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Share a FireWire drive via FireWire networking Network
To make this hint work, you need to have a FireWire drive with two ports on it, two FireWire cables, and two Macs with built-in FireWire. To make things easier, I turned off AirPort and disconnected the Ethernet -- I wanted to make sure that I was getting the full speed of the FireWire, as my second Mac only has 100base Ethernet capabilities.

Connect the FireWire drive to a Mac with file sharing set up on it, and then connect that drive's other FireWire port to any other Mac. Next enable networking over FireWire in the Networking System Preferences panel. In the setup panel, give the computers manual IP addresses -- I used 10.0.0.2 and 10.0.0.3, and a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. Finally, simply connect to the Mac with the drive showing up in the Finder, and it will show up in sharing!

This allows you to network over FireWire and share a hard drive, which for me is useful for today's task of backing up all of my DVDs onto the drive. It could be useful for a multitude of tasks -- especially for older computers with FireWire and slower Ethernet.
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Share a FireWire drive via FireWire networking
Authored by: gabester on Jul 22, '08 08:02:20AM

Three things I'd like to add:
1) An trouble-free way to set up networking is to enable internet sharing from your active NIC to your FireWire port. No need to configure manual IP addresses!
2) If both computers have it, gigabit ethernet is faster than FireWire 400, and potentially less problematic (again, this hint is still advantageous on older Macs). Theoretically it's faster than FW800 as well, but many Macs have a gigabit chipset implementation that maxes out at around 650mb/s so this depends on your model.
3) Odds are, in most cases, if you already have a firewire drive, it's even easier to unmount it from one computer and mount it on the second computer (and this will provide superior throughput too). Sure, there's less geek credibility, and *I* can see why you might want the drive to be accessible to more than one computer at a time... more often than not I may do a direct computer to computer firewire networking connection, especially if one of those computers doesn't have GigE.

Also, I believe there's the potential that plugging two Macs into a single drive via FireWire has the potential to short out the drive's bridgeboard and/or one or more logic boards.
g=



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Share a FireWire drive via FireWire networking
Authored by: timhaigh on Jul 22, '08 08:39:13AM

I just invested in a gigabit airport base station and a netgear 5 port gigabit switch. Now my lan is all on a gigabit pipes. No need for firewire networking. And clients on my wifi are using wireless N so get 3x100baseT



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Share a FireWire drive via FireWire networking
Authored by: ershler on Jul 22, '08 09:19:14PM

I can't believe you would consider hooking one disk drive to two machines at once. Currently the OS has no facility for dealing with two machines accessing the same file system simultaneously. This can only lead to hideous disk structure corruption.



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Share a FireWire drive via FireWire networking
Authored by: Anonymous on Jul 24, '08 01:39:18PM
He's not. Not in the sense you're assuming.

When the disk is mounted on one computer, it cannot be mounted on the second; at least until the first unmounts it.

(Hint: this is why the original hint works.)

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Share a FireWire drive via FireWire networking
Authored by: jasonh1234 on Jul 22, '08 08:24:44AM
I highly recommend the Newer Technology brand miniStack v3 Drive enclosures.
Two FireWire 800 ports, One FireWire 400, Four USB, One ESATA

link: http://www.newertech.com/products/ministackv3.php

I have 4 of them daisy chained together with FireWire 800 on my Mac mini which is hooked up to my TV and home stereo (Mind you they're connecting to the Mac Mini with FireWire 400)
4TB Media Center baby!
Everything in my network is Gigabit/Cat 6 and 802.11n in my network.
The mini is plugged in with Ethernet to my Airport Extreme with lets my MacBook Pro connect to the drives whether it's all plugged in on my desk or from anywhere in the house wireless.

As far as I know... although I could be wrong... The drives can be mounted on both computers simultaneously this way. Now I'm second guessing myself and unsure. (Not at home to test right now.) Pretty sure it works though.

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Share a FireWire drive via FireWire networking
Authored by: Anonymous on Jul 24, '08 01:42:40PM
As far as I know... although I could be wrong... The drives can be mounted on both computers simultaneously this way. Now I'm second guessing myself and unsure. (Not at home to test right now.) Pretty sure it works though.
No it does not, and can not. A filesystem typically can only be mounted only once. There are some filesystems that handle this, but HFS+ is not one of them. It's all to do with caching.

