hooking an external hard drive up to both a mac and a pc

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jrm27, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. jrm27 macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    Hi all...

    Basic dumb question. My buddy has both a pc and a mac at work. He has music spread across both of them. What he'd like to do is colelct all his media files and put them on one external hard drive, then be able to connect both his PC and his MBP to the hardrive to access his music.

    What would be the best way to do this? Is there something exceedingly simple like a hard drive with two USB outs that could feed both computers at the same time?

  2. Pillar macrumors 6502


    May 25, 2010
  3. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    No simple external disk drive can be connected to two computers at the same time. The two computers could both modify the same data at the same time and corrupt the disk and make a terrible mess.
  4. SDub90 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2009
    Long Island
    Get a network drive or connect an external to 1 computer and share that drive over the network.
  5. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    No simple method like that exists that I am aware of. Probably the closest would be a USB switcher that allows the drive to be connected to one computer at a time, but easily switched with a simple button.

    Next easiest method is to keep a copy of all your music on both. This is probably ideal because then you have all your media even when you are on the go with the MBP.

    Next easiest method, if your router has a USB port and supports it, is to connect a USB drive to your router and connect to it with both computers.

    Next easiest method is to buy an external hard drive with Ethernet port (network attached storage) and connect to it with both computers.

    Lastly, you can simply keep it connected to one computer and use file sharing, but that computer has to be on all the time.

    All of the network examples may require you to figure out how to file share across PC and MAC, access restrictions, etc., so maybe not easy for your level of skill.

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