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Share external HDD via usb

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September 12, 2011 12:33:15 PM

Hi!

I have an external case with two HDD (Icy Box) with 1 usb port. I want to know if I can use a usb hub to connect it with 2 PCs.

Thanks

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September 12, 2011 1:11:34 PM

USB hubs are to expand a single port from a PC so you can use multiple devices. It will not connect a single device to multiple computers.

If you want to share a single HDD between multiple computers at the same time you will have to share the drive over a network. If you have the HDD plugged into a Windows PC you can right click (context menu click) on the drive and select "Sharing and Security" and then select the option to share the folder. From another Windows PC on the same network you can type in \\computer-name\folder and access the folder.

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September 12, 2011 1:13:31 PM

Ubrales said:
Welcome to Tom's Hardware Forums!

Two different PCs cannot read/write to the same disk at the same time. You can do what you described but you will need a switch for doing that, not a USB hub.


heh, I never realized there were USB switches. Guess I never needed one so I never checked.
September 12, 2011 1:46:58 PM

Thank you Ubrales.

Would something more simple like this or this work with the HDD?

Ubrales said:
Welcome to Tom's Hardware Forums!

Two different PCs cannot read/write to the same disk at the same time. You can do what you described but you will need a switch for doing that, not a USB hub.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

a c 289 G Storage
September 12, 2011 2:07:58 PM

Be extremely careful if you use a USB drive with a switch! Before switching the drive from the first machine to the second, you MUST use "Safely Eject Hardware" to close out the drive (flush cache and tell the machine that the drive is no longer available). Otherwise, you are vulnerable to the same corruption that you would get if you simply unplugged the drive without stopping it.
a c 116 G Storage
September 12, 2011 2:25:08 PM

csm said:
Thank you Ubrales.

Would something more simple like this or this work with the HDD?

Yes. Check the price!

Also, follow what Wyoming posted. No hot-plugging. Hard disks are sensitive to this.

I personally prefer the network approach. There are Linksys routers that have a USB port specifically for sharing mass storage among computers in the network. Secured network of course.
!