Question Partition Hard Drive Conundrum

Jan 22, 2021
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Hi all,

First post on here.

Might be in the wrong forum so forgive me in advance (if so i will repost where necessary).

This seems like a simple question to ask for some individuals here so I figured it would be answered fairly quickly and someone could lead me in the right direction. I have 3 laptop computers (2 mac OS and 1 windows based) and one windows based desktop computer that i built on my own. I'm looking for the best and most efficient way to take a external SSD and create partitions on the drive and enable myself to combine all 3 laptop hard drives onto the external. I want to be able to boot from the external and/or extract the data from the external and burn to a fresh computer/laptop.

This seems fairly simple but I want to be as careful and efficient as possible. The ultimate goal is to have everything on one giant external SSD and another backup in a cloud somewhere in case the hardware fails down the road. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you,
Eric
 
What you asking for - or should ask for - is a NAS device, not an external hdd. But when you're suddenly also adding booting from ext. harddrive, I struggle to understand your end goal here. That combination doesn't make sense for me.
 
Well - here is how I'd trying to solve the issue:
  • Freenas on the oldest computer, and have the external hdd connected to that.
  • Copy any personal/local files to the external hdd (I'm not very familiar to freenas in this regard, but it should be possible if using a live iso of a Linux distro or bsd)
  • then share the external drive.
  • and copy (backup) from the other two computers.
If not - the only option left is to use fat32 file system with it limits.


Is there no way to Boot from an external each operating system independently with all of the associated data from each partition?
You can install a Linux distro to the external hdd, and it will work. What Linux distro that can access Mac OS file system (if any) I don't know.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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All of the data like you mentioned (documents/music/video)

Is there no way to Boot from an external each operating system independently with all of the associated data from each partition?
You can't just take the existing Windows and mac drives out, put them in an external enclosure, and make them boot up.

As noted above, a fresh Linux installed on the external can be bootable.
 

Krotow

Commendable
Oct 2, 2019
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Will not happen. Booting one Mac from external drive, connected via Thunderbolt - yes. But booting all three laptops from one drive - forget about it. You definitely require NAS here as folks said. Wired or wireless, does not matter.
 

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