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3.9 out of 5 stars
Seagate Backup Plus 3TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive for Mac (STCB3000900)
Size Name: 3 TBStyle Name: USB 3.0Change
Price:$345.59 + $6.04shipping
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120 of 123 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2013
Size Name: 4 TBStyle Name: USB 3.0
Hi there folks,

After reading many of the negative reviews regarding issues with this drive I must first state that I have had ZERO issues. This being said, I've had issues with other external drives/devices dismounting(self-ejecting) on my Mac. I will address this momentarily after I give a short review on this drive. I've had this drive for a couple of weeks now and it is flawless. I use this one on my Macbook Pro with Time Machine backup from Apple. It is connected via USB 3.0 presently plugged into a Targus USB 3.0 hub expansion. The computer identifies this drive as it should (USB 3.0). It is extremely fast and quiet. I plan to purchase a second one of these drives to run via one of my Thunderbolt ports with an Apple adapter. I've tested it out with one of these adapters (borrowed it from another device :-) it is LIGHTNING FAST!

I'm running a 2013 Macbook Pro Retina with OSX 10.8.4 Mountain Lion.

For those that just can't get their drives recognized or to show in 'Finder':

I'll start with proper formatting. Be sure your new drive has been formatted as 'Mac OS Extended (journaled)' and that the partition map scheme is 'GUID Partition Table.' Even though your drive should have come formatted for your Mac 'out of the box', sometimes they just don't.

An important factor worth mentioning is to be sure you're running your external storage device with the most recent firmware. Just because that shiny new drive came fresh out of the factory sealed box, doesn't mean you have the latest firmware. Keeping your firmware up to date is a most definite necessity as each and every day brings us new features and function in our operating systems.

Ensure your USB/Firewire/Thunderbolt connections are functioning properly; this is especially important if you are using an expandable multi-port hub with your system. Via 'System Report' pull up 'Hardware' and 'USB', 'Firewire', 'Thunderbolt' (whichever applies. Look at the data and be certain everything is being found, and found correctly. If you see something that is not being found, or is being found incorrectly (USB 3.0 connection being found as a USB 2.0 as an example) be certain of a couple of things:

Check that your power for all of your devices are connected (external drive power, power for your hub). You may have been using your hub passively running other low consumption devices on it with line level voltage from your computer with no problems. Your hub must have its own power to run a device of this type. Another possibility is your cable may be damaged, or you're plugged into a USB hub or USB port on your computer that only supports USB 2.0.

Here are some solutions for most of the folks I'm sure, who are having problems with self-dismount/improper-eject:

The first thing I discovered when I had problems with other external drives dismounting is that power management in newer Mac products use a VERY LOW POWER sleep mode, almost to hibernation state. Most external drives can only detect a connection to a computer when the computer is sending a line level signal via connection cable. When newer macs enter sleep mode the power is beneath the threshold level these external devices are capable of sensing. Therefore, when the computer sleeps, the drive thinks the computer is off and puts itself to sleep causing improper dismount or self-eject, and of course generating the message that the device has been improperly ejected. Yes, this can damage files. What is required when using these devices is to either eject the drive manually through the Finder Window, and then let your computer sleep, or adjust your power management setting in the "Energy Saver" tab to "NEVER" for the 'Computer Sleep' setting. Also in the same Energy Saver window, be certain to UNCHECK 'Put hard disks to sleep whenever possible," and UNCHECK 'Enable Power Nap.'

Many external drives have there own power management features as well, that can be set from its own settings window and these operate independently of OSX. If these devices are set for a sleep mode before OSX sleeps, it will cause itself to eject improperly from the OS and you will get error messages and possibly corrupt data and or your back up. Where these devices offer power management settings, it is advisable to disable any sleep settings. Until all of the manufacturers catch up with ultra low power connection discovery, it is highly recommended that you manually eject your drive through OSX Finder prior to any time you plan to let your computer sleep, or before you turn it off. This should be rule of thumb for any external storage device connected to a Mac. I personally leave my computer on full time during the day with external drives ready at the helm. I have had ZERO issues since discovering these things.

