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580 of 603 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2010
Size Name: 1.5 TB
Drive makes loud clicking noise & eventually fails.

The symptom:
Drive works fine for the first few GB's, and once it gets somewhere around 50 to 300 GB, it starts making loud clicking noise. The more data added to the drive the more frequent the clicking noise become and eventually the drive fails.

As the first few sectors of the platter / platters, the traveling distance (from the edge of palter to the center) for the head arm is not that great. But as more data gets written to the disk, inner sectors of platters gets occupied with data. That's when the problem starts.

Without going into technical details, the issue here is not the drive. It is the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) that is installed in these external enclosures. This board regulates & provide power to the drive and in simple terms, there is not enough power for the disk to spin and for the head arm to extend far to reach inner sectors of the platter / platters .

I have tried many solutions recommended on the internet, including a youtube video posted by a person identified in this video as Bruce. None has worked. Some others suggested to change the usb cable, others suggested a firmware upgrade, some suggested to send the drive back to Seagate for replacement. Some people has done that but they got a new replacement drive that did the same clicking noise, and had to be sent back again. Do not waste your time on these suggestions, because I have tried them all before I started looking & analyzing the problem myself.

Seagate is well aware of this issue, but not only they are down playing the extent of this problem, they continue to sell these defective external boxes. In fact the first time this issue was reported on Seagate forum was 06-19-2009 06:50 AM. Up to the writing of this review, there are more than 31 pages from thousands of people reporting the issue with clicking noise & drive failure on Expansion boxes.

Solution & your options:
1 - If you just bought an Expansion, return it while you can get your money back.
2 - If it is under warranty, do not return it to Seagate. If you do, you end up with another defective drive that you have to send back again & each time cost $15.00 to $30.00 just for shipping (inside U.S.). Do one of the following:
A) Buy a new non-Seagate external enclosure (many good brand are in the market between $14.00 to $39.00). Take the drive out of Seagate Expansion enclosure and place it on the new one (this may void your warranty, but it is a permanent fix). Yes, You have break the tabs to open it. Seagate purposely made it non-serviceable.

B) If you can find a PCB that matches the Seagate Expansion box power & USB port openings, replace the PCB.
In my case, I replaced the case with a new enclosure.

C) Never buy a Seagate drive. They have been less than sincere & straight forward with their customers & continue to sell a defective product that they are well aware of it.
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251 of 278 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2009
Size Name: 1.5 TBVerified Purchase
Last week, I purchased a Seagate Expansion 1.5TB drive. I had read the product reviews on Amazon, however it seemed respectable enough. Last Friday, the drive arrived. Upon initial set-up, I noticed that it seemed extremely loud. After copying some data to it as a test, it began to make a very loud clicking sound. I have worked with many hard drives, and the sound was out of the ordinary (and, dare I say, reminiscent of the old Iomega click of death).

Upon calling Seagate, the technician warned me that the drive was probably in its death throes and to make sure I had a backup of anything on it. I put the product back in its box, and sent it back to Amazon, who issued a replacement.

When the replacement arrived, all seemed well at first. It formatted just fine, and seemed quiet and elegant. Once I connected it to my primary machine and began to copy data, however, it began making a similar noise to the prior model. Though it showed no signs of failure, the drive was so loud that I became annoyed with it quickly and called Seagate again. A representative, who was very helpful, had me run the SeaTools diagnostic tool, which passed. After I held the phone to the drive, however, he understood why it was so bothersome to me but couldn't explain what the noise was. He did state that the 1.5TB drives are often louder than other drives due to the additional platters required in the drive, but not to the extent I experienced.

Needless to say, I called Amazon this past afternoon, and the representative I spoke with was very understanding. When I detailed the issue and he heard the drive, he was glad to create an RMA, citing on the ticket that the drive "sounds like a jet engine revving up."

Though I've been very negative about this product, it does have its merit. When operational, it was quick to copy data (~15-20MB/s). It also has a very elegant profile, which looked wonderful on my desk; the small green LED on the front was a wonderfully unobtrusive drive activity indicator. Finally, it was preformatted as NTFS and included no unnecessary software, which was a refreshing change from many other external hard drives.

In short, this drive (at least the 1.5TB model) is worth consideration if noise is not a factor, however I have doubts to its longevity.
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65 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2010
Size Name: 1.5 TB
Are you a fan of tap dancing? The depression-era musical genre of spoons? The sound of a bad V8 head about to spew a valve through the lifter?

My friends, i have the product for you - the seagate expansion in 1.5Tb girth.

Not only does it click like chattering teeth out of a joke catalog, it does it nearly incessantly - even when it's not actively being searched!

