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Old 07-10-2008, 05:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default three computers, one external hard drive

I have three computers and want to hook all three up at once to one external hard drive. Could this be possible is I get 3 male to male usb cords and then usb splitter that goes from the external hard drive to the other 3 usb cables? So it would look like this
........................................-> usb cord -> computer 1
external hard drive - splitter -> usb cord -> computer 2
....................................... -> usb cord -> computer3


I know that I will not most likely be able to copy data to the hard drive from more than one computer at a time, but would it still work if only one computer was copying data at a time?

The periods are just place holders because the space i put just get erased.
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: three computers, one external hard drive

I'm honestly not sure what would happen in that case. I would suggest, however, hooking the drive up to just one of the computers and sharing it and mapping it as a network drive.
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: three computers, one external hard drive

The way coolshmo would be the best way. Just set it up as a network drive, and you can read/write files to and from the drive from all the computers at the same time.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: three computers, one external hard drive

im not sure how to do that. I read some tutorials but they didn't really have alot of info, like how would I connect the hard drive to the computer, or how would I access the hard drive from another computer?
I have xp.
this is what I got
Amazon.com: Western Digital My Book Essential Edition 1 TB External Hard Drive: Electronics
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: three computers, one external hard drive

its keeps on posting what I just wrote.
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Old 07-11-2008, 11:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: three computers, one external hard drive

First, and foremost, your computers all have to be on the same network. If they're all plugged into a router, you should be set.

Then, connect the drive to one computer, right-click on the drive, go to properties. The go to the sharing tab, and click the radio button to share the drive. You can set the specific name of the network share as well as click the boxes at the bottom if you want the other computers to be able to add or change files.

To connect the other computers, you need to know the name of the computer that the external drive is connected to. To find that, you can right-click on My Computer, go to properties, and go to the computer name tab. It's next to "Full Computer Name".


Now, on the other computers, to map the drive itself, go to My Computer--> Tools --> Map Network Drive. You can set the drive letter, and then in the Folder field, type "\\ComputerName\ShareName" without the quotes and where ComputerName is the name of the other computer that has the external drive attached, and ShareName is name of the share name that you set when you initially shared it. If this isn't working, you can also just type \\computername in the explorer bar, and it will come up with anything that computer is sharing. From there, right-click on the folder there and go to Map Network Drive. All the fields should be filled in, and you can select the drive letter. Click OK, and you're done. Rinse and repeat to connect the other computers.
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Old 07-11-2008, 02:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: three computers, one external hard drive

Can they be on the same network through wifi or do they have to be plugged into the same router? WHen I tried wifi, I got an error saying they it couldn't connect to the server.
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Old 07-15-2008, 11:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: three computers, one external hard drive

Wireless should be fine. A firewall is probably what is stopping your access. You need to make sure windows file and printer sharing is permitted. This could be in windows firewall, or Norton or McAfee if you have one of those "security" suites installed. You may just have to poke around a bit in the security settings of the computer that is sharing the drive as they like to keep those things hidden.
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