Time Machine and External HDD

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by SayCheese, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. SayCheese macrumors 6502a

    Jun 14, 2007
    Thame, Oxfordshire, England
    Hi all,

    Looking ahead a day or two to when I get my copy of Leopard, I have a query about Time machine and an External HDD.

    I would like to buy a new external HDD, probably a LaCie 500Gb D2 Quadra, the one with multiple firewire ports.

    What I would ideally like to do is connect both my iMac CoreDuo and my Macbook Pro Core2Duo to the HDD, so it has two firewire cables from the back at the same time. One going to each computer so that I can run both computers at the same time and they can both backup to the HDD for the Time Machine feature.

    Is this possible? I have two thoughts on the matter and am not sure which is correct.

    Thought 1 - If I connect two computers at the same time and they both put in a read/write request at the same time to the HDD then the HDD will get confused, panic and crash.

    Thought 2 - It must be possible otherwise there would be no point in putting more than one of each type of connection port on the back of the drive?

    Can someone please advise me as to which is the correct thinking?
    Thanks in advance,

    Say Cheese
  2. Homer2556 macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2007
    I recall in the Leopard guided tour saying you can use the same external for multiple Macs as a backup drive. You should be able to check Apple's site to confirm.
  3. stoid macrumors 601


    Feb 17, 2002
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    This will not work, not because of Time Machine, but because a FireWire hard drive or USB drive will only connect to one computer at the same time.

    To get what you want there are two ways.

    1. Get a USB drive and plug it into an AirPort Extreme with AirDisk.

    2. Get a NAS drive that connects to your network over ethernet.
  4. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    If it has two firewire ports it's for daisy chaining as I understand it.
  5. Schroedinger macrumors regular


    Feb 12, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    I would suggest the following, assuming you know nothing (just the safest assumption to make). Attach the drive to the desktop and leave it there. On the laptop, go to the Finder menu, select Go, connect to server and pick the desktop. You'll need to enter your user name and password, then select the shared external drive. Now, the fun part. Once the shared drive is on your laptop's desktop, drag that icon into the dock. Then, click on the icon and hold it down and when the menu pop ups select open at login.

    Now, whenever you turn your laptop on (or log into your user account) you'll automatically connect to the shared external drive. You should be able to set this drive as your time machine back up. Now you'll get the benefits without being tied down although you will see a speed hit since you'll be using wifi instead of firewire.

    I just realized that you need a wireless network for this to work. If you don't have one, then ignore everything I just typed.

    Good Luck
  6. gavd macrumors 6502a

    Jan 30, 2006
    Just worth mentioning that the desktop would need to be awake all the time for this to work.
  7. SayCheese thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 14, 2007
    Thame, Oxfordshire, England
    I was in the Regents St Apple store today and asked the same question as I posted here. The best that they could come up with was to buy two external HDD's and hook up one to each computer.

    Thanks for your suggestions. I will consider all options before committing.
  8. tacomahunter macrumors regular


    Oct 18, 2007
    so do I read this right? With a laptop and the desire to not have a external drive hooked to it all the time, I can get a drive that connects to my router and do the same thing??

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