Battery Driven 2.5 in Hard Drive

Is anyone aware of a product I can buy that supports a connector for a 2.5 in. SATA internal drive and a USB output port?

My goal is to be able to load a bunch of movies on the drive before I go out of town I can watch on my laptop via usb since I don’t want to use up the available space on my laptop hard drive.

I suppose I could live with a non battery operated device if a battery driven one isn’t available but my preference is not to have to mess with a power supply.

The vast majority of 2.5" SATA USB HDD enclosures work without a power supply. Instead, they draw their power from the USB cable and have a few things to watch out for. Besides reducing the laptop’s battery runtime, some laptops don’t provide enough current to power the enclosure since SATA HDDs typically draw 1A or more to spin up and a USB port is only required to output 0.5A. This is also why very few (if any) USB-powered 2.5" hard disks have a USB certification logo.

To use a battery, what you will need is a USB HDD enclosure that has a separate USB power input cable and a battery powered USB port such as a cordless USB charger. This way the battery powers the HDD without any issue with the laptop’s runtime or USB port power limit.

Most USB HDD enclosures show what’s included, so what you’ll need to look out for is a 2.5" SATA USB enclosure with two separate USB cables. Here’s an example (hover your mouse over the second image thumbnail). For the battery, look for the largest capacity (in mAh) cordless USB charger you can find. Here’s an example.

One thing to watch out for with using a battery is that it does not give any sound or warning message of when it’s low, however, with a large capacity unit (especially 5000+mAh), as long as you remember to charge the battery when you recharge the laptop, it’s likely that your laptop battery will run down long before the HDD’s battery runs out.

Alternatives to consider:

  1. External 1.8" USB drives, which can be powered from the USB port.
    These have become very rare, however. I have some Samsung S1 Mini 250 GB 1.8" drives myself.

  2. USB Flash Drive with enough storage capacity

  3. SDHC/SDXC card with enough storage capacity, if your laptop has a compatible card slot.

Thanks for the info. Your links look promising and I’ll definitely look into them further. Since you seem to be well informed on gadgets like this, let me ask you another one.
One of my thoughts on using the SATA drive was to use it with my iPad 4 since storage is such a premium on my tablet. Do you happen to know if it’s even possible to connect a drive to an iPad 4 to watch movies - and how one might go about doing that?

If this is going to be a long term concern, it might be easier to get a 1Tb 2.5" drive. I have a 1Tb M8 drive from Samsung and its been good to me for the past 1.5 years.

[QUOTE=servtrkr;2666577]Thanks for the info. Your links look promising and I’ll definitely look into them further. Since you seem to be well informed on gadgets like this, let me ask you another one.
One of my thoughts on using the SATA drive was to use it with my iPad 4 since storage is such a premium on my tablet. Do you happen to know if it’s even possible to connect a drive to an iPad 4 to watch movies - and how one might go about doing that?[/QUOTE]
As far as I know, Apple kept the iPad4 crippled too. A quick Google implies that there’s no external storage options with it either. One such resource: http://store.apple.com/us/question/answers/ipad?tqid=QAPKK4UUTPCDAJYYXPT47A24U4YAUH79K

The only way to “connect” and make use of a drive to an iOS device is to use a special hard drive with WiFi & special software that you can install on the phone/tablet/whatever. You copy the content over to the drive, and it works with the software to play a small selection of formats.

Here’s a list–albeit from a year ago now–that has some of the products out there that support limited media streaming: http://www.businessinsider.com/best-wifi-hard-drives-2011-8?op=1

Bummer. I have a 1 tb 2.5 " Seagate I was hoping to use on either my laptop or iPad. The problem you run into depending on wifi are the restrictions you run into in hotel rooms. Too good to be true, I guess.

Going back to the laptop and the link you sent, am I understanding correctly if I get the device that houses the drive that has two usb ports, I can power the drive from the external battery (link you also sent) with one port and copy the videos from my laptop using the second port - or, conversely, power the drive using one port and watch a video on my laptop stored on the drive with the second port?

A USB portable HDD does not need any power, it gets power from the USB.

There are many choices up to 2TB.

[QUOTE=servtrkr;2666545]Is anyone aware of a product I can buy that supports a connector for a 2.5 in. SATA internal drive and a USB output port?[/quote]“Image Tank” is the words to feed your favourite search engine.

[QUOTE=CDan;2666665]A USB portable HDD does not need any power, it gets power from the USB.[/QUOTE]Only those that are standard compliant.

Michael

[QUOTE=servtrkr;2666656]Bummer. I have a 1 tb 2.5 " Seagate I was hoping to use on either my laptop or iPad. The problem you run into depending on wifi are the restrictions you run into in hotel rooms. Too good to be true, I guess. [/quote]Restrictions? The devices (typically) host an ad-hoc WiFi network. This frequently means a lack of Internet access while accessing the wireless storage, but some devices can pass an Internet connection through from an existing WiFi network.

Going back to the laptop and the link you sent, am I understanding correctly if I get the device that houses the drive that has two usb ports, I can power the drive from the external battery (link you also sent) with one port and copy the videos from my laptop using the second port - or, conversely, power the drive using one port and watch a video on my laptop stored on the drive with the second port?

Ideally, yes. But, really, unless your computer sticks closely to the USB specs (or the USB subsystem has been poorly designed), you need not use the extra battery. You might not even need to use the Y-cable to draw extra current. I have a moderately-aged 320GB Seagate 2.5" drive that can run when connected directly to my computers, Xbox, TV, and A/V receiver. It even got enough power to run when using a non-powered USB hub connected to my notebook computer. The only time it failed to work was when I connected it to a powered/non-powered hub without using the hub’s power adapter. (That particular hub seems to draw less current from the USB ports on my computer, instead relying on its power adapter to handle anything above 500 mA).

So you still have many options from which you may choose. Now you get to figure out which is the best match for your needs.