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2,480 of 2,551 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Similar to adding an internal drive. Worry about heat. Product info needs to be more than just "It just works"
NOTE: Amazon has combined the reviews for the 1TB, 2TB and 3TB versions of this product, with the 3TB version dominating the negative reviews (as of 2012-11-24), so pay attention to which version is being reviewed.

The target market of the Seagate Expansion Desktop line seems to be people who want to add a performance drive, but don't want to, or cannot,...
Published on June 29, 2012 by Douglas B. Moran

versus
303 of 331 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing New But The Firmware
Summary
* Same internal drive as the old version
* Runs just as hot as the old external drive (in my testing)
* APM is now turned off by default - this might be huge, people online have blamed this feature for the grinding noises and premature death of some seagate drives
* Firmware update from CC9D to CC9E (CC9H firmware is available online)
*...
Published on June 15, 2012 by RandomGibberish


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2,480 of 2,551 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Similar to adding an internal drive. Worry about heat. Product info needs to be more than just "It just works", June 29, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
NOTE: Amazon has combined the reviews for the 1TB, 2TB and 3TB versions of this product, with the 3TB version dominating the negative reviews (as of 2012-11-24), so pay attention to which version is being reviewed.

The target market of the Seagate Expansion Desktop line seems to be people who want to add a performance drive, but don't want to, or cannot, install an additional internal drive, that is, this is a drive they won't be moving, at least not frequently. For example, a laptop where the extra storage can happily stay behind in the office. Or a small-form-factor PC (mini-PC, HTPC, "nettop") that doesn't have space. There are other lines of external drives from Seagate (and others) targeting more transient/mobile uses.

For a range of potential buyers of this drive, the product information provided may be too sketchy. The focus of this review is to fill in some of the missing info, and it is structured to facilitate your skipping details that don't interest you. Note: At the time of this review, the product information here at Amazon is more than you will find elsewhere, including Seagate's website (no spec sheets, ...).

TRANSFER SPEED:
The drive in the enclosure is the same model used for internal drives in performance desktops (details below).

With USB 3.0, transfers to this drive are slightly faster than the same transfers between the (older) internal SATA drives in my current computer (details below).

The drive has the performance needed to benefit from USB 3.0: In my experiments, USB 3.0 transfers are 60-200% faster than USB 2.0 (details below).

COOLING:
Heat is the enemy and can shorten the lifespan of drives. For a drive that seems intended to be always on, I would have expected cooling to be a significant design feature. The enclosure is passively cooled with holes in the bottom and back. However, this doesn't seem to be enough to enable real/effective convection cooling (using rising heat to pull cooler air across the radiator). The enclosure is thin plastic (metal would be been a better conductor of heat).

Part of the basic drive is a metal plate that serves as a radiator, and the typical installation positions the drive with the plate on top or to the side to facilitate heat rising off it. Here, the drive is positioned with the metal plate on the bottom to have it close to the vent holes in the enclosure. However, the enclosure's feet are absurdly thin -- the equivalent of 12 sheets of paper thick. Not only does this restrict air flow to the drive through those holes, it also turns the surface that the enclosure sits on into a heat reservoir, further inhibiting cooling. I strongly recommend increasing this gap. For example, I am using the (optional, unused) thick feet that came with another enclosure. And I recommend positioning it where it will benefit from the existing airflow in the room (and avoiding dead spots). Putting the drive on a sheet of aluminum, or other highly conductive material, negates the heat reservoir effect of typical furniture. Aluminum foil also worked, although I wouldn't recommend it as a longer term measure because the inevitable crinkles will inhibit air-flow.

As an experiment, after powering down the drive and allowing it to physically spin down, I flipped the enclosure upside-down -- ventilation holes above the drive's radiator plate -- and the temperature dropped quickly (no surprise). Recognize that there aren't holes on the top of the enclosure for good reason -- to protect the drive from spills and to reduce dust reaching it -- so you should consider doing this only if you are going to remember to flip it back in a timely fashion.

