Samsung unveils mSATA version of the 840 Evo solid-state drive

Samsung's popular 840 Evo solid-state drive (SSD) has just gotten more versatile. Today the storage vendor announced the mSATA version of the drive.

mSATA is a design form that's much more compact than the standard 2.5-inch laptop drive. This means the drive can fit in more portable mobile devices, including ultraportable notebooks or even tablets -- as long as they have an mSATA socket. While mSATA SSDs are not new, the new 840 Evo mSATA SSD will offer the same capacity as its standard drive, up to 1TB, making it (for now) the largest on the market. … Read more

New Thunderbolt dock includes optical drive

Sonnet Technologies has debuted its Echo 15 Thunderbolt Dock, which includes a number of ports and options that is intended to be an all-in-one solution to I/O needs for systems with Thunderbolt connectors.

As portable systems get smaller and adopt high-speed universal I/O technologies such as Thunderbolt, more peripheral and docking solutions that use this technology are being introduced. Since a single-port solution is a popular choice for notebook users, a number of companies have promised Thunderbolt-based docking options that can link all peripherals to a portable system directly via its Thunderbolt connection.

One of the first of … Read more

WD ships 4TB enterprise-grade hard drive

Western Digital announced today the availability of its WD RE internal 3.5-inch hard drive, which offers up to 4TB of storage space.

This new drive is available in either the SAS or SATA interface standards. The former is used in enterprise/business products such as servers, while the latter is also used in consumer products, such as desktop computers. While WD says the new drive combines capacity with enterprise-class features, the fact that a SATA version of the drive is also available means that consumers can also benefit.… Read more

Crucial 256GB SSD for ultrathin debuts at $226

Crucial announced today a bevy of solid-state drives for skinny gadgets ranging up to 256GB.

Sold under the Crucial brand name (the flash memory used in the SSDs is manufactured by parent company Micron Technology), the m4 drives deliver the performance of mainstream SSDs but in a much smaller 1.2 x 2.0 inch (3cm x 5cm) mSATA size -- the package typically used in ultrabooks and tablets.

SSDs are faster than standard spinning hard disk drives found in many laptops.

The m4 can be used as an upgrade to a device with an mSATA-compatible SSD or act as a cache to boost the performance of an existing magnetic hard disk drive. … Read more

Micron puts large-capacity SSD in small package

Micron Technology has updated its RealSSD C400 series of solid-state drives for small mSATA packages.

Basically, Micron is delivering the same performance of previous C400 products but in a 1.2 x 2.0 inch (3cm x 5cm) mSATA size -- the size typically used in thin laptops.

SSDs are faster than the standard spinning hard disk drives found in mainstream laptops (and often a lot faster).

The higher-capacity Micron models deliver the best performance. For example, the 256GB version has a read rate of 500 megabytes per second (MB/s) and write speed of 260 MB/s. The smaller-capacity … Read more

What to do about SMART errors in OS X

One error you might run into when attempting to install OS X on your computer is a claim by the installer that the hard drive has SMART errors and will not allow you to install to the selected drive. When this happens, the system will claim the drive cannot be repaired and recommend you back it up as soon as possible and replace the disk.

Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (aka, SMART) is a feature built into hard disks to monitor the heath status of the drives and provide the system with a method to detect an impending failure or … Read more

New iFixIt kits offer expansion to new iMacs

When it comes to packing more storage into Mac systems, the only model that Apple supports adding more internal hard drives to is the Mac Pro, where you have four drive bays to use for new hard drives. While drives on other Mac systems may be user serviceable, the only supported options for adding more drives to them is to use external storage options.

External storage options are relatively fast and easy to set up, however, they do offer a bit of an inconvenience as they can clutter your workspace, or be a burden to lug around with a portable … Read more

LaCie one-ups itself with dual-drive Thunderbolt storage

LaCie, one of the first companies out of the gate last year with storage using Intel's fast Thunderbolt interface, introduced a dual-drive system called the 2big today at CES.

The 2big can be configured with two drives paired for high performance and capacity (RAID 0) or for high reliability by mirroring (RAID 1). Some people will appreciate fast backups, no doubt, but it seems likely that those willing to spring for Thunderbolt will be more inclined to take the performance route.

In addition, LaCie introduced its eSATA Hub Thunderbolt Series. eSATA is an external version of the usual internal … Read more

Get a 1.5TB external hard drive for $99.99 shipped

Hard-drive prices, oy.

As you may have heard, flooding in Thailand last year damaged factories involved in hard-drive production, creating shortages and sending drive prices skyrocketing in the last couple months.

Indeed, back in October, today's deal wouldn't have been much of a deal at all. Today, it's downright stellar.

While supplies last, has the Fantom GreenDrive 1.5TB external hard drive for $99.99 shipped.

Granted, 2TB drives were routinely selling for $70 to $80 not long ago, but beggars can't be choosers right now. This is one of the best storage deals … Read more

LaCie turns Thunderbolt budget-friendly with eSATA hub

LAS VEGAS--If you have a Thunderbolt-enabled computer but just can't afford Thunderbolt storage, LaCie has something that will ease the pain.

The company showed off at the start of CES the first Thunderbolt hub that also supports an eSATA connection, called the eSATA Hub Thunderbolt Series.

This is a device about the size of a portable external drive that comes with two Thunderbolt ports and two eSATA ports. Users can connect up to two eSATA drives to the hub and it will instantly make them work with a host computer via one Thunderbolt port. With the other port, you … Read more