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Backing up 2 computers to one external drive via Wifi RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have two computers that can talk to each other via a wifi network.  One serves as the hub in my One Care circle, or whatever is the correct terminology there.  It is also connected to an external drive.  I used the default software that comes with the drive to install it.  When I look at it on Windows explorer it shows up  on the same partition as the C: drive.  There is another partition called "External drives" where the cd readers and slots for thumb drives show up.  I would have expected my true external drive to show up there too but it doesn't, it sits next to the C drive in this display.  I haven't found a way yet to move it into the external drive partition.

    I've gone through all the permutations of "change setting" I can think of to let One Care know where this drive is, and to use it as the external drive for all members of the circle, what it calls a common drive if I remember right but when I turn a backup loose it says no external drive can be found, and the backup fails on both machines.  By a strange coincidence my son brought over his laptop on a visit a few weeks ago.  He has One Care too, and it automatically backed up by wifi on my external drive, without any prompting or even permission from me.

    What can I do to make both computers back up to the same external drive?  'Thuse

    Update  Change "External Drive" partition name to "Devices with Removable Storage" on the Windows Explorer display in the discussion above.  'T
    • Edited by thuse Thursday, August 27, 2009 4:57 AM
    Thursday, August 27, 2009 4:50 AM

Answers

  • Steve's questions in Italics, my response not in Italics.

    How is this external drive connected to the PC? Is it connected via USB or eSATA? If it is USB connected, setting up Centralized Backup from the hub PC for all computers in yoru Circle should allow you to backup as desired.

    Connected by USB port.

    . . .
    The bit about your son's PC being able to use OneCare to backup with OneCare to your external drive is confusing. Is his PC on the same OneCare subscription as yours (part of your Circle)?

    Yes, he is part of the same circle, although he lives several miles away.  He uses his computer mostly for web browsing, so we don't back it up. When he visits he hooks up via our wifi.

    I also don't understand your reference to "partition" in Windows Explorer. A partition is simply a drive letter. It can reference a part of a physical hard drive or it can reference the entire hard drive. You can also span hard drives with a single partition, but that's another story and not something you want to get into typically. That scenario is incompatible with OneCare. If you look at My Computer in Explorer, the drive letter of you first hard disk will typically be C:\ If you have no other drives in the PC, you will also see your CD/DVD drive and removable flash drives if there are any on the PC - media slots, for example. When you plug in an external drive, Windows assigns it a drive letter or letters, depending on how the drive was formatted. Typically it will be a single partition with a single drive letter.

    Partition is the wrong word.  Maybe Section is more appropriate.  On the Explorer display there is a horizontal line that separates the C and other drives from those it labels "Devices with Removable Storage".  I made the wrong inference that external drives would be listed in this section, and that's how One Care would identify them as External. 

    So, when you connect a new external drive, it should show up as a new drive in Windows Explorer. . . .
    What software did you install to set up the drive? There shouldn't be any required. Most external drives are plug and play with XP and Vista. If additional software is in place, the drive may be configured in a special way by that software and might be the cause of your issue, although that doesn't explain the ability of your son to backup over the network to it without some more information.

    I let it install itself, no options selected.  My son's machine is set up to request backups.  In fact, I don't think you can turn off backup.  He just ignores the warning messages when it can't find a drive.  Much to my amazement, it found my drive over the wifi and performed his first and only backup all by itself.

    Next try:  The Windows Backup Plan under set configuration reads

    Where   External Hard Drive (Not connected) 

    The explorer display shows the drive, but does not identify it as external.  How would one care figure out that is an eligible drive for backup?  I went through several more displays and found a place where it listed all the devices eligible for backup.  It listed my external drive, so I selected it.  I hit start backup, and it started arguing about there wasn't any drive, etc.  I may have two one cares open at that time.  I shut down all one cares I could find, then loaded one care and started again.  It grumbled a little, but finally started the backup.

     

    Problem solved.  Thank you.  'Thuse

    Thursday, August 27, 2009 7:46 PM

All replies

  • How is this external drive connected to the PC? Is it connected via USB or eSATA? If it is USB connected, setting up Centralized Backup from the hub PC for all computers in yoru Circle should allow you to backup as desired. If it is eSATA, you can also use Centralized backup, but it will be a bit more work to configure in that it will need to set up as a network Share. You would create a folder on the drive and then right click it and Share the folder. The path to the share would be \\PCName\FolderName and that's where you would point the backup settings to for Centralized backup. When you set up the Share, you also need to set the permissions for the Share to be full read and write rights for all users.

