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Connect Your Windows 8 Tablet to a Portable Hard Drive or Flash Drive

If you carry around a lot of information — perhaps a large music or video collection — then your Windows 8 tablet’s hard drive won’t be nearly large enough. Only one gadget can handle the job: a portable hard drive.

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Plug the cable from one of these tiny hard drives into your tablet’s USB drive. After a few moments, the drive shows up in File Explorer.

Most portable hard drives draw their power directly from your tablet’s USB port. Some still work when plugged into a hub; others need to be plugged directly into the tablet’s USB port. Still others require a powered USB hub, and some portable drives need their own power adapter.

Portable hard drives can hold up to 3TB of information, which is about 3000GB. That should be enough to last most people while on the road.

Flash drives are essential additions to your gadget bag. They are tiny memory sticks that plug into the USB drive on your tablet’s side. Once inserted, the drive appears in File Explorer, just like your tablet’s hard drive.

Flash drives are the simplest and fastest way to copy files to or from your tablet. In fact, they’re why Windows 8 tablets beat many competing tablets — few competing tablets even include a USB port, much less let you copy files to and from a flash drive.

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