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Is there anyway to add an external harddrive (that isnt connected to a computer) to my network so i could add/modify things wirelessly from my laptop. I ask because i have a HDD hooked up to my television and it gets to be a pain to have to physically connect it to my laptop to add new stuff. Is there any way to make this happen? (I wouldnt mind if i had to buy something extra to get it to work)

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four good/reasonable answers and no upvote? seriously? that makes the question show up in the "unanswered" section - annoying. – Kim Jul 24 '09 at 6:22
Can you tell us how you resolved this so others can benefit from the question? The accepted answer is vague and why you accepted it is unclear. – Joshua Nurczyk Jul 25 '09 at 1:54
@Joshua, because of Kim's bitching. But it seems pretty clear to me, just need to get a NAS enabled device or External casing and pop my HDD in there and hook it up to the network. – Petey B Jul 27 '09 at 15:42
Will update my question with complete steps once i actually get around to doing this. – Petey B Jul 27 '09 at 15:43
up vote 5 down vote accepted

You need some way to connect to the HDD from the network - either by getting a device to essentially turn your HDD into a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device (eg. Airport Extreme) or by replacing it with a proper NAS device.

How does the HDD hook up to your television exactly?

If it went through a HTPC (Home Theatre PC) to show itself on the TV? If that were the case you could outfit the HTPC so it could connect to the network and then set it up to share the hard drive via the network so you can add items from the laptop.

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hooks up through one of these… – Petey B Jul 23 '09 at 20:00
@Petey- can you edit your question and pop that link in there please? – Rob Allen Jul 24 '09 at 12:50

What you need is a NAS drive. This article came up on a search for "NAS drive". The first two paragraphs read:

A network-attached storage (Nas) drive is more than just a hard disk. The fact that the drive is connected to your entire network – rather than being directly connected to a PC – adds another level of complexity to the situation.

To use the drive, each computer on the network will need to know the IP (Internet Protocol) address of the Nas drive so it can connect and send data back and forth between the computer and the drive.

Basically, it's a hard drive in a network aware enclosure. Other machines can then access that hard drive via it's IP address.

You can buy separate enclosures, but make sure that your hard drive is compatible.

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You should be looking for a wireless NAS.

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Some external hard drive enclosures have an Ethernet port to do this. There are also larger Network Attached Storage (NAS) Devices which allow multiple drives to be served up.

For a USB drive, you would need some piece of additional hardware in order to get the device to be accessible on the network.

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Buying a NAS is one option, but there are other alternatives out there. I was looking for a similar solution.

This is my set up now , I am very happy

1, Bought a new Asus rt-n16 router with dual usb ports on the router.

2, Installed dd-wrt & optware packages on the HDD connected to my router, configured few packages like samba – for files share / mt-daapd – mp3 streaming server / twonky UPnP streaming media server and network print server (another usb in my router)

there are so many packages out there for you take advantage. complete software stack is open source

Best of luck!!!

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