This said, some users will have their external drives plugged into a power strip separate from their computer; and I know people who do this; will turn off the power strip when shutting down the computer; the computer may not be ready and when the power to the drive is shut down...voila, improper eject.

Another item that contributes to these issues is energy preference settings being stored by other programs accessing perhaps your old external storage device. When I first experienced some of this behavior at discussion, I had replaced my WD MyBook Studio for Mac with this Seagate Backup Plus for Macdrive. The WD has power management options and when set were also being stored by Time Machine. I deleted the preference file for Time Machine (not to worry, the Mac makes a new one ;-)), by doing the following:

1) Turn off Time Machine via Time Machine Preferences window.

2) Open the 'Finder' window.

3) Eject External Hard Drive via 'Finder' window.

4) Click on Macintosh HD.

5) Click on Library.

6) Click on Preferences.

7) Locate the file named 'com.apple.TimeMachine.plist' and DELETE it (Move to Trash).

8) Restart your computer

Another item that may warrant attention is a permission reset if you've moved data from the old storage device to the new one:

1) Reboot and hold Command + R

2) Terminal and type 'resetpassword' (no spaces)

3) Select main drive at top of dialogue box that appears, then select 'reset permissions/ACL at the bottom of the box.

4) Reboot computer.

5) Open 'Disk Utility' in Apps and reset main hard drive permissions.

6) Reboot computer.

This process resets the user permissions folder. One way to avoid going through all of this is to use your 'Migration Tool' found in your Apps folder.

This one probably goes without saying; however, I've read many, many forum complaints that the backup software that came with their drive either won't install or doesn't function properly on their mac. USE TIME MACHINE. Most Manufacturers even specify to use Time Machine instead of their own software. There is a reason for this; no other backup software comes close to keeping your files as safe and secure as they will be with TM.

Happy computing!
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238 of 258 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2013
Size Name: 3 TBStyle Name: USB 3.0Verified Purchase
I bought this last week believing it would solve a number of my storage problems on my 2011 Macbook Pro running Mountain Lion OSX 10.8.3.

Before purchasing this drive, please do yourself a favor and read all of the 1-2 stars on Amazon of people having problems with the "Disk Ejecting Prematurely". After that, Google "problems with Seagate drives Ejecting from Mac", and what you will find is a flood (thousands) of problems with the 2, 3, and 4 TB drives inadvertently ejecting from Mac's. In some cases, there has been a USB driver fix from Seagate for the 500 Gig and 1 TB models. However, because the 3 and 4 TB models are so new, people are pointing fingers at both Apple and Seagate waiting for a fix.

I am a technical person that works in the IT industry, and am very savvy with both Mac and PC. After nearly 12 hours of troubleshooting, I realized the problem was much deeper and complex, requiring work on behalf of Seagate and Apple. I scoured discussion forums on Seagate for hours, everyone having the same problem, but no one at Seagate seemed to have an answer, download, or a fix for the problem. I returned the drive to Amazon today, because I need something that works now, not something that will eventually work later.

Historically, Seagate has made really reliable drives. However, the density of the disks are becoming so great and the communications connections so advanced (thunderbolt), that we are bound to see things like this cropping up. I suggest you wait at least 3-6 months before buying this drive until they work out the USB/Thunderbolt issues. Certainly, if you have made it work fine, I would be thrilled to hear what your fix was.

Thanks,
Jason
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96 of 111 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2012
Size Name: 2 TBStyle Name: USB 2.0Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This Seagate drive is now my new backup device. I have a 1GB Time Capsule, which works great, but it has problems. Backups take a long time, even for small amounts, and my Mac Mini slows down during the backup. Yes, I know it's not supposed to, but it does.

