Sharing USB drive

By ozi Eagle ·

I have a problem with a client's setup. He wants to use a USB HDD for backing up his data, from 4 computers, networked peer to peer.

Ideally he would like to plug the HDD into his computer (easy access to power points etc) and then initiate a backup sequentially from the other 3 computers. To allow this to happen the USB HDD must be shared. So far no problem, it works.

However, when he turns off his computer and then turns it on again the sharing permissions are lost for the USB HDD. Apart from his computer, the other 3 can't find the path, because the USB HDD isn't shared anymore.

My question is "Is there any way that a removable USB device can be permanently shared?"



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All Answers

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If it is shared on another system

by w2ktechman In reply to Sharing USB drive

does it keep the share?

Look to see if IPC$ is running, if not shares will not stay.

Also, is this an admin share? If so, the systems that I have looked at after SP2 have ADMIN$ disabled. It has this exact effect.

Is the drive ever removed before shutdown?

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by ozi Eagle In reply to If it is shared on anothe ...


Thanks for your suggestion. I'm sorry that I haven't replied sooner, but have been run off my feet lately.

I haven't tried it yet, but will shortly.


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USB Sharing

by TheChas In reply to Sharing USB drive

Another option, one that would allow the other computers to access the drive when any computer is off, is to use a USB switch.

I know that I have seen them for a pair of computers to share USB devices. No reason why there should not be a multi-port version.

The USB switch works like a hub except it allows you to connect multiple computers up to share USB devices.

Here are a couple of links:


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by ozi Eagle In reply to USB Sharing

Hi Chas,

Thanks for your suggestion, however, the computers are too far apart to run USB cables to each of them.


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I'd think

by Dr Dij In reply to USB Sharing

if you did that, multiple computers trying to update the disk's directories at same time could scramble the HD. Esp. if multiple computers had (different) files open at same time, sounds like it could scramble free sectors chains, etc.

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Another thought

by w2ktechman In reply to Sharing USB drive

would be to get a networked Sata disk array

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There is an easy way to share usb storage with SharePlugger

by easybow In reply to Sharing USB drive

Have a look at SharePlugger (http://www.share-usb-drive.com/) it does exactly what you want. It automatically shares an USB drive and other external drives within your local network/LAN every time you connect them to the PC. The software is free and has been around for a while now.

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