STATUS LIGHT has poor sightlines:
There is a small blue LED that is lit when the drive is ready to use. There is a slight delay between the drive being powered on and it being spun-up and ready to use. This light is located on the top of the enclosure at the back. I would have much preferred it being on the front of the enclosure -- where it is on most similar products -- because it would be much less likely to be obscured. I put the disk next to my monitor stand and my sightline to that light is obscured by the monitor.

NOISE:
Caution: I am 60 years old -- younger ears will be more sensitive. In the evening in a typical residential setting during large-scale file transfers, I can hear the drive when my ears are about a foot away, but at two feet, I don't hear it even when I am listening for it. The whir of the drive tends to blend into the fan noise of most computers. The only time I have been aware of the drive has been when using it with my super-quiet computer in very quiet environments, such as after midnight, and even then it was only vague awareness.

SPIN-UP?:
The drive automatically controls power usage (see APM below). User control seems to be solely through the USB connection: The drive powers up when the USB connection is established and powers down when the connection is broken, either by physically disconnecting the cable, by a software "Safely Remove Hardware" operation. There doesn't seem to be a way to re-connect other than power-cycling or physically "cycling" the USB cable connection (neither of which I find attractive). When the attached computer is powered up/down (including sleep or hibernate), the USB connection is established and broken, so the drive is automatically powered up/down, as expected and desired.

CAUTION: Unintended Spin-up during Sleep & Shutdown:
Even when the computer the drive is connected to is in Sleep (ACPI S3) or Shutdown (ACPI S5), the drive _can_ spin/power up, and thus heat up, if you plug it in (power cycle, but not if you simply leave it plugged in). On _my_ computer, this occurred regardless of the BIOS "Power Management Setting" for "USB Wake Up from S3"--I had expected that "Disabled" would make the USB port appear disconnected. However in S5 with "ErP Support" ("<1W in S5") enabled, this spin-up did not occur. This spinning up can be easily missed because it does not generate an event that wakes the computer -- the only warning is the small blue LED that is easily missed because of its position at the back of the enclosure (above).
ADVICE: (1) Plug this enclosure into a socket that you won't be tempted to "borrow" - when my computer is in Sleep/Shutdown (S3/S5), I am long habituated to such borrowing being harmless. Failing that, label it (Being paranoid, I did both). (2) Consider enabling ErP Support in the BIOS (after checking what this disables). This is trivial: The warnings to less experienced users against modifying the BIOS is because once they start, some just can't resist fiddling with settings they don't understand, and that can get them into lots of trouble.

CABLE:
The connector on the enclosure takes the USB 3.0 Micro-B connector, so although the other end of the provided cable plugs into USB 2.0 ports (it is a Standard-A connector), you cannot use your generic USB 2.0 A-B cable should you misplace this one. Not a serious problem because this cable configuration is increasingly common and seems destined to be the "normal" cable.

PROBLEM with SeaTools for Windows (v1.2.0.6 = current):
The information reported by "Drive Information" is unreliable: Most of the time it reports values of zero (displayed as "0", "False", "Unsupported",...), but occasionally it reports non-zero values. The problem seems to be with SeaTools, not the drive -- CrystalDiskInfo and PassMark's DiskCheckup (free for personal use) gave me credible (and extensive) output. Be aware that not all third-party utilities for reading S.M.A.R.T. data handle USB-attached drives.

RELIABILITY:
Can't comment: I have had this only for a few days. If you haven't bought a drive recently (since the floods in Thailand), you may be surprised by the widespread decrease in warranty periods (this model's is only 1 year) and the increased reports of early failures of many models.

AUTORUN
When you first mount the drive, the Autorun (if enabled) is a program to help register the product. I see no evidence that it does anything else. There is no other software included.
SN confusion: The registration software reports the serial number in reverse order ("12345678" is displayed as "87654321") from what is printed on the enclosure, the outer packaging, and what is reported by SeaTools.

NO SECURITY CABLE SLOT
for a Kensington-type Cable (example). Mentioned for those few customers for which this is relevant.

