Portable External Drive

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by hypertc13, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. hypertc13 macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2009
    So the space on my Macbook Air drive has quickly filled up. I have what is probably a 4 year old 500 GB external drive that is big a bulky and only use it for backing up stuff. However im looking at getting a smaller external drive that I could store music, movies and documents on that would be easy to carry around and take on trips. Any advice?

  2. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a


    May 19, 2009
    Midwest US
    I know everyone has a favorite brand; mine is G-Technology. Their 500GB USB3 "slim drive" is literally that - about the size of my iPhone, the same finish as my Air. I have my entire iTunes library on the drive, which saved me a lot of space on the SSD.

    This drive is less than $100 and - in my view - represents great value for money, especially since it's such a speedy performer. Overall, it's a good companion for the Air.
  3. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I really like the WD My Passport line.
  4. Talon Six macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2012
    The Gulf Coast
    I made my own portable USB 3.0 drive using a 500GB 5400 RPM drive I had laying around from an upgrade to my Mac mini. I have a 2012 13" Air, so I bought a $20 USB 3.0 enclosure from Amazon.

    It took me three tries to get iTunes to have my music on the Air and the movies/TV shows on the portable drive, but it works like a champ now.
  5. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    I have a 1 terabyte usb 3.0 western digital passport. you can get it in silver for about 80 bucks. I like it alot.
  6. solderguy1 macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2012
    This is my first bummer about having a 2011 model. The choices are either running a usb3 drive at slower usb2 speeds or buying an expensive Thunderbolt drive which has an active cable and drains the battery faster.
  7. A Hebrew macrumors 6502a

    A Hebrew

    Jan 7, 2012
    If you do not care for Thunderbolt speeds just go to your local walmart and buy a cheap one. I personally have a Samsung 500gb (I don't know the exact model) that I purchased for $40
  8. astrorider macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2008
    If you have an SD card slot in your Air, and you've been getting by with the SSD up to this point, maybe you don't need a full external hard drive and a 64 or 128GB SD card is all you need? It'll give you a little bit more space without the need to attach something every time you want to access your music, etc. Like a 2nd internal hard drive, format it as HFS+ for better speed and even encrypt it if you're already using FileVault2 on your Air.
  9. UG.Frontera macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2011
    United Kingdom
    That's a really good idea with the SD slot, didn't even think about that. Lucky I came here first before I went and brought a 2tb Western Digital Passport. (Over kill for the space I need)
  10. astrorider macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2008
    Another thing to add...if you're ok with being limited to 64GB (the max current size of micro SD cards), there are a couple adapters on the market that let the cards sit flush with the side of Macbooks:
  11. kyjaotkb macrumors 6502a

    Nov 20, 2009
    London, UK
    Well, I chose to follow a third route with my 2011 Air: €29 Thunderbolt to FW800 cable + €129 WD MyPassport Studio 1TB. I recommend you that setup which works pretty well. Matte Aluminum finish, outstanding build quality, 3 yrs warranty and nice 60 MBps transfers!
  12. solderguy1, Feb 11, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013

    solderguy1 macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2012
    Thanks so much for posting that, getting very interested. That adapter cable looks nice and short, and would leave the two usb ports free.

    Somewhat tempted to velcro the drive on top of the MBA lid/flap. What do people think, bad idea?
  13. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    There's also this, which includes the thunderbolt cable: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Buffalo/HDPA1.0TU3/

    I also have a 2011 MBA, but I don't think this would be a good solution because most of the time I use it with an old Apple Cinema display and need the thunderbolt port for a DVI adaptor.

    I have also cringed at the cost of upgrading to an OWC 512GB SSD and came to the conclusion that it would make more sense to just get a new MBA built to order with Apple's own 512 SSD since I could also get USB 3 and 8GB RAM that way.

    But I'm not to that point yet, I still have about 140GB free on my 256GB SSD and it should meet my needs for another year I'm sure. :)

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