What to stick in my ExpressCard/34 slot?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mr. Chewbacca, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. Mr. Chewbacca macrumors 6502a

    Mr. Chewbacca

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    #1
    I have looked around and I see mention of the ability to put in a small SSD drive in the slot or a 3g card but does anyone know where to find this SSD drive?

    Could it be used to store the OS like the rumored 16gb ssd that didnt happen? If so that would be pretty cool!

    What do you use it for? Any links to compatible products would be most appreciated :)
     
  2. macmac88 macrumors member

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    Feb 7, 2011
    #2
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    http://www.villageinstruments.com/tiki-index.php?page=ViDock
     
  3. Mr. Chewbacca thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr. Chewbacca

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    #3
    Thanks, that looks pretty cool for plugging in externals.

    I just got the DVI to mini display adapter, glad I will still have a use for this big a@@ monitor :)


    Any one know of a SSD storage card? Would it speed up processing or just be space to deposit files?
     
  4. eaf7s macrumors regular

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  5. Mr. Chewbacca thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr. Chewbacca

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    #5
    Ya maybe I should have gone with a better title, not sure how to change it
     
  6. solmaker macrumors member

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #6
    ExpressCard SSD MacOS boot drive solution

    Wintec Filemate ExpressCard SSD - 96GB - $278
    http://www.mfactors.com/products/Wintec-Filemate-ExpressCard-SSD-with-Mini-USB-%2d-96GB.html

    This works GREAT in my MBP 17" (2010)! However, it needs to be squeezed down in a vise grip to slide easily in & out without bulging the casing. Here's complete instructions:
    http://discussions.info.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=11460527

    Once the OS is installed on the SSD, you'll probably also want to right-click your user account in Account System Preferences to open up the Advanced Options screen so that you can redirect your "Home directory" to your /Users/account directory on the hard drive. This way the same data directories can be shared off the HD, so you'll get SSD speed for all your apps, but the space of the HD for your data. Also, your data will be safer in case the ExpressCard SSD ever craps out (after all, it did get run through a vise grip!).
     
  7. Mr. Chewbacca thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr. Chewbacca

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    #7
    That is awesome!! This solves the boot drive problem. I wonder why more people are not using these?
     
  8. DocNYz macrumors 6502a

    DocNYz

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    #8
    Yeah I literally found out about this exact drive and option today and was about to post it until I read your post. Thanks for the advice of compressing it because I read a lot on line that in our 6,1 and above MBPs there were issues of it not easily coming out and messing up the springboard permanently etc. Good call on the home directory as well so that things automatically get saved to the HDD as usual. I almost bought a hybrid drive but this seems like a way better solution. Another cool aspect of these models is that they can be used as external USB 2 drives just in case you take them out and want to upgrade or replace it with an eSata or USB 3 slot or something.

    Here is a great video demonstrating the insane ease of use and speed that this method offers; we have to spread the word because if you don't want to spring for full SSDs or are worried about the finite read/writes, this seems like an awesome option!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3axqimCxwdU

    Also it may make some of our older machines lying around much less obsolete or function more than just a server or "extra" machine.

    One other Q, has anyone had any issues with this and Time Machine? Can it back up both drives OK? Also are there any issues with waking from sleep?
     
  9. Mr. Chewbacca thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr. Chewbacca

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    #9
    Thanks for the video, that is about the easiest way to make a second SSD drive ever.

    Looking forward to getting one:D
     
  10. solmaker macrumors member

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #10
    ExpressCard SSD Time Machine & Safe Sleep issues

    >One other Q, has anyone had any issues with this and Time Machine?
    >Can it back up both drives OK?

    Time Machine works seamlesslessly, automatically backing up both SSD and HD at the same time. Time Machine System Preferences Options even allows making separate exclusions for each drive (note for example that "~/Music" refers to Music in the home directory on the HD, while "/Users/accountname/Music" refers to Music on the boot SSD).

    >Also are there any issues with waking from sleep?

    The SSD wakes up from normal sleep with no problems. The only issue is a complete power drain, which Safe Sleep would otherwise recover by saving the memory image to the HD then restoring it back to memory when the AC power is connected. However, Apple notebooks are currently incapable of using anything but the internal HD for this purpose, so the system would crash in the unlikely event of a total power drain (but big deal, just reboot).

    One positive of this situation is that the sleepimage can be deleted to free up precious space on the SSD. I've got 8 Gb memory in my MBP 17", so that's no longer wasted mirror-imaged on the SSD boot drive. Here's how to delete it (adapted from the following links):
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.c...lnk&gl=us&client=safari&source=www.google.com
    http://www.macworld.com/article/53471/2006/10/sleepmode.html

    1. Open up Terminal.
    2. Type "sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0" without the quotes, and hit Enter.
    3. Enter your password when prompted.
    4. You are now using RAM-only / "old school" sleep mode.
    5. Now type "cd /var/vm" and hit Enter.
    6. Finally: "sudo rm sleepimage"
    7. This will delete the existing sleep image file on your hard drive, reclaiming that space for future use. You can still sleep your computer, but there's no zero-battery safety net anymore.
     
  11. solmaker macrumors member

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #11
    ExpressCard SSD Home Directory & Permissions

    BTW, when right-clicking your user account in Account System Preferences to open up the Advanced Options screen to redirect your "Home directory" on the HD, enter the value as "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/accountname".

    Also, when installing Mac OS X on the SSD to make it a boot drive, be careful to use the same accountname for the SSD boot drive as for the HD boot drive so there will be interchangeable account access to all the files. Nevertheless some minor permission problems may still arise, which can be easily fixed by resetting the Get Info Sharing & Permissions to accountname Privilege Read & Write.
     
