Thumb drive and cloud

Wingsley

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 20, 2014
117
8
I use an iMac Core i5 2.9 GHz running MacOS Sierra. Other family members use a MacBook Pro with a Core i5 also running Sierra. We frequently swap files between them using thumb drives. 99.99% of the time, this is a simple and reliable means of temporary transfer and storage. We usually swap files on a daily basis, putting new files in a new folder named with the day of the month (today would be "17"). At the end of the month, I put the folders in the trash and empty trash.

The thumb drive we're using is a tiny Samsung USB 3.0 32 GB drive we just bought a few months ago. It started acting up yesterday, having trouble mounting. This morning, both computers stopped mounting the Samsung altogether. So we now have a thumb drive with several files on that we cannot access. Disk First Aid will not detect the Samsung.

1: Is there any way to get this thumb drive to mount?

2: This is the second time I ever remember this happening. The other time was an older USB 3.0 tiny thumb drive a few years ago. Do thumb drives fail like this so easily? Or is this another problem?

3: I want to avoid constantly unloading files to a cloud storage system. We have Verizon DSL, and cloud storage uploads can be a pain. The upload hogs the entire internet connection, disrupting everything and taking a very long period to finish. Is there another way to share this between computers without leaving their files all wide open to WiFi all the time? I'm also concerned about security.
 

monokakata

macrumors 68000
May 8, 2008
1,861
382
Hilo, Hawai'i
Two thoughts.

First, it's possible to format a thumb drive to HFS+, rather than the more ureliable FAT or exFAT. That won't help you with your data loss, but it might help in the future.

Second, although it's not clear to me whether the family members live in the same residence, this is a situation where a NAS device would be a good solution. That how we handle sharing (usually) at our place. I'll put something on the NAS and then I'll tell my partner that's where it is, and she grabs it whenever she needs it.
 
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Wingsley

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 20, 2014
117
8
Two thoughts.

First, it's possible to format a thumb drive to HFS+, rather than the more ureliable FAT or exFAT. That won't help you with your data loss, but it might help in the future.

Second, although it's not clear to me whether the family members live in the same residence, this is a situation where a NAS device would be a good solution. That how we handle sharing (usually) at our place. I'll put something on the NAS and then I'll tell my partner that's where it is, and she grabs it whenever she needs it.
Yes, we are all one family in a single-family residence with a built-in business office. And we all rely on Verizon DSL (such as it is) for our internet, fed through an Airport Extreme (late-model) base station.

Got a silly question.

Is it possible to plug a USB thumb drive into the Airport Extreme and use it as NAS? (Assuming it is formatted as HFS+?)
 

monokakata

macrumors 68000
May 8, 2008
1,861
382
Hilo, Hawai'i
I grabbed a USB2 thumb drive I had on the desk, formatted it to HFS took it down to the Time Capsule (our secondary access device) plugged it in, and copied data from my desktop to it, read it back on another laptop . . . so the answer is yes.

I don't know how fast it might be, but it does work.

Many manufacturers have 2.5" drives in enclosures, and because these are bus-powered you don't need an external power supply. A thumb drive is a lot smaller, but a 2.5" drive will hold much more data, and be a lot more reliable, too. And typically they aren't very expensive. If you wanted to spend more money, you could get a bare enclosure and drop a small SSD into it and you'd have a reliable and very fast little drive. We have a handful of those around the house, for taking on trips.
 

MSastre

macrumors 6502a
Aug 18, 2014
524
207
Thumb drives do die without much warning. I keep a couple in my pocket for transferring between different computer locations and just had a 256 GB one die. Only lost 1 file because the rest had already been transferred before or still existed in primary location.
 
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Wingsley

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 20, 2014
117
8
This is going to sound stupid, but I thought I should ask:

What is the least-expensive / most reliable storage drive (not much space required; maybe 100 GB or so) that I can get to plug into my Airport Extreme's USB port to use as a kind of improvised NAS device? If I go to Amazon or B&H or MacSales, what specifically am I looking for? (What search terms)
[doublepost=1542485068][/doublepost]^ Something that's going to be attached to the Airport 24/7 indefinitely.
 

OLDGUYWITHAHIFI

Suspended
Nov 14, 2018
235
345
I do exactly what you do but use Airdrop. No external drives needed. I have sent photos and documents from one device to another without issue. As long as the device is on and within range, you are good to go.
 
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OLDGUYWITHAHIFI

Suspended
Nov 14, 2018
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Is Airdrop available on Sierra?
Right click on a document or file. One of the options on the right click list will be "Share". On that list you will see things like message, mail, etc. If Airdrop is listed you have the option. Works on my other Apple computers, phones, and iPads.