Using an outboard HDD


  1. Posts : 34
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    Using an outboard HDD


    Hi. I have several technical projects on. I also have several user accounts, with names like DESKTOP SHOPPING, DESKTOP ELECTRONICS, DESKTOP ARDUINO, etc. I also have 2 laptops. I don't want to duplicate files, so the intention is to use shortcuts to point to where the engineering data is located. So, if in DESKTOP ARDUINO the shortcut to a document will point to where it resides (which won't be on the ARDUINO desktop). It works of course when the data is on the local HDD. But, what if I place the data on an outboard HDD? In theory if I add a partition to my local HDD, that may change the drive letter of the outboard HDD. Well, I worry that it will. And then the shortcuts won't work. Any thoughts? Thanks. Rich
      My Computer

  2. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 7,388
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 20H2 Build 19042.868
       #2

    Rich,

    You will have to accept the discipline of checking that your intended HDD has the intended drive letter you used in your shortcuts.
    - You'd often only get a change in drive letter after some, but not all, major Windows updates.
    - You might find that re-partitioning an HDD also changes them, it depends ...
    - You can reduce the incidence of temporary driver letter changes by choosing drive letters towards the end of the alphabet so that connecting other drives to your computer does not throw out your intended drive letters.
    - - For example, I use drives up to and including E on this computer. If I chose F for an external HDD that would work. But if I connected some other drive, such as a USB, beforehand then it would be F and my external HDD would be G {until I removed the USB drive & rebooted}.
    - - If, however, I chose M for an external HDD then that would not be disrupted unless I connected 8 other drives first.

    The alternative is not to use shortcuts but to write batch files in every case that you write to search for the intended target file. This would be a lot more work than just checking drive letters.

    Of course, if all your computers were on a local network then you would not face the problem at all.
    - You could have the 'master' copies on one computer in folders that were shared across the network. The 'master' computer would have to remain switched on for the others to access it.
    - You could use a router with a USB connection so that the 'master' copies were on an HDD connected directly to the router. You would not need to have any other computers switched on. But you'd almost certanly have to use the Windows optional feature 'SMB1.0' set up [people often write this as 'samba']. You would need to search the forum to get the best advice on this topic - I've never bothered with it.

    Denis
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 34
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Hi. My scheme would work then if where the data connected to say Z drive. All this shows the weakness of the current system of allocating drive letters. If the drive letters could be set in stone by the user, things would be fine. I mean if I use two laptops the outboard HDD might well be allocated different drive letters on each laptop. But, I think setting the outboard HDD to drive Z on both laptops ought to work.
      My Computer

  4. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 7,388
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 20H2 Build 19042.868
       #4

    Rich,

    So set your drive letter to Z in Disk mgmt [C:\Windows\System32\diskmgmt.msc] on each computer and you should be okay.

    In Disk mgmt, right-click on the drive, select Change drive letter and paths then Change then choose Z from the dropdown.

    Denis
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 34
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #5

    OK, will set my outboard HDD to Z drive. Will see what happens in the next weeks. If a problem occurs I'll start a new thread.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I will mark this as solved. I am also looking into Intel NUC PC & similar as a possible solution also. Rich
      My Computer


 

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