External hard drive for two laptops

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Hi everyone,

I looking for some help in picking out an external hard drive that will
suit my needs. I've read the literature online and need guidance from
some one who is or has been in a similar situation.

I have two laptops -- one that is personal Dell machine and the second
is a work issued think pad.  I want to be able to store files on an
external hard drive (~300GB) such that the data stored on the drive can
be accessed by both laptops. I plan to store music, video, pictures,
etc. I'm thinking of the following configuration: 300 GB+ memory, 7200
RPM, 16 MB data buffer, with a USB interface.

I can't figure out whether I will need a HD that has at least 2 USB
ports? Do I? Will a hard drive that has only one USB port allow me to
transfer data between my two laptops?

My confusion is a bit compounded by the fact that apparently some HDs
use two USB ports -- one for power and one for data.

Any help you can offer is greatly appreciated. Also, if you can
recommend something that fits this spec I'd be very grateful.



Re: External hard drive for two laptops

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Presumably you mean simultaneously.

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Nope, that wont provide simultaneous access from both laptops if that is what
you want to

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Not unless you unplug from one laptop and then plug into the other one.

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Yeah, but they dont allow data over both, its just done
to get more power than a single USB port allows.

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A firewire drive will work, and so will a NAS external drive.

Re: External hard drive for two laptops

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How about if you connect a 300GB USB enclosure to a USB port
on one laptop, then run Ethernet between the laptops. Set up
a share on the USB disk, so that the second laptop can see
the local USB disk on the first laptop. Then, the only limitation
is the networking standard used between the laptops.

Your USB enclosure should have its own wall wart for power.
That will ensure the hard drive gets the proper power to
spin it up. And then you can use a cheap commodity OEM
drive in your DIY enclosure.


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