Hang/Hook/Hold/Stick/Mount Portable Hard Drive to Laptop/Notebook Lid/Top/Case with Suction Cup

Eh...sorry if the title of this post is a little hard to read--it's because I really want others to be able to find this info when they do an Internet search 'cause I sure couldn't find any info about anything like this!

I wanted a way to hang/hook/hold/stick/mount/something! my portable hard drive onto the back of my MacBook Pro's lid/top/case/display/whatever. I wanted something that I could attach and remove quickly and easily and that, when removed, wouldn't leave any traces of its presence on the laptop (so no modifications of any type to the laptop). I was more open to modifying the portable hard drive case, but I wasn't wild about that. Really, that left me only 2 options: suction and hanging hooks--and what I discovered is that the best approach is a combination of both: suction for the portable hard drive and a hook to hang it all from the laptop lid. :) I found a wreath hook at Jo-Ann that is perfect! Check it out:

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Jon Davidson's Gravatar That is very cool Josh, you are the Man! I admire your sticktoitiveness.
# Posted By Jon Davidson | 8/9/09 8:15 PM
charlie arehart's Gravatar Yes, very clever, Josh. Thanks for sharing. I can appreciate the value of that, when you're on the road a lot with the laptop and want to have such a spare drive. They're often flopping around.

And Jon, that was very punny (sticktoitiveness). :-)
# Posted By charlie arehart | 8/9/09 8:49 PM
Eric's Gravatar any long term stress on the computer from hanging the hard drive?
# Posted By Eric | 12/14/09 6:18 PM
Josh Adams's Gravatar Good question, Eric. I don't know if it's fair to give a general answer to that question but what I can tell you is that I've been using this set up without issue for quite a while on my 15-inch MacBook Pro (circa February 2008; it's prior to the aluminum uni-body design or whatever it is that they call it; incidentally, I hear that on those uni-body MacBook Pros that the display hinge is too weak to support the weight of a set up such as this).
# Posted By Josh Adams | 12/16/09 12:26 PM
Erik's Gravatar Been searching for some type of solution to this very problem so I'm glad you used so many terms in your title. Very creating solution! Was combing the computer stores for some ideas but didn't find anything even remotely as functional as yours. Thanks for the idea!
# Posted By Erik | 2/21/10 7:54 PM
Andrej Zirko's Gravatar What about vibrations? Do you feel any vibrations when you hang the external hdd like that? Overall it's very good idea - I was looking for similar solution :-)
# Posted By Andrej Zirko | 2/5/11 12:40 PM
Josh Adams's Gravatar @Andrej: good question! But no, I haven't had any issues with vibrations. It probably depends on the external hard drive you use.
# Posted By Josh Adams | 2/13/11 10:30 PM
Satmeet's Gravatar Good job, very clever. And ur "hard to read title" helped me to end up on ur blog. :)
# Posted By Satmeet | 7/21/11 7:22 PM
Aaron's Gravatar Thanks for posting this. I was looking for something just like this. I'll have to give it try.
# Posted By Aaron | 2/22/12 11:22 AM
Frank's Gravatar that is really good idea, I believe I'd better to buy a extra warranty for this solution. Anyway, it's really cool.
# Posted By Frank | 4/7/12 2:37 AM
# Posted By Miguel | 12/18/12 1:23 PM
Josh Adams's Gravatar Thank, Miguel. Good to post that here too. I remember seeing that at one point; not sure when but it was probably before I came up with my solution. That looks like a very good solution and I don't recall precisely why I didn't go with it--though it may simply be that I can't see that you can actually buy that enclosure! Actually, though, I'd like to think I'd remember my frustration in wanting that and not being able to buy it (though sadly, I manage to forget all kinds of things) so maybe it is just that I already had the portable drive and just wanted something to work with it, not a whole new enclosure. Anyway, this alternative solution is certainly a much more visually attractive solution than the one I employed!

Actually, though, my second MacBook Pro (of the unibody style that replaced the style show in my pictures here in this post) didn't have such powerful hinges so I went away from that approach to a new one that I've continued to employ here with my MacBook Air: 128GB SD card. SD is VERY slow but I'm just using it for backup and slow backup is better than NO backup! And so what's critical is that it's VERY easy to have it ALWAYS attached to (in this case, inserted into) my MacBook Air (as was the case for my MacBook Pro previously). The MacBook Air has a 256GB drive so the 128GB SD card isn't a perfect solution for creating fully cloned bootable copy of the MacBook Air drive with SuperDuper!; however, by excluding some files that aren't critical to back up, it works for me--for now at least. At some point, it might become an issue and if it does then I'll look to get a 256GB SD card. Those just came out about 3 months ago and when I looked a couple of months back they were running about $900; as of this writing, they're running $400 so the price is certainly trending in the right direction! If I get to the point where I feel like I need one, hopefully they'll be available at an even lower price that I'll be willing to pay.
# Posted By Josh Adams | 12/18/12 2:00 PM
myself's Gravatar thanks! I was searching an idea like yours for hours! and I don't speak/read/write english very well, so it was very difficult!
# Posted By myself | 4/15/13 4:51 PM
Wojtek Kruszewski's Gravatar I saw a design of a laptop case with pockets for accessories: http://www.quirky.com/products/462-Macbook-Case

