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Old Jan 15, 2013, 04:36 PM   #1
shenan1982
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Cheapest External ThunderBolt Drive that I could replace the HDD with SSD on?

Anyone know of the best thunderbolt portable drive to do this with? I have a 512GB SSD drive (Samsung), and I want to get a thunderbolt enclosure and put the drive in and have my OS boot off of it, so when I'm home I boot my iMac off it and have my OS on it at home, and then when I'm on the road I unplug it and plug it into my MacBook Air and have the same OS setup on the road.

My only concern is there are seemingly no external thunderbolt enclosures on the market, but I've heard several people have taken external TB drives, and opened them up, replaced the hard drive with a SSD then closed em back up and had wicked-fast boot experiences with the drive. Since I already have the 512GB SSD, the biggest cost is out of the way.

Any advice would be appreciated!
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 01:08 AM   #2
Dr Charter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shenan1982 View Post
Anyone know of the best thunderbolt portable drive to do this with? I have a 512GB SSD drive (Samsung), and I want to get a thunderbolt enclosure and put the drive in and have my OS boot off of it, so when I'm home I boot my iMac off it and have my OS on it at home, and then when I'm on the road I unplug it and plug it into my MacBook Air and have the same OS setup on the road.

My only concern is there are seemingly no external thunderbolt enclosures on the market, but I've heard several people have taken external TB drives, and opened them up, replaced the hard drive with a SSD then closed em back up and had wicked-fast boot experiences with the drive. Since I already have the 512GB SSD, the biggest cost is out of the way.

Any advice would be appreciated!
It's not an enclosure per se but you can plug it into a Seagate Thunderbolt adapter. They only run $99. I am actually not aware of any thunderbolt enclosures but I imagine you could open up a Buffalo Ministation and replace the drive ($174).
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 08:22 AM   #3
KPOM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shenan1982 View Post
I have a 512GB SSD drive (Samsung), and I want to get a thunderbolt enclosure and put the drive in and have my OS boot off of it!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Charter View Post
It's not an enclosure per se but you can plug it into a Seagate Thunderbolt adapter. They only run $99. I am actually not aware of any thunderbolt enclosures but I imagine you could open up a Buffalo Ministation and replace the drive ($174).
I use the Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter with a "regular" SSD (an OCZ Agility 3 and an Intel 320) as a backup drive. It gets nearly native speeds, and slightly better than using those same drives in a USB 3.0 enclosure.

Note that the adapter is intended primarily for use with Seagate GoFlex drives, but the connector is standard SATA III. If you use a bare drive, there will be a little bit of a gap between the bottom of the drive and the base of the adapter (it's about 4" long and 1" thick), so you might want to consider using something (such as double-sided foam tape) to "mount" the drive onto the enclosure. The new 0.5 meter Thunderbolt cable is perfect for it.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 12:32 PM   #4
shenan1982
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I use the Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter with a "regular" SSD (an OCZ Agility 3 and an Intel 320) as a backup drive. It gets nearly native speeds, and slightly better than using those same drives in a USB 3.0 enclosure.

Note that the adapter is intended primarily for use with Seagate GoFlex drives, but the connector is standard SATA III. If you use a bare drive, there will be a little bit of a gap between the bottom of the drive and the base of the adapter (it's about 4" long and 1" thick), so you might want to consider using something (such as double-sided foam tape) to "mount" the drive onto the enclosure. The new 0.5 meter Thunderbolt cable is perfect for it.
Oye that seems really primitive (no offense). I want something that at least looks decent if it's going to be sitting on my desktop, even if it means waiting.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 12:42 PM   #5
hfg
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I use the Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter (2.5") and it works great in OS X and Windows with a SSD. Yes, it does allow any SATA drive to be attached "bare", but I bought a couple of new "GoFlex enclosures" on eBay which allow you to insert your SSD and snap it closed to complete the package. Alternately, you could buy the GoFlex with a hard disk kit, then open the enclosure and swap the hard disk for your SSD and snap it back together. The hard disk you removed can be sold, put in another laptop, or installed in a cheap USB-3.0 enclosure for a backup drive. The GoFlex seems to power the larger 512GB SSDs without problems.

The Buffalo has been reported here to be very difficult to open due to strong double-stick tape holding it closed causing damage to the case. The LaCie rugged looks to be easier to open without damage to replace the HD with SSD. Both of these have been reported to have power issues with larger 512GB SSDs.

You can also get "refurb" LaCie "Little Big Disk" Thunderbolt at MacMall which hold 2 drives that can be used individually or as a RAID-0 for very fast transfer rates. It is not bus powered so requires a power supply connection. There are several threads which discuss this further here.


-howard
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 12:50 PM   #6
shenan1982
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Originally Posted by hfg View Post
I use the Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter (2.5") and it works great in OS X and Windows with a SSD. Yes, it does allow any SATA drive to be attached "bare", but I bought a couple of new "GoFlex enclosures" on eBay which allow you to insert your SSD and snap it closed to complete the package. Alternately, you could buy the GoFlex with a hard disk kit, then open the enclosure and swap the hard disk for your SSD and snap it back together. The hard disk you removed can be sold, put in another laptop, or installed in a cheap USB-3.0 enclosure for a backup drive. The GoFlex seems to power the larger 512GB SSDs without problems.

The Buffalo has been reported here to be very difficult to open due to strong double-stick tape holding it closed causing damage to the case. The LaCie rugged looks to be easier to open without damage to replace the HD with SSD. Both of these have been reported to have power issues with larger 512GB SSDs.

You can also get "refurb" LaCie "Little Big Disk" Thunderbolt at MacMall which hold 2 drives that can be used individually or as a RAID-0 for very fast transfer rates. It is not bus powered so requires a power supply connection. There are several threads which discuss this further here.


-howard
OK, so I'm looking on Amazon, my preferred vendor, and don't see which Seagates you're referring to, could you link me to the two parts (the drive\enclosure that I could easily replace the drive on, and the thunderbolt that's powered and would go along with said drive)? Thanks

And the seagate enclosure is openable to swap drives easily?

The one I see is:

http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Portab...dp_ob_title_ce

And that's not powered so won't work.

Last edited by shenan1982; Jan 16, 2013 at 12:57 PM.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 01:35 PM   #7
Dr Charter
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Oye that seems really primitive (no offense). I want something that at least looks decent if it's going to be sitting on my desktop, even if it means waiting.
I know what you mean. If I go this route, I'm just going to get a Twelvesouth backpack for my iMac so it's not sitting on my desk. Out of sight. Out of mind.
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