FIRMWARE UPDATE??
One review here mentions a firmware update to CC9H (2012-June-15 by "RandomGibberish"), but I couldn't find mention of it on the web except in copies, and apparent extracts, of that review on other sites. Details below.

WINDOWS UPDATE (added 2012-11-24):
From other reviews here (see 1- and 2-star sections), unpatched Windows 7 Backup doesn't work with the 3TB version. Seagate's response is given in the comments to those reviews and seems to be that a standard Microsoft patch should fix this problem. That patch is KB982018 of March 2012 and I had already installed it as part of normal Windows-Update. However, it was listed as a "Recommended" (vs "Important" or "Optional") patch, so some may not have installed it. For more information, see those reviews and Seagate's responses (in the comment sections). Since I don't have the 3TB version, I cannot confirm that info.

======= DETAILS ========
TRANSFER TESTS:
I transferred several mixes of files from one internal drive to another, and then from that internal drive to this external drive.
1. 9GB of photos: 37MB/s between internal drives; 40MB/s via USB 3.0; 24MB/s via USB 2.0
2. 8GB single file: 87MB/s between internal drives (range 82-98MB/s during transfer); 94 via USB 3.0 (range 88-102MB/s); 32MB/s via USB 2.0
Note: The internal-internal transfers has slight disadvantages in these test: (1) Not a freshly formatted file system (but freshly defragmented), (2) space on the middle of the platter rather than the beginning, (3) older technology (below).

THE DRIVES:
The drive in my enclosure is a Seagate ST2000DM001 (part# 9YN164), which is a member of the Barracuda 7200.14 series: SATA 6Gb/s, 64MB cache, 4KB sectors (Advanced Format technology). The internal drives used for comparison are 20-month old Seagate ST310005N1A1AS-RK, which are members of the Barracuda 7200.12 series: SATA 3Gb/s, 32MB cache, 512B sectors.

HEAT:
With the air gap underneath the enclosure widened (to 0.3") and the drive positioned at a corner of my desk (for air flow), the maximum drive temperature was 45-47C = 113-116F (S.M.A.R.T. ID=C2 via CrystalDiskInfo), and was fairly consistent for ambient temperatures of 73-82F. This level was reached after 2.5-3 hours with moderate but intermittent activity. For sustained activity, it was approached after the transfer of about 20-40GB of normal files (several tests), with only a small increase for a subsequent 40GB of similar files.

For comparison, the temperature of the corresponding internal drive being used in the transfers had only half that increase -- 10C=18F -- rising only to 36C=97F, both drives having started at ambient 26C=80F. Recognize that 47C is _not_ a bad temperature -- on devices I am familiar with, concern and alarms start at 55-60C -- but lower temperatures are better.

2013-03-17: [ For some time, I have had the drive sitting on a sheet of metal (aluminum) that extends over an inch beyond both sides, providing a radiator (rather than a heat reservoir) below it. I had noticed that this substantially reduced the rate of increase in internal drive temperatures, but I hadn't done a reasonable test. I just copied 170GB (yes, "gigabyte") of data to the drive starting at an ambient temperature of 21C=70F. Increases: +7C @ 90GB copied (impressive), +15C @ 140GB, +20C (= 41C) @ 170GB (final). This was a continuous transfer taking 90-120 minutes (failed to record exact times). At these temperatures, the thickness of the conductor is irrelevant: standard kitchen aluminum foil worked just a well in a second test as the 1/16-inch thick sheet (that I had salvaged from a broken laptop cooler). If you choose to use aluminum foil (ignoring/reveling in its tackiness), recognize the inevitable crinkling makes taller feet even more important. And recognize that YMMV, so check how well your set-up works, using the utilities mentioned above (or similar). ]

During active transfers, the drive draws 8-10W (power=heat). Less than a minute, sometimes seconds, after the transfer stop, power consumption drops to less than 0.1W (my Kill A Watt EZ shows 0.0W), although the drive continues spinning (I can feel the vibration with my fingertips) -- see APM below.

