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jryan42988
Feb 16, 2012


Problem description: I'm helping a family friend with some computer issues... She has a Mac computer and a Windows computer sitting right next to one another; each with their own monitor. She has a few external hard drives between them because she ran out of storage. She just bought a 12TB external hard drive that she wants to be accessible from both computers. I was thinking I could use a "splitter" (??? I don't know what you would call it) to connect the single hard drive to both computers. Some googling suggests that this is possible if it is formatted to exFat (as that format is friendly to both Mac and Windows.) I also considered returning that 12TB hard drive and buying a NAS (I don't really know what that is either) with similar 12TB capacity. If someone could tell me how a NAS works and if it is, in fact, a better alternative, that would be great. Any feedback about my situation would be greatly appreciated.

Attempted fixes: None

Recent changes: No significant changes recently

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Operating system: Windows 10 on one computer, and the other is a Mac

System specs: I don't have that info right now but I don't think it's relevant to my question

Location: USA

I have Googled and read the FAQ: Yes

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Zogo
Jul 29, 2003



jryan42988 posted:

She just bought a 12TB external hard drive that she wants to be accessible from both computers. I was thinking I could use a "splitter" (??? I don't know what you would call it) to connect the single hard drive to both computers. Some googling suggests that this is possible if it is formatted to exFat (as that format is friendly to both Mac and Windows.)

I don't think you can split one external HD like that. You might be able to have that 12 TB HD connected to one machine and share it somehow but it's more complicated when doing that between Mac/Windows. I haven't tried that in many years.

jryan42988 posted:

I also considered returning that 12TB hard drive and buying a NAS (I don't really know what that is either) with similar 12TB capacity. If someone could tell me how a NAS works and if it is, in fact, a better alternative, that would be great. Any feedback about my situation would be greatly appreciated.

A NAS would make more sense. It is something the plugs into your network (using an ethernet cable) and can be configured so that any computer on the network can access it.

You can buy some of them with the HDs already installed or you can buy the machine and put HDs in separately.

jryan42988
Feb 16, 2012


Zogo posted:

I don't think you can split one external HD like that. You might be able to have that 12 TB HD connected to one machine and share it somehow but it's more complicated when doing that between Mac/Windows. I haven't tried that in many years.

A NAS would make more sense. It is something the plugs into your network (using an ethernet cable) and can be configured so that any computer on the network can access it.

You can buy some of them with the HDs already installed or you can buy the machine and put HDs in separately.

https://www.amazon.com/Selector-Swi...135643097&psc=1

Would something like this work with such a large drive? Is it a smart alternative?

Is there an affordable NAS for a home network? newegg.com has a bunch of NASs but they seem to be geared towards at least a small office... I'm also kind of confused about what a "diskless" NAS is and if I should get one or not. Most of them seem to be pretty pricey.

Zogo
Jul 29, 2003



jryan42988 posted:

https://www.amazon.com/Selector-Swi...135643097&psc=1

Would something like this work with such a large drive? Is it a smart alternative?

That could work for connecting one drive between two computers.

jryan42988 posted:

Is there an affordable NAS for a home network? newegg.com has a bunch of NASs but they seem to be geared towards at least a small office... I'm also kind of confused about what a "diskless" NAS is and if I should get one or not. Most of them seem to be pretty pricey.

NAS aren't exactly cheap. And prices have increased recently due to the pandemic etc. A diskless NAS is one that has not drives installed in it. You have to buy them separately.

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