  12. ShiftClick macrumors regular

    ShiftClick

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    #12
    I use the wintec 96GB filemate and its fast and awesome. Check out newegg, I got mine for 200 even during a sale.
     
  13. DocNYz macrumors 6502a

    DocNYz

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    #13
    Thanks so much for all your help, it's going to come in handy when I get the drive this week! When I redirect the "home directory" to the normal HDD once I've booted from the SSD, will it read iTunes files and everything ok or will I have to go in and manually redirect the path for each usage?


    Also, here's the official link for the video, the one I posted early was an accidental huffington style repost :eek:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41K6Wf6sAmQ
     
  14. solmaker macrumors member

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #14
    >When I redirect the "home directory" to the normal HDD once I've booted from the SSD, will it read iTunes files and everything ok or will I have to go in and manually redirect the path for each usage?

    Mostly this will all work automatically, especially for apps that have no option except to point home to "~/accountname". The ones that can specify a data folder in Preferences generally store this info in redirected "~/accountname/Library", which already points to the HD. However, if a particular app data folder was given as "/Users/accountname", it would need to be changed to "~/accountname" or "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/accountname" to point to the HD. If iTunes needs to be fixed, just change its "iTunes Media folder location" in its Preferences Advanced tab once and you're done. BTW, you might prefer some working data on the SSD to boost speed for specific apps (such as Handbrake or EyeTV).
     
  15. Minesper, Feb 25, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011

    Minesper macrumors newbie

    Minesper

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    #15
  16. DocNYz macrumors 6502a

    DocNYz

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    #16
  17. Tonepoet, Mar 2, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011

    Tonepoet macrumors regular

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    Nov 11, 2010
    #17
    If you're going to use it simply to boot, 24g should be enough to hold the entire system and a couple Applications, right?

    Sonnet also makes a variety of interesting devices, like eSata ports, SD card readers (to fill the void of the the one you didn't get) and whatnot. eSata might be useful for an array of already existing high speed drive enclosures.

    However in spite of knowing this, I'm actually wondering the same thing since I just ordered a 17" macbook pro built to order with the 128g Solid State Drive (only $100 bucks, right?). I saw the Miligia TV tuner card elsewhere on the forums along with one other but can't find either on any online store so far and I'm a little cautious of giving my full name out on the internet when it's unnecessary which is why I'm not requisitioning a locale to buy directly from the site myself.

    I also saw that Caldigit is making a USB 3.0 expresscard that runs at half speed (still faster than USB 2) which allegedly works with most drives. I wonder if it only works with drives though. What about other products like cameras?

    Converting expresscard to PCIe x1 seems appealing too but most devices cost hundreds of dollars for products that don't even work by themselves. That being said, DIY Vidock kinda looks promising.

    The most interesting product I've seen by far might not be OSX compatible though. It's a combination Solid State Drive, USB 3.0 port. Here I'm wondering if I could use it as a Windows 7 boot drive to drive the U.S.B. 3.0 ports. Would that work or am I crazy?

    Similarly say OSX does get USB 3 support eventually; what're the chances that currently existing USB 3.0 expresscards that're otherwise OSX incompatible would simply start working out of the box? Technically the port should have the right connectors but I'm wondering if it'd only recognize built in connections.

    And one final question on my part, does the current MBP use the Expresscard 1.0 standard or the 2.0 standard?
     
  18. lauph macrumors regular

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    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    30 mins from Cupertino
    #18
    Anyone knows the difference between the Gold/Black and the Red/White/Grey Filemate expresscard SSDs other than the sizes?

    They seem to have the same specs and features..

    Gold/Black

    Red/White/Grey
     
  19. DocNYz macrumors 6502a

    DocNYz

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    #19
    I couldn't find a difference, their official website only points to the red ones so maybe they're slightly newer/up to date? Either way I have a red on in the mail that should arrive tomorrow at the earliest which I'll install immediately and I'll let you guys know how it goes!
     
  20. Tonepoet macrumors regular

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    Nov 11, 2010
    #20
    Reading some reviews of the red ones, I've noted some people say they didn't fit in later macbooks for some reason. I'm not sure about the yellows since I can't really find reviews on them and they seem older so perhaps they were out of production before that could've been tested. I think yellow has some capacities the reds don't.
     
  21. Mr. Chewbacca thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr. Chewbacca

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    #21
    Ya, on the apple discussion site, I think the link is in an earlier post, someone mentioned they squeezed the center in a vice grip just a little and it fit... Sounds odd but apparently it worked :eek:
     
  22. New Account macrumors newbie

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    Sep 14, 2010
    #22
    I was quite intrigued by the idea of using an SD card, but after some googling I found out that the cards are not designed for constant read/write cycles. So one would find that they died rather quick. I don't have links for this right now, but there is a thread somewhere here on MR.
     
  23. DocNYz macrumors 6502a

    DocNYz

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    #23
    Thanks for the help again! I got it installed and have OSX on it and redirected the home folder to the old HD etc, but the permissions are definitely causing issues, I'm trying to do a get info and change access for the whole Macintosh HD and then apply privileges to all enclosed items, should that work? It is obviously taking a while ...
     
  24. DocNYz macrumors 6502a

    DocNYz

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    #24
    Ok I added my username on the SSD to the read/write permissions of the original Macintosh HD and the desktop and iTunes etc all seem to be working! However, iPhoto, iWork, and FCP can't find the original files but won't open so I can't change the file path back to the original on the Macintosh HD ... is there some way around this besides trying to find the original disks and reinstalling the apps??
     

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