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Problem sharing HFS+ formatted volume over LAN

Last response: in Networking
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July 20, 2012 12:39:45 AM

This is my first post--the first time I haven't been able to solve a computer problem by lurking here.

When I was using a single MacBook (2007 to 2011), I accumulated a lot of media files and stored them on an HFS+ formatted 2TB USB HD. Ever since I ditched the Mac (technically still in use, but as a WinXP mobile retro gaming rig), I've had this 2TB black box. With a driver taken from OSX's Bootcamp software, I can easily read files from the HFS+ drive for any purpose with my main Win7x64 rig; I just can't modify, rearrange or delete them.

The black box HD isn't a problem; I have all the media I'll need for a while and plenty of fresh storage elsewhere. The problem is sharing the black box over my home network. My laptop (the WinXPPro MacBook) has no trouble discovering and accessing the shared root of the black box HD, but many of the folders don't seem to contain all of the files. The files that are visible aren't a random collection. The "Movies" folder, for instance, displays every file (but not subfolder) from "4D Man.avi" to "Manhunter.mp4". Manhunter, strangely, is listed twice, and both instances function properly: file properties are accurate and both can be played with Media Player Classic. Only 15 of the 36 subfolders within "Movies" are displayed, and their contents are accurate.

My laptop is connected to my Win7x64 rig via ethernet cable, and my main rig connects to the WRT54GS wireless network with its own PCI adapter. Internet is shared between the computers by bridging the Win7 rig's network adapters. Each network entity (laptop, desktop, network bridge) has a static IP address and in all other ways the LAN performs flawlessly.

I have tried:
- Displaying hidden folders (nothing but the leftovers from OSX)
- Breaking down the network and rebuilding and reconfiguring it
- Unmapping and remapping the shared drive
- Disabling the server-side name-shortening function through a registry edit

None of these attempts have had any noticeable effect, positive or negative.

Thanks in advance for any help you folks can provide to help me solve this peculiar problem. I will check back soon, so if you need more detailed diagnostic info, let me know and I'll add it. I am an expert user, but not an expert, if you know what I mean.

Best solution

July 20, 2012 1:22:09 AM

My gut reaction? The kind of problem you see when you try to mix MS and Apple products, and it's not quite fully/accurately implemented. As you've described it, I just don't trust it. You're using drivers from BootCamp on a MacBook Pro w/ XP, and accessing an HFS+ drive. Ugg. I'm not saying it shouldn't work, but let's face it, when you start mixing stuff like this, all kinds of opportunities exist for compatibility problems. I don’t get the impression this has anything to do w/ your basic network setup. It screams to me “we didn’t get this driver implemented quite right”.

Why not just move the files off HFS+ to another HD and NTFS? Or crack it out of the HD enclosure and install in the PC directly?

Or why not try something like MacDrive for Windows, if only to prove/disprove my theory about your current drivers.

http://www.mediafour.com/products/macdrive/standard/
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July 20, 2012 1:57:14 AM

I think your gut's right. I just wanted to make sure there wasn't a simple solution to this admittedly specific issue that someone else had figured out. I'll probably acquire a little more storage soon, enough to put me over the top. The black box has more storage than every all other storage I own, combined. Migrating the data would leave me with a 2TB drive that I would like just take out of the enclosure as you suggested and add to my main system, NTFS and all.

Thanks for the MacDrive suggestion, but I'm looking forward to washing my hands the alternate file system nonsense once and for all. Thanks for responding, and keep up the good work!
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July 20, 2012 1:57:46 AM

Best answer selected by DynamicRanger.
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April 3, 2013 11:41:28 AM

A simple solution I came across recently:
Format any USB external drive to HFS+ format with the GUID option.
Plug that drive into the back of an AEBS (Ariport Extreme Base Station).
Share the drive on the AEBS using the usernames and passwords choice.
And Voila....my windows PC's all can see read/write to the HFS+ drives with no issues thus far.
(Those MAC guys must have put something in the AEBS to eliminate the need for a third party software package to add the read/write functionality.)
(only issue I've seen is the AEBS creates a shared folder so if you plug the drive back directly to a MAC the files are in the shared folder. Any files created above the shared folder will not be visible when the drive is shared off of the AEBS again.)
Good luck!
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