Tech Drive Upgrade

I have mentioned several times that I use a 2.5″ External USB hard drive to do troubleshooting on Macs. I have used a Tech Drive with repair utility apps on it for years, they are super handy if you are into maintaining your own Macs. However, my USB 2.0 (spinner) Tech Drive was getting long in the tooth, it was time for an upgrade.


Old Tech Drive

Here is the deal. My old Tech Drive is a 250GB slow Toshiba 2.5″ hard drive in a slow USB 2.0 enclosure. It has a Tech partition with some really good Mac utility repair apps like Disk Warrior, Drive Genius, etc. There are several other partitions that contain installs of iterations of the Mac OS (Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan). The installs are handy if you are working on older Macs, not everyone has to have all the latest Mac stuff, older stuff works just fine.

The problem with this older Tech Drive is that it is slow. It works fine, but not very quickly. The other day I booted from it to fix some stuff on my Mac. While using some of the utility apps I got several SBBOD’s (Spinning Beach Ball Of Death). It took forever to get done what I wanted done. So, I decided to upgrade my Tech Drive!

New Tech Drive

I bought a Inateck USB 3.0 enclosure and a 250GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD drive from Amazon. The Inateck is inexpensive, made of plastic. But, my Tech Drive generally does not get hard usage so I thought that would be OK. Here is the enclosure with the drive installed:

The enclosure has no screws, it just slides off and comes apart. It works pretty well too. As you can see there is some padding on the top of the enclosure to keep the SSD from moving around. After putting it together it looked like this:

Very compact, very sleek. The enclosure comes with a USB to USB cable:

All I did was connect the drive to my iMac and it asked to “Initialize”. OS X opens Disk Utility and shows you the drive “Uninitialized”:

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When you click “Erase” it allows you to name the drive and then it formats it:

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The drive is now ready to have the partitions on the old Tech Drive cloned over. I used Carbon Copy Cloner, but more on that in my next article.


I will discuss how the drive turned out in a future article, but needless to say, it is fast!! The new Tech Drive so much more efficient than the old Tech Drive.