MBA + External Drive?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by macbook_21, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. macbook_21 macrumors regular

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    #1
    I'm assuming very few people do this, but I thought I'd raise this as a possibility.

    I could get a base MBA 11 or 13", and store my entire media collection on an external 512 GB or 1 TB SD or HDD.

    This would be far from an ideal solution, but I'd have everything I currently have now available on the go. I don't think it would weigh more than an additional 4-6 oz., tops.

    I suppose there is a cloud solution also, especially for music, but I would prefer to avoid that for a variety of reasons.

    Does anyone do this? Like I said, I'm assuming not, but there must be a few people who do.
     
  2. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    #2
    I use a 128GB Transcend JetDrive. Cheaper than most other external solutions, and works like an extra internal drive. You can also get them in the 512GB size. I also have a Nifty Drive (which holds your sd card), and a knockoff 1TB card, but I don't trust the card as much as I do the Transcend.
     
  3. macbook_21 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Thanks for the nifty drive recommendation.

    I don't think 512 gb micro sd cards are available yet. I don't see 512 jet drives either. I think I would have to "settle" for an extra 256 gb's if I utilize either option.
     
  4. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #4
    If you put your iTunes library on an external device, be careful that you don't end up corrupting it. I learned this the hard way. While you can easily choose the location of the media files, by default the library database is stored on the SSD. And if the external device is not available when iTunes starts, you can corrupt the database.

    It is safest to put both the database and library on the external device, that way if it's not available when iTunes starts it won't corrupt the database. This article is a few years old, but I found it very helpful: http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/moving-your-itunes-library-to-a-new-hard-drive/
     
  5. macbook_21 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Good point boyd.

    I really wish I had an unlimited budget. I've waited 7.5 years before considering an update, and I'm left SMH at the stingy storage options available in 2015. Yes, it's solid state/flash storage, but I was hoping that at least 768 GB of SSD would come at an affordable price point, ie under $2K.

    I know a lot of people have music libraries just as large, or larger than mine and use a laptop exclusively--so I'm surprised there isn't more clamoring for additional storage options.

    This cloud based stuff is just wack to me. You need to be hooked up to wi fi and lossless files are out of the question. Along with all of the attendant security issues regarding privacy. And that's not to mention the possibility of some of the cloud servers going up in smoke and taking your back up files with you.

    The jetdrive and similar options just seem like amateurish hacks. I'm not impressed at all. They don't even fit flush: they're close, but not quite. You can't easily remove them. You can't put the computer to sleep with the drives inserted. They drain battery life at an inordinate rate. It's just ridiculous.

    It seems like these flash based drives create just as many problem as they solve.
     
  6. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502

    cincygolfgrrl

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    #6
    A 1TB USB drive can be had for well under $100US, a 500GB for even less. If the computer and the drive travel together there should be no problem with iTunes database corruption. It's easy to mount, and it's a one-click unmount.

    Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. Here's the definitive article on how to make this work well.
     
  7. kohlson macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    If size is the most important thing in your solution, consider a mSata USB3 solution, The drives are a little smaller, but the enclosures seem to be much smaller than those designed for 2.5-inch SATA drives, especially because the latter try to accommodate both 7 and 9mm drives. I recently purchase a 480GB SATA drive with an Intertek enclosure. Easy to install, but big. Bigger than the small WD USB3 drive I have been using. But my "most important thing" was cheap ($130 for both parts).
     
  8. macbook_21 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    I bought the smallest, lightest hdd I could find. 2 TB's plus case, around $85 total.
     
  9. ctg7w6 macrumors regular

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    #9
    Yeah, I do it. Best decision I ever made. Came from 1 TB laptop HD to 256GB. Got rid of a bunch of crap, put it on an external drive.
     
  10. cerberusss macrumors 6502a

    cerberusss

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    #10
    I totally agree with this. SSD is a huge step forward but the amount of storage is very small. I don't have a huge media library but I'm an app developer and Xcode quickly will fill the drive with scratchpad-like data when you build an app. And every additional 256 GB is an extra 325 euros so it quickly adds up when you configure any notebook on the Apple website.
     
  11. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

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    #11
    Have you considered a refurb from Apple which may allow you to look at better drive options for a cheaper price.
     
  12. macbook_21 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    More expensive, fewer options and inferior warranty compared to new from online resellers.

    I'm waiting it out for a potential announcement of new models in january, and then I'll make a decision.
     
  13. macbook_21 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    I recall the announcement of the 64 gig models and thought it was a bit of a joke. Now, the entry level is still just 128 gb.

    However, with close out 2014 models, 512 gb of storage is pretty affordable. Let's see what the '16 models bring. Maybe 256/512/768 as entry/mid/hi end tiers?
     
  14. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

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  15. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

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    #15
    I fully understand if you can get it cheaper with better options, but as for warranty, refurbs come with full warranty for a year that you can extend to 3 years with AppleCare. Unless the reseller is offering some kind of warranty beyond the 3 years.
     
  16. macbook_21 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    OK, thanks, I didn't know that. If there is a superior deal through apple refurb, I'll take it! However, online resellers have had outstanding closeout pricing.

    Hopefully, apple will have an announcement re: new '16 models in january.
     
  17. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #17
    That is true, but I believe some credit cards will automatically extend the warranty to 2 years with a new computer, but not with a refurb. Regardless, the refurbs are a great value, I got one for a family member last year.
     
  18. macbook_21 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    I cloned my original drive to my external 2 TB drive. Getting the external to cooperate with the MBA has been a royal PITA.

    1) keychains on 10.6 isn't compatible with 10.11, so no access to all of my passwords; I'm having to enter them manually in order to save them.

    2) I can't get iTunes to use the external drive's iTunes music folder as the library. Will try again.

    The external drive is not looking promising as a solution.

    Apple is frustrating me to no end with it's lack of user upgradability. I've used apple almost exclusively for 25+ years but I can see why there will always be a contingent which "hates" apple for it's high prices and now very severe restrictions on upgradeability.
     
  19. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #19
    If the MBA doesn't meet your needs, get something else. It wasn't intended to be a modular user-upgradeable product.
     
  20. g33k macrumors member

    g33k

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    #20
    If you want a good external drive, get a LaCie one. They're really nicely made. Almost as if Apple designed them themselves.
     

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