Because I suspected that the enclosure was a factor, I measured temperatures beneath it. For transfers of 40-80GB (eg, a disk image, a multitude of photos), the increase was 16-20F (36C=97F at 77F ambient). In most of my tests, this increase came during the first 20GB but there were two cases where it rose much slower for reasons unknown. The temperature on top of the enclosure tended to be 9-12F above ambient. After I powered off the drive, the temperature below rose another 1F (loss of the small airflow created by the platters and heads?) and it was almost an hour before it dropped 2F (latent heat in the desk below it?). When I powered on the drive after it being off for 3 hours, the drive reported being still 12F above ambient (SMART data).

Absence of convection: I put some thin hairs (from my cat) next to the vents at the back of the drive and the air flow was so negligible that they didn't even quiver.

APM (Advanced Power Management): PassMark's DiskCheckup, under Device Info, reports that APM is enabled with the level set to "Minimum power consumption without Standby". When a drive enters Standby, it spins down and parks its heads. Excessive spin-down & parking can reduce drive life, and this APM level seems to be a response to problems with earlier versions of this (and similar) drives.

Aside: Regarding a complaint in another review about the power supply being a "wall wart" instead of being integrated: Recognize that an integrated power supply would add roughly 25% more heat to the enclosure (based upon a typical efficiency of 80% for switching power supplies) and that this would almost certainly raise the operating temperature of the drive. Manufacturers may choose wall-warts and bricks for lower costs and other reasons, but sometimes it is also good design.

FIRMWARE:
My unit came with firmware CC9E. However, when I went to Seagate's web page for firmware updates, the entry for this model mentions CC4H as current -- four not nine for the third digit -- and doesn't mention the *E as one of the relevant versions for my disk's part number. Normally a product's firmware is a single sequence, but Seagate _may_ have bifurcated the firmware because of difficulties making the internal and external versions of the code co-exist.

Seagate's "Drive Detect" software (link on their firmware page) malfunctions for this drive (but works for my other Seagate family drives). Web search found people asking questions about the CC9* series, but no useful answers.

To find the web page about this, go to the Seagate website and search on "Firmware Updates for Seagate Products" and click on "Barracuda (1TB/disk platform)". Aside: I cannot provide a direct link because of Amazon's well-motivated policy of prohibiting external links because they are potentially malicious.

-- Douglas Moran
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366 of 396 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (3.5 stars) Back-up your files, now! A good option for backup or other intermittent use, July 17, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
THE QUICK TAKE: The Seagate Expansion 2TB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive STBV2000100 is a good option as a backup drive, or as an expansion drive that isn't used intensively. It may also serve well as a working drive that's used more intensively but for temporary or replaceable files - such as a scratch drive or a media server.

This drive is large enough and priced low enough that you can backup multiple computers for not a lot of money.

However, if you're looking for an expansion drive - a second drive to augment a laptop or desktop - that you will use intensively, consider options with cooling and perhaps backup, especially if you will use the drive for your only copy of files.

A DESKTOP DRIVE: This is a desktop drive, not a truly portable drive. You could use it to backup multiple computers around a home or office, but you're not going to enjoy carrying the drive and the power supply.

A FAST CONNECTION: USB 3.0 really is fun to use, if you have the right port on your computer to use it. No more sitting around watching file transfers - the speeds are similar to those of a built in drive.

KEEP A BACKUP: One of the keys to happiness in modern life is to keep at least two copies of every computer file you need. If you have anything you would rather not have vanish tomorrow, get a hard drive - any hard drive - and make a copy. Right now. Err on the side of caution.

ALL HARD DRIVES FAIL - SO REPLACE THEM BEFORE THEY DO: Hard drives are complex mechanical devices. They will absolutely, inevitably fail. So manage them accordingly.

I replace all my drives after about three to four years (if they survive that long). It's much easier to replace a drive before it fails - it's very easy to copy a readable drive. It's much harder to recreate a drive, especially a boot drive, after it fails - you need to reinstall all the software and settings, and maybe reconstruct the folder structure.

