hdd switch
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Thread: hdd switch

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Question hdd switch

    hopefully someone can help me with this one,
    what i want to do is have one hdd and two laptops or pc's connected to it at the same time, with some sort of switch that only allows one computer to access the hdd at any time. this is for data storage only and not for an operating system. just wondering if someone can point me in the right direction. i'd really like to build it myself but would need some sort of schematic diagram to help me.

    Any help would be greatly appriciated.
    Digger

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Independence, MO
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    Welcome to HWC.

    I would try an external hard drive:
    http://www.newegg.com/ProductSort/Su...ubCategory=414

    You have 2 choices, 3.5" or 2.5". Both have pros and cons. The 3.5s are good because they are very fast and have the largest capacities, but they are bulky and require an external power supply (making portability an issue). 2.5s are the opposite--they have limited capacity and are slower, but they are much smaller and are powered by USB.

    Both 2.5s and 3.5s can connect to any PC via USB, so you can easily switch between your PCs by moving the USB plug to the PC of choice.

    I guess take your pick.
    Give what you cannot keep to gain what you cannot lose.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    The problems are have is that one of the laptops is running NT and the other 2000. i can't use usb (needs to be serial) and the hdd has to be connected to both all the time (i'm in the army and am trying to move files from one to the other on different systems without having to muck about with cd's and floppys).

    Thanks for the help anyway

  4. #4
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    A crossover network cable seems like your only viable solution.

    Another solution would be to take the drive out of the NT machine and slave it to the W2k machine and drop and drag. This would probably be the fastest method of moving a large volume of material.

    [EDIT] Slaving a second drive to a laptop would not be an option. Still, a USB external encolsure would work by moving the NT drive to the enclosure and connecting to the W2K machine via USB.
    Last edited by Leoslocks; October 14th, 2005 at 11:21 AM.

  5. #5
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    Dec 1999
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    Augusta, Georgia, USA
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    Would a network hard drive do what you want? It seems to have a built-in ethernet connection, so I assume it would connect directly to a switch, along with your other machines?

    I have no experience with these. Iomega makes one-see this link.

    http://www.iomega.com/about/prreleas...ard-drive.html

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    an idea i was thinking of was this:

    [IMG]drawing[/IMG]

    1. each laptop is connected by serial cable to the switch box.
    2. the hdd is also connected to the switch box

    what type of switch do i need to connect them. i.e. how do i get the switch to select one laptop to hdd or the other laptop to hdd bearing in mind that there are 9 wires in the serial cable.

    The reason i'm doing this is that someone at my work said that i couldn't do it and i'd like to prove them wrong (he is my boss).

    Thanks
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
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    I dunno, I'm afraid he might be right. Generally speaking, most PCs don't like having IDE drives connected and disconnected when the system is running, which is what you are talking about if you are referring to switching. Usually, such activity brings hangs, crashes, and corrupted data. SATA drives are a bit different, as they are hot swappable. If you can rig it to a SATA controller, you might have more success. However, I highly doubt that NT supports SATA either. The reason is the nature of NT--it's not plug and play, so it doesn't like to "hot swap" anything (hence no USB/Firewire support). I just don't think Windows is going to cooperate with you.
    Give what you cannot keep to gain what you cannot lose.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2005
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    could i have both laptops constantly connected to the hdd but using different partitions (without the switch)?? this would get rid of the hot swapping problem??

  9. #9
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    Not that i know of, you can only use the hdd on one system, just network the pcs and save alot of trouble and possible hardware failure.
    R.I.P Rangeral, To one of HWC's best moderators and a great guy

    By the way, what does BTW stand for?

    It is better to be tried by 12, than carried by 6.

  10. #10
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    Oct 2005
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    Singapore
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    Here's how I'd do it. Get a switch and get some cheap Ethernet cables. Connect all the laptops and place the HDD in a desktop - instant file server.

    I know its kinda expensive but overall that is the best way to do it. Even better, get a wireless router to connect those laptops and the desktop PC. I tell you, getting a wireless router and wireless enabling my desktop PC and laptops was the best -THE BEST computing decision I've ever made (except maybe get a new DVD writer).

    Seriously - give it a thought. For future expansion and for your family, I'd go with a wireless network method of sharing that HDD.

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