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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Aug 14, 2006
    Question Convert PC into External HD for eMac
    • eMac G4 1GHz(?) - 80G HD
    • Maxtor - 300G External HD
    • Randomly acquired HP Windows PC System with approx 80G HD

    My Level of Competency:
    Mac OS = 7.5/10
    Windows= 4.5/10
    Basic-to-Moderate Computer Terminology
    Limited Networking Terminology

    I have an eMac with something like an 80GB HD. I have a Maxtor external 300GB HD. I have a windows machine thats fairly young with a good processor and a hefty HD as well. I don't use the Windows machine. I would love to gut it. I would love to make it into a Media Console or something of the sort. At least it could be converted into a tower of TB HD storage, right?

    I would like something that I could back up to. I would like something that could basically be a library for tunes and video. I would like something to which I could potentially add space.

    How do I go about doing this? Can someone direct me to some cool instruction page in Mac colloquialism? I don't know much of the Windows jargon and find that every time I get into it I get extremely frustrated.

    I have been directed to the FREENAS website. To be honest, most of this stuff is way over my head (NAS, LPR/LPD serving, mt-daapd, PHP over FW, WHS...etc...etc). I'm no programmer and know nothing more about Open Source jargon than I learned from the movie Revolution OS.

    I don't mind reading up or learning what needs learned, I just can't start a degree plan based on this project.

    Can anyone help? Is there a fix for this situation?

    I just want to do something neat with this windows machine so it's not sitting there getting older and collecting dust. I want people to say, 'Wow, that's awesome.'

  2. #2

    bryphotoguy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 02, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    Quad 2.8GHz Mac Pro, Edge iPhone
    hmmm.... easiest way and fastest way to transmit data would be to have the two computers networked together through an ethernet router. You should be able to share full hard drives from the windows machine.
    If your external HD has a normal desktop hard drive you could take it apart and slave the HD make the current one in the computer the master. I assume that all the HD's have an IDE interface (fat gray ribbon that connects HD to motherboard. You should be able to pickup (if you don't have one) a ribbon that supports two devices. This way you can make one HD the master boot drive (current drive in the PC) and the drive from the external as a secondary drive. There are pins in the back of each drive and a little metal connector w/ plastic around it. There should be a diagram on each HD on how to make it a master and a slave.
    Depending on the size of you computer, you could easily get atleast 4- HD's into your computer. You'd have to sacrifice and get rid of the the DVD or CD drive and do the same thing over as stated above with the two HD's.
    I would think it'd be the easiest way to get 1TB of storage. I've never tried it so don't hold me to this. I have built PC's from scratch so based on theory (my PC had two HD's and two optical drives) so, it should work.

    January 2008 Member of the Month

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Apr 25, 2007
    eMac - 1GHz G4 - 768MB RAM - 200GB - DVDRW
    You could really put as many hard drives as your power supply could handle. Just add in IDE hard drive PCI cards. You could even get a raid setup and use gigabit ethernet for fast data transfer if your Mac supports 10/100/1000.

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