And hard drives are cheap enough to make it not worth the risk to keep drives around longer than that. I can usually get a bigger, faster drive for much less money than the original drive.

Once you start to accept the reality that hard drives will fail, and manage your drives and data appropriately, you can drastically reduce the disruption that hard drive failures cause.

BUY A GOOD MODEL OF DRIVE, THEN KEEP A CURRENT BACKUP: As much as people like to claim that particular brands are better or worse, statistics don't really seem to back that up. Buy a good model from one of the top brands - Seagate, Western Digital, Hitachi, Samsung - and then manage them as described above.

That being said - some drives (or the firmware they are shipped with) have turned out to be real lemons. Most of the big manufacturers make good drive models, and they have made bad drive models. So much like your uncle, who never bought a new model car until they'd worked the bugs out of it - let someone else be at the bleeding edge of hard drives. Buy models that have been tested by other users.

It's a little soon to tell for the drive installed in this particular model, and some of the early feedback is mixed.

COOLING QUESTIONS: I can't really figure out why the cooling is so unconvincing on almost all external drives (like this one). A tight-fitting plastic case, with no effective ventilation? Really? While drive temperature isn't perhaps quite as big an issue as some would make it out to be - that level of cooling just doesn't seem adequate for a drive that's running more than a fraction of the time. If your needs fit that description - that is, if you need a back up drive, or an intermittently used expansion drive - then this Seagate external drive may be a good match

FOR AN INTENSIVELY USED EXPANSION DRIVE, CONSIDER OTHER OPTIONS: If you need more space in an expansion drive, and plan to use the drive intensively, consider other options. Perhaps a NAS (network attached storage) or a drive enclosure with more effective cooling, and possibly something with multiple drives and built in backup.

WATCH HOW YOUR DRIVES ARE SHIPPED: One of the key factors in whether a drive will last is how it's handled and shipped. External drives such as this one are usually packaged somewhat well, although online vendors still don't seem to really get the concept of filling the shipping box so the product inside doesn't bounce around on its way to you.
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303 of 331 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing New But The Firmware, June 15, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Summary
* Same internal drive as the old version
* Runs just as hot as the old external drive (in my testing)
* APM is now turned off by default - this might be huge, people online have blamed this feature for the grinding noises and premature death of some seagate drives
* Firmware update from CC9D to CC9E (CC9H firmware is available online)
* Looks a little better
* Not worth more than the old version imo

Edit #2: When I used the Serial Number from Crystaldiskinfo to check the warranty (google "Seagate Warranty Checker") it showed that my drive was under warranty until the end of August 2013. That's almost 14 months, which still isn't long, but make sure you check online and do not just assume your warranty is dead after 12 months exact.

I needed another 3tb drive and decided to go out on a limb and spend the extra $10 on this "new version" of the seagate drive.

I will admit that at least the case looks different - its rectangular on the front instead of being rounded off, it has a matte finish instead of the old shiny black look, and the activity light is now blue instead of green. I think it does look marginally better but who buys these things for the looks?

Crystal Disk info tells me that inside lives the exact same drive I found in the "old" model of the seagate 3tb external - a ST3000DM001-9YN166 (in fact some people have pulled even better drives out of the "old" version externals so ymmv)
The firmware on this new drive is version CC9E while the old version did have firmware CC9D.

This case does have small holes drilled on the top of the back panel to act as a "vent" - However
I ran a full stress test on the external and it reached temps of 56*C, a mere 2 degree lowers than the old model I got a few weeks ago, so I do not find that any significant improvement has been made in regards to the heat trap issue of the "old" model.

In conclusion - Nothing has changed on the inside. If you think it looks better than the old one or if you want the new firmware and are too lazy to do it yourself - Only then is it worth a price premium over the old version.

