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182 of 185 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Technical details
This review is for those among us who would like to know more technical details - what particular hard drive model is inside the enclosure, how fast it is, how it's built, and so on.

The hard drive comes in a black plastic enclosure, with a USB3 cable and a power adapter. The enclosure is unusually thick (2.5", a little thicker than two stacked internal...
Published 19 months ago by Cristian Prundeanu

versus
66 of 79 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Problems for Mac Users
This device claims to be compatible with a Mac but it isn't unless you go through some unorthodox steps to properly format it. These steps are not hard but figuring out the steps took two different drives and two calls to Hitachi's customer service (they make the Touro drive). In the end, I figured it out myself.

When you connect the drive to your Mac, like...
Published 20 months ago by Alexander J. Scaltrito


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182 of 185 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Technical details, December 3, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: HGST Touro Desk 4 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive Black (0S03396) (Personal Computers)
This review is for those among us who would like to know more technical details - what particular hard drive model is inside the enclosure, how fast it is, how it's built, and so on.

The hard drive comes in a black plastic enclosure, with a USB3 cable and a power adapter. The enclosure is unusually thick (2.5", a little thicker than two stacked internal drives), which made me suspect that they used two 2TB drives and through the USB adapter made them act like a single drive. Since I plan to use this as part of a RAID array (and they never tell you what drive ships inside an external storage unit), I had to find out.

The enclosure itself is very ingenious and well built - no screws are holding it together, and it's well assembled (it was hard to tell where the seam even was). It's all done with interlocked plastic clips on the inside - that's cheaper and prettier than using screws. Sadly, that also means that when opening the enclosure you will most likely break at least some of the clips, and leave marks on the (rather soft) edges of the plastic parts.

Inside, I found a single drive (yay!). The model is Hitachi Deskstar 5K4000 4TB 32MB Cache CoolSpin SATA 6.0Gbps 3.5-inch drive, P/N 0F14696. As is custom with external storage, they didn't put a really fast drive (just 5400 RPM, only 32 MB cache), but at least it has SATA III, and the USB3 adapter will cut down transfer times. CoolSpin means the drive will vary the speed (down from 5400) when it's not in full use, to minimize wear, power usage, generated heat, and noise. This is great for almost everyone.
A single drive in an enclosure this thick is also good news: it means there is enough room to dissipate heat well (though there is no fan inside).

For some reason, Amazon doesn't offer the bare drive without an enclosure, but here's a link to it's smaller (2TB) brother: HGST Deskstar 2TB 3.5-Inch CoolSpin RPM SATA III 6Gbps 32 MB Cache Internal Hard Drive (0F12117).

A word about the capacity: hard drive makers nowadays advertise capacity in powers of ten (1 KB is 1000 bytes, 1 MB is 1000 KB, and so on). 4TB therefore means 4,000,000,000,000 bytes. On the other hand, the "proper" way to express storage capacity (because of the way computers are designed to use it) is in powers of 2 (1 KB is 2^10=1024 bytes, 1 MB is 1024 KB and so on). This difference adds up, and 4 "real" TB means 4,398,046,511,104 bytes. In other words, you'll be almost 400 GB short of 4TB, and your computer will display 3.6 TB size instead of 4.0 TB. It's annoying and one feels cheated, but keep in mind that ALL hard drive makers use the same marketing scheme.

Another warning about the capacity is that, as storage density goes up, reliability usually goes down. To put it simply, all other things being equal, it's much more likely to have zero mechanical problems in your car lot if you own 2 cars, than it is if you own 100 cars. Always back up your data, especially if it's important to you (it seems that we all learn it the hard way) - and use drives from different lots and even different makers, so that when they fail, it's less likely that they all fail at the same time.

Drive operation:
I connected the drive to a Windows 7 laptop with USB3. No driver installation is required, the drive is recognized immediately, and it's already formatted and ready to go.
The noise level was so low that I couldn't hear any difference between on and off. I placed my cell phone's microphone right next to the enclosure and measured the sound level, and it went from 32.5 dB (drive off) to 34.5 dB (drive spinning, not used). That makes it the most silent drive I've ever owned.
I then copied a 15.5 GB file to the drive (from an internal striped array, which I assume has faster reads than this drive can write). This took around 127 seconds, for an average write speed of 122 MB/sec (it's fastest when the drive is empty). Then I ran a read test with HD Tune Pro (read the entire drive and graph it), which returned a high value of 135 MB/sec and a low value of 61.6 MB/sec (average 104.1 MB/sec, burst 143.2 MB/sec).

All in all, I'm happy with this purchase and would recommend it as a very good deal.
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70 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stripped Back Bang for your Buck, November 12, 2012
This review is from: HGST Touro Desk 4 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive Black (0S03396) (Personal Computers)
I bought the 4.0TB version of this Hitachi External Drive for $199 when it was on sale at a Computer Wholesaler that we normally buy Office Supplies from.
If someone asked me to compare this drive then I would most likely look to the Seagate "Backup Plus" Series or the Western Digital "My Book" Series - Both of which are approximately around the $250 region as of writing this for a 4.0TB Drive.

