KVM Like firewire switch.

Posted on 2007-07-23
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Is there a fire wire switch made.  I want to share an external firewire hard drive between two computers like a KVM.  So when I switch from one computer I can move the hard drive without unplugging it.
Question by:ClaudeWalker
    LVL 44

    Accepted Solution

    firewire was never integrated into KVM -- you can probably find a USB switch to do this, but it wont integrate into the KVM switch either.  KVMs are strictly keyboard, video and mouse, that is all.  When we needed serial to switch as well, we had to build a special box.  I have since seen USB -- but not any FW.

    Author Comment

    Actually USB would work great!!!  Any recommendations?
    LVL 70

    Assisted Solution

    Here's a simple USB switch:
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    As an alternative, if you have the computers networked, you can just share the FW/USB drive and access it from either PC.
    On a gigabit network, you shouldn't notice any significant performance degradation.
    LVL 70

    Assisted Solution

    Not only is sharing the drive via a network an alternative ... it's a MUCH better way to do it, for three reasons:

    (1)  If you switch the drive via USB, there's a possibility that you could corrupt the drive if you do so while there's any cached data for the drive.   As long as the access policy for the drive (in Device Manager)  is "Optimize for Quick Removal" that shouldn't be an issue ... but if you're simply sharing it via a network then it's DEFINITELY not a problem (and you can optimize it for performance).

    (2)  You can use the firewire interface (which I assume the drive also has ... since you asked about it first) ... so data transfers will be notably FASTER.


    (3)  Both computers can use the drive at the same time.

    In addition (I guess this is a 4th reason) you won't have to buy a switch :-)

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