EDIT: APM is now turned off by default, in contrast to the old version of this drive, which could be a huge benefit to some
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The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
338 of 374 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not reliable, January 8, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I purchased this 3 TB Seagate drive in October. Used it as a data backup for photographs, keeping the drive on my desk (not moving it) so in good conditions for such equipment. (I carry smaller drives in my backpack while traveling with my camera and laptop. After ten weeks the drive stopped working.

Under warranty, Seagate will replace the drive, but they want me to pay them to try to recover the data. Personally I don't think this is acceptable.

I find the lack of reliability and Seagate's unwillingness to warrant the function of the drive -- data storage -- unacceptable.

People who read this review can also read Seagate's offer reaching out to me. Let me provide an update on the resolution of this matter.

I wrote my review while on hold for the third time with Seagate -- in my initial call to them I spent about 45 minutes on hold. At the time I wrote the review, Seagate's position -- as expressed by first line CSR and second line manager was that they would replace my drive but not take responsibility for data recovery. I eventually got to a next level manager who agreed that Seagate would cover the data recovery and passed me to Tech Support (who were much more pleasant than Customer Service) who listened to my assessment (which proved correct) that the problem was in the power system, not the memory and there was no reason to write off the data or charge to recover it.

Two subsequent calls to Technical Support (long wait on hold but pleasant interactions) got to the root of the problem, got my data back and since the drive is flakey -- Seagate is replacing it.

So, what to conclude. I've done enough Call Center design to know that most people would accept (begrudgingly) the first line or second line refusal from Seagate to fix my problem. Since I was willing to sit on hold for 45 mintues and argue with Seagate at length they did agree to fix my problem. Since I took the time to write a one star review on Amazon I got another offer to fix the problem from Seagate. SO SEAGATE WILL ADDRESS YOUR PROBLEM BUT NOT IF YOU ASK POLITELY! That's my conclusion Seagate is free to file another answer saying they disagree. But they recorded my calls "for training purposes" and as far as I am concerned, once the first escalation led to Seagate saying "no" to me again I knew the only way to get service was to tough it out with them. I find this is almost always the case with customer service today, not just at Seagate, you have to be prepared to invest time and stand your ground to get anything.

What a sorry state customer service is in in America. And no I don't feel like thanking Seagate for addressing my problem, they made me spend far too much time on it.
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The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Jan 10, 2013 2:03:29 PM PST
Dear Songster1928,

This reply is from Seagate Support. We noticed your review and wanted to apologize for the problems experienced with your Expansion Desktop drive. It is unclear from the review details what the exact problem was with this drive. We would like to talk with you in greater detail to determine the root cause and available resolution to the problem. We have created a case based on your Amazon name that shows your review and our response. Here is a web address with contact information to speak with a support representative directly:

http://seagate.com/support/contact-support/

You are not obligated to use our data recovery service if it is determined that data recovery is needed.

Best Regards,
Seagate Support
 
 

The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
90 of 101 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Appears to be too good to be true--because it is. Power users: you will lose data., September 12, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I really wish I could say something positive about this unit, so I will: the actual drive within the enclosure is a good one. For the price that I bought this unit for, I could have popped the drive out, used it as an internal drive, and been happy with the bargain. For that, this unit can have two stars instead of one.

The problem is: I bought these as an IT professional for use by traveling business clients: multimedia producers to whom data integrity is crucial. We bought them for use as external hard drives for mobile workstations, and as such, they're consistently horrifying--these issues are features, not bugs, as my team and I were able to replicate the issues across all 4 units that we purchased.

* The drive doesn't readily plug-and-play, particularly in operating systems other than Windows. This isn't the biggest issue as it has other cross-platform issues (such as spontaneous partition table-level data corruption) which I mention below, but it'll probably be one of the first issues you notice.

* The hardware of the enclosure itself is remarkably poorly programmed and under-featured, and the construction of its chassis is cheap. The ventilation for this unit is on the back and the bottom of it; there's no fan and it's built to stand in only one position. Heat rises, so it's trapped in this box with the sensitive drive, and this box does get incredibly hot with extended use.

