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External hard drive for mac.

Two g4 power books and an imac g5 with isight, all pre-intel, running mac osx 10.3.9 and 10.4 connected by a wireless network on airport extreme which is plugged into to a Thomson Speed Touch 510 - 4.
I am interested in connecting an external hard drive to this wireless network so that the drive is visible to all the network users. There was a post in the networking and wireless forum on a similar topic and advice was given regarding Windows about how to set it up in xp by connecting the drive to a desktop and sharing it over the network. Could someone please tell me how to do the same for Mac osx. Can you plug an external drive into the thomson router?

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I guess the answer depends on...

In reply to: External hard drive for mac.

Hi John,

Since no one else has had a crack at your question I will give it a go.

First off, I'm fairly certain you can't connect an external drive to the Thompson Speed Touch, although I have to admit I have never even considered it and so have never tried. I do know you can't connect it to the Airport Extreme even though it can support a USB printer share. Is the external drive firewire or USB?

I suggest you connect the drive to one of your machines and make it available to the rest of the network by turning on file sharing for it.

This article from the Apple website goes through file sharing.

It's similar to the windows method except you go to system preferences instead of control panel.

I would probably use the Imac as the power management on the powerbooks may put you in a situation where you cannot access the external drive if the laptop it is connected to has shut down.

Best of luck,


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That could be a NAS.

In reply to: External hard drive for mac.

Network Attached Storage. Buffalo makes them and I own 2 by others. One's that Dlink and a no-name. The shares are via SAMBA which Macosx can connect to.

The big downside is the 100 megabit ethernet link. It feels sluggish compared to firewire or usb connections.


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NAS would be ideal

In reply to: That could be a NAS.

Hi Bob,

Have to agree, a purpose designed network drive would be a good alternative if you were just using it for backup or something that did not require fast data transfer rates. Upgrading the airport extreme to a wireless router that can support NAS and printer shares could make life easier too.


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I would recommend connecting to the iMac

In reply to: NAS would be ideal

I would personally recommend attaching the external hard drive via USB or FireWire to the iMac. On an wi-fi network, the hard drive is visible to all Mac and PC machines with Wi-Fi/Airport cards. Connected to the iMac, you can set the iMac's OSX to have a NT account. With an NT login account (user account) you can set encryption, set user priviliages, and folder behaviors this way. Hooked to most Wi-Fi routers, the external hard drive will be visible to all notebook machines, including notebooks you don't own within a several foot range. Hooking up the external hard drive to the iMac, and creating a administrative user NT account on the iMac, you can control who has access to this drive and block unwanted activity on this drive. You can check with the MacOS X help menu in Finder, look up in the search box about "user accounts" and the help system will guide you through the process of setting-up an Administrative User Account, which should be done by all users on all Macs and PCs from the get-go. Post what you consider doing and whether you are successful or not with your choice on this forum.

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I don't think so

In reply to: I would recommend connecting to the iMac

at least not in the way you describe it.
I don't recall ever seeing an "administrative user NT account" on a Mac running OS X.
Granted there will be an Administrative account for OS X, there has to be for the system to function correctly but NT is not even a consideration. Ideally all PC users should NOT be running under an Administrative account. This just leaves things wide open for problem. Mac OS X users should be running their machines with a regular Users account so that access to the UNIX root is not automatically available.


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