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This question already has an answer here:

I bought an external drive (WD "My Passport" 2Tb USB3.0) and am looking for the "right way" to share it between a PC and Mac. I am currently sharing a folder on the PC's HDD with my Mac over wifi (smb), and I could just hook the drive up to my PC and share it the same way I am sharing the C drive.

Is there a way to utilize USB3 to share the external drive with both machines?

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migrated from Feb 25 '13 at 18:20

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

marked as duplicate by Chris S, Dave M, Renan, Hennes, 8088 Feb 26 '13 at 1:40

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Please do not cross post. If you want a post moved please Flag it and describe why. Thank you! – Chris S Feb 25 '13 at 18:20
I thought that if you had a USB enabled wifi router that it would allow the sharing of an external hard drive like that? Also they make wifi enabled external hard drives as well that could be a good solution to your problem. – user202204 Feb 25 '13 at 18:24
I didn't actually. Whew! Seems this question was already on SU and they've basically said the same thing as @mfinni before it was merged from ServeFault. I probably should have thought to look at SU, but it seemed to me like a networking question. Thank you for the advice about cross posting, I didn't understand these sites were connected like that. – Shanimal Feb 25 '13 at 18:32
I'll check into that – Shanimal Feb 25 '13 at 18:33
Some WiFi routers allow you to share USB storage over SMB or NFS. But it's essentially what he's doing now. It does NOT allow sharing as a USB device to multiple computers. – Chris S Feb 25 '13 at 18:35
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You are using one of the proper ways to do this - a network file system. NFS or SMB/CIFS are examples of this. The server that it's directly attached to mediates access to the files by the clients.

You can't directly attach a disk to multiple hosts and allow them to use it, without using a cluster-aware filesystem that is correctly configured on all the hosts. Examples are NTFS with Windows Clustering, or VMFS for VMware ESX(i). If there isn't a way for the attached hosts to coordinate with each other that they're writing to the same disk, they will trash it badly.

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