what external HDs are you using with your Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by gnychis, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. gnychis macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2009
    What external hard drives is everyone using with their air? I am planning on getting an Air, but the 128GB will simply not suffice, and I do not want to pay $300 for double the space on an SSD, and I do not want the weight of a Macbook Pro. So, I am looking to get an external hard drive for time machine and everything. I do not know of any major thunderbolt drives out yet, does anyone? Also, the air only seems to have USB 2.0.
  2. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    There are no consumer Thunderbolt drives out yet (just a $2000 RAID tower). The Air is USB 2.0, so USB 2.0 drives are your only options for now. That may change over the next 6 months now that the entire Mac line (apart from the Mac Pro) has Thunderbolt ports.
  3. blkonblk17 macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2009
    I use the WD Elements 1TB. It's really small in person and weighs very little. It's also self powered via usb so no need to carry around a AC adaptor and such. Here's a link to best buy


    Also wanted to mention, I created 2 partitions in the HD. One at about 70GB for time machine (Depends on your SSD model / size) and the rest for files.
  4. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
  5. UnseenLlama macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2007
    Indianapolis, IN
    If you want something that works across the network instead of USB, you can always look into a NAS.

    WD makes the My Book Live which is easy enough. I wanted something more robust, so I bought a Synology DS211j. I will use it to serve all my photos and put my iTunes library on there. Takes two drives so the data is protected in case one drive crashes.
  6. ronin510 macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2006
    I have the Western Digital My Passport Essential SE 1TB (silver - no fingerprints like the glossy black ones). The price fluctuates for the silver every now and then. I was able to get mine for $85. Note that this is the newer USB 3.0/2.0 version.

    Don't let the "Mac" version of these hard drives fool you. They all work on the Mac. The "Mac" versions are sometimes more expensive.

    If you're in a PC and Mac environment like I am, I'd suggest using Disk Utility (Applications>Utilities>Disk Utility) and format the hard drive as exFat. This gives you native read/write support on Mac OS X 10.6.5 and above, as well as Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 (and higher), and Windows XP SP3 with a Microsoft provided update. I believe the Xbox 360 can read it as well.

    All the current Macs can't take advantage of the USB 3.0 speeds, but the PCs I use do. There may be a future option for a Thunderbolt->USB 3.0 dongle. Since you can find the USB 3.0/2.0 drives just as cheap as the USB 2.0 drives, I suggest going for the newer USB 3.0/2.0 ones.
  7. ApplePu macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2010
    I can recommend the G-Technology G-DRIVE slim

    It matches the design of the MBA pretty well, is very light and USB powered. Just perfect for on the go....it's available in 320 and 500GB versions....
  8. titanflyer macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2011
    I just bought the Buffalo Couldstor 2TB drive which uses PogoPlug to create a media library available to all of my families iPad's and all of our laptops, including my new Air (which I LOVE). Its the reason I didn't spend the money on the 256 GB drive. I will store my entire iTunes library on it so I can have it anywhere I go.

    If I am anywhere without internet access, the world has ended, so I thought it was a good move.
  9. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    Jul 24, 2008
    Does the Air Index the external drive each time you plug it in?
  10. Gemütlichkeit macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2010
    Some WD notebook drive plugged into my AirPort Extreme.
  11. RobQuads macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2010
    Shame my nice new USB3 2.5" enclosure will be to waste when used with the Air :(

    Hopefully someone will come out with a Thunderbolt -> USB3 adapter.

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