Still haven't found anything available for sale.
# Posted By Wojtek Kruszewski | 1/2/14 12:26 PM
Jacques Page's Gravatar Hi all. I came up with a possible solution last year when my portable drive went flying across the room which generated a $1300.00 recovery bill!
After thinking long and hard and involving someone who could make it happen, we came up with this elegant solution to please those who seek a solution to those drive laying beside the laptops (or desktops).. http://portabledrivesleeve.com
# Posted By Jacques Page | 3/18/14 1:03 AM
James Mashele's Gravatar I simply slip the base of any appropriately sized container - after having cut away unnecessary material from the container walls - beneath my laptop behind the monitor. The pocket thus formed between the remaining portion of the container wall and the rear of the monitor holds my hdd. A piece of sellotape binding the container base and the underside of the laptop ensures security.
I hasten to add that my laptop rests on an upside-down plywood tea-tray to avoid heat-transfer to my nether regions.
It took me longer to type this advice than it did to evolve and create my tidy solution.
# Posted By James Mashele | 9/14/14 7:30 AM
Wojtek Kruszewski's Gravatar James, would you care to post a picture of your solution?
# Posted By Wojtek Kruszewski | 9/15/14 4:03 AM
James Mashele's Gravatar Yo, Wojtek! No, I caint! The reason is that this "model" is made from a used [but clean], clear plastic food container and will photograph werry badly using my el cheapo 2007/8 PBL.
Take any hdd. Place it in suitable container with port uppermost ensuring that the container height is at least 75% of hdd height. Mark the outer edges of the hdd width on the rim of said container. Take a squint at the angle y'alls laptop monitor is set at. Cut away surplus container wall material roughly to similar angle down to - but not including the base; i.e. all the wall material not actively engaged in keeping the hdd erect.
Follow the steps outlined in my previous post.
Lemme add that I run a cheap Chinese-made laptop XP and I bought my first 1Tb hdd only two weeks ago [ for backup ] 'cos 2 flash drives locally are 'bout the same price range and it irritated the hell outa me that I now needed to move two devices 'tween my desk and my lap every time I wanted to go pee.
There were too many moans 'bout hinge damage etc on the www so I devised this werry cheap but effective solution. Voila!
I posted here 'cos it be the only site I could find which didn't need the admin bother. I don't do spacebook nonsense but y'all be free to pass this on, via social networks, to the similarly frustrated web community. Thankee all...
# Posted By James Mashele | 9/15/14 1:50 PM
Josh Adams's Gravatar One of the great things about the Internet: this blog post I published more than 5 years ago is still garnering occasional comments! I love it! Thanks everyone for your comments: although I've been quiet here for a long while, I appreciate them.

As I mentioned in a comment from the 18th of December of 2012, I stopped using this solution some time ago. For its time and for me, it was a great solution. However, in time other solutions supplanted it for me. As I mentioned, the initial reason I moved away from this solution was that when my employer issued me the new unibody MacBook Pro its display hinges wouldn't support the weight of this solution. And as I mentioned, the good news at that time was that 128GB SD cards were at that time economical enough and suitable for my needs and so I switched to that solution--and that was then and to the best of my knowledge continues to be by far the most portable solution (for laptops with an SD card slot) as the SD card is held almost completely inside the laptop (and in addition, now even 256GB SD cards are economical enough). However, last year my MacBook Air SSD started to fill up and that was the push I needed to get an ioSafe N2 (now replaced by the ioSafe N214 - https://iosafe.com/products-2baynas-buy) and I now back up to the N2 over my LAN. This means that I do not have a backup that is local to the MacBook Air meaning no backup when the MacBook Air is away from home but I take pains to mitigate any exposure to loss of new data when away from home by making sure to keep key new data in a second location, not just on the MacBook Air (for instance, when I take photos and load them onto the MacBook Air, I don't delete them from the camera's SD card). Without a doubt, for most people, a "set it and forget it" system to back a laptop up to a network location (can be a true server but for most a good network attached storage device is a better choice) or to online cloud storage is the only kind of backup that's going to be performed on a regular basis so I'm a huge, huge fan of network attached storage devices for laptop backup. For a Mac, I recommend TimeMachine (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1427) for versioning and SuperDuper! (www.shirt-pocket.com/superduper) for iterative full-drive backup. Note that such a solution is a great way to preclude the need for any $1300 recovery bills, Jacques! Of course, an ioSafe N214 is an expensive device but for me, the peace of mind it provides is well worth what the device costs.

The concept case posted by Wojtek (I imagine it never came to fruition due to the aforementioned issue with the MacBook display hinges) as well as Jacques's sleeves are very cool concepts that are undoubtedly much more portable than my hook concept--as it seems may also be the case for James's taped-on plastic food containers. However, both are obviously a lot less portable still than the SD card solution so, were I looking for something purely local to the laptop, I would still continue to stick (pun intended) with the SD card approach. However, if you are particularly price-sensitive or you want/need more than 256GB, Jacques's sleeves certainly look like a great way to go. Nice work, Jacques!
# Posted By Josh Adams | 9/15/14 3:09 PM
James Mashele's Gravatar Yeah, Josh. Great site for this purpose! Well done!
Storage and backup allus be a problem for some. My XP has 55Gb hdd. I've used up mebbe 20 Gb of that since 2006. The issue, as I see it, is that there ain't no cheap, reliable permanent backup storage available. Everything has a limit of around five to ten years before it either becomes incompatible with newer tech or it malfunctions. Cloud storage, re recent hacking developments, don' appear to be safe and are also gonna need access-device upgrades for similar reasons. Most well-run corporates do their own storage thing to avoid encountering these relatively expensive issues.
Which about sums up my el cheapo attitude. If'n I need to fork out $80 or $90 annually I will. And where I kin make do, I will.
But my XP laptop gotta last 'til a visual or mental interface becomes the norm. I really don' need to go the Vista/7/8 route while all the usual functions are, for marketing reasons, slightly enhanced and re-packaged. And when the "visual or mental interface " becomes actuality then storage issues too will become history. Man was never born to live in a state of anxiety,,,
# Posted By James Mashele | 9/15/14 5:26 PM
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