Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How do I connect two PCs to the same one external hdd?

  1. #1


    Posts : 12
    Windows 8.1

    How do I connect two PCs to the same one external hdd?


    How do I connect a Windows 7 64bit and Windows 8.1 64bit both to the same external hdd at the same time so that either can pull and return files to it?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    This isn't possible as you describe it. The usual way for multiple computers to access the same drive is to attach it to one computer and connect the computers in a network.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 12
    Windows 8.1


    So how can I do that with the highest degree of reliability such that even if I turn off or reboot one or both of the computers, the network elements, the PCs etc can still fully see and talk to each other as before upon start up? I had issues in the past where rebooting would kill the networking and I would have to set it up all over again. Has Microsoft fixed that?
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  4. #4


    N. Calif
    Posts : 2,583
    W10 Pro (desktop), W10 (laptop), W10 Pro (tablet), W10 (laptop)


    I'm not sure what problems you had in the past but networking has always been a set it up once kind of thing that survives rebooting.

    In addition to connecting the drive to one computer and then sharing that drive with the other computer over the network, many routers have a USB port that allows you to connect a drive to the router where all computers on the network will have access to it. With the first method, if the computer that has the drive connected to it is powered down or otherwise disconnected form the network then the 2nd computer will not be able to access the drive. In the second method, as long as the router is up either computer can access the drive regardless of whether the other computer is powered up or not.

    What router do you have?
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  5. #5


    Posts : 12
    Windows 8.1


    I have only an Arris for cable Internet provided by the ISP. There is no such USB connection. The ISP, TWC also says that only certain wireless routers work with their cable device and service and they would need to install it. Since I have also had a great deal of trouble with 802.11 wireless routers, I want to avoid adding a wireless router at all costs. Is there a simple wired router that will work between the Arris and the rest of the network and provide such a USB connection for an external drive that all PCs can access? When I tried to use a wireless router, rebooting would change the subnet of the router and the result was that I couldn't even connect to the Internet from my PC using a wired connection. I don't want any of that kind of unreliability happening on my network. Can you recommend a wired router that would work?
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  6. #6


    N. Calif
    Posts : 2,583
    W10 Pro (desktop), W10 (laptop), W10 Pro (tablet), W10 (laptop)


    Is there a model # or model name for the Arris modem/router? I had an Arris modem until recently (bought my own modem instead of renting theirs) and it had a USB port on it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 12
    Windows 8.1


    It is in fact a cable modem. It's an Arris CM820A. A compatible cable model with a USB 3.0 port that would serve to connect to the external hdd for two PCs would be awesome. Thank you for posting.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    What you are describing is a NAS (Network Attached Storage). The drive becomes another address on your network so does not require any computer to be on for it to be accessible over the local network.

    You can get a 3TB for $159 and a 4TB for $184 from Amazon. There are lots of choices available, some going up into the multiple thousands but those would be for business, not home use as a rule.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 12
    Windows 8.1


    Thank you. I would also like to hear more about the USB option.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    United States
    Posts : 3,093
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    Buy a router that has a NAT USB port, share it across the network. Don't know of anyone these days who has no router they can control regardless what the ISP provides.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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How do I connect two PCs to the same one external hdd?
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