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Thread: USB/Ethernet Hard Drive, OR How can I make my PC act like a USB HDD?

  1. #1

    Thumbs up How can I share my USB Hard Drive with my Wii and my Network?

    Edit: The purpose of this thread is to try to find a way to share an external USB Hard Drive with both the Wii and the Home Network (thru direct ethernet, or thru sharing an eSATA/Firewire connection). If this is something you'd like to do, please read on and contribute any ideas, thanks!

    What I want to be able to do is, connect my Wii USB HDD to my Network and my Wii at the same time. That way I can access/transfer pictures/music etc to it from my computer, OR access the games/data from it using the Wii - without unplugging anything or moving anything. Sort of like a Network file server that also connects to the Wii.

    Anyone know of an external drive that can do that? Or (even better) an adapter with this capability so I can continue to use my current external Sata drive? I've looked around a lot but cannot find something that would work directly.

    OR (and this is a big or), if there is no device that could simultaneously connect a HDD to a network and USB at the same time, what about some sort of Virtual USB software for a PC? Maybe something like Dameon-Tools, but instead creates a 'Virtual' USB HDD, and sends the data out thru a USB cable to connect to the Wii. (Although I guess you'd have to have a Male USB A to Male USB A type of cable...)

    What do you guys think? Has anyone tried this, or know some way to do this? Sounds good on paper anyway... Thanks!
    Last edited by knightracer1k; 09-21-2010 at 08:41 AM.

  2. #2

    Us so i'm not the only one...

    Quote Originally Posted by knightracer1k View Post
    creates a 'Virtual' USB HDD, and sends the data out thru a USB cable to connect to the Wii. (Although I guess you'd have to have a Male USB A to Male USB A type of cable...)
    I have been looking in to this since i hacked my wii a few months ago, so far i have come up with nothing. I do have a usb A male to usb A male cord, i've never thought of a virtual usb, but if it is possible i will keep you posted.

    and if a virtual usb is possible, and if you don't have a male to male usb A cord it is easy to make your own using the male parts of 2 different usb cords

    Until later,

  3. #3
    Hey Nickk, Thanks for your reply.

    Yeah, I'm a tech and making a cable wouldn't be a problem, I just don't know much about software to program a 'Virtual USB Hard Drive' or something similar. But good to see someone else interested in an idea like this.. I wonder if this is the best section of the forums for a topic such as this? Or do you know any other forums where we could find some people interested in something like this?

    Obviously, a hardware solution would be best (some type of SATA HDD enclosure that has a Male USB A cable end as well as a socket for an ethernet or network cable). And it would need to be able to simultaneously work as a USB external drive (for the Wii) and a network drive (to be accessible thru the network for file transfer). Or switch back and forth between these two modes automatically. I wouldn't even be concerned about being able to access it with WBFS manager (I could directly connect it to my PC for that), I would just like the ease of being able to transfer music and video to it and then access the video and music with WiiMC.

    It just seems like the best solution to not have to constantly unplug, run to the other room, replug, xfer, unplug, run back, replug.... I would watch more video on the Wii if I could easily transfer data to it.

    The Virtual/software USB HDD is just an idea, I don't know how to do it. I couldn't find anything on google, I'm not sure if anyone has done something like this.. (and why would they.. Except for something like this...) Any Software guys out there? But I'll keep looking as well, and let you know..

    Cmon guys, lets find a solution for this! You know you would all benefit.. Thanks!

  4. #4
    So I was talking to a guy about this who knows almost everything about computers, he said that there are drivers that make your computer read an hdd as a usb, but they only work with an external hdd and its case... it might be possible to find an external hdd case with a network port (or perhaps wireless) but it also might be possible to make one yourself

    and it would take one hell of a software programmer to figure out how to make any virtual usb hdd....

    as much as i don't want to say this (because i totally agree with you(and want to do what you are saying)) but your best bet would be running back and forth

  5. #5

    Ca I have also been looking for something like this

    I have also been looking for something like this. There are a few things I can think of.
    The Wii and you computer are already on the same network, both connected to your router. There is homebrew that allows the Wii to access FTP sites and also set itself up as an FTP server. I figure you should be able to use something like this. Since any game loaders or media players I know of on the Wii can't access network files, I guess the way to go would be to have the usb HDD always hooked up to the Wii and then somehow have the Wii sharing that HDD over th network (you mentioned having the HDD hooked up with ethernet: in this case the Wii would be acting as the gateway to the network since it is already connected to it. I would think this is possible but have no idea how to do it or write any software necessary to make it work.
    I am really surprised nobody has done this, makes me think it can't be done somehow.

