Sharing USB drive over network?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ignign0kt, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. ignign0kt macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2010
    I have a USB hard drive hooked up to my Mac Mini, and I want to be able to read/write to the USB drive from my Macbook over the network.
    I can't figure out how to do this. If I goto Sharing in Sys Prefs and add it, I can't see it from my Macbook. Why can't Apple make something like this simple

    Edit: Ideally, I want to be able to access my Mini's / from my Macbook. But with file sharing it seems I have to add every single folder I want to access... which is ridiculous. Are there any 3rd party apps that make this easy?
  2. MacForScience macrumors 6502


    Sep 7, 2010
    This is very easy to do:
    Go to system preferences: File Sharing: where you see the list of currently shared items click the plus button and select the external drive click add (this will add the drive as a shared volume). Set your permissions, click options and select if it is an AFP, or SMB etc type share and your are all ready to go.

  3. gregd33 macrumors member

    May 3, 2011
    THis was exactly what I needed...

    Being a noob to Macs, I completely forgot about this sharing option even though I have used it a couple times.

    Thanks for helping out ignign0kt and, in turn, me.
  4. Evildude683 macrumors regular


    Aug 8, 2012
    Republic of Texas
    I know it's kind of an old thread but will I be able to use that drive to have my MacBook Pro back up using Time Machine?
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I assume you mean you want to have the TM drive attached to a second Mac? Yes, that can be done, but you need to install OS X Server edition on the Mac that has the drive attached. Then the MacBook can backup to that drive over the network.
  6. Taz Mangus, Aug 29, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015

    Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Mar 10, 2011
    Actually you don't need OS X server to do network backups. In order to get this to work it requires that you assign a static IP address for your Mac computer that has the Time Machine hard drive.

    Before I was running Yosemite (e.g. Mavericks):
    1. Setup file sharing on the Mac where the Time Machine hard drive was attached.
    2. On the other Mac that I wanted to backup, I mounted the Time Machine hard drive from the computer using file sharing. I selected the Time Machine hard drive for backup and unmounted the Time Machine hard drive.
    For Yosemite:
    1. Setup file sharing on the Mac where the Time Machine hard drive was attached.
    2. Open the terminal application and entered the following command:
      • sudo tmutil setdestination -ap "afp://<admin username>@<static IP address>:/<Time Machine drive name>
    So let's say that the Mac computer where the Time Machine hard drive is attached has the static IP address, has the admin user named bob and the name of the hard drive that is being used for the Time Machine backups is TimeMachineBackups:
    • sudo tmutil setdestination -ap "afp://bob@"
    You will be asked for the admin password of bob.
    I use this exact thing, running Yosemite, to backup my MacBook Pro over my network to my iMac where the Time Machine hard drive is attached. Works very well.
  7. PabloRe macrumors newbie


    Jul 25, 2016

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