Double your laptop storage in ten easy steps!

So, I’ve got the Macbook Pro with the factory default 150GB hard drive.  Sounds like a ton of space, right?  Well, we all know how quickly that amount of storage can get sucked up these days.  So, I considered buying a new laptop drive, buying the latest iteration of the Mac OS and just building one from scratch again.  But then I realized, I have lots of storage being eaten up in the drive already by means of exactly that – the OS, the applications, and everything it needs to run.  Then it dawned on me – why not just add a second drive?

I bet you are asking, “Ok, Ace, where you gonna add a second drive?”

Well, here’s an easy way to add a second drive to your laptop in 10 easy steps:

1.  Buy a USB drive (I got mine at Best Buy – they price matched Newegg which was in and of itself a jaw-dropper but I digress)… but the point here is that addtional storage is cheap!  Less than $80 bucks for 320 GB


2.  Buy a strip of two-way Velcro tape.  I happen to have some from other projects, but at most it’s $5


3.  Before messing with the physical setup, plug the drive in and configure as desired.  For mine I re-formatted to a Mac partition (journaled), then created folders for my music library and my working photo library on the Mac.

4.  I then moved all the data over for the above folders from the pre-existing OS drive.

5.  Position new USB drive on back-side of laptop monitor to see where it best fits according to your USB layout – I happened to like mine on the left, as shown:


6.  Wrap USB (or Firewire) nice and snug – I used another velcro strip to keep it tightly wrapped.


7.  Cut one or two pieces of two-way Velcro, and place one in the middle, and the other one near the top or bottom.  (I started with one and added the second):


8.  Peel the backing and affix to the USB drive.  With the other side still stuck, peel the backing off the second two sets and affix to the back of the monitor.

9.  Plug mini-USB (or Firewire) and USB ends of cable back in. (I’d already done it to ensure the slack of the cable was how I liked it, but you can do this afterward too if that makes things easier for you…)

10.  Open monitor top, and voila – you have a laptop with two drives!


For the record, I saw someone once with a setup like this, so it’s not completely an original idea.  The onyl difference was that he had two of these bad boys connected – a Dymo label printer had identified each as a Time Machine drive and a Files drive.  For the cost/size/weight and portability, it’s really not a bad idea.  When they fill up, just buy a new drive and port the data over, or even just archive and store in a tupperware shoebox if you prefer.

So, there’s a neat little idea for you this Monday.  Happy shooting and we’ll see you back here again tomorrow.

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4 comments for “Double your laptop storage in ten easy steps!

  1. April 6, 2009 at 6:22 am

    Very ingenious Jason!

  2. April 6, 2009 at 7:22 am

    That is not a bad idea actually, I also suffer from the 150GB drive Blues 🙂

  3. April 6, 2009 at 8:04 am

    I just got a great question via email about the impact of this on battery life – so expect a follow-up post in the next day or two about that as well…but fair warning, if you don’t run off AC power, this could impact battery performance as the USb drive draws it’s power from your Laptop battery…

  4. April 7, 2009 at 8:28 am

    I have been using a set-up like this for quite awhile now and it really does work great. I went with a 500GB firewire 800 drive to keep my USB ports available and get the extra transfer rates of firewire 800. Just be sure to place the LOOP velcro on your laptop mot the HOOK or it will grab things all the time.

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