Make no mistake, heat kills hard drives quickly. Given that they're marketing these drives with USB 3.0 at 3TB sizes, they're going to net some power users, and those power users are going to be unpleasantly surprised when these units start dying a year and a half, two years out.

* The compatibility list provided in the manufacturer's description appears to be limited to Windows as an oversight. It's not an oversight. The unit has issues (which, having used hundreds of such units before, I'm seeing here for the first time) crossing platforms; it corrupts (as in, the partition table vanishes) when going from Windows to OSX or Linux (we plugged it into Debian as well as Ubuntu) and even when exposed to thin client drive robot software such as GParted and Clonezilla. What's more, if you fiddle with it and do manage to get it to function in another OS, the changes you made to the drive will typically disappear the next time you boot it in that OS or Windows.

------------------------------------

More superficial concerns I'd have been happy to overlook had the rest not been so truly horrendous:

* The activity indicator light is on the back of the drive, at the top. It's about twice the size of a pinhole and effectively invisible.

* The USB cable is really, really, short, and the USB3 connector is poorly machined; it doesn't slide in or lock on very easily.

* There are toys for children built out of sturdier plastic.

------------------------------------

I don't run around writing negative reviews willy nilly. I'm actually more likely to write a positive review than one like this. However, this drive cost one of our clients three days worth of work (he moved the drive from a Windows desktop to a MacBook and back--then poof) and cost my company just under $1,000 to test and support the failures. These drives are dangerous to people's data, money, and peace of mind; they're woefully substandard units (really: the standard for 20 years has been that drives can move from port to port, particularly without disintegrating), and shame on Seagate for not making it more explicitly clear just how crippled this thing is rather than deceptively listing compatibility as if there may have been some oversight. Make no mistake that this is a lie by omission.

I suppose that next, we'll see what Amazon Prime does about this.
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The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Sep 26, 2012 8:50:31 AM PDT
Dear William,

This reply is from Seagate Support. We noticed your review and wanted to comment on your experience with your Expansion Desktop drive. Expansion drives are only supported in Windows systems as shown here:

http://ow.ly/dZ7aZ

We do have Desktop external drives that are supported in both PC and Mac systems. Here is a link to our GoFlex and Backup Plus drives:

http://www.seagate.com/external-hard-drives/desktop-hard-drives/

The internal drive case on our Expansion Portable drives should not exceed 69C (156F). It is not common for the drive to reach this temperature limit as the case should dissipate the heat adequately. If you feel there was a problem with excessive heat on any of these drives, please run our Seagate Setting diagnostics as this will determine if there has been a problem with heat issues on your drives:

http://ow.ly/dIs7k

If your USB cables are not connecting properly with your computer, we would want to talk with you directly to resolve this problem. Please feel free to contact our support staff:

http://seagate.com/support/contact-support/

Best Regards,
Seagate Support
 
 

The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good drive, but the Advanced Power Management needs tweaking., September 30, 2012
By 
F-Rod (Worcester, MA) - See all my reviews
I managed to get this drive at an office super store which, for the purposes of this review, will remain nameless. Got it for $75, when all was said and done. Too good of a deal to pass up.

I am writing this review to hopefully help some people who are bothered by the default Advanced Power Management(APM) settings.

See, when I received the drive, I was replacing a 750GB Western Digital Passport drive. I wanted more space, as I slave mine off a Cisco Linksys router for in-home cloud storage for my Apple TV and computers. Well, the one feature I liked about the WD drive was that after some time of inactivity, the hard drive would shut itself off. Love this feature. If the drive isn't being used, why have the platters spinning, right? So, I slap in the new Seagate Expansion 2TB drive, transfer my junk over and slave it away off my router. Boom, works like a charm. But, what's this, the drive is still spinning, in the middle of the night, all day long, no matter what? Not only is this noisy, but introduces unnecessary heat to the equation, which will shorten the life of this component. Not good.