For reference I have been using my drive for a little over 3 weeks and am extremely happy with it, I recommend it and it's simplicity means even the most novice of users can access an enormous amount of storage capacity. I would buy another, but I'm having trouble finding enough data to fill this one up with 4 TB's as it is!
--- EDIT: Somebody asked me whether the temperature of the HGST External Drive ran hot:
--- I have this drive placed next to a Seagate 1TB FreeAgent and the Seagate definitely runs at a much higher temperature in both idle and use.
--- The Touro runs a couple degrees above ambient and only a little more when in constant use, I have never worried about it's temperature, it's great.

This Hard Drive is simple, and that's it's main advantage... it doesn't need any one click Backups or special Software.
HGST have got this Drive and stripped it back to it's bare bones, it's 4.0TB of pure storage, nothing more, nothing less, USB 3.0 is fine, you might have to be a little patient but remember that your wallet is a little fatter because you chose this Hard Drive and not another.

Presently the Price Difference between the 3.0TB and 4.0TB External Hard Drives is huge! $100 mark-ups from 3.0TB to 4.0TB External Drives is what seems to be the standard at the moment.
In some cases you could have 6.0TB (2x 3.0TB Drives) or a single 4.0TB Drive... this is not manufacturer specific either - this is across the entire range of External Hard Drive Manufacturers.
If you have to go 4TB then right now this will be your best value for money option.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good so far!, August 15, 2012
I did not buy this from amazon but i feel like it needs a rating so people can easily find a good external hard drive. This is a simple plug n play hard drive with no software to install. The drivers for it install automatically and quickly. Transfering data didnt take too long (200gb at one time) and it runs quietly and doesnt heat up very quickly. Even when it does its actually pretty cool in comparison to some other ones i have used. I would highly recomend this product. And for those who dont know Hitachi is owned by western digital.
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66 of 79 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Problems for Mac Users, December 1, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: HGST Touro Desk 4 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive Black (0S03396) (Personal Computers)
This device claims to be compatible with a Mac but it isn't unless you go through some unorthodox steps to properly format it. These steps are not hard but figuring out the steps took two different drives and two calls to Hitachi's customer service (they make the Touro drive). In the end, I figured it out myself.

When you connect the drive to your Mac, like every other hard drive I've purchased, you won't have read and write permissions because it's formatted NTFS for Windows use. So you go to Disk Utility, select the Erase option and format it for your Mac. Yet less than a minute later, the formatting process stops and the computer doesn't recognize the hard drive. I then received "lost connection" error messages. I first thought there was a problem with the USB wire but everything was securely connected. Then I thought the hard drive crashed. I had JUST received it but other hard drives have crashed on me before and Touro's appearance in Disk Utility resembled the look of a crashed hard drive. So I exchanged the item with Amazon for another one.

My second Touro drive had the same problem as the first one! The formatting starts but almost immediately stops and the same error messages popped up. I called Hitachi and while waiting to speak with a representative, fixed the problem myself. Combining the info the rep later told me, here's the problem:

The Touro drive is specifically formatted for Windows XP. XP is defaulted to not recognize external hard drives over a certain file capacity. I believe that 4TB (the size of this Touro drive) exceeds that. So Hitachi installed some instructions on the drive to ensure that XP will recognize the drive. However, these instructions result in faulty formatting issues for Mac.

To get around it, go to Disk Utility and select "Partition." Unless you want multiple partitions, just select one. Click on the format you want (OS Extended Journal is best if you plan to use the drive with both Mac's and PC's). Then click on the "Options" button and select "GUID." Now you can go ahead with the partition and when it's finished, you'll have a working and recognizable drive.

The hard drive is working fine now but I give the three star rating only because Hitachi does not have this information on their Support website and without it, other Mac users may find some big problems. Hitachi's customer reps were friendly, btw.

On a separate note, the light for the hard drive always remains on regardless if your computer is shut down or if the hard drive is disconnected. The Hitachi rep said this is normal. I disconnect the power cord when my computer is turned off.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Removed the drive from the case and using it as an internal HDD, January 15, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: HGST Touro Desk 4 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive Black (0S03396) (Personal Computers)
It was cheaper to buy this external HDD and remove the 4TB Hitachi HDD from the enclosure than to buy an internal 4TB HDD. The removal procedure was pretty easy, I just pried it open carefully so as to not damage the internal drive. I pulled it out, plugged it into my PC and launched Computer Management to set the drive type to GPT and reformat the drive.

The drive is reported as an HDS5C4040ALE630, 6Gb/s DATA, 32MB cache with a formatted capacity of 3725.90.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice (?) large drive, February 14, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: HGST Touro Desk 4 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive Black (0S03396) (Personal Computers)
This is a very good unit. My wife uses it a backup for two of her Mac computers. It has enough room for backing up a Laptop, a MacPro both operating system and data.

