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virtual hard drive
hard drive I can access anywhere

5+ Year Member

Msg#: 2997 posted 9:04 am on May 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi...I know this doesn't really relate to web development, but everytime I do a google search it leads me to this website so I figure you guys might have some answers. I don't know a whole lot about this so any help you can give me would be awesome.
I am a college student and I have a laptop with a small hard drive that I now use as my main computer. I also have a computer at home that I no longer use with alot of storage space. I was wondering if there was any way to turn my computer at home into some sort of virtual hard drive that I could access on my laptop from anywhere. I goto school about 3000 miles from my house so it has to be something that's always on and available.
I've been searching the site and was wondering if I need stuff like apache or sql? -which I know nothing about. Windows XP professional edition are installed on both computers.
My school has some deal with Microsoft and I have access to programs like Microsoft Server 2003 and Microsoft SQL Server 2000 if that will help me at all.

I am really completely lost as to how I would go about this so any advice as to what direction I can go in would be extremely helpful.

Thank you so much



WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 2997 posted 9:30 am on May 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

I use gotomypc and it works great. They also make very small HD's that are portable now


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 2997 posted 6:19 pm on May 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

Is gotomypc different from logmein.com?
I've tried using logmein.com and it isnt really want I want. It gives me remote access to my computer, but there isnt really anything I want to do on the computer. I just want storage space.

Yeah...if this doesnt work out I know I can buy an external hard drive. It's just that I don't really want to deal with the hassle of carrying it around.
Also, I'm trying to do this at no or as little cost as possible. I don't really want to pay a monthly fee. It's not worth it.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Msg#: 2997 posted 6:59 pm on May 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not sure how much storage you need - would a 1GB or 2GB jump drive be of any use? Certainly no problem to carry around, and if you do some shopping you can find them pretty inexpensively. This wouldn't help if you wanted the memory for anything but pure storage, but since you said you don't want to "do" anything on your home computer but just use it for storage, thought I'd suggest it.

You could also check with your school's IT department. The university where I work provides a certain amount of online storage to each student and employee who wants it, although not many people take advantage of the offer. Again, even if your school does provide space, I have no idea if it would be enough for your needs.


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 2997 posted 7:24 am on Jun 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thank you for the suggestion.
I have a jump drive
and my school does allow me a gigabyte of storage for stuff that I can access through FileZilla.

However, I was looking for storage space on a much larger scale.
I think I want like a WAN or use a VPN or something of the sort. I am just not knowledgeable enough on the subject to do it.
Anyone know of any good websites where I might be able to read about this?


WebmasterWorld Administrator bill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 2997 posted 8:40 am on Jun 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I tried out Hamachi to transfer several GB between PCs in the US and Japan. The speed certainly wasn't overwhelming, but the connection worked. It's an easy setup on most PCs (although I had a few where I just couldn't get it to work at all.

If you're not afraid of the learning curve you could take a look at OpenVPN, or other VPN technologies out there.

GoToMyPC would do what you want to a certain degree, but it would probably be overkill in your situation (not to mention the expense).


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 2997 posted 9:11 am on Jun 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I havent used it personally but I think google desktop may do the trick to some extent as well. I may try it next week and see how it works out.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member jtara us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

Msg#: 2997 posted 10:27 pm on Jun 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

The most obvious thing is to simply use Windows Networking. And it's almost certainly a bad idea. First of all, one or the other of your ISPs likely blocks the necessary ports. And there are too many potential exploits.

You could use a VPN. A VPN creates an encrypted "tunnel" between local networks. You would then use Windows Networking over the VPN. VPNs come in software and hardware flavors. In fact, there is VPN software included with Windows. IMO, it is difficult to understand and configure. And it's from Microsoft, with all the security concerns that go with that. :( Hardware tends to be on the expensive side ($500 or so for a Netscreen box, though VPNs are creeping into lower-priced routers.)

You could install an SSH server on the machine that you will be using to store files. SSH servers provide a remote command prompt, as well as file transfer using "SFTP", over an encrypted connection. Many FTP clients include SFTP support, and you could use one on your other machine to access the remote files. There are some FTP clients that also support SFTP that integrate into the Windows file system, so that you could access your files just as you would with Windows networking, including the ability to mount the remote file system as a local drive letter.


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 2997 posted 6:28 am on Jun 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you could elaborate possibly, how would I go about installing an SSH server?


WebmasterWorld Administrator bill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 2997 posted 6:49 am on Jun 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

The openSSH project is one way to do this. There are several sites out there that detail how you can set this up on various operating systems.

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