This drive, however, has none of those problems. I had no idea that a USB- or Fireware-attached drive was so much faster than a network-attached drive. Incremental backups take less than a minute, and larger (e.g. 2GB) backups take less than 5. With my Time Capsule, some backups would take as much as 20 minutes -- a huge difference!

Since this drive supports both USB and FireWire 800, I also wanted to test the relative performance. I didn't notice any difference in Time Machine backups, so I ran a simple file-copy test. Using FireWire 800, a 3.5GB file took one minute and forty seconds to copy. Using USB, that same file took two minutes and twelve seconds. So the FireWire 800 interface is about 25% faster than the USB 2.0 interface.

The software that comes with the drive, however, is not so wonderful. For starters, it is not required to install the software to use the drive. In fact, the first thing I did was copy the software off the drive and reformatted the drive. I did this because I wanted to have two partitions (one for backups, and the other for general storage), and I also wanted to use a non-journalled HFS file system.

Before you can install the software, you have to register the drive. I supplied a fake name and email address, but I'm disappointed that it's required. The only reason I went through the process is for this review, normally I would have just deleted the software outright. The software license has nothing objectionable in it.

The software installs three components: a Mac NTFS driver, a Seagate "Dashboard", and a Seagate "Storage Driver". All three require about 75MB of space combined. I don't trust the drivers, so I skipped them. Sorry, but a Google search shows posts from people having problems with these drivers, and I didn't want to compromise my system. The drivers apparently are only necessary if you want to be able to access Windows-formatted drives from your Mac.

Unfortunately, the Dashboard did not recognize my drive, probably because I reformatted it. So that was a waste of my time. My suggestion is that unless you really need to use this drive on PCs and Macs, just skip the software altogether. And even then, I would just look for an alternate first.
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48 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2013
Size Name: 4 TBStyle Name: USB 3.0Verified Purchase
I'm a MAC user. This headline sums up my 3 days with this hard drive. Anytime I was trying to copy data onto it, it gave me this message. I REALLY wanted this thing to work out because it was a ton of storage for under $200. But it would eject itself randomly during use, the hard drive icon would stay on the desktop, and it would freeze up my OS so that I couldn't do anything except hold down the power button to perform a hard shut down and cringe at the possible damage I was doing to my computer. I read the negative reviews here on Amazon, but thought that since they were outnumbered by the positives that I would be safe....

Bummer. I really needed the storage ASAP for a project I'm in the middle of.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Size Name: 3 TBStyle Name: ThunderboltVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Thunderbolt is the latest high speed data standard, and this product from Seagate takes full advantage of it. The Backup Plus consists of a removable 3 terabyte harddrive connected to a Thunderbolt base station. The device has two thunderbolt ports on the back to allow daisy chaining additional thunderbolt devices like monitors, additional hard drives, etc.

In my tests the drive could consistently read and write about 140-160 megabytes per second, making it about as fast as a standard desktop hard drive of the same class. And the 3 terabytes of space? Cavernous.

Things get really interesting when you remove the hard drive from the thunderbolt base. The interface is actually a standard SATA connection, meaning you can plug in just about any notebook or desktop SATA hard drive and connect it to your Mac via Thunderbolt. I immediately grabbed a SSD drive I use for video work and found the speeds coming out of the Backup Plus' thunderbolt base to be mind boggling. My benchmark topped out at approximately 240 megabytes per second writing and 377 megabytes per second reading. Incredible.

A word of warning: other drives lack the seagate enclosure, so be sure not to use them on an unstable desk or a place where kids or pets might knock things over. The included hard drive does secure itself strongly to the base so it's not as fragile.

