I had an SSD die last year. It was one of my traveling SSDs, where I keep spare copies of my VMs and presentations. Fortunately I didn’t need the backup that trip, and when I got home, I switched out to the second drive and carried that along.
I wasn’t planning on replacing the SSD too quickly, but when I saw a sale from Crucial over Christmas, I ordered a new mSATA drive. I hadn’t really paid attention to the format, thinking this would be similar to my other small SATA drives, but it wasn’t. It’s a card, as in a small SD card sized device.
I can’t believe how small a 512GB drive has become.
I also ordered an external case for is, a Sabrent one that was highly rated on Amazon. Here is the collection of the case and drive. For scale, my Bluetooth headset is in the picture.
When I opened the case, it’s essentially a card that slides out. The mSATA card clips in there, much like a memory stick.
Once I clipped it in, I slipped the insert back in the case and used two tiny screws (almost eyeglass size) to lock things together.
The connection to a computer is with a USB3->SATA cable, the same format as my previous drives. That cable might be the bulkiest part of this ensemble as the drive could really be seen as 1/4 the size of my iPhone 6.
My desktop recognized it right away and things look good. I didn’t do anything with that as I’m planning on sliding it into my new laptop and then using that 128GB drive as my backup on the road for talks and the main VM I need.
I’m still considering grabbing a small PC like a Gigabyte BRIX as a spare device for me to present from. I’d love a tablet like the Surface Pro 3, but until I find an ultrabook or convertible with 16GB, I’m limited on choices.