Yes, friends, seagate even told me that clicking was not normal and that i should return my product to best buy (where i'd purchased it) for a replacement. so i did - and thankfully, the replacement chatters just as much as the original! hooray!

Now, i'll never be far from the metronome of my nightmares - an ongoing, click-of-death sound to thrill and chill you each and every day.

Bottom line: seagate's a good company but this product is flawed. i would definitely avoid it.
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243 of 274 people found the following review helpful
Size Name: 1 TBVerified Purchase
I can't speak to the issues that some of the other reviewers have had, but I have to say I've been very impressed by this drive. You've got to plug it in so it's not really an "on-the-go" kind of drive, but that's not what I needed. I have a couple of FreeAgent Go drives for that (and the reason I went with Seagate this time is because I've been so impressed with the other Seagates). This time, I wanted a big drive that I could use as a Time Machine backup for my MacBook Pro, and as a backup for all of the video files I've shot over the years. So far I've been very happy with this drive. One thing I noted right away is that it actually has slightly more than 1TB of space! With every other external drive I've ever used the actual amount of usable memory has been a bit less than advertised, even after I've reformatted them. With this one you get what is advertised. It's a USB 2.0 data connection, and from what I've seen manages to move files more quickly than my older Western Digital 500GB desktop firewire drive.

For comparison, I tried moving a 2.15 GB video file back and forth between my laptop's hard drive and a few of my external drives. This one was fastest at both downloads and uploads - it would download the 2.15 GB file in one minute, 17 s. as opposed to 1 min., 40 for the portable FreeAgent Go and 1 min., 37 for the Western Digital. Uploading results were similar: it would upload the same 2.15 GB video file in 1 minute, 10 s. while the other drives uploaded in about 1 minute, 20 s. So, it's pretty fast and does exactly what I need - I've got no complaints and am very happy about the price (which turns out to be almost exactly what I paid a year or so ago for my 320GB portable drive and much less than what I paid about 3 years ago for my 500 GB desktop drive). What's not to like?

One more thing, for Mac users. While this drive is set up out of the factory to plug and play on Windows it can easily be converted to a handy Mac drive. Here's how:

1. plug it in to your Mac, using the USB 2.0 cable provided with the drive

2. open up your applications folder, search for the utilities folder and then run "disk utility" (or, just search for "disk utility" in finder or spotlight and click on it).

3. you should see an icon for your "1 TB Seagate Desktop Media" drive in the left column of "disk utility" and also a drive partition (as I recall it was called "desktop" but I changed the name) underneath that.

4. click on the icon labelled "1 TB Seagate Desktop Media" and you'll see a few options in the window; click "partition"

5. after this steps will vary depending on what you want to do with this. For what I wanted, I decided to create two partitions on my hard drive. So, under "volume scheme" I selected "2 partitions" then clicked on the top one and set it to 250 GB and that left 750.10 GB on the other one. For the "format" I selected "Mac OS X Extended" but you'd want to select the journaled option if you want to use either of these drives as a "boot disk". I didn't. Then hit "apply" and it will erase everything on the disk and break it into two sections.

Now when you plug in the hard drive two icons will appear on your desktop, as if there were two separate external drives. I use the smaller one for regular backups and the larger one for storing all of my old video files. I'm sure there are lots of other ways to get an excellent value from this sleek and handy little drive. Enjoy!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2010
Size Name: 1 TBVerified Purchase
This review is for the 1TB product, just so we're clear. Amazon seems to slap them all together ignoring the drive sizes and you can't do that with hard drives. I'm a Seagate man. All my hard drives/externals are Seagate or Hitachi...keep that in mind.

I purchased the drive in June of 2010, it was in it's death bed by August of 2010.
The drive was used with a media box, a hdprimo to be precise, from brite-view. The drive worked fine for about a few weeks and then developed clicking noises.

I performed tests from Seagate (Seatools) and the drive tested fine, so I figured the drive was probably just one of those louder ones which make noises when either going to sleep or waking (despite my better judgment which states "loud clicking hard drives are 90% of the time ready to die" - my view changed because recently I noticed and have had several situations (that other 10%) where loud clicking drives worked fine for years. The tests were passed, but I'd only done short tests.

