I have an external USB drive mounted on my Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" box. I want to share a folder on this volume to another OS X computer over LAN. How is it possbile? If I simply enable the built-in File Sharing service and share the directory (using the AFP protocol), it won't be accessible on the other computer.

  • @Török: What happens when you try? I have a number of external USB drives and built in File Sharing is able to share them across my LAN... – Josh Feb 25 '10 at 13:49
  • @Josh: yes, I can share those devices too, but they do not appear in others' Finder. If I share a regular folder, it does appear. – Török Gábor Feb 25 '10 at 14:29
  • @Török: When your users choose "Go > Connect to server" in the Finder, and enter the address of the server with the USB drives and connect, are they not in the lists of shares? Are the users' accounts admin accounts or normal accounts on the server? – Josh Feb 27 '10 at 15:59
  • @Josh: Both accounts are administrators. Firewall is disabled. In Finder I only see shared folders that are not on the USB drive. – Török Gábor Mar 1 '10 at 8:38
  • 2
    Are the USB drives you're trying to share formatted as FAT32? Looks like it's not possible (or at least it's certainly not trivial) to share them: hintsforums.macworld.com/showthread.php?t=84156 – SimonC Oct 24 '11 at 15:08

I googled a bit and I found this answer in the thread Sharing external USB drive over network in The macosxhints Forums:

You could also use NFS. i'm not in front of a mac system right now, but it would go something like on the mini using terminal

$share /Volumes/<usb_drive_name>

and then on the powerbook

$mount <computer_ip>:/Volumes/<usb_drive_name> /Users/<username>/Desktop/<mount_point>

You would obviously need to fill in your information where you see <> above. for the mount_point, just create an empty folder on your desktop and substitute the name of the new folder for .

Of course, this is a very UNIX-y way of doing this. it could be that you are just looking in the wrong place for your usb drive. you can't just share out your desktop and find mounted devices there. you need to share /Volumes because that is where periferals are actually mounted. like i said, i'm not in front of a mac right now, so i can't check.


You can try changing the connect to server address from something like




and see if that helps. I would test here but do all of my sharing via OSXServer instead of OSX.


Actually if you enable sharing with SMB protocol, you can go to Finder's Go >> "Connect to server" and use smb://YourMacName. This way the shared drive will appear in the list. Sorry but I don't know how to use AFP protocol.

protected by studiohack Apr 27 '11 at 1:07

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