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How to expand 13" storage by 32GB (Flush)

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by LeakedDave, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. LeakedDave, Aug 5, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011

    macrumors regular

    I was working on a little project, getting more storage into the MacBook Air.

    The 13" MacBook Air has the SD Card slot, as you all know. When I bought it I thought I'd just pop a 32GB SD in it permanently and leave it there. However, to my surprise, it stuck out half way and this killed the purpose.

    So I did some googling around for a while and couldn't figure anything out. There was another topic on here that said to get a Micro SD / USB / SD card adapter and cut the USB half off and it would fit flush and use a Micro SD card with it. This sounded like a good idea however the OCX card they were looking for was out of stock everywhere, nowhere to be found.

    And then I found an alternative on eBay from Norcent.

    Step 1.

    Buy this:

    It's $8.

    Step 2.

    Buy a 32GB Micro SD. I got a Lexor 32GB Class 10 from Amazon for 90$ however you can get a class 4 for around $50.

    Or get a 16GB if that's all you need.

    Step 3.
    Cut the USB end off the Norcent adapter. With scissors. And maybe sand it down to make it smooth if needed.

    Step 4.
    Put the Micro SD card in the Norcent adapter.

    Step 5.
    Put the Norcent adapter in your SD card slot.

    You will need Tweezers to remove it, but it fits flush and is great for some extra permanent storage for those of you that might run low especially with the 128GB SSD.


    And yes, I've done this, and it works. Supports SD, SDHC, etc. My Lexor 32GB Class 10 works like a champ.
  2. macrumors 603

    Nice post. :)
  3. macrumors 68040

    Thanks for that.

    The Elago USB adapter is good, but not flush (but more secure than a protruding SD card.

    note: maybe super glue a little flexible tab on it for removal? (could always undo that mod, I would think). - I'd hate to have to try to get it out in a hurry without a pull tab :D

    ( now if they just would jump on the thunderbolt wagon we really would be rockin :D )
  4. macrumors 603

    Just ordered one. Can figure out which MicroSD card to get after my MBA gets here. :)
  5. macrumors 68000



    I've been thinking of ways to expand my 11" storage (aside from throwing in a bigger SSD), so obviously the only option is via USB. There are some pretty neat ones the size of Logitech RF Adapters (for example) that don't particularly protrude that much... which are really just tiny Micro SD adapters with Micro SD cards in the USB plug. Something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820235063

    This could be an option for 13in owners as well, if they don't want to bother chopping up an SD card. Again, it's not flush, but it's a tradeoff for ease of use, I'd say.
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Could you please take a picture with it installed and post it.
  7. macrumors 68000


    what is the speed though? I have to assume it would be horribly slow for bootcamp
  8. macrumors 68040

    Don't even think about it ;)
  9. LeakedDave, Aug 5, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011

    macrumors regular

  10. macrumors 6502a


    Sweet, Thank you :D
  11. macrumors member

    Would love to buy one, but it's a shame they don't ship to the UK!:(
  12. macrumors 68040

    Well there was 133. Now there is 130

    hmm, three people here say they bought one (myself included).....let's see, this math says, i'm short 2 trillion. Ooops
  13. macrumors 6502a

    I have one of these (well, not that exact model but the same thing) and just wanted to warn you that just having it plugged in with an SDHC card (no activity, just plugged in) dropped my battery life on my 13" Air by nearly an hour. Well, I should say that it APPEARED to make it drop by an hour or so. I didn't do anything different with the laptop (same activities, etc.) and my battery life went down by an hour. So, that's as scientific as I can get right now. I'm going to do some more testing, but just wanted to throw that out there.
  14. macrumors 6502

    Here's 2 USB I have that I use for my MacBook Air 11

    First one

    Second one

    Both micro sdhc card reader is using a Sandisk 32gb Class 4 Micro SDHC.
  15. macrumors member

    Hmm... not bad at all. It's going to be dirt slow, but not bad for storing my iTunes library.
  16. macrumors 6502

    wow great idea
  17. macrumors regular

    Great thanks. I have a 32 gb lexar class 10 laying around and I can use that for my itunes library in it. Then use the space that my library use to take and make it my bootcamp partition.
  18. macrumors regular

    Definitely sounds like a good idea for storing iTunes
  19. macrumors member

    interested to see how this affects battery life, but thanks for the tip bro.
  20. macrumors regular

    Haven't noticed a difference.
  21. macrumors newbie

    I know I must be missing something, but why not just plug the SD card directly into the slot on the MBA rather than trim a microSD USB adapter?
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Because it's not flush
  23. macrumors 68040

    How about a pic of the cut unit. To be sure.
  24. macrumors newbie

    Dave, this is the best solution I've seen so far.

    Could you do us a favor and run "Disk speed test" on your Micro SD ? It's an app from the Mac App Store.

    I'm concerned that the micro sd adapter or the SD interface in the MBA could limit the speed of your Class 10 Micro SD card.

  25. LeakedDave, Aug 15, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011

    macrumors regular

    I'm going to assume around 10mbs on both the read and write but I'll run this app in the morning.

    As for the disk speed test I'm getting 9.6 mb/s write and 15.6 mb/s read.

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