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can i us an external hd on two computers

by ynotc / January 28, 2009 10:34 PM PST

i have two comps that i need to keep backed up. will all external hd allow me to do that? and do i see that i won't be able to keep programs on it. thanks for any help

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Re: external harddisk
by Kees Bakker / January 28, 2009 10:40 PM PST

Yes, you can put as many files in as many folders as you want. Until the drive is full, of course. And it's your own responsibility that files from comp A don't overwrite files from comp B by putting them in different folders.

You can install a program on an external harddisk if the setup allows you. It's up to them to do it or not. But if it relies on things the install puts in the registry, you'll need to do the install on both comps. And things might go wrong if this drive gets different drive letters on both comps. So it's somewhat tricky.
I've got certain programs I can run from a USB-stick, and if that works it should work from a external hard disk also. All I can say is try it, but don't trust on it until you know it works.


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thanks Kees
by ynotc / January 28, 2009 11:09 PM PST
In reply to: Re: external harddisk

thanks for the reply now all i have to do is try to find out whitch drives will let me do that. thanks again

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(NT) As far as I know, all drives do that.
by Kees Bakker / January 29, 2009 8:51 PM PST
In reply to: thanks Kees
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In as much...
by Willy / January 29, 2009 11:11 PM PST

Any ext. drive can be used on various systems and be accessed. Using it as a "backup" HD will cause me to reconsider as you plan to use on different systems for the same purpose, backup. Afterall, a backup is critical to one system to place that much demand for two systems can place them in dire need should the ext. HD fail. If you review here all the issues many an ext. HD experienced, don't be so dependent on the ext. HD for super critical backup. As Kees explained be sure its noted the folders(or partitions) are clearly noted for each system should you proceed. If possible, get yet another ext. HD to support one per system as a better solution.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Different Methods
by EscapePod / January 30, 2009 11:43 PM PST

If you only plan to connect the external drive to one PC during backups, there is absolutely no problem or configuration required -- just label your backups detailed enough to tell which PC they are for.

If you want both PCs connected to the external hard drive at the same time, the simplest way is to connect it to one PC (assuming USB connection) and then "share" it out to the other PC. The PC with the external drive connected must always be on whenever you intend to access it from the second PC.

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You should be able to
by zepper / January 31, 2009 2:53 AM PST

I generally build up my own backup hard drives (get the enclosure and drive separately). Thus I use whatever backup software suits me (currently Nova Backup which now supports both file-by-file and image style backups). I partition the backup drive, so each system has its own partition (little to no chance that one system's backup will corrupt the other's as there might be if you just use separate folders in the same partition) and I tell the software where to store the backups from each system. I see no reason to go to the expense of several enclosures and one big drive is usually cheaper than several smaller ones. eSATA hardware should be somewhat faster than USB or FireWire.


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thnks for all the help
by ynotc / January 31, 2009 3:04 AM PST
In reply to: You should be able to

i really appreciate all the help offered i'm sure i'll be able to do this just needed some assurance it was doable thanks Tony

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The only problem....
by Jelly Baby / January 31, 2009 8:55 AM PST
In reply to: thnks for all the help

The only problem you might come across when you share a drive is if you want to swap files between Windows and Linux.
Linux is very careful in the way it handles external drives and treats "open" drives with great respect. If you shut down or unplug an external HD when it's running - especially during a windows session - the disk can appear to be locked to Linux as the flag set by windows to signal that the disk is accessable to windows will still be set. You can either force access (which isn't too difficult) or you can access it under windows again and either shut down the PC with the drive still attached (and powerd) or use the "safely remove hardware" dialogue to close the drive properly.

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by porsche10x / February 1, 2009 2:32 AM PST

NAS (network attached storage) drives have come way down in price. You can access them over your ethernet connection so that you don't have to keep one particular PC on all the time and all PCs on your network can access them, sometimes even remotely over the internet. Before you buy though, I'd look at reviews carefully. Some of the cheaper products are not quite ready for prime time.

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