Last week, I had my ass handed to me by what seemed like a failing hard drive, but turned out to be a dead hard drive controller in my MacBook Pro. Luckily I had backups, but a near data loss experience can put the fear of God into you, and compels a closer consideration about how your data is managed. I ended up putting a new 240 GB SSD into a different MacBook Pro, replacing my old 500 GB hard drive that was reaching its limits of storage. If you do the math there, you’ll recognize that I was left in a quandary as to how I would store and manage my gigs and gigs of music, movies, and photos.
Luckily, with the plethora of cloud storage options available these days, smaller storage capacities are not that big of a deal, and it’s a fair trade for the dramatic speed boosts you’ll see when running an SSD. Incidentally, my MacBook Pro now boots in about 14 seconds, while the hard drive it shipped with booted in about 60 seconds (see a side by side comparison). Of course, SSDs also use less power, which I know my MacBook Pro’s battery appreciates. Rather than having everything in one place, I’ve put together a simple solution to keep my data accessible no matter where I am, and redundantly backed up.
Here’s the solution I arrived at:
- All work and personal documents, presentations, etc. live on DropBox, which makes them accessible on my iPhone, and other machines, and makes it easy to share with colleagues. Dropbox caches files on my MacBook Pro (it does eat into storage space), and is stored in the cloud as well so I could hop onto any machine, login to Dropbox, and have everything at my fingertips quickly.
- All music, video, and photos are stored on an external, 500 GB hard drive, which gets backed up to Jungle Disk daily.
- My SSD gets backed up too using Super Duper.
- I take notes using a handy little app called Notational Velocity (hat tip @veen), which stores all notes in DropBox, and syncs to an iPhone app called Simple Note
Should my MacBook Pro breath it’s last breath tomorrow, I would have no trouble at all spinning up a new machine with all of my apps, docs, music, pics, movies, and more in very little time. I can sleep well tonight. Of course, a faster, more energy efficient mobile computer is not a bad outcome either.
- MacBook Pro 256GB SSD upgrade experience
- How to move your iTunes library to an external hard drive
- UPDATE: Michael Duncan
Davidson on adding an OWC SSD to his MacBook Pro and eliminating the optical drive