I am new here, and I'll try to be clear as much as I can. I hope to get some help from you guys.
This is the situation: there are 10 PCs (with XPs and Windows 7s) in my network that need to access WD My Book Live as a shared storage.
One PC (with XP and having two NICs) is the one that uses it on daily basis, while others use it occasionally, so directly connecting the drive to that PC (to one of it's NIC's, while the other NIC is used for the Internet access and to access local network shares, there is no DHCP, we use static IPs) is faster than connecting the drive to a switch/router and accessing it trough the local network (shared with other PCs and servers). And the files that are transferred are very large files, so every gain in speed is very important.
Is it possible to have that drive directly connected to that PC and still make it accessible to other PCs in the local network?
I have mapped the network drive on a PC that the drive is directly connected to, and I can see and access the mapped network drive in My Computer, but it seems that there is no way (or I don't see it) to share it with the rest of the local network, so other computers that use it occasionally can access it and at least read the files.
I can access that PC and its shared resources from all the computers in local network, but I can't see the My Book Live drive.
I would appreciate any help or guidelines with this issue.
The two NICs in your PCs are operating as isolated LANs and since your network share on your MyBook is already a mapped drive, you cannot re-share a network share.
What you can do is edit your network connections to tell Windows to 'bridge' your two NICs so your PC effectively acts like a switch between your two LANs.
Another option would be to get a gigabit switch and then connect your PC, your MyBook and the uplink to the rest of your LAN (100Mbps?) to the gigabit switch. This way, your PC still has full-speed (1Gbps) access to the MyBook and your LAN has access to it too regardless of whether your PC is on or off.
I was thinking about bridging the connections, but I have some concerns, since I don't fully understand how will the bridge affect the accessibility of that computer in the local network. Is there anything that will change? Shared folders and devices will still be shared? Is that computer still going to be accessible from other computers in local network, with the same static IP assigned to it earlier?
Can I assign the same subnet to both NICs, with different IPs, and assign the default gateway to only one NIC, the one that connects to the Internet, and leave the other NICs (the one that the WD drive is connected to) default gateway empty? If these settings are OK, and I assign the IP from that same subnet to my WD drive, and set its default gateway to be the NIC that it is connected to, will I be able to access the WD drive from other computers using that static IP address?
Am I missing something here?
I honestly hope that this would work It sounds too simple to be true
If you bridge the two NICs, they will behave as if you had only one NIC and a switch between the two ports and your computer.. Both NICs will end up using the same IP and everything visible from one port will be visible from the other and across - as if there was a switch between the two.
That's why I said the bridged NICs would behave pretty much the same as if you setup a GbE switch between your LAN, PC and MyBook - bridging NICs make them behave like a switch.