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Storage Problems: Macbook Air Hard Drive Replacements and Alternatives

written by: Austin•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 5/28/2011

Whether you just ran out of room or your hard drive broke entirely, at some point in your life you'll need to replace the hard drive for your Macbook Air. When this happens, you can either replace it entirely or just get an external hard drive. These are your best storage alternatives.

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    How Can a Hard Drive Break? Let Me Count the Ways...

    If you've had your MacBook Air from when they first came out, you probably noticed fairly quickly that the hard drives are not the biggest ones on the planet. MacBook Air hard drives are made up of what's called flash memory, which is a fancy way of saying they're a lot quicker than traditional hard drives. The price you pay for this speed is that they also cannot be as large, with the absolute biggest flash memory hard drives clocking it at around 100GB or so. This is an issue, especially if you're a musician or artist who does a lot of your work on your MacBook, as 100GB really isn't all that much space in this day and age. If this is your issue, then the first thing you'll want to do is look for an external hard drive.

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    External Hard Drives And You

    Using external hard drives with a Macbook Air seems a little goofy, considering it sort of defeats the purpose of buying a Macbook Air in the first place. It will run slower than your default flash memory, and be a little clunky to access, so make sure you're aware of that before buying. If you don't want to have to deal with the slower load times and copy/paste times, you may just have to look for a bigger hard drive to be put directly into your Macbook altogether. If you don't mind, there are a couple of external drives that are known to work remarkably well with the Macbook Air.

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    Iomega Helium Portable Hard Drive

    unnamed Not only in function, but also in aesthetic, the Iomega Helium Portable Hard Drive is a fantastic match for the Macbook Air. It functions with the USB 2.0 hubs on your Macbook Air (making it faster than other external hard drives), looks brilliant sitting next to the device, and is great in terms of size. The 500GB model will run you no more than $100 at the very most, and you can often pick one up for just $50-70. In addition, you can pick it up at most electronics stores with no problem, or online for not much more.

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    G-Tech G-DRIVE

    unnamed The slightly more expensive counterpart to the Iomega drive is the G-Tech G-DRIVE, which (while also just 500GB) is slightly more expensive than the previously mentioned, but also features a more robust durable design. In addition to the larger feel and denser construction, the G-DRIVE features a bit of a different aesthetic, and as any Mac owner will tell you, aesthetic is remarkably important. You can get the G-DRIVE for $70-$90 dollars, depending on where you shop.

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    Iomega eGo

    Here's where we bring out the big guns. If you're someone who is constantly downloading and re-downloading, 24/7, 365 days a year, you'll need a little more storage than the (small, in comparison) 500GB hard drives listed above. Another Iomega product, the eGO hard drive is a 1TB (that means 1000GB) and ensures that you will never run out of storage space no matter how much you download. It, understandably, costs twice as much as the 500GB Iomega hard drive, but can be found for as little as $100 if you know where to look.

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    References and Purchase Links

    Iomega 500GB: http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&safe=off&client=safari&pwst=1&rls=en&q=external+hard+drive+macbook+air&biw=1280&bih=619&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=15326791810207043315&sa=X&ei=5JXeTb36O8m2tgfq4ZyQCg&ved=0CCEQ8wIwAQ#ps-sellers

    G-DRIVE: http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&safe=off&client=safari&pwst=1&rls=en&q=external+hard+drive+macbook+air&biw=1280&bih=619&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=17170521515751872434&sa=X&ei=5JXeTb36O8m2tgfq4ZyQCg&ved=0CCYQ8wIwAg#ps-sellers

    Iomega 1TB: http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&safe=off&client=safari&pwst=1&rls=en&q=external+hard+drive+macbook+air&biw=1280&bih=619&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=2187747819048052811&sa=X&ei=5JXeTb36O8m2tgfq4ZyQCg&ved=0CCsQ8wIwAw#ps-sellers