Sharing ex hdd with Mac & Pc

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by q2thas, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. q2thas macrumors newbie

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    Jan 1, 2009
    #1
    hi all, im very glad i found this forum its very very helpful, ive seen this question asked before but all solutions seems to deal with networking ( im assuming this means internet if not please correct me). i have a pc thats not on the internet and a mac g4 that is connected to the internet, i run a kvm to "toggle" between them. i use the mac for downloads program etc,. and the pc strictly for music, but i need to get downloads and files from the mac to the pc via the external hard drive, so how can i have my mac and pc use the same ex hdd without having them both on the internet?

    thanks for looking, any help would be much appreciated
     
  2. ZMacintosh macrumors 6502a

    ZMacintosh

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    #2
    fat32 is the best bet to be read easily between both.
    Fat32 has a filesize limit of 4GB however i havent seem to run into that issue on myFat32 drive i share between a few macs and pcs, sinc ei store full DVD files on there and as well as an entire music library.

    in order for both of them to access it if the KVM has a usb port to plug in an external drive than thatd be the best way to do it.
     
  3. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #3
    Just to clarify ZMacintosh's post, you should be able to use your external drive to transfer the files by formatting the drive to FAT32. (This is doable with Disk Utility, but will delete any files already on the drive.) FAT32 is a rather outdated filesystem, but is the "lowest common denominator" between Mac OS X and Windows. If you are going to be transferring files frequently, we can set you up with a better networking or drive formatting solution, but this will do in a pinch and is probably the easiest way.

    I would not connect the external hard drive using a KVM switch. Plug it directly into the computer you'd like to use it with. On both Mac OS X and Windows, you must "eject" a drive before you can safely unplug it. Using a KVM switch, it would be all too easy to unintentionally disconnect the drive without first ejecting it.
     
  4. q2thas thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 1, 2009
    #4
    Thanx Z and Blue, if formatting to fat32 will delete my exsisting files i guess i will buy another ex hdd (which i was going to get anyway) to run the two with, but as you said Blue, yes, i would be transferring files frequently so when i plug the hard drive into the mac and format to fat32 is it a way for the pc to access the hdd or do i have to plug and unplug alot, i mean if thats what i must do so be it. But if there is another way id like to try it.


    But thanks again to you both for your information!
     
  5. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #5
    Does your PC have a network card, wireless or wired (ethernet)? If so, setting up a simple network should be easy. Most people using ADSL, cable, or satellite internet have an external modem that is connected to their computer via ethernet. If you instead plug the ethernet cable into the WAN port on a router ($20 or so) and each of your computers into the LAN ports, both will be internet-aware and we can then set them up with file sharing no problem. No external hard drives needed.

    If you're down with that, I/we can walk you through the specifics. :)
     
  6. q2thas thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 1, 2009
    #6
    Wow that does sound better than buying another drive, thats just what i need to do, my pc has an ethernet port will that do? if so i'm ready for my walk through : )
     
  7. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #7
    You have a modem connected via ethernet to your Mac, right? If so, step one would be to go out and buy a router, wired or wireless. In your case it doesn't matter, but I think you'd have to go out of your way to find a wired-only router. All wireless routers (except the ones Apple makes) also have wired connections, so they'll work just as well.
     
  8. q2thas thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 1, 2009
    #8
    yes i have a modem connected via ethernet on the mac
     
  9. madog macrumors 65816

    madog

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    #9
    There is also a way to set up a small network using just an ethernet cable between a Mac and a PC. If nothing else, you can set it up for the PC to read shared Mac volumes using a regular ethernet cable and copy files from the Mac to the PC (as opposed to a crossover cable).

    Of course, as mentioned above it would be best either way if you had a router to do this. This will allow multiple computers to be set up to the same network and transfer files easily between them with the right settings.

    If you are planning on transferring large files or many files, hard lining the machines together (or through the network) is the best method as wireless file transfers can often be cumbersome and slow.

    Next best would be to purchase a cheap 2GB flash card for $20 somewhere. Most, if not all, ship as FAT32 and are ready to use on both PCs and Macs
     
  10. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #10
    Good, that makes things easy. :) Go pick up a router, come back and we'll talk. Any router will do, although D-Link and Linksys are the most popular brands and thus might (might) be more reliable. It should cost between $20 and $40. As well, you'll need two more ethernet or "patch" cables in addition to the one your modem is already using. If both computers are sitting on the same desk, 5' cables should be more than enough.

    Update: If this is starting to sound confusing, don't worry. That's 2/3 of the work right there. Beyond that is just plug and configure.

    Yes, but the modem is already using the built-in ethernet port. A peer-to-peer network is not appropriate in this case.
     
  11. q2thas thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 1, 2009
    #11
    ok, i have my wired router and 2 ethernet chords
     
  12. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #12
    Awesome. :)

    Plug the ethernet cable of the modem (the one that was connected to your Mac) into the WAN port of your router, and connect the ethernet ports of each of your computers to LAN ports on the router. The router should come with instructions on configuring it for internet access.
     
  13. q2thas thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 1, 2009
    #13
    ok i'm surfing the net for instructions how to get my mac to recognize the router, the manual only tells you how to install for pc only and the set up exercise in the cd won't open...geez
     
  14. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #14
    Usually the configuration is done by navigating to the router's configuration website, something like 192.168.0.1. That would work the same way on both Macs and PCs.
     

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