    The bit about your son's PC being able to use OneCare to backup with OneCare to your external drive is confusing. Is his PC on the same OneCare subscription as yours (part of your Circle)?

    I also don't understand your reference to "partition" in Windows Explorer. A partition is simply a drive letter. It can reference a part of a physical hard drive or it can reference the entire hard drive. You can also span hard drives with a single partition, but that's another story and not something you want to get into typically. That scenario is incompatible with OneCare. If you look at My Computer in Explorer, the drive letter of you first hard disk will typically be C:\ If you have no other drives in the PC, you will also see your CD/DVD drive and removable flash drives if there are any on the PC - media slots, for example. When you plug in an external drive, Windows assigns it a drive letter or letters, depending on how the drive was formatted. Typically it will be a single partition with a single drive letter.

    So, when you connect a new external drive, it should show up as a new drive in Windows Explorer. If it is a eSATA drive, it is usually seen as an internal drive, hence the issue with OneCare not allowing it as a backup destination and why it might not be listed as a removable drive.

    What software did you install to set up the drive? There shouldn't be any required. Most external drives are plug and play with XP and Vista. If additional software is in place, the drive may be configured in a special way by that software and might be the cause of your issue, although that doesn't explain the ability of your son to backup over the network to it without some more information.

    -steve
    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare, Live Mesh, & MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator
    Thursday, August 27, 2009 12:29 PM
    Moderator
  • Steve's questions in Italics, my response not in Italics.

    How is this external drive connected to the PC? Is it connected via USB or eSATA? If it is USB connected, setting up Centralized Backup from the hub PC for all computers in yoru Circle should allow you to backup as desired.

    Connected by USB port.

    . . .
    The bit about your son's PC being able to use OneCare to backup with OneCare to your external drive is confusing. Is his PC on the same OneCare subscription as yours (part of your Circle)?

    Yes, he is part of the same circle, although he lives several miles away.  He uses his computer mostly for web browsing, so we don't back it up. When he visits he hooks up via our wifi.

    I also don't understand your reference to "partition" in Windows Explorer. A partition is simply a drive letter. It can reference a part of a physical hard drive or it can reference the entire hard drive. You can also span hard drives with a single partition, but that's another story and not something you want to get into typically. That scenario is incompatible with OneCare. If you look at My Computer in Explorer, the drive letter of you first hard disk will typically be C:\ If you have no other drives in the PC, you will also see your CD/DVD drive and removable flash drives if there are any on the PC - media slots, for example. When you plug in an external drive, Windows assigns it a drive letter or letters, depending on how the drive was formatted. Typically it will be a single partition with a single drive letter.

    Partition is the wrong word.  Maybe Section is more appropriate.  On the Explorer display there is a horizontal line that separates the C and other drives from those it labels "Devices with Removable Storage".  I made the wrong inference that external drives would be listed in this section, and that's how One Care would identify them as External. 

    So, when you connect a new external drive, it should show up as a new drive in Windows Explorer. . . .
    What software did you install to set up the drive? There shouldn't be any required. Most external drives are plug and play with XP and Vista. If additional software is in place, the drive may be configured in a special way by that software and might be the cause of your issue, although that doesn't explain the ability of your son to backup over the network to it without some more information.

    I let it install itself, no options selected.  My son's machine is set up to request backups.  In fact, I don't think you can turn off backup.  He just ignores the warning messages when it can't find a drive.  Much to my amazement, it found my drive over the wifi and performed his first and only backup all by itself.

    Next try:  The Windows Backup Plan under set configuration reads

    Where   External Hard Drive (Not connected) 

    The explorer display shows the drive, but does not identify it as external.  How would one care figure out that is an eligible drive for backup?  I went through several more displays and found a place where it listed all the devices eligible for backup.  It listed my external drive, so I selected it.  I hit start backup, and it started arguing about there wasn't any drive, etc.  I may have two one cares open at that time.  I shut down all one cares I could find, then loaded one care and started again.  It grumbled a little, but finally started the backup.

     

    Problem solved.  Thank you.  'Thuse

    Thursday, August 27, 2009 7:46 PM
  • Thanks for the clarification and the update, Thuse. I'm glad that it is working for you now.

    Apparently you have Centralized Backup configured. It sounds like you had to kick start it to use the correct destination from the PC having a problem. :-)
    -steve
    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare, Live Mesh, & MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator
    Friday, August 28, 2009 12:44 PM
    Moderator