Two Macs plugged into one External Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by EngProf, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. EngProf macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2009
    I'm running SL. I have a MBA, an iMac, and a LaCie external drive. I want to plug the MBA into the USB port on the external drive and the iMac into one of the Firewire 800 ports on the external drive. (On the LaCie, I have two backup partitions for each of the computers -- one for ™ backups and one for a CarbonCopy clone of the computers.) When I connect them this way, the iMac can see the drive, but the MBA can't. The MBA will see the drive only if I unplug the iMac from the drive.

    Is there some sort of trick for getting both computers to see the drive at once? I don't care if they see all four partitions; I'd just like the MBA to be able to see "its" TM and CCC partitions on the LaCie and the iMac to see "its" partitions.

    Thanks for the help.
  2. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    Most external drives only allow one connection at once, but some Lacie drives do allow multiple connections - yours may be one of them if it has more than one Firewire port. It depends on the chipset IIRC, but it's been a couple of years since we had one Lacie drive mounted on a pair of Linux servers simultaneously, so I forget now. I think it may only work with two or more Firewire connections, not USB.
  3. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    I shudder at the thought of two comptuers trying to talk to one external drive at the same time. It's a huge risk for total corruption.
  4. savoirfaire macrumors 6502


    Nov 23, 2003
    New England
    For what you want to do, I think your best bet is to get an external drive with ethernet and hook it up to your router. That way, both computers will be able to read from or write to the drive without interfering with one another.
  5. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    Paris, France
    Nooooo I wouldn't play this game. Risky business. You might :

    - Loose your data and burn your hard drive
    - Provoke a shortcut on your computer

    There are the worst cases obviously but I wouldn't do this.
  6. EngProf thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2009

    Thanks, folks. It really didn't occur to me that this was a bad idea. I suppose that I could simply connect the MBA to the drive via a connection through the iMac, but that would mean a sparsebundle backup which, I gather, entails a crippling of the TM functionality. Maybe I should just be a big boy and eject and unplug the drive from the iMac and plug in the MBA when I want to make a backup.

    Anyway, thanks for the warning.

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