A few weeks later, the clicking noises became constant and the drive light blinked even when the drive was unplugged from the usb. These drives sleep when unplugged from the's not a REAL sleep mode though, because the drive has no power switch meaning technically it's always on. Generally though, the green light goes off when the device is no longer getting a usb connection ie: there's no power over the usb cable. So when the HDPrimo is powered down, the drive light goes off.
Not only that but now it would take upwards of 2 to 3 minutes to see the data on the drive from the HDPrimo or the computer.
It got so bad that the media box eventually stopped detecting the Seagate external at all.
I did the tests again and lo and behold, the drive failed the Short Drive Self Test. I used the code and sent the drive for repair/replacement. They sent back a brand new external which a few days later (yes, I said days) is clicking again :/

I may just be unlucky. But it's expensive bad luck. I'm actually out of the US right now and paid upwards of $100 dollars to send the drive back to Seagate and get the new drive cleared through customs. Yes, that is even more than I PAID for it on Amazon.
($30 for shipping using Fedex, $70 for freight/customs back to me). I begged Seagate warranty to send me a different TYPE of external, any long as it wasn't this and they assured me 100% that these drives are top notch...regardless according to the agent, the drive cannot be switched or swapped for another type.

Well, all I have to say is not s'much Seagate - whatever you're putting into these things SUCK.

You Amazon customers have been warned. Generally I love Seagate but this is a really bad batch of product. I don't know if there are interface issues or if the 1TB drives they put in them are the problem but 2 bad drives in 3 months is enough for me. I have a classic Freeagent with usb2 and esata (the ones with the orange light) and that things been kicking since I got it more than 4 years ago.

P.S I want to note that even if you're in the US or able to send the drive back for 'free' - it's not really free at all; you're looking at shipping costs which are $10-$20 depending on how you do it, normally I use Seagate's Advanced Warranty which is $20 and I'd get the new drive back and a box to put the bad one into to send back with prepaid shipping.
That however cannot be done internationally. If the drive fails on you 4 times in 2 years (and it will, call it a premonition), you've paid for it twice in warranties considering the drive itself is like $80. That's just a quick thinker for you. Seagate will under no circumstances swap the type of drive so you're really not benefiting from the 2 year warranty....unless of course you're one of the very few people who gets one that lives for more than a few months at a time.

Good Luck.


The replacement unit which was brand new from Seagate has also died. It failed within roughly 5 months of use. I'm now going to have to battle it out with Seagate to replace it with something else because I am NOT getting another one of these.

Please, owners that are having/had had trouble with this? Email Amazon and ask them to stop stocking it. There is definitely something terribly wrong with these things and it's terrible that there are people (who don't read reviews) who are going to buy this drive, backup their data and lose it all.
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72 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2009
Size Name: 1 TBVerified Purchase
I (like everyone else) always read the reviews of an item before purchasing it. I was very skeptic about making this purchase due to the bad reviews that i've read, but a friend convinced me that it was a good deal, and I went ahead and followed through with it.

Let me tell you I WAS (and still am) VERY pleased with this purchase! The drive installs easily, however the only set back is that the drive isnt a true 1TB Drive, only 931GB's of the drive are usable. Aside from that, everything runs perfectly with no problems what so ever.

A suggestion to anyone purchasing this, is to run a surface scan on the drive prior putting anything on it. This way if there are bad sectors, they can be fixed (which is part of the reason why so many people suffer with having their drives die on them). Once running the surface scan, if all is well with no bad sectors or errors (My Seagate was perfect with no errors or bad sectors), feel free to use at your leisure.

I recommend this to ANYONE looking for an external hard drive!
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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2009
Size Name: 1 TBVerified Purchase
Tried to use the backup program that Seagate encourages the customer to download from it's website after registering the hard drive. It's called Discwizard.setup or similar to that. It backs up an image of my C:drive. It took 5 hours to backup 245 Gigs. The problem starts when one tries to backup individual folders or files. A prompt comes on. Something like: "This function is not available but if you buy the enhanced version of the Acronis program you could use this function". When I tried to restore anything from the backup file a prompt comes on. Something like: This function is not supported, unable to open the image file.... etc. I think that this program was crippled to entice the customer to buy the full program. A rotten way to treat the customer.

I added these paragraphs after I bought the Seagate FreeAgent 1.5 TB (terabyte)Desktop hard drive model, so I can be fair with Seagate. A backup program called Seagate Manager comes with the FreeAgent 1.5 TB model. The installation program is in the hard drive, so after connecting the hard drive to the computer it automatically installs the backup program. It was very easy to use and backed up my computers automatically. There are not many settings to change or do. I think the difference between the 1 TB and the 1.5 TB was the backup program that came with the 1.5 TB model. I would recommend buying the Seagate hard drive with the FreeAgent label because it has the backup program included. Makes backing up easy. I am satisfied with this Seagate hard drive model and I highly recommend it. I give it a 5 STAR rating.

