Sharing External HDD

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by HLdan, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Hi, sorry if this has been brought up but I'm need of help fast. I have a My Book external hard drive and I have an new iMac with Leopard and a Vista PC and need both computers to be able to write to the My Book drive. The My Book drive has both Firewire and USB so I can connect both computers simultaneously but is it possible for them both to write to the drive or can it be only formatted to work for one OS at a time? I am buying it today so I wanted to know what my options are in the scenario?
    Any help appreciated.
  2. rudini macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2007
    I'm not sure if you can have them connected at the same time, but i know FOR SURE that you can format the myBook to be read by Macs and PCs at the same time. FAT32 file system, i believe is what would be used.

    Also, have you considered a NAS(network attached storage)?

    hope that helps!
  3. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Jul 28, 2004
    Portland, Oregon
    It won't work if you try to connect both computers to the drive at the same time, but you have a few options.....

    1) Connect to one at a time by plugging backwards and forwards (or use a USB switch). Drive needs to be formatted to FAT32 for this to work
    2) Connect drive to Mac and share it across the network to the PC
    3) Connect drive to PC and share it across the network to the Mac
    4) Use a NAS as the previous poster suggests
  4. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    My hat goes to the NAS solution too.

    OP, what you're trying to do has a name, and it's Network Attached Storage, aka NAS. You won't get the same speeds, but you do get better availability, simultaneous access and better uptime.

    Not to mention if you do a little wiring, you can hide the NAS in some closet, not adding another box to the desk.
  5. HLdan thread starter macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Thanks for everyone's help. The NAS sounds like the right course of action.
  6. HLdan thread starter macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    I responded way too fast on my last post. How does NAS work and how do I set it up?
  7. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    Think of NAS as "another computer on the network" that has all the software and tools designed to be a file server. In fact, if you have an old machine around, you can make your own NAS to save some money, but it's a bit more complicated in setup (i.e., you will be installing an OS, setting up services, etc).

    On the simple end of the spectrum, you buy a NAS enclosure and put in a (or multiple) hard drives. (Multiple drive NAS enclosures often do RAID for data protection or extra large volume. If you're using this space for backups, look into RAID 1 or RAID 5 capable enclosures; They allow one drive to completely fail and you can still rebuild your data. If you just need a boatload of somewhat temporary space, look for enclosures with RAID 0 or JBOD.)

    I have a special place in my heart for NetGear ReadyNAS boxes, which used to be a company called Infrant. Since then, the price has gone up and it's hard to find a add-your-own drives system. There are some single drive NAS enclosures out there, but I don't have any experience with them; Possibly someone who has one can comment here?

    A search for NAS at Newegg turns up lots of options, and lots of price ranges. This is definitely something that you could spend a few grand on if you felt like it. ;)

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