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Interesting...
Authored by: mkoistinen on Jul 23, '08 06:27:17AM

However, to those who suggest that this may damage your drive or filesystem, you need to decompose this into what it *really is*:

Namely, the connection of a drive to one machine, and then connecting to the drive to another machine through file-sharing on the other machine. The fact that they are networked over the same firewire daisy-chain is irrelevant.

Remember, firewire is daisy chainable so a number of devices can work fine on the same bus. The 2nd computer connected becomes a client-device on the bus, just like any hard disk or camera, etc.

Using the firewire as a networking medium provides solid throughput and is suitable to the goal of the hint - namely moving files to a single drive from two machines.



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Interesting...
Authored by: ershler on Jul 23, '08 12:58:16PM

I agree with your basic facts. It is possible via file sharing to move the files in question. But one has to keep his/her wits together. If you make one false move on the machine that should not access the disk, you could still blow up the whole file structure on the disk.

In addition by using file sharing, the data have to go from the second machine to the first machine and then back to the disk drive. In other words, all the data has to traverse the bus twice. A faster and safer alternative is to just connect the drive to one machine at a time.



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Interesting...
Authored by: Anonymous on Jul 24, '08 01:48:56PM
Cute:
Speed Limit
Your last comment was 45 seconds ago. This site requires at least 45 seconds between comments

Anyway, your post is FUD. There's not risk of damaging filesystems, and certainly no possibility you could "blow up the whole file structure on the disk", except by the usual means of unplugging a mounted disk. As for your point about bandwidth, this is for people who don't have a spare ethernet cable lying around to do the transfer at 2.5 times the speed of standard firewire.

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Interesting...
Authored by: ershler on Jul 24, '08 10:00:52PM

So you are telling me that if two machines has the same disk mounted, that changes to the directory structure from one machine will not effect the other machine's view of the disk? The OS caches a lot of info about the directory on a disk to make disk IO more efficient. A machine expects the disk to be left in the state it was in after said machine mounts it and/or makes changes to it. If the second machine makes changes "behind the first machine's back" chaos is bound to ensue. If this weren't the case there would be no reason for all the software and hardware necessary to make XSan possible.



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Interesting...
Authored by: arcticmac on Jul 09, '09 08:20:11AM

The point is that you're not actually mounting the drive twice. First you mount the drive itself on one computer. Then that computer is creating a virtual file system (file sharing), which gets mounted on the second computer. It's no different than when you use file sharing to pull up your computer's HD somewhere else, except that here the networking is being done using FW400 cables instead of CAT5/6 cables.



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Share a FireWire drive via FireWire networking
Authored by: dv24 on Jul 23, '08 10:07:57AM

Thanks for the comments on the hint - I'm aware gigabit and firewire 800 are better but they weren't available, and I did want to use the drive from both computers at once.

Interesting point on burning out the bus - I'll keep an eye out for this, have done a lot of high intensity data transfer on it.

That ministack looks pretty good too - will be looking into that.



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Share a FireWire drive via FireWire networking
Authored by: Anonymous on Jul 24, '08 01:53:03PM
Interesting point on burning out the bus - I'll keep an eye out for this
It's FUD, not an interesting point. Firewire is a networking protocol, designed for connecting multiple devices. Just like SCSI, you can connect as many controllers and client devices as you like.

What's interesting is that people believe and persist in spreading crap about "burning out" and "hideous corruption". Sheesh. If I told you your trackpad emits toxic radiation, would you stop using it?

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Looks like a viable way to create a SAN
Authored by: _iCeb0x_ on Jul 27, '08 06:16:37PM
Firewire was conceived as a sucessor to SCSI, but implemented as a serial bus and with more features, like hot-plugging and self-configuration.

From Wikipedia's page on Firewire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firewire):

1. It does not need a computer host;

2. It allows peer-to-peer device communication — such as communication between a scanner and a printer — to take place without using system memory or the CPU;

3. FireWire also supports multiple hosts per bus;

4. FireWire devices are organized at the bus in a tree topology. Each device has a unique self-id. One of the nodes is elected root node and always has the highest id;

5. [An IP] network can be set up between two computers using a single standard FireWire cable, or by multiple computers through use of a hub.

So, it seems to me that it could be possible for multiple computers to access multiple drives on a Firewire network, but IP is not really useful for that, because most of the Firewire external drives are not capable of running IP over Firewire.

The question is: what's preventing us from a cheap SAN system? Lack of IP support on Firewire bridge chips? Or the Firewire stack implementation on most OS's is lacking support for this?

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