Macbook Pro Retina + External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by HouseACA, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. HouseACA macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2011

    I am close to buying a Macbook Pro, but am somewhat put off by the memory size 'only' being 128/256GB. I have checked my iMac (which I am getting rid of) and it states that I've used about 250GB of my 500GB. Most of the usage is music, photos and videos. I am a keen amateur so take lots of high res photos, and have only just started keeping video clips of family etc.

    I was wondering, is it possible to wireless connect the MBP to an external HDD to access my photos when I'm at home via wifi, and also use it to back up via TimeMachine?

    I'm happy to plug in the MBP weekly or whatever to do backups if needs be, but I would like to keep my photos handy rather than having to go upstairs and plug in. In fact, I'd probably keep the recent/favourite stuff on the laptop.

    I already have a Seagate 1TB that I use for Time Machine backups at min. So basically, can I hook that up to wifi, partition it to have as part additional storage, part backup?
  2. Celtic Warrior macrumors regular

    Celtic Warrior

    Mar 20, 2013
    Toronto, ON
    Yes, you can do that. I'm doing something with my time capsule via my wifi. Even if you're not going to use it for storage, it allows you to send any file to any computer at home. It's like home network.
  3. HouseACA thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2011
    Thanks for the reply. Was debating whether to go for 128 or 256, but think now i'll save the £200 by going for the 128gb and just work out a wifi home network thing with an external harddrive.
  4. Nr123*123 macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2014
    You could save a bit more if you purchase a portable external hard drive. I bought the Seagate slim 500gb/USB 3 for £35 from Currys. It's smaller than a wallet so it's really no hassle carrying it around and for the price it's a great deal.

    You could then hook it up to your router to access remotely. This, of course, depends if your router supports USB.
  5. HouseACA thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2011
    Well I've now got my MBP, and lumped for the 128GB. I figured I was going to need extra storage anyway, so no point in paying for the 256GB.

    Anyway, now I'm struggling to work out my options. My current set up, pre MBP, was an iMac with a Seagate 1TB plugged in and Time Machine did the rest.

    Now that I have the MBP and most likely selling the iMac on, I want to have photos and music that I can store off the MBP but still access wirelessly. AND I want to backup these photos/music as well as what I've got on my MBP, preferably with Time Machine as it's all I know.

    From what I read, I can see an option for backup and option for external storage, but nothing that would backup the external storage? i.e. Airport Extreme. I also have a printer that I use regularly that I would like to be wireless, but if I need to plug in for it thats not a big deal.

    Any suggestions?
  6. nexus4life macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2014
    Just to clarify, will the MBP be the only remaining PC in the house? If so, NAS will only be achievable most likely through something such as a Time Capsule.
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    I would look into a NAS if I were you. Or if you'd rather have it "just work" perhaps a Time Capsule would do.
  8. HouseACA thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2011
    Thanks for the replies. Yes, the mbp is likely to be only computer in the house. I plan on clearing and selling the imac.

    If I got time capsule, would it allow me to store photos, music and videos off the laptop but still access them wirelessly using iPhoto, iTunes etc as if they were my laptop?
  9. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    I'm not sure the iLife suite would work all that well when run off of a Time Capsule.

    I would also venture to say doing it wirelessly might be hard due to speed. A wireless connection is exponentially slower than an wired one.
  10. HouseACA thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2011
    Thanks, I think i'll go with nr123's suggestion of using a slim hard drive and just keep it handy and plug it in when I need it.

    I guess I naively thought that if Apple sell a Macbook with 'only' 128GB and still push music/video/photos, that they must have a solution whereby you can store these storage heavy items off the MBP but yet have them easily accessible to consume using their own apps.
  11. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    128GB has no room for future apps you want to install. 256GB is perfect and move all personal data to external hard drive. That is why I moved iTunes media files to mobile wifi hard drive and 2nd external drive for time Machine. :apple:
  12. Angriff macrumors member

    Dec 28, 2013
    You can point both iTunes and iPhoto to library locations stored on external drives, whether directly plugged in or network drives. If you got a new Airport or Time Capsule, I imagine the wireless performance would be perfectly fine as long as you're usually accessing the photo library while you're in range to have a good enough signal for an AC wifi connection.
  13. illusionx macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2014
    Brossard, QC
    Macbook Pro Retina + External Hard Drive

    I don't understand, because apple have 512gb and 1tb options for the rMBP. The you would not have to struggle with 128gb now.
  14. dneill2006 macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2012
    Lisburn, UK
  15. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Personally, I'd go with at least 256GB storage and avoid the 128GB option. Apple does have a solution with regard to its music/video/photos. Use a larger SSD. Seriously the 128GB is great for those who only want to email, do lighting document editing. Anything with music or video is going to need more storage.

    I'm not against external drives, but I think using them for your live data (stuff you need every day) may be a mistake because you'll always have to carry the hard drive around. Why not opt for a larger SSD and be done with the external drive issue
  16. thetechfixer macrumors 6502


    Apr 21, 2010
    I use a 120GB drive in my MacBook but would recommend 256GB of storage as it would be better in the long run
  17. HouseACA thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2011
    Thanks for the solutions. Unfortunately I jumped in and got the 128 gb from currys about 10 days ago. I agree, as now I wished I'd have got the 256 as I'm down to 70 free already.

    I'm hoping the icloud drive will offer an easy solution when it's out. Photos is really my big one.

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