Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Is it possible to use internal HD in one pc as an external in another?

Last response: in Storage
Share
April 14, 2012 7:26:00 PM

Hello all!

So, the context from my question comes from a little project I'll be working on: I want to build 1 gaming rig, and 1 hackintosh rig. I will be building the case myself, so I decided that I might put them both in the same case (the case will be wide and flat, so no stacking of any hardware whatsoever).



Now I was wondering if it were possible to use both internal drives, as each other's external drive.

So it would look something like this:

Mac System
internal: MacDrive
external: WindowsDrive (hooked to external windows-pc motherboard)

Windows System
internal: WindowsDrive
external: MacDrive (hooked to external hackintosh-pc motherboard)



I don't know if technology that supports this exists. Maybe a hard drive with at least 2 forms of connection (usb/firewire/sAta/...)?


Any ideas on how this can be done in a flexible way?

More about : internal external

a b G Storage
April 14, 2012 7:33:29 PM

Not without some fancy digital switching.
April 14, 2012 7:40:31 PM

jsc said:
Not without some fancy digital switching.


So it is possible?

What does this "digital switching" entail?
Related resources
a b G Storage
April 14, 2012 7:41:09 PM

You'd need a manual switch to make that work and you still risk data loss if it gets switched before the write cache is purged. The main issue is that there needs to be some synchronization in the access to the drive to prevent data corruption. Have you considered a NAS or simply a network share on one of the machines?
April 14, 2012 7:43:08 PM

It would be a 100x easier if you just had 1 build with 2 drives and 1 os and each harddrive. You'll have to build some kind of switch to alternate between which mobo is running. You could also just make all the drives is a hotswap bay and just move them between the 2 hotswap bays every time you want to switch, but thas a little pain. Even easier just buy an extra drive and save your self the huge hassle and just use the extra drive as an external for both rigs
a b G Storage
April 14, 2012 7:48:37 PM

Oops, wrong thread.
April 14, 2012 9:03:14 PM

aicom said:
You'd need a manual switch to make that work and you still risk data loss if it gets switched before the write cache is purged. The main issue is that there needs to be some synchronization in the access to the drive to prevent data corruption. Have you considered a NAS or simply a network share on one of the machines?


I'm assuming for a network share, that both machines have to be running at the same time? I also thought about this as an alternative option with a router as workaround then... But I still wanted to ask whether this was not somehow possible directly from the drives.


You say "a manual switch", and this should switch beteen what exactly? Whether it is being used by the internal or external pc? So there is no sort of HD in existence that has 2 access possibilities that do not corrupt the data?


Quote:
It would be a 100x easier if you just had 1 build with 2 drives and 1 os and each harddrive. You'll have to build some kind of switch to alternate between which mobo is running. You could also just make all the drives is a hotswap bay and just move them between the 2 hotswap bays every time you want to switch, but thas a little pain. Even easier just buy an extra drive and save your self the huge hassle and just use the extra drive as an external for both rigs


A hackintosh requires very specific hardware to run. I would not like the windows system to have to run on the same hardware because windows supports more advanced technologies I would like to take advantage of which would not be supported by the hardware for the mac system. (I know it results in buying double as much hardware, but in the end it are 2 different PCs too, so I'd rather have them run like that).

I would also like them to run both at once, but just with some sort of wire or configuration that lets one system read through the files of the other...
a b G Storage
April 14, 2012 9:07:49 PM

Hard drives that support multiple concurrent accesses do exist. They're called network attached hard drives :) 
April 14, 2012 10:17:56 PM

aicom said:
Hard drives that support multiple concurrent accesses do exist. They're called network attached hard drives :) 


That could be the exact thing I'm looking for, by the name of it! :) 


Could you explain to me how I could set this up between 2 systems in terms of hardware and wiring? Do these require USB, Ethernet, or other form of connection?

I've googled these already, but they seem to come in big cases instead of an actual flat hard drive? What's the difference with NAS btw?
April 14, 2012 11:45:43 PM

A NAS, or network attached storage, is basically an external harddrive that you plug into a router. All the computers connected to the router whether by physically, or wirelessly, are able to access the harddrive.
!