Which is then stored in a fireproof, waterproof safe.

Update 4/17/2013. The drive died. It was flaky when used 2 weeks ago and today none of the 4 partitions will mount. It powers up but seems that the USB3 socket on the back of the case is broken. The supplied USB3 cable was/is a tight fit and the socket wiggles and nothing else works but the blue activity/power light on the front. Waiting for Hitachi support to wake up to get an RMA.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lasted about 2 months, December 3, 2012
I bought this at fry's and about 2 months later, it is dead. When plugged in, the blue light is lit, and I hear a very faint noise (like about 6 beeps)...then dead silence.. drive does not spin up, etc.. and Windows detects that the USB port is plugged into the external drive, but it does not see the drive itself (including going into disk manager, etc..).

I emailed Hitachi, and they said it's confirmed to still be under warranty and I can submit an RMA to return it for a replacement. I guess all the data on it is lost.... what the heck am I going to do with another one of these drives, as I don't think I would trust it again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars At first, thought there might be a problem. And that was correct!, March 22, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: HGST Touro Desk 4 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive Black (0S03396) (Personal Computers)
It turned out to probably be our USB connection on a 5 yr. old computer. Kept getting 'read/write error' warnings. Finally seems to be working as it should on a newer laptop. Wish the USB 3.0 cable was a bit longer than the 3' one they sent. Also wish they'd have put the vents on the top instead of the bottom of the unit, which makes more sense to me.. last I checked, heat rises. I just run it sitting upside down and that seems to allow it to run a bit cooler. Haven't really used it on a 3.0 port just yet, but even on our USB 2.0 speeds don't seem bad at all. I will update this review should any problems arise down the road. Even with the terrible reviews this unit received on the Hitachi website, we're hoping that it continues to work well and not make us sorry we didn't opt for two 2 tb drives instead of this monster 4 tb.
UPDATE 10/1/13: After using this drive lightly for just over 6 months, I find it has stopped working. A check on the Hitachi website showed there was just 10 days left on my warranty. Since Hitachi doesn't offer any data recovery service, (how strange is that for a data storage company?) I immediately spent the 14 bucks shpg charge to get this POS back to the company for most likely a refurb replacement. I WILL NOT trust it with any more important files, as we may have lost almost 2 TB of family photos, music and video. I KNOW, should have backed up, but I did expect to have more than half a year reliability out of this junk. From now on I will avoid Hitachi, and all external HD's of over 2 tb.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great External Drive, December 11, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: HGST Touro Desk 4 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive Black (0S03396) (Personal Computers)
Whenever I do product reviews here or anywhere else, I usually do them because I really like the product or I absolutely want to recommend against it. Well in this case, I would like to offer my complete recommendation for this drive. I am currently using it as a NAS drive directly connected to my Netgear R6200 router via USB. I couldn't be happier with the simplicity of this drive and so far the drive has been very reliable. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my XP machine recognized the drive and it's entire capacity. Transferring a large amount of file over to it was very easy. No junk software got in the way of anything. Oh and the price couldn't be beat on a lightening deal. Honestly now that I have been using this thing for a short while, I would have bought it at full price and will definitely be looking into purchasing another when I need it. Overall you can't go wrong with this drive. And because it's pertinent to my setup, pairing this with the Netgear R6200(fantastic router by the way) was probably the best thing I could have done with it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lot of Fast and Economical External Storage, December 4, 2012
This review is from: HGST Touro Desk 4 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive Black (0S03396) (Personal Computers)
Installation:

Couldn't be easier. Connect the power and (included) USB 3 cables. That it, you're done.

Reliability:

I've been using the drive for over a month to run daily backups and hold/stream large video files without any problems.

Data rate:

Not bad... My 3.25 GB test transfer, the amount of data on a typical (as opposed to full) DVD, took less than a minute. That's not bad for an external drive. The same transfer to my 7200 RPM internal drive took about 20 seconds less.

Usability:

This is a huge, bare bones drive/enclosure that, to me, includes some good design decisions. For example, there's no power switch. And, why would you want one. The drive is designed to run at reduced power when it's not in use and a switch increases costs and is something else to break. The enclosure *is* plastic but solid looking and well ventilated. It's designed to be used either standing up or on its side; you can even stack them if you have several. Best of all, it's quiet! (the drive, not the enclosure)

The drive comes with a backup program which works well. It also works perfectly with Norton Ghost.

Best use:

Not surprisingly, I would recommend using it for what I'm using it for; backups and holding large media files. There's enough capacity to hold hundreds of DVDs and full backups from several computers.

I was lucky to get this drive so I could provide this review. If I should need additional capacity I will not hesitate to but another.
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HGST Touro Desk 4 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive Black (0S03396)
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