"Leave in" USB Flash Drive

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Labhras, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. Labhras macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2014
    #1
    Hi all - I'm currently using a 13.3" MBA.
    Having been looking for portable external storage solutions, I have found these small "leave in" flash drives, for example made by SanDisk or Transcend, apparently meant to be left always in the laptop, providing a constant extra available space.
    I was wondering about the lifespan of such drives, and the eventual wearing coming from being connected to the port all the time.
    Any advice?
     
  2. cruisin macrumors 6502a

    cruisin

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    If you mostly use them for reading from, they will outlast your MacBook (assuming you didn't get a dud). Even writing to it shouldn't wear it out quickly unless you are doing something that constantly writes to it.

    The only issue is that your MacBook will only use basic sleep and not go into low power sleep. So you will lose more power overnight, for example.
     
  3. Labhras thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2014
    #3
    I'd use them to store photos, music and videos I want to have access to but without consuming all my disk space.
    Save from the rare writing, besides the first one, there would be mainly reading - playing videos, etc.

    Do you suggest ejecting the drive overnight and then reinserting it in the morning to avoid basic sleep?
    And in this case, a daily ejection/connection, could wear down the drive or I shouldn't worry about that?
     
  4. kohlson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #4
    My daughter's 2011 13-in MBA does just this just for movies. I put in a flush mount 64GB SD card over 3 years ago. Never taken it out, and no ill effects that I can see.
     
  5. cruisin macrumors 6502a

    cruisin

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    You can use Disk Utility to mount and unmount drives without unplugging anything, as the drive and/or slot could wear down after a while.

    You can compare the power drain overnight for inserted drive vs removed and see if the drain is acceptable or even noticeable. Or you can just leave the MacBook on the charger and not worry about it, as the battery maintains itself.
     
  6. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Location:
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    #6
    I have a "Nifty" drive and have a 128GB sd card in my MBA that I never remove. That's why I got it. Works a treat.
     
  7. Spink10 macrumors 601

    Spink10

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #7
    From my experience it has not effected my battery life.
     
  8. Labhras thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2014
    #8
    Thank you all for your replies. I wasn't considering 128GB SD cards yet because they're quite pricier compared to high quality flash drives. I found a 128GB KomputerBay SDXC Card around the same price for a 64GB SanDisk drive. I have read reviews about it, stating it's nowhere near a SanDisk quality level, I was wondering about your opinions about it, and whether it would be a preferable choice to a USB Flash Drive - not considering the size.
     
  9. cruisin macrumors 6502a

    cruisin

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    You usually sacrifice a bit of speed if you buy a cheaper SD card so its still ok for photos and music. Videos are probably ok.

    There is a somewhat higher chance of drive failure, so don't use it for important stuff unless you have a backup (that should be fairly obvious).

    Are you asking about a choice between an SD card and a USB key (the stick)? They are both flash drives and therefore work the same but the SD card sticks out much less (and not at all if you get something like a Nifty drive).
     
  10. Labhras thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2014
    #10
    No, I meant between a cheaper SD card and a high-quality (considering it's SanDisk) USB drive.
    Ideally I want it to last quite some time with occasional use and no problems in reading/writing files. Of course everything that'll be on the drive has already been backed-up, but since I almost always find myself with 10GB or so on my MBA, I wanted to find a good compromise.

    So I take the more lasting would be the USB stick? The "sticking out" doesn't matter - save from when I have my laptop in a case for travel, it's almost always on a desk.
     
  11. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 68040

    PinkyMacGodess

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest America.
    #11
    I was just thinking, wouldn't it be cool if someone came up with a base for the Airs that had the capability to add more memory for storage? With the usage of flash chips, the base wouldn't have to be very thick...
     
  12. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #12
    There are those transcend cards- JetDrive Lite: http://www.transcend-info.com/apple/jetdrivelite/ made to be almost flush with the slot...

    [​IMG]

    ...conceptually meant to be left in all of the time. However, as referenced above, OS X is programmed to not be able to go into deep (battery sipping) sleep when you leave any added memory like that in the slot, presumably Apple doesn't want ever-growing storage demands met by such solutions as that might get in the way of selling us new laptops ASAP.
     

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