12 Replies Latest reply: Jan 14, 2007 11:55 PM by Douglas McLaughlin
Farzad_K Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hi.

I have already posted this on other forums. I have an external hard drive attached to this Mac Mini and hope to be able to access it by my other Macs aound the house. While I am able to access this Mini from other computers and we are all able to use its shared printer, we can not se or use the attached hard drive. It is a USB drive which is attached via firewire at the moment.

I am now using the Sharepoint software which seems to be complicate at the moment. I have set it up on this computer and one other and don't know what else I need to be doing in order to use all of this Mini's resources.

What is a good source for learning what Apple means by "networking?"

Thanks.

Farzad

Mac OS X (10.4.8), MacBook Pro
  • Douglas McLaughlin Level 9 Level 9 (63,750 points)
    A couple of questions. What kind of network do you have? Ethernet? Wireless? What kind of wireless access point do you have? I'm a little confused by your statement, "It is a USB drive which is attached via firewire at the moment." What do you mean by that? It sounds like it has both FireWire and USB so it shouldn't matter which way it's plugged in. If you plug the drive into one of the other Macs and turn on sharing in the System Preferences, can the Mac mini see it there? Which versions of Mac OS X are all the Macs using? We can probably help you get sharing up and running, but we'll need a little more information from you about the setup.

    -Doug
  • Farzad_K Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi Doug. Sorry for the confusion. I guss I have a wireless network, and when I say netwrok I mean that we are in space together here at the house. We don't have such as any network designed, or if it is, it is what is default.

    All the macs hace Tiger 10.4 OS.

    The reason I mentioned FW and USB is that someone else had mentioned that hard disks may have difficulties with USB attachments. So I am now attaching it using FW.

    I am experimenting with two computers nearby. The hard disk is attached to the Mini and I am trying to access it with my MacBook Pro. File shring is set to on for both the computers, but somehow the hrd disk does not show up as a folder or something. I can try and attach to it, but it requirs username and passwords which I have not set specifically on any machine to access this hard disk. I am an administrator on both, and I do use my passwords to access them locally or remotely. This sounds very confusing even to write.

    Farzad
  • Douglas McLaughlin Level 9 Level 9 (63,750 points)
    Thanks for the clarification.

    I have a FireWire hard drive plugged into my iMac. I have turned on "Personal File Sharing" from the Sharing System Preferences. From my MacBook now, I can click on "Connect to Server" in the Go menu from the Finder. If I choose the "Browse" button, a Finder window opens and I can see my iMac's name in the "Network" section. I select my iMac and click "connect". Then it asks me for the name and password. You must put in a name and password of a user on that computer and then you should be presented with a list of options to select to mount, the home of the user you logged in as, the whole internal hard drive and the external hard drive that's attached. For me, I have the same user name and password for both my computers, so it's a little easier. But, you will need to put in the name and password of a user that's installed on that Mac mini before you can connect to it's contents.

    I have a wireless network with an AirPort Express. It's possible, if you have a different brand wireless router, that browsing like this is not allowed. You may need to manually type-in the IP address of the Mac mini in the "connect to" window, rather than pressing the "Browse" button. (You can see the IP address in the Network System Preferences.) You do not need file sharing to be turned on the MacBook Pro.

    -Doug
  • Farzad_K Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Doug, very well done. Thanks.

    When I do what you suggest I get several folders under Network. One of them is a folder called "My Network" in which I can see that mini. When I choose it, I am given two things to choose from. One is my own space within that mini, and the other one is the Mac Hard Drive - no external drive indicated here. Apparently the external hard drive is not part of the "available shares" of that computer.

    When I try the direct route, using the ip addrsss smb://blah.blah.blah, after a few minutes of soul searching, the response is that "the finder cold not complete the operation because some data in "smb:/..." cold not be read or writte. (Error code -36).

    My Lincsys wireless router has a USB port to which this hard disk can be attached and then it can be accessed by anyone on the wireless netwrok very easily. One reason I have not done that is because the hard disk remains on for as long as the router and modem are on, which is for ever until I shut down th whole system. So, do you think neglecting the time on the hard drive wasted most of the day by being attached to the router itself, that it might be better to go that route? I am kind of surprized that Apple does not have a plug and play method of accessing a server like this, but then again I may have grown to expect too much of Apple.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Farzad
  • Douglas McLaughlin Level 9 Level 9 (63,750 points)
    Okay, it sounds like file sharing is, in fact, working, since you can see the Mac mini itself and log in. (If you're putting the IP address in manually, it seems you'll have to specify "afp://ip.address.of.macmini" since "smb" is Windows file sharing that may be chosen by default.)

    So, the issue is, specifically, although file sharing is turned on and you can connect, for whatever reason, the external hard drive is not being shared. On my iMac, I selected the hard drive and did a "Get Info" from the File menu. There was no option to turn on or off sharing on that one device. Out of curiosity, if you "Get Info" on your external hard drive, what "format" is the drive?

    -Doug

    P.S. The brand new AirPort Extreme Base Station that was just introduced this week has a USB port that allows you to plug in a hard drive that's shared over the wireless network.
  • Farzad_K Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Doug,

    Info on that hard disk indicates it is MS DOS FAT32. How can that be? I bought it from Apple Store, and it has never been on a PC. Could this be a problem?
  • Douglas McLaughlin Level 9 Level 9 (63,750 points)
    Very interesting. I guess I'd have to try it myself to test, but it could be an issue. Technically, with file sharing turned on, the format of the drive that's being shared shouldn't be an issue at all. Many external hard drives are formatted for Windows out of the box because it's more likely they're going to be purchased by a Windows user. If you didn't format it after buying it, I'm not too surprised it's FAT32 first. Is the drive full of data already?

    -Doug
  • Farzad_K Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    ...not anymore, Doug, all the evidence of D O S is being replaced by zeros as we speak; I am eraing it. I have backed up what I had backed up on this one. I need to be sure there are no compatibility issues. I guess this is one bone I should pick with Apple. If I buy something from my favorite store, AKA Apple Store, then I should be able to go home with it having been configured for Apple. Otherwise Best Buy is much closer to my home and they have bigger parking spaces and more "generic" stuff.

    I will keep you posted.

    Farzad
  • Farzad_K Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Doug, that was it - afte earasing the disk and formating it for Mac OS, I am now easily able to connect to that external drive.

    Thanks for sharing thoughts and suggestions to you and all others.

    Farzad
  • Douglas McLaughlin Level 9 Level 9 (63,750 points)
    Great! Thanks for posting back. I'm glad we figured it out. I can go to sleep now!

    -Doug
  • Farzad_K Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi Doug,

    Is this a normal behavior to be expected: I can only attach to the external drive if I am logged into that machine. When the machine (the Mini) is simply on and at log in stage/screen, only its local hard drive and my personal space on the internal hard drive appear as my options. Normal or not? It doesn't make sense that I should be logged into the remote machine, does it?

    Farzad
  • Douglas McLaughlin Level 9 Level 9 (63,750 points)
    Hmm... I will have to try that myself tomorrow. I haven't heard of that, specifically, but Apple's "personal file sharing" may be just that, specific to a user. If there's no user logged in then maybe the drive is not "mounted" and therefore not available to share.

    -Doug