How to expand Surface storage
Local and Cloud Storage Options
Well, you bought a new Surface, whether it is powered by Windows 8 Pro or Windows RT, and felt you have limited internal storage. Don’t worry we have good number of options to expand the storage locally and cloud. To keep it simple let us refer Surface with Windows RT as Surface RT and Surface with Windows 8 Pro as Surface Pro.
Local Storage Options
You could move the recovery partition from internal storage to USB flash and Microsoft has detailed information on how to do it successfully. This is applicable to both Surface RT and Surface Pro, in the case of Surface RT you could recover approximately 3.5 GB of internal storage and 7 GB in the case of Surface Pro. I recommend having an 4 GB USB Flash drive to keep Surface RT recovery partition and 8 GB in the case of Surface Pro. If you have no idea about using USB flash based recovery, I recommend not to do it. Or if you tend to forget it be sure to make multiple copies of the USB flash just incase they come handy.
Microsoft provided Micro SDXC card slot on both Surface types , which could be used to store documents, media files etc. Micro SDXC cards currently available at maximum 64 GB configuration and costs around US$60. Micro SDXC can support up to 2 TB maximum.
Both Surface types have a USB 3.0 port, which could be used to hook an external hard disk and storage with it is unlimited theoretically. There SSD based external storages, SATA and IDE based external hard disks available for various storage configurations and cost less than US $100 for 1.5 TB of storage. Carrying a external hard disk may be for discussion regarding portability. Yes, there are portable hard disks, but they are still big. I would prefer MicroSDXC storage option over external hard disk leaving USB for other purposes anytime, but your taste may differ.
Cloud Storage Options for both Surface RT and Surface Pro
All the Cloud Storages come with Paid plans that give you more storage as per your needs, but here we discuss the free storage options.
If you are a long standing Hotmail user very good in this case you have 25 GB free SkyDrive space, otherwise you have 7 GB of free SkyDrive space. And if you bought your Surface RT during the first few days of its release (aka during the week of 10/26/2012) Microsoft Stores (not the online one) might have handed you over a code to expand your SkyDrive by another 3 GB, congratulations you have at least 10 GB of free SkyDrive cloud storage. Probably you could ask local Microsoft Store representative and they may hand you over code for 3 GB SkyDrive cloud storage. There is nothing wrong in asking, right?
SugarSync gives a free cloud storage of 5 GB. This comes with an app that is available for both Windows 8 and Windows RT platforms.
DropBox gives a free cloud storage of 2 GB, and if you can make your friends and family sign up with with your reference you get 500 MB of storage for each referral and that could go up to 16GB maximum and totally18 GB of free storage. Basically you get at least 2 GB of storage. This comes with an app that is available for both Windows 8 and Windows RT platforms. There are couple of 3rd party apps available in Windows Store for DropBox.
Box gives a free cloud storage of 5 GB when you sign up with them. Box has relationships with HP, Apple, Sony etc. devices, and if you happen to have that reference link you could get 50 GB of free storage with them. You get at least 5 GB of free storage basically. Box has app for both Windows 8 and RT platforms and is available at Windows store.
Asus Web Storage gives 5 GB of free storage once you signup with them. If you happen to have Asus VivoTabs, you get 32 GB of free storage for 3 years definitely. Asus has both Windows 8 and Windows RT clients.
If you have Google account you have 5 GB of Google Drive. Currently Google Drive has Windows 8 client. You don’t have native client for Windows Modern UI. You can access the Google Drive through web browser or a 3rd party app like G Drive Pro in the case of Surface RT or any Windows RT powered device.
Bitcasa is another cloud storage service, that offers 10 GB of free storage/back up once you signup with them. There is a promotion currently going on for infinite storage for a year for $69.
Glide gives 30 GB of free storage when you signup with them and it has a Windows Store app, which makes the cloud drive available on both Surface Pro and Surface RT platform.
Note: The following options have Windows Client, but not Windows Store Apps, which makes storage accessible to Surface Pro or any other Windows 8 powered device, but not the Surface RT or any other Windows RT powered device. You could access the files from Web Browser in any case.
MegaCloud gives 8 GB of free storage with another 8 GB as backup making a total of 16 GB free once you sign up with them. If you happen to have an educational account (your email with .edu or any other recognized institution account) you get 20 GB of free storage.
UbuntuOne gives 5 GB of storage and sync for free once you signup with them.
Cloud Experience gives 10 GB of free storage when you signup.
IDrive gives 10 GB of free storage when you signup.
Amazon Cloud Drive gives free 5 GB storage when you signup.
Hi-Drive gives 5 GB of free storage when you signup.
Comodo Cloud gives 5 GB of free storage when you signup.
Spideroak gives 2 GB of free storage when you signup.
Wuala gives 5 GB of free storage when you signup.
Memopal gives 3 GB of free storage when you signup.
SafeCopy gives 3 GB of free storage when you signup.
MiMedia gives 7 GB like Windows SkyDrive when you signup.
There may be more, but with all of these you get more than 100GB of cloud storage. And some of these services have referral plans and you get up to 1 GB of referral storage space for each successful sign-on with your reference. If you have multiple Box, SkyDrive and DropBox accounts, use an app called All Storage (Pro), and you have access to those storages within one single Windows Store App. There is another Windows Store app called SME Cloud File Explorer, which could make you access 35 types of cloud storages including some of the above cloud storages. This works fine on both Surface RT and Surface Pro. It is a free app, but you have to signup with them to access your cloud drives at one place.
This is a really great reference list of storage providers. Love it Ram thanks!
Awesome! So what about disabling hibernation which I keep reading buys you gigs of space, does that optimize the boot time at all? Killing paging, performance boost from that? Is there some sort of USB slot so that when I move the recovery partition to a thumb drive and I go on a trip and make a boo-boo, I can find the stick that I’d otherwise probably lose?