Networking & Wireless forum

General discussion

External USB Hard Drive + wireless router?

by annapenguin / June 22, 2006 12:40 PM PDT

I've set up a wireless home network connecting my desktop running XP and my laptop running XP Pro. I have the Netgear Rangemax router connected to my desktop via ethernet and my laptop connects wirelessly.
Is it possible to hook up my USB hard drive to the router so my laptop can access the music stored on it anywhere throughout my house?

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: External USB Hard Drive + wireless router?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: External USB Hard Drive + wireless router?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Connect it to the desktop
by Ramenkage / June 22, 2006 1:25 PM PDT

It's not possible with any router I know of to connect the hard drive directly to the router. I would recommend connecting the hard drive to the desktop, and sharing it over the network.

To do this in Windows XP, connect the hard drive to your desktop. In My Computer, right click on the drive and choose Properties. Click the link about risks to show the options. Check "Share this folder on the network" and "Allow network users to change my files," give the drive a name (something easily recognizable, like 'USB Drive'), and click OK.

You should now be able to view the drive in My Network Places on your laptop.

Collapse -
You can buy a device for that...
by tman11maman / June 23, 2006 1:08 AM PDT

I've seen them in Tiger direct catalogs and on the shelves at radio shack, you can buy a simple kit that turns any ide or usb storage device (up to 4 IDE and 8 USB) into a NFS device that will hook up to your router OR you can use the on board USB to hook up a USB Wireless adapter. It all configures real quick just hook it up to your router and goto the default IP address of your new NFS device and set it up and you are off (takes less time to set up than your wireless router).

Thsi one is just OK but the price is good... but jsut search you will find the right one. (



Collapse -
That's for internal drives
by Ramenkage / June 23, 2006 2:05 AM PDT


The product you linked to is great for internal IDE drives, but it doesn't seem to support external drives. Do you know of one that does?


Depending on your drive, it may actually be an internal drive in a USB housing. If you can take the drive out of the housing, then the product Prince suggested should work for you.

But if you don't mind leaving your desktop on, sharing the drive is the easiest way to go. Plus, you don't have to buy anything extra!

Collapse -
For External USB Drives This is What You Need
by jranch08 / June 14, 2008 7:46 AM PDT
Collapse -
external drive and mac.
by fmhgllc / June 27, 2006 4:35 PM PDT

I am interested in connecting an external hard drive to a Mac wireless network. I read the post from Ramenkage about how to set it up in Windows xp by connecting it to a desktop and sharing it over the network. Could someone please tell me exactly how to do the same for Mac osx.

Collapse -
Try the Mac forum too.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 27, 2006 10:14 PM PDT

And don't spare the details. There are some with MacOS 9 and others with othe OSes.

Also, why "exactly"? Would a guide do?


Collapse -
external drive for mac.
by fmhgllc / June 28, 2006 3:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Try the Mac forum too.

Hi Bob,
I will try posting on the Mac forum.
I said "exactly" because of my limited knowledge of external hard drives and networks. I guess any suggestions on solving my problem would be very welcome.

Collapse -
Can' t access External USB Hard Drive over wireless network.
by Climax510 / December 13, 2006 4:38 AM PST

I am using a LinkSYS WRT54GS router and LinkSYS speedbooster PCI card. I have 4 PC's connected in total. My problem is I cannot access my external hard drive from any PC on my network other than from the PC (My server) the External Hard drive is connected to. All permissions are in place and all drives are shared properly. I can access all of my servers IDE hard drives except my external hard drive. The hard drive is Western Digital Model #:WDXUB2500JBNN. I shared the drive as standard procedures. I can see the drive on all systems but cannot access the drive. All systems are running Windows XP. Im using Nortons Firewall and ZoneAlarm 6. Even if I disable the firewalls still no access. I have searched and searched the net with no real answers. This tread was the closet I've gotten to a similar problem. Hope I was detailed enough to have my question answered. PLEASE HELP ME.

Collapse -
USB Station
by Stevotb / December 15, 2006 1:57 AM PST
Collapse -
Not the same problem
by Climax510 / December 15, 2006 11:17 AM PST
In reply to: USB Station

I am not connecting my USB External hard drive to my router, I have my USB Hard drive connected to the PC where the router is connected (my Server). As I do with the other drives on that server I have file sharing enabled and they all work and are able to be accessed. The external drive is not able to be accessed from PC across my network.

Collapse -
Just a note about the forums.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 15, 2006 12:51 PM PST
In reply to: Not the same problem

Don't bury your issue under another discussion that is not spot on to your issue. Also it is the other person's discussion so when you change topics, consider making "your" new discussion.


Collapse -
Answer to the original question.
by denbmd / January 25, 2007 6:28 AM PST

7 months later there is an answer to the original post. The Apple Airport Extreme says it can support an attached external harddrive or act as a usb print server. Both at same time with a usb hub.

Collapse -
I have also been looking for this
by fluidlight / February 9, 2009 10:13 AM PST

I recently bought a 750GB USB external drive and want to share it over the Ethernet. I found that in addition to the apple airport extreme, Belkin also has a product like this.
However, you still need a router to connect to this thing, and sounds a little dumb. Why not a wireless router and usb hub/server all-in-one? As far as I know, no such product exists yet. I am surprised.

Collapse -
Once the USB is attached to the router, how can I map it
by Johnain / August 10, 2009 7:41 PM PDT

I have a NEUF router with two USB slots. I use one for a printer and I have plugged a USB into the other.

The router reports it and describes used/available space. I can access it using FTP to so that's OK if not brilliant.

What I have been unable to do is map it in Windows Explorer in either XP Pro or Vista Ultimate. It doesn't appear in the network map and will not respond to

Anybody succeeded here

Popular Forums
Computer Help 51,912 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,498 discussions
Laptops 20,411 discussions
Security 30,882 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 21,253 discussions
Windows 10 1,672 discussions
Phones 16,494 discussions
Windows 7 7,855 discussions
Networking & Wireless 15,504 discussions


Samsung Galaxy S8's major makeover

This year's flagship phone gets a sexy new design and Bixby, a house-made digital assistant.