This is not an inexpensive kit, but it certainly takes full advantage of the new thunderbolt standard. If you need a lot of space and the ability to write to it quickly, this is a good purchase. You get the added bonus of being able to connect other SATA drives to the base station and use those disks at full desktop speed.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2013
Size Name: 2 TBStyle Name: USB 3.0Verified Purchase
As soon as I started the first file transfer onto this harddrive, a pop up appeared saying that it hadn't been ejected properly and then it froze the file transfer process. It wouldn't allow me to even shut down the finder window. So NOW I have to eject the new hard drive by unplugging it. So we try it again. We reformat the drive so there's no errors and the same thing occurs.
So just to be sure it's not my computer (which by the way has never had any problems before) we try it on the mac book pro. EXACT same thing happens. Freezes. Says it hasn't been ejected properly but will NOT allow the hard drive to be ejected.
So I try to format the drive to get the few files that transferred to the drive off so I can return it. GUESS WHAT? Now it won't even allow me to reformat the drive or even access the drive and continues to freeze everything up on any computer it's plugged in to.
HORRIBLE HARD DRIVE. I bought two and I didn't dare open the other one. I need a reliable back up and if this is what I get brand new right out of the box there's NO WAY I'd trust this as a reliable back up source for all my photographs.
I would NOT recommend this to anyone.
I have printed the return shipping labels and am hoping I don't have any problem with returning and receiving my full refund. If I do I will update this review.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2012
Size Name: 3 TBStyle Name: USB 2.0Verified Purchase
Dec 18th, 2012

UPDATE: I gave my initial review on July 20th 2012 after having owned the product for a week, however, I should have waited a few months. FIVE MONTHS after purchase, the hard drive died. Please note that I generally use this hard drive about twice a month simply to add be data to it, therefore, it certainly did not die due to "wear and tear". This hard drive is garbage and Seagate should fully refund all customers their purchase price. To add insult to injury, it is not about the money that was paid, but the 3TB of data that was lost and cannot be recovered. Thanks Seagate, it looks like I shall be returning to Western Digital because even their worse products have a longer life span than your best.

Initial Review:

For a desktop external hard drive the design of this item is very good especially compared to its Western Digital counter parts. The hard drive does have a little weight to it, but a good, solid design makes up for it. AS for the workings, the its works fine on my mac, although when i connect it to a windows based laptop it does not read. Furthermore, the hard drive comes with a firewire cable AND a UBS 2.0 cable which a rare of other companies. But for me the biggest "BANG" with this product is that it is thunderbolt capable (additional thunderbolt cable is required). So for those of you who want your information in a good, reliable place with super fast transfer speeds, this is the hard drive for again. However, again in stress that this is a DESKTOP external hard drive, therefore, it is not the most portable hard drive in the world. But is can still be carried around in a very small backpack or even your computer bag without issue.
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83 of 104 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2012
Size Name: 3 TBStyle Name: USB 2.0Verified Purchase
I purchased this drive, which I thought was a very reasonable product- firewire 800 and usb 2.0 (upgradable to 3.0) because I have a 2008 iMac, the ports fit my needs perfectly (I don't have thunderbolt or usb 3.0).

I was using this drive as a storage drive, and not for time machine backup. So, after painstakingly transferring my data on Friday (estimated about 3 hours for 500gigs, though I didn't stick around to time it, or view the data transfer rate), I was pleased with the responsiveness of the drive. However, 48 hours later, and the drive is completely DEAD. From Friday to Sunday, the drive was used once, and died. There was no response indicating the unit was even drawing power- no lights, no spinning, and unmountable on two Macs and a Windows computer.

I called Seagate for data retrieval, as I intended this drive for storage, not backup, so all files were original. I was already a little irked knowing that data retrieval can take weeks before they get your files back to you, but they had the nerve to tell me that there would be a charge! Really? A charge for a lemon that cost nearly $200 and lasted two days, to get my data off of it? That was a big fat NO.

So, I was transferred to the warranty department, where the representative I spoke with was very nice- which is why Seagate is getting the 1 star, not for the product, but for the one decent individual that was able to help me. The biggest shocker was that this drive was so "new" that the warranty department wouldn't have units to replace in-warranty drives for three months! So, I'd have to deal with having a dead drive, no access to my original files, and $200 disposable income tied up for three months, before I can even go on a limb and trust that the replacement unit that would be received wouldn't be another lemon. No thanks.