    Another idea is if you coud just hook up some kind of usb splitter (one sort of opposite to a typical usb hub) that connects one end to the USB HDD and the other end splits and can plug into both the Wii and PC at the same time. I don't see why this can't happen, networked HDDs can be accessed by multiple PCs at once as we all know. I assume the reason such a product doesn't exist (if it doesn't) because when you want to share an HDD with multiple devices (with multiple PCs), you just share it over the network. Since the Wii can't do this as easily, or at least not while simultaneously accessing it with a usb loader or media player (as I mentioned in the first idea), we are presented with no easy way to do what we all seem to want here. In my opinion the greatness of USB loaders is massively narrowed if I have to always unhook it over and over again, even if it is in the same room as my PC and requires only switching a few cords around each time.
    I find it very surprising that the hardcores in the Wii hacking community have not solved such an obviously pressing issue.

  6. #6

    ...maybe a solution?

    I've seen the Wii FTP software, I haven't had a chance to try it yet. It may be possible to use this as a solution, although then the Wii would have to always be on, and the HDD would only be accessible via network while the FTP software is running on the Wii. As for a 'USB splitter', it would be possible to hack up a couple wires and make this, but if both the Wii and the PC were on at the same time, the HDD wouldn't know which way to route the signal (ie not really a 'simultaneous' solution). It may even damage the device - probably wouldn't, but having two +5v from different sources is probably not a good idea. And when my Wii and PC are in two different rooms, I'd have to have a cable running along the floor.. Kudos on the idea though, it's thinking outside the box and I do like that.

    I agree, I'm surprised that everyone is just constantly unplugging and replugging their USB drives without more of a permanent hassle-free solution. Maybe noone is reading this thread?

    I went to the computer store the other day and spent an hour looking at all the different NAS/external USB storage drives there. I even asked a couple of different associates about what I was trying to do, and received answers from 'Now explain that again.. what are you trying to do?' to 'Hmm.. I'm not sure if any of these can do that...'. I never did find any drives that could simultaneously connect and communicate via USB and Ethernet, but eventually I did find a few drives that may have the capability for simultaneous communication via either USB, eSata or Firewire. While I'd rather have Ethernet access, connecting to my PC via Firewire or eSata could be an option as then I could share the drive to the network using the operating system.

    Here are four drives that have supposedly have these capabilities:
    Buffalo Drive Station Combo 4 1TB (USB2.0, Firewire 400/800, eSata)
    Verbatim 1TB External HDD (USB2.0, Firewire 400)
    Toshiba 1TB Black External HDD (USB2.0, eSATA)
    LaCie 1TB External HDD (USB2.0, Firewire 400/800, eSATA)

    My question is, does anyone have one of these drives that could check to see if a)the drive is compatible with the Wii and that it can read data from it (both a WBFS partition and a regular data partition with movies/music etc), and b)the drive does indeed support simultaneous connectivity with both the Wii and a PC (either via eSata or Firewire) at the same time, without moving anything or unplugging any cables.

    If anyone wants to help continue to comb the web for reviews or other drives that may be able to be used like this, please post your findings. I wanted to try to find a solution to use my current 500GB Seagate drive, but since that's not looking possible, I'm thinking about buying one of these drives to try it out.. Though I probably won't be able to do that for another couple weeks. In the meantime, I'd like to hear what you guys think.

  7. #7
    Ok, I've tried a product called Vantec NexStar CX External HDD Enclosure (eSATA & USB) and I was able to get it to read via eSATA on the PC, even while having the USB cable plugged into the Wii, so I think this can work. The only problem was that the Wii itself couldn't read the drive via USB, regardless if the eSATA cable was plugged in or not - I'm sure it's the Wii being picky.

    I'm going to take this enclosure back and buy a couple other ones to try. There has to be one that is compatible with the Wii..

  8. #8
    I have been looking in to this .....with no joy
    we could try a USB 2.0 2 Way Manual Share Switch 1 Printer to 2 PC's
    it should work for a usb HD instead of a printer
    it wont give you simultanious access from the wii and the pc but it would be better than swapping cables all the time...
    amazon sell them 11.99

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