf and guess what: Sharepoints just adds a share to smb.conf
    So nevermind all the editing explained in the above link. Sharepoints does the same thing for you.
  20. MattyB20 macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2006
    Hm, ok, so that settles sharing between mac and pc. I still can't find an answer to my question (maybe it's so ridiculously simple I'm overlooking the solution):

    What if Sharepoints, smb.conf editing and all the other above suggestions don't work when you're trying to access a shared usb-drive connected to a mac mini with your macbook?

    When I try to symlink it (using the ln-command), my macbook says something like: 'Can't find the original', fix it or delete it. Fixing obviously doesn't work, because he can't see the original.

    So, the question in short: How does it work for sharing (files, not itunes) between macs?
  21. felipetv macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2007
    Exact same problem

    I'm having this exact same problem. Trying to share a FAT formatted External plugged in a Mac Mini running Tiger and access it from a Macbook running Leopard.

    Using the "ln"command I get an error message telling me that the original can't be found and using Sharepoints, when I try to connect via AFS, I get an error message telling me that the volume couldn't be mounted...

    Any other ideas?

  22. ScottMac2010 macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2010

    Sharepoints did an excellent job for me. Can see my Powerbook G4 and the external HD attached to it on my custom built AMD Win XP machine and I can see the PBG4 + ext. HD on my Macbook! Gotta love the co-operation of all different types of computers. Now to see if it shows up on my Macbook under XP in Bootcamp!
  23. DerfVader macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2010
    ScottMac2010 - Your post says you posted in Septemer 2010. Am I right in presuming then that you used the latest available fersion of Sharepoint (suports 10.4.x I think)? Did you use i on Leopard/Snow Leopard? I want to use it on a fairly new iMac (2010 model) but form the post history and the Sharepoint site the comments look many years old.

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