About the clicking noise. I noticed that when I position the hard drive standing up on it's stand, I hear some clicking sound from it. Not too loud. When I position the hard drive flat on the table, I only hear a soft hum, no clicking sound.

I take back the 5 star rating, back to 1 star. Several weeks later the ticking noise really increased and the hard drive died. I returned it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2010
Size Name: 1.5 TB
I received this drive as a Christmas present approximately one year ago. The drive never really worked well: it was slow and I ended up being wary and not using it for any data. Recently I decided that I needed a new backup drive and attempted to use this drive for a backup. It began to click as soon as I plugged it in.

This clicking is indicative of a bad drive - usually it means that the read head doesn't work and the drive tries to seek across the platter. Clicking occurs when the arm the head is mounted on hits either side. There are no "home remedies" for bad read heads, it basically means that you have to return the drive under warranty.

Unfortunately, the worst thing about Seagate nowadays is their warranty service. This did not used to be the case: in 2005 when I bought a defective Seagate drive they were willing to ship me a new drive for free under warranty and let me put my old drive in the box and ship it back, with no cost to the consumer.

Now, if you want to return a defective drive, you must either (a) pay $20 for advanced return: they will ship you a box with a replacement product, and then you put the old one in the box and send it back, or (b) you must ship it to Seagate yourself and follow their ridiculous packaging instructions, which request that the box be corrugated cardboard, to use foam (no chips or newspaper!), to use anti-static bags (even for external hard drives, it didn't even come NEW in the box with an anti-static bag), and to allow for two inches of clearance on all sides. Either way, you are paying out of your own pocket for a product that didn't even work in the first place.

I have not yet received my drive from them, but I am very reluctant to continue using Seagate's products and based on my abysmal experience having to pay my own money to exchange a drive under warranty I will probably not buy another product from them again. If a manufacturer truly believes in the reliability of their product, especially with respect to electronics, then a three-year warranty should be covered in full, including shipping costs. If the company doesn't want to deal with the cost of defective merchandise, then the solution is simple: fix your product so that it is more reliable, and then you won't have dissatisfied customers returning products to you.

In summary:

1) This product is prone to failure; the other reviews on this product indicate that this is not an isolated case.

2) You will pay out of your own pocket for exchanges under warranty. This suggest to me that Seagate does not trust its own products or their customers enough to provide free warranty service.

My conclusion? Avoid Seagate products altogether. Save yourself the headache.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2009
Size Name: 1 TBVerified Purchase
I bought this drive as a backup drive for XP on the strength of my past experience with Seagate drives - mostly positive. Sadly, the other negative reviews are correct.

On the plus side, it's a nice-looking design and I'm a big fan of Discwizard, the free tool from Acronis that Seagate provides.

The negative side: This drive made LOUD clicking noises from the first hours of operation, and (confirming it wasn't just noise) tossed page file disk errors into the XP event log. While these are not necessarily 'fatal' errors, I've never had them before with my older (smaller) external drive. My impression is that this drive was also slower than my old drive, showing write speeds of about 16-19MB/sec. That's pretty slow! USB 2.0 drives should run closer to 30MB/sec.

I reformatted/wiped it and returned it to Amazon. I'm going to try a different Seagate drive (a 7200.12 1TB drive) in an Antec enclosure - and hopefully have a better experience.

* followup oct 28 2009 *

Last night I set up and benchmarked the 1TB Barracuda in Antec enclosure. Installation took five minutes. I ran a disk benchmark and it ran far faster - 25-27MB/sec. The drive was also much quieter. No error messages in the logs. Backups ran much faster. The Antec MX-100 3.5-Inch USB Aluminum Enclosure for SATA Hard Drive plus Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1 TB SATA 32 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Hard Drive ST31000528AS cost $20 more than the Expansion, but its very much worth the upgrade in terms of performance and peace of mind.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2010
Size Name: 1 TB
I bought 4 of these drives for my family, at special price.
At first (first few hundred G) they are great,
go over ~100G and they start frequent loud 'clicking' episodes, and access to files can take several seconds.
Dont bother loading more than 200G.. The drives click persistantly and LOUDLY all the time.. Three minutes of clicking every second or so, then a pause for perhaps a minute or two, then clicking for 5 minutes.. Seems random, unrelated to PC activity.

I have now removed the drives from their enclosures and put them into PC's .. They behave fine here - so it is the enclosure / board which is at fault.

The construction of this drive is awful - On one of them the USB socket pulled off the board when the lead was removed - examining the board (I am an electronics engineer) showed appalling assembly, and this applied to the boards on the other drives as well.

This drive will make you despise Seagate! Dont buy it!
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