How can I use other ports on Macbook Pro to connect external HD?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by HeyElleJay, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. HeyElleJay macrumors newbie


    Jun 9, 2017

    I’m hoping someone could help me? I’m an untechnical person in a technical world! I need to find a way to get files off my Mac book pro before it dies completely – here is some background that will be useful to help answer this.

    MacOS Sierra 10.12.1

    Macbook Pro (15inch, Mid 2010)
    Processor - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i7
    Memory - 8GB 1067 Mhz DDR3
    Graphics - Intel HD Graphics 288M

    I have had repairs done to it including a new battery and more memory, but still having problems and I don’t believe it’s worth continuing to put money into it.

    The two usb ports no longer work. This model incorporates the usb with the motherboard, and cannot be replaced separately.

    There are 400GB of data used: too much for the cloud.

    Apparently you can attach an external hard drive to my modem and put files on there, however after trying that and failing I was told by Belong that this modem is not compatible with Mac (Sagemcom F@st 4315)

    I understand I could buy a different modem that would support it to enable transfer – but I don’t know if I can get one that is suitable for the NBN (which I have here) and also fine for ADSL (I’m moving interstate in 6 months, so I might not have NBN) and both compatible with Mac and Windows (I’m thinking I might not get a mac as my next computer.) In addition, for this same reason, I don’t want to buy an Apple specific wireless hard drive.

    Then I’ve looked at the various Ports, thinking there may be a connector I could buy to plug into the Firewire port or card slot that would have an end on it that could be plugged into my external hard drive for manual transfer of files. (I used to use Time machine back up until my usb ports failed.) I looked online and couldn’t seem to find anything – but I’m not particularly technically savvy.

    So I guess my question is does anyone know if such a connector exists, what it’s called and where I might be able to get one online?
  2. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    If you are not going to repair your MBPro ---
    Remove the hard drive, and put that in an external case. There's your backup, which you would have available to use on a different Mac :D

    Or, another possibilty - Remove the optical drive, install another hard drive in a "data doubler", then install that new drive in place of the optical drive. Macsales has all that, and has online instructions for doing the job.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Do you have another Mac?
    Will you be getting one soon?

    If so, DeltaMac's advice will work.
    Get a USB3 external enclosure, and just connect the drive to the other Mac.

    Go to to see how to open the back of the MacBook.
    I think you'll need a #00 Phillips driver and a TORX T-6 driver (find these at hardware stores, Home Depot, Lowe's, or online).
    The "extraction" is easy. Anyone can do it.
  4. HeyElleJay thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jun 9, 2017

    Thanks for the advice DeltaMac. :) That was very helpful, and I will save this info for when I decide to buy a new computer . . . Whilst this one is mostly alive, I will keep using it
    My main issue right now is to get the data on here duplicated somewhere else just in case I loose it.
    I have just found out that external hard drives can be wireless now (yeah I'm a bit slow with technology) and I've found one that is Mac and Windows compatible, so no matter if I stay with Mac or not it will still be of use to me. This is the one here:!specifications

    I may end up trying to keep this computer and use it solely for photography, and get an ipad for general internet use. And look at getting the 'quirks' fixed on this over time . . . especially now I see that this forum could be quite informative. I will see :)
    --- Post Merged, Jun 19, 2017 ---
    Thanks Fishrrman :) No new computer yet, mac or otherwise. But as I mentioned in my reply to DeltaMac, right this minute I just needed to back up data on here without being able to plug into the broken usbs. The wireless hard drive seems like a good option until I make my decision . . .
    But I really appreciate the advice, great forum here
  5. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
  6. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2014
    Doesn't that machine have a FireWire port?

    Perhaps I'm misunderstanding something, but you can still get USB+FireWire enclosures for not much more than straight USB, i.e. $15 to $20. If you can't find an external FireWire drive+enclosure combo for the right price, get the bare enclosure and stick a drive of your choice in it. Don't run without backups, you'll regret it for sure...

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