Best external thunderbolt drive to open and put a 512gb ssd into and use to boot?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by shenan1982, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. shenan1982 macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #1
    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!
     
  2. Tanax macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #2
    Question; Why do you need a Thunderbolt enclosure instead of a USB3 enclosure? It's way more expensive and more difficult to find too.
     
  3. shenan1982 thread starter macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

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    Nov 23, 2011
    #3
    Numerous people in various threads have commented that USB 3.0 tends to fail when running the system\OS off it, and I want to use it as a bootable drive. The Thunderbolt standard is said to be more stable and reliable when using a 512 GB SSD as a primary drive on an iMac, right?

    If you refute this, please explain. I have never had much luck with USB in comparison to Firewire 800, so I'm somewhat preferential to the more Apple-esque technologies (why I'm probably subconsciously favoring the TB over USB3)
     
  4. neilmacd macrumors 6502

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    UK
    #4
    BIB - Wow, is that doable? I'd have thought the different system configurations would cause all sorts of OS conflicts?
     
  5. shenan1982 thread starter macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

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    Nov 23, 2011
    #5
    I dunno, I don't see why not, the OS adapts to the hardware it's in. When I used to have a MacBook I took the hard drive out and put it into a MacBook Pro and it worked just fine. When you boot in it'll show the system's specs in the About in the system profile.
     
  6. Tanax macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Thunderbolt is an Intel technology, not Apple.

    What exactly is it that is failing? Got any links to those threads? I haven't read anything of the sort regarding booting from USB3 enclosures.
     
  7. shenan1982 thread starter macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

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    Nov 23, 2011
    #7
    I've seen it several places on here. People say plenty fast for data access, not so much for booting, running the system off it once you have lots of processes going.
     
  8. utekineir macrumors 6502

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    Feb 20, 2008
    #8
    have you looked at the seagate goflex thunderbolt adaptors?
     
  9. shenan1982 thread starter macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #9
    Yeah from the looks of them it'd be harder to get in and replace a drive. Plus I didn't see anyone who had done it whereas the Buffalo had a couple who said they did it.
     
  10. utekineir macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    #10
    I've got one of the seagate 2.5" portable sitting here, been meaning to take it apart.

    The desktop version was pretty easy.
     
  11. utekineir macrumors 6502

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    Feb 20, 2008
    #11
    [​IMG]

    Took less than a minute with a small flathead. Under the rubber plugs are screws at each corner.

    Couldn't be much easier. Mine is 1.5tb 15mm drive.
     
  12. shenan1982 thread starter macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

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    Nov 23, 2011
    #12
    Really? Can you link me to the product(s) on Amazon I'd need to order to have that setup? If I recall there are 2 products (drive and TB adaptor?) that I'd need? Also, does it come with a TB cable or would I need to buy that as well? And this will work for a 512GB SSD standard size SSD right?
     
  13. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

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    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #13
    I admit I have read similar threads where a few have noted that running their OS from a USB3 enclosure has given them a few problem every once in a while, usually when they were using the CPU at very high loads while also transferring data.
    I do not remember the exact links or pages but if I come across them again I will gladly post them back in this thread.

    I *think it just has something to do with USB in general uses the CPU itself a lot more than say Firewire or Thunderbolt.
     
  14. Tanax macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 15, 2011
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    Stockholm, Sweden
    #14
    USB3 does use more CPU than TB. However, if you're a person that doesn't use CPU-intensive applications or doing CPU-intensive tasks, you should be rather safe from these failures.
     
  15. shenan1982, Jan 16, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013

    shenan1982 thread starter macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #15
    hmm, so I guess that means I should use USB 3.0. The only concern I have is sometimes I convert video (MKV to iPad compat), so maybe I should get a powered USB 3.0. Are there any powered PORTABLE units on Amazon that can operate with or without external power? I don't see em.

    Anyone recommend anything better than this one:

    http://www.amazon.com/MiniPro-FireW...e-Silver/dp/B00655YT9C/ref=reg_hu-rd_add_1_dp

    That one is powered externally. Just wish it wasn't so bulky (compared to super slim enclosures)
     
  16. latestmonkey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    #16
    Did you ever figure out what to do?

    I have almost the exact same needs. I want to just boot off the external drive to a 13" mbp and a 2012 imac 27" so I don't have to clone back and forth.

    The Seagate thunderbolt adapter ($99) is just an open adapter. You can attach a samsung ssd to it if you want by just plugging it in.
     

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