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Can't see files on external drive when connected to router


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#1 ComputerJinx

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 05:37 PM

I have a Netgear C3700 N600 WiFi Cable Modem Router that  has a USB port on the back.  I want to connect one of my 2T external drives to the router so that I can access it from both of my computers.
 
First, as a test, I connected the external drive directly to my computer and put a few files on it. Then, I ejected it from my computer and plugged it into the router.  I was able to assign a drive letter and read the files.  
 
For a variety of reasons, I disconnected the drive from the router and plugged it back into my computer.  I then formatted the drive and split it into 2 partitions.  I copied many files [in a hierarchical structure] onto the external drive.
 
Today I disconnected the drive from the computer and plugged it into the router.  None of the files I recently copied [post-formatting and partition] were displayed.  The files I saw were the original test files I put on the drive.  [How this is possible?]  Next, I shut down the system and again connected the external drive to the computer.  When connected to the computer, the partition is visible as are the many, many files I copied to it; the files that were supposedly erased during the formatting can't be found even though they show up when the drive is connected to the router..
 
Why can't I see the partition and the most recently copied files on the drive when I connect it to the router?  I would appreciate it if you could please explain how I can fix this.
 
BTW, throughout this procedure, I used the same computer.
 
Thank you.


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#2 Kilroy

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 11:37 AM

The router may have the drive contents cached, which is why you see the old data.

 

How is the drive formatted?  That's probably your issue, especially if formatted NFTS.



#3 ComputerJinx

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 05:12 PM

Thank you for responding to my question.

 

Yes, the drive is formatted NFTS as I recall.  Can you suggest something I can do so the I can read my data while the drive is connected to the router?  Or do drives connected to a router have to be formatted differently from those connected to a computer [USB]?  Ideally, I would like to be able to swap the drive back and forth between a computer and the router.

 

Thank you.



#4 britechguy

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 05:44 PM

I think that most routers these days handle NTFS formatted drives gracefully, if they handle external drives gracefully at all.

 

I was able to easily swap my Toshiba Canvio external hard drive, which is NTFS formatted, between a D-Link 2750 router and my PCs, but my Actiontec router does not support external storage access even though it has a USB port.

 

I would suggest you take a look at the documentation for your router and see what they say about how connected external storage must be formatted.  It may not be able to handle a drive partitioned into several different logical drives.


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#5 Kilroy

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 12:49 PM

As britechguy suggested, I'd advise looking at your router documentation for supported file formats.  Formatting the drive to FAT32 or exFAT should allow the router to "see" the drive.  Here's an article to format a drive as FAT 32, Windows 10 stopped making it easy to format a large drive as FAT32 and the article has a link to a portable utility to allow you to do it.

 

I'd try exFAT first and see if that works, if not fall back to FAT32.






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