USB multi-slot SDHC reader
August 20, 2009 6:04 PM   Subscribe

USB + SDHC * 4 == Win

My main computer, a big notebook, doesn't really have as much HD space as I'd like. Replacing the drive is too much of a headache. (Reinstalling Vista? Gad...) External USB drives aren't really totally satisfactory (and anyway I've got 4 already). A couple of months ago I noticed that my notebook had a chip slot which would accomodate an SDHC, and I bought a 32G SDHC for it. And it works pretty well, but it isn't very big. 32G may be a lot of storage for a camera but it isn't really very much for a computer.

Lots of people make USB devices which can read one SDHC chip at a time. What I really would like is a USB device which has 4 slots (or 6 or 8), into which I could plug 4 (or 6 or 8) SDHC chips. Ideally it would be powered by the USB itself but I can tolerate a brick if need be.

Then I could load it up with 32G SDHC chips and have an amount of storage which really would be worth having. (And I don't care that it's more expensive than other solutions. The big advantages here would be that it was small, quiet, and low power. I'm willing to pay more for that.)

Does anyone make such a thing? My search skills are defeated here because I'm drowning in hits for thumb-drives (which are also too small for my purposes) and one-slot USB SDHC readers.

Now I suppose I could hack it. Four one-slot SDHC readers plugged into a USB hub? But there's got to be a better way than that! Does the device of my dreams exist?
posted by Chocolate Pickle to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
 
Why not go for USB flash drives with a USB hub? I believe you can get them up to 256GB.

Either way you're still better off with a external 2.5" notebook drive- much faster and cheaper than going the SDHC route, and not much larger than an array of SDHC cards. And they are quiet and low power as well.
posted by wongcorgi at 6:14 PM on August 20, 2009


Another note, you may want to look into 1.8" hard drives, extremely small and up to 240GB.
posted by wongcorgi at 6:18 PM on August 20, 2009


What about something like this?
posted by kableh at 6:24 PM on August 20, 2009


Kableh, my notebook doesn't have anywhere to plug such a thing.

wongcorgi, if I was interested in external hard drives I'd go with a stand-alone USB drive, of which I already own 4. But I guess I'm really out of touch. I had thought that flash drives tended to be 8G or 16G; I didn't realize how large they'd become. The solution I'm trying to create would be larger and more elaborate than a simple 128G flash drive, and cost more too.

So you get a checkmark for bringing me up to date.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:37 PM on August 20, 2009


You don't necessarily need to reinstall if you replace the hard drive.

You can copy the contents of the old drive bit-for-bit to the new drive and then re-size the NTFS partitions to make use of the added space. This involves getting an external enclosure for one drive to do the copying.

I'm a Linux nerd, so I would boot from a Linux live CD to do all of this. The dd command can do the copying, and the gparted command will give you a nice GUI that can resize the partition after copying is done.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:15 PM on August 20, 2009


yeah I think you can clone the current hard drive and then pop the new one in. Probably not very difficult (at least, doable) and cheap.

Then you can put the old drive in the enclosure and use it for whatever you like.
posted by sully75 at 7:45 PM on August 20, 2009


Yeah, cloning the hard drive makes HDD upgrades easy.

It's not clear to me what you have planned for the flash storage you are imagining, but keep in mind that flash wears out after a limited number of reads and writes. The flash-based SSDs have strategies for managing this, and there are filesystems that deal with it too, but its something to be aware of for general use.
posted by Good Brain at 9:51 PM on August 20, 2009


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