TarDisk keeps your Macbook working when you fill up your hard drive.
From the day I saw the first promotion of TarDisk from their PR agency, I was in love. The idea of being able add the 256GB TarDisk to my existing 750GB Macbook Pro hard drive without having to have a cable or drive sticking out of my Mac was brilliant. You see, the Retina model of the MacBook Pro makes it nearly impossible to replace the HD on your own easily. So, when you buy your Mac, whatever hard drive you choose with that machine is what you’re stuck with. You are forced to rely on external hard drives and flash drives for any storage needs you have past your standard hard drive. I always have my hard drive close to full and I’m constantly offloading media and documents to my Drobo to make space. Now, I can extend my usage to the TarDisk before having to dump my data.
TarDisk started with a simple Kickstarter project back in February 2015. In just two days, half of their $32,500 project was funded and within six days, they gained 100% funding from backers. When the project concluded on March 9, they had gained $127,838 from 977 backers, which was more than 250% more than their original goal. TarDisk is certainly a Kickstarter success story. The card itself has a unibody design and is cut from a single block of aluminum. It’s nearly a perfect color match to MacBook Pro laptops. All the TarDisk’s electrical contacts are immersed in 14t gold and engineered for reliable data transfer. The cards are available in either 128GB or 256GB capacity.
Now, some of your out there might be saying, “Why not just add an SD card to your laptop?” That is, of course, an option. There are SD Cards in the market that sit flush with your laptop’s body, but TarDisk has the added feature of Pear, which allows files to build between your Pear enabled TarDisk and the computer’s hard drive. Pear 2.0 is software designed by TarDisk to create a hybrid drive between your TarDisk and standard laptop hard drive. While that might sound a little scary to some, it’s really a very easy process and very easy, but lengthy, process to complete.
Before you insert the card, you need to disable FileVault and install the TarDisk Pear software. You will also need to create a Time Machine (or other type of full backup) on your MacBook before starting this process. If anything goes wrong you’ll want to have the option to restore your data from backup. Even though TarDisk is made to increase your hard drive space, you will need approximately 8GB of free space to complete the Pear process.
Once you finish creating a backup and ensure you have sufficient free space, insert the Tar Disk, which is the size of an HD card. It fits into your SD card slot and when it’s pushed in all the way, it’s completely flush with no lip at all. Other SD cards meant to act as a secondary hard drive still stick out a little bit so that you can pull it out when needed. TarDisk does not offer that lip at all. But, it is designed with a small groove just on the inside of the card. With the provided pick (it really is a guitar pick) to push the card out of the slot on your laptop. Now it’s important to note here that once you have completed the Pear process and the TarDisk is merged with your existing hard drive, you shouldn’t remove TarDisk from the SD card slot. If you do, you will risk losing data that is stored there. TarDisk does state that if you accidentally remove the card, you should be okay as long as you can quickly return the card to the SD card slot and reboot the system. It’s really just best to leave the TarDisk in the card slot and not remove it. My suggestion? I would invest in a USB capable SD card reader so that your TarDisk can stay securely in place most of the time.
After you’ve inserted the card securely into place, you should start the Pear process. This can take a few minutes to process, but when its done, you have two storage systems acting as one seamless hard drive.
During the install process of Pear, you are asked to perform a Consistency Check on your files during the Pear process. This is an optional step that will check the health of your existing hard drive, but if you decide to do it, you will be required to put your computer into Safe Mode to complete the process. It’s not a difficult procedure, but it is one that requires more than just a simple button click. You just need to be prepared for a few extra steps.
Once installation and merging is complete, you will only see one hard drive. You will see from the picture to the right that there is a great gold hard drive image. Unfortunately when I completed installation there was a glitch that occurred and it showed as 1.0GB. I did confirm with TarDisk technical support that this was simply an error and was reassured that I did in fact have 1 TB of storage between the two merged drives.
TarDisk has been an incredible addition to my computer’s system. I don’t notice any slow down in performance and my productivity has increased because I’m not constantly moving files around to create more room. TarDisk and Pear are a match made in heaven and a great system to work with to ensure you have the most amount of space available with your Apple laptop.