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The first thing to remember is that outfits like Fantom are not drive manufacturers: they are packagers. Fantom buys the drives from one of the few hard drive manufacturers and puts them into their own housings.

There are only a few hard drive manufacturers in the world and they all turn out good products. Yes, hard drives do fail and anyone who entrusts their valuable data to a single hard drive is a fool. When you see people railing at a hard drive manufacturer or a packager because a drive failed, it is almost a certainty that they had only one copy of the data they considered so valuble.

In the Fantom 1TB external hard drive I got, there is a Western Digital hard drive, one of their new "green" models no less. If you buy one today or next week, it might be a Seagate. You never know.

The Fantom case has both USB 2.0 and eSATA connectors, which is very nice. The case itself is an example of simple and functional design with esthetic appeal. The main part of the case is simply an aluminum extrusion.The front of the case is an aluminum grill with a large blue LED behind it. The back is an aluminum panel with the on/off switch, USB and eSATA connectors. Simple and very functional. A plastic stand is also provided for vertical mounting.

The case has no fan and the Western digital drive is quiet, so there is no discernible noise. Heat dissipation on the case is good and it does not become hot to the touch, even after running for more than 24 hours.

In short, these are cleanly designed cases with good drives inside.

The real key is shopping carefully for these drives. Fantom seems to have fairly frequent promotions with vendor specific rebates. So Vendor A may have it for a short time at a lower price than Vendor B. The savings can be worthwhile.

Overall, a useful external drive that can sometimes be found at exceptionally good prices.

Jerry
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on January 25, 2009
External metal enclosure looks very good, much better than majority of plastic enclosures you can find on the market, but when my drive stopped working after almost one year of use (neither FireWire nor USB interface worked on 2 different machines), fortunately I was able to take out WD digital hard disk and use data with another enclosure. I realized it was electronics in enclosure that failed. I had used several other external hardrives and never had similar problem.
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on April 27, 2009
Just got this drive and I may update my review with more information, but I have to say the specs of this drive are lower than advertised. This product contains a Western Digital WD10EAVS, which is only 5400 RPM and 8 MB Cache. NO esata cable is included(that wasn't advertised, but I thought it would be nice for people to know this).

Update:

This broke 9 months after I got it. It was replaced fast under warranty though. I expect it will probably break again and when it does, and my warranty has expired, I will probably just take the hard drive out and buy an enclosure for it.
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VINE VOICEon November 2, 2008
I guess external hard drives have gotten cheap enough that they are considered disposable, but that doesn't save your data!

I had one of these for less than a year and it just quit working. Light still comes on, still powers up - but it doesn't exist to the devices it is connected to.

Like the other reviewer, I used it as extra storage on my digital video recorder - mine is the Moxi DVR from Charter.

One day I noticed that my DVR was telling me that I didn't have space to store my shows.

I looked back at the drive and it was blinking. I powered it down and back up and it came up with a solid light, but it doesn't work. My DVR doesn't know it is there and I took it to my computer and it sees the device, installs drivers and then when I go to "my computer" it just isn't there.

It died.

Not worth the hassle, pay more for a name brand and get better quality...
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on December 29, 2008
bought it as an extension to my DirecTV HD DVR recording capacity via the eSATA port...it worked immediately (plug n play)...the HD recording played back flawlessly...but after a while, I started to notice the high pitched ringing sounds everytime the hard drive moves (or writes), even when it is not recording...this became an annoying feature of this drive...additionally, i should mention that the blue LED light on the face of the drive (hidden behind the aluminum grill) is superbright--lit up my darkened room...other than these annoyances, the drive worked perfectly. Consider this before you buy (as the noise can interfere with some very quiet moments in movies)...
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on June 2, 2010
I bought this drive a year ago when it was a deal to get a 1 TB drive for under $100. From the beginning, it has failed. Windows continually acts as if it keeps finding the drive, then it gets disconnected, and then it is found again.

I would definitely steer clear of this drive and spend a little extra to buy something dependable.
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on April 13, 2010
I've had two of these drives and both of them have failed both in and out of warrantee. While the price looks good, it's not worth losing your data over. I was using these for my backup drives, so I was fortunate to still have the original, but it was still a pain
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on September 26, 2010
I have had this unit for about 20 months, using it exclusively as an external DVR hard drive. It has functioned flawlessly. It must be powered 24/7, and except for more than a handful of brief power outages (Tampa Bay area) I have had no trouble at all. DirecTV uses the e-sata connection and the process for replacing (unfortunately not adding to) the built in HD which was something like 350GB was fast and very simple. I also have a Verizon FIOS DVR. It has pathetic storage and as far as I know cannot be upgraded. This drive will spoil you if used to extend your tv show storage. Also, the aluminum case is far superior due to the heat transfer properties of aluminum.
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on February 8, 2010
I received it - It started up good - ran for about a total of 6 hours and now is dead as a doornail. I contacted the actual seller Tiger Direct, and they send a return label and will refund my money once they receive the drive back, however, they do not do replacements on orders placed through Amazon.com. The drive was $40 higher at Tiger Direct. So what gives, I just want a working drive, and now apparently it will take me about 1 week for the return, and then another week to buy another one. Not a pleasant experience with Tiger Direct. I also contacted Fantom Drives, and they were not much help either. Can't recommend this product.
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on May 2, 2009
This drive is much smaller than it looks on site. Very straight forward setup. Formatting takes quite a long time but remember its 1TB drive so this should be expected. Drive is very fast. It bumped my Win Experience Index hard drive score from 4.8 (initial drive) to 5.9 (Fantom drive). I recommend using the eSATA connection if system supports.
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