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MULTI PCS TO EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE(S)

Posted on 2013-06-25
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Last Modified: 2013-07-17
Hi, I am looking for a way to have two PCs both connect to external hard drives.  The PCs are physically close to each other.  The connection could be USB and/or ESATA.  Cable lengths will not be a problem.   I know I can do this by putting the hard drives on my network but, I prefer to not have them on the network.   I remember there were auto & non-auto switches that used to allow multiple peripherals.  One PC is running Win 7-64 Bit & the other Win 8-64 Bit.
Thank You,   Clarke
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Question by:CLARKESR
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Accepted Solution

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Lee W, MVP earned 167 total points
ID: 39275443
The only way to do this without putting them on the network is an AB switch.  You cannot provide exclusive access to one disk on two computers at the same time and that is what must be done when connecting via USB or eSATA.  An AB switch (USB only as far as I know) will HARD remove the drive from one computer and "connect" it to the other.  This means users COULD lose data.

The question I have is WHY NOT put it on the network.  Either get a NAS enclosure, a router that shares a USB device over the network, or attach it to one computer and share it so the other computer can connect.
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Assisted Solution

by:Glen Knight
Glen Knight earned 167 total points
ID: 39275462
Use a USB Switching hub like this: http://www.lindy.co.uk/usb-2-4-port-sharing-hub/42887.html

Alternatively, create a share from the drive on the other computer and map the share from the other one?
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Expert Comment

by:Glen Knight
ID: 39275485
Agree with Lee.  The switching hub is either one or the other so not really shared.
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Author Comment

by:CLARKESR
ID: 39275652
HI,  I understand that both PCs can not access the same device at the same time.  I will be the only user so that if something gets cut off in the middle it will be my own fault.  A/B switch was the term I could not think of.  Can you recommend an auto-sensing switch or a switch that can be switched from the keyboard or the mouse.  Having to manually push a button will be a pain given location of units and as my wife says I can be lazy.  

I do not want to use the network because I want to have guaranteed control over the device and the information on it without having to encrypt or password protect it.  I can easiy provide physical security.    My PCs are not the only ones in our home and in fact there is a NAS storage unit already on the network.  Thanks again,   Clarke
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Expert Comment

by:Glen Knight
ID: 39275667
I've never seen an auto switching one.

Simply using a share will allow you to control access based on the user at share level.

I'm afraid you are limited by the technology.
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LVL 2

Assisted Solution

by:Jtnight
Jtnight earned 166 total points
ID: 39278175
Software is install on both computer and there is a icon that is on the tray bar with you have to click with you want to to access the drive



http://www.amazon.com/computers-accessories/dp/B001H91G4W
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Author Closing Comment

by:CLARKESR
ID: 39334351
My apologies, I had to leave suddenly and just am now able to get back to you folks.  I really do appreciate your help. THANK YOU, Clarke
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