I have never been this mad at a hard drive before... In tech, we all know there are lemons, and that a smart person always has backups their backups, but if the unit fails before the computer is restarted, then seriously???
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2013
Size Name: 3 TBStyle Name: USB 3.0Verified Purchase
The performance of this drive under Mac OS X 10.8.2 is unacceptable as the drive will repeatedly cause the error "The disk was ejected improperly, always eject a disk before..." and then the system will hang (spinning pinwheel in the Finder). The time for this problem to present varies and has ranged from < ~30 sec to as "long" as ~5 minutes.

The is the 2nd drive (both Seagate Backup Plus 3 TB drives) that has demonstrated this unacceptable behavior.

I have spent over 4 hours trying various combinations of using the Seagate supplied software and not. I have been forced to reboot my system over 20 times while attempting to troubleshoot this problem. I have attempted to reformat this drive without success. I have investigated the disk "sleep" settings on the Mac without any obvious benefit. I have researched this on the Seagate support website and in multiple user forums. This error is well documented in multiple locations on the web.

I strongly encourage other potential users of this drive to research the information available on the web before purchasing this drive if your intended use is on a Mac.
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37 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Size Name: 3 TBStyle Name: ThunderboltVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This product is a 3TB external hard drive which is plugged into a plastic base that doubles as a stand for the drive. The plastic base contains a port for the AC line as well as two Thunderbolt ports. Seagate has a variety of these bases available, each with different ports: one model has USB 3.0 connectivity, another model has both USB 2.0 and FW800 connectivity, and the third, this one, has Thunderbolt connectivity. However, Seagate is making available only the Thunderbolt base independent of a hard drive (so far, anyway). So it's easy to buy the hard drive with the USB 3.0 base and a separate Thunderbolt adapter, but if you buy the Thunderbolt adapter/drive combination (and that's what's for sale on this page), you won't currently be able to buy the USB 3.0 or USB 2.0/FW800 base separately.

So make absolutely sure that you will be using this drive with a Thunderbolt capable Mac. Frankly, to have a wide range of current Macs with which you can use this drive, I'd grab the FW800 compatible unit and then add a Thunderbolt base to my overall assembly.

I configured the drive as a clone of my laptop's internal drive. This was accomplished using SuperDuper on a MacBook Pro (13", early 2011) running 10.8.2. The entire process worked quickly and easily. The drive works correctly as a startup drive through the Thunderbolt connection. The startup speed is roughly equal to the startup speed of my internal hard drive. Running applications from the 3TB drive takes place with no obvious delay caused by the drive. There's an improvement in overall speed when compared to FW800, but for some reason I got nothing like the 10-fold increase in throughput that one should get in comparison, perhaps because of SuperDuper's software design. The creation of my drive clone, with only about 200GB of files on the internal drive, took about 1.2 hours.

The drive runs very quietly - the internal drive of the laptop is louder than the external drive. Neither is particularly loud. The drive generates a low amount of heat when being run continuously (as during the backup process) but usually is cool to the touch. The overall unit is small enough to travel easily. The AC cord includes five adapters to allow connection to multiple worldwide power sources. The box also includes the Thunderbolt cable. There are no directions or instructions beyond a very simplistic pamphlet. Backup software is included, but I did not take advantage of this.

Addendum: I wanted to back up the hard drive of an iMac that does not have a Thunderbolt port. So I hooked this drive to my MacBook Pro, then connected the MacBook Pro to the iMac via a Firewire 800 cable, then booted the iMac as a Firewire drive by turning it on while holding the "T" key down. The MacBook Pro then saw two external drives: The thunderbolt drive and the IMac. I was able to make a backup of the iMac's hard drive without difficulty.
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