Increasing Storage Space with a Transcend Drive

Last fall it was apparent that my trusty 17” MacBook Pro could no longer meet my needs. While the processor was adequate, I was always low on RAM and my hard drive was perpetually full. The RAM was maxed out and I had simply outgrown the 500 GB drive.

I move my computer all around my home each day. In the morning it travels downstairs from our bedroom to the island in our kitchen. When I head for my office, it moves to my desk. If I am sewing or using my Silhouette Cameo, it is generally on those work tables. If I work on the deck or our front porch, it goes with me. When I move to the family room in the evening, it us usually on my lap or beside me on the couch. When I head back upstairs, it moves again.

Since Apple discontinued all 17” screens, I begrudgingly moved to the 15” MacBook Pro model. I upgraded the processor, maxed out the RAM at 16 GB and added the 1 TB SSD drive. I also upgraded the video card. This new computer is a beast! I do miss the extra screen real estate, but adding an external monitor would mean giving up portability, so I have made changes to my workflow to compensate for the missing pixels.

We took a three week trip to the British Isles, Normandy and Guernsey in the late spring. With two DSLRs and two iPhones being used to take pictures, I quickly noticed that my extra 1/2 TB of drive space was filling up way too fast. I plan on keeping a computer for 2 to 3 years. At the rate I was filling the drive, I would be back to finding ways to trim my files all too soon!

There is one thing about my association with
Bob LeVitus. We share a email address and the world uses that address to reach Bob. So I get to see lots of press releases about new products. The one for Transcend caught my eye. It promised the ability to add a very fast hard drive to my MacBook Pro.

Even better, the drive is tiny and it will fit into the SDXC card slot on my computer


Since the drive is almost flush with the side of my computer when it is installed, my plan was to leave it in place.


I planned to use the drive to store my photo library. However, that plan quickly changed. Although I could use the drive as a backup drive…

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I could not back it up as a part of my normal Time Machine backup routine:

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The Transcend name is grayed out and it looked like there was no way to change that. A trip to Disk Utility found the problem:

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The Transcend is formatted in ExFAT, a Microsoft file system optimized for flash drives. The exFAT format has been adopted by the SD Card Association as the default file system for SDXC cards larger than 32 GB. The format can be used by Mac OS X starting from 10.6.5 onward.

While a Mac computer can read and write files to the drive, Time Machine cannot back up drives that do not include Apple's Apple Filing Protocol (AFP).

If I (you) want to back up files that are stored on a Transcend drive, it needs to be formatted to the Mac OS Extended or Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format

For now, I have retained the ExFAT format. My iPhoto Library is around 250 GB, so it is too large to fit the drive. My iTunes Library hovers around 120 GB, so it fits as long as I keep the trash emptied and I don’t go overboard on storing podcasts!

The MSRP on a
Transcend 128 GB drive is $119.00. They are readily available on Amazon for about $80.00. That’s not a bad price for a portable storage device that stores in you MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, making it difficult to loose.

When I bought my
Transcend JetDrive Lite 350 128GB Storage Expansion Card, I was able to gain 128 GB of storage space. The drive is fast enough to play a movie smoothly but small enough to be almost unnoticed. At this time I cannot back up my iTunes Library to Time Machine, but everything stored in it is free (podcasts) or is also stored on one of my other computers or it has been purchased from Apple and I can always download it again. I might loose my playlists, but for me that loss would be insignificant. My Transcend drive is a winner!




I gave up on blogging last fall. It wasn’t a conscious decision--it just happened.

Ron and I headed to Boston and New England last fall to attend the
Catholic New Media Conference. From there we went exploring. Although both Ron and I had been to conferences in Boston, we had done little exploring. Neither of us had ever spent much time in that area. It was a wonderful trip that ended abruptly. Ron had been having lots of headaches that were attributed to a series of sinus infections. However, when the infection was under control, the headaches continued. We stopped to see a doctor in Newport RI. He gave Ron yet another round of antibiotics and cautioned us that if he was not better in three days, we should head home immediately Three days later we arrived in Bath ME. Ron awoke in the middle of the night with another pounding headache, so we got in the car at 3:00 a.m. and headed home.

When we arrived Ron went to the emergency room. A CAT scan revealed a subdural hematoma, Ron was admitted to the hospital. Later in the week they operated to relieve the pressure. He (we) was very fortunate. The blood was above the dura. There was no brain damage. As soon as the operation was complete, Ron quickly regained his mobility, his neurological symptoms disappeared in just a few days and the headaches were gone.

However, the holiday were upon us. Our daughter and granddaughter who had been living with us while our son-in-law was in Iraq bought a new home. We helped with the move and helped them get settled.

When things finally settled down, my writing routine had been destroyed. I was (and am) disenchanted with my web page development software. I have been exploring the options that are available to me, but moving to a different platform means weeks of work as I transition years of blogging to something new.

I can’t wait any longer, so I will continue using RapidWeaver for the present time. It’s time to get back to blogging. I’ve begun to miss it. Thanks for coming back!

-- Pat