Well, GOOD NEWS, if you go to the support page for this product, Seagate has made available a tool which not only updates, but tests and modifies two other settings on this particular drive; the LED and APM. The latter being the most important to me. When I used the tool to check the status of my drive, I found that the drives power management was disabled. BAD, BAD, BAD...so I changed it to five minutes. After five minutes, the drive shuts down. No more spinning platters, no more heat. This will undoubtedly extend the life of this drive by several years. That is good. Yes, some will say, "but there will be a delay in accessing the drive when you wake it up". This is true. The delay is caused by the drive spinning back up to speed. In a scenario where you would be going to the external drive all the time, then yes, I would probably leave the APM disabled. But for my purposes and for the life of the drive, I set it to five minutes.

Seagate has kindly posted a comment to my review with a link to the configuration tool, as it was respectfully omitted by Amazon.

Download the configuration tool. Attach your hard drive, then run the Seagate tool. You can set the power save mode from anywhere from 3 minutes on up.

I hope this helps. Take care!
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The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Oct 3, 2012 12:33:50 PM PDT
Dear "F-Rod",

This response is from Seagate Support and we'd like to thank you for your review of the Expansion Desktop drive. We are glad you were able to adjust your power settings on the Expansion drive by using our Seagate Drive Settings software. However we did notice that the link for the software did not make it for your review so we thought we would include it for other readers of this review. Here is the link:

http://ow.ly/eaoZN

If you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our support staff:

http://seagate.com/support/contact-support/

Best Regards,
Seagate Support
 
 

The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Drive failed in less than 1 year, January 18, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought two of these about four months ago to store video. It was attached to a Uninterrupted Power Supply, in a clean safe area, and power cycled less than 20 times. The drive was great, while it worked, but it failed. I am not surprised it failed, although 4 months is horrible, what bothered me is I never got any notification it was failing. I noticed video playback was stalling, and when I went to check the SMART status, it said Healthy (a few bad sectors). I checked and in fact it had over 38000 bad sectors and counting, and was in a constant state of trying to relocate data. I started copying stuff from it, but it was unbelievably slow while repairing. Over the course of 24 hours, I got off about 60gb (out of 1200) before it completely died.

Long story short, I lost 90% of my videos (not a huge deal, they were from my personal dvd collection, I can recreate them at a considerable time expense) while up until the minute the drive finally became no longer usable the SMART status still says "Healthy (a few bad sectors)" when refreshed.
I can accept that drives fail, I cannot accept the internal diagnostics to help warn you are unable to identify that failure.

The drive was under warranty, but their return policy states they send a refurbished drive and the warranty is the remainder of my last drives warranty. Wow, I am going to be real confident in that drive.
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The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Jan 26, 2013 9:40:36 AM PST
Dear Rick A,

This reply is from Seagate Support. We noticed your review and wanted to apologize for the problems experienced with your Expansion Desktop drive. We would like to talk with you in greater detail to determine the root cause and available resolution to the problem. We have created a case based on your Amazon name that shows your review and our response. Here is a web address with contact information to speak with a support representative directly:

http://seagate.com/support/contact-support/

Best Regards,
Seagate Support
 
 

44 of 51 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sounded great - but files and folders started disappearing, November 5, 2012
By 
Janyne Peek (Barrington, IL USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've used seagate products in the past without issue. But we've been using this for three weeks as a networked drive off our Netgear 6300 and today started with being able to access folders, but the files had disappeared. We then removed the drive from the router to access it directly from a laptop, and folders disappeared. Called support and their solution is to purchase their software to recover files. Then run tools to see if the drive is damaged. So, I have a tough time trusting this as a shared drive.
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The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware of the 3TB drive, October 1, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you are running Windows 7 or Windows Vista, Windows Backup will not work with this drive (not sure about XP). If you want to manually store data on it, it will work fine, but Windows Backup will NOT!

If you bought or buy this as a backup drive you will need to do a few things to make it work. Download Seagate's Disk Wizard, install it and run the "create new volume" option, allow it to use the whole drive.

Then, open Windows Explorer, right click the drive and choose "format". You will be offered various format options, choose "exFat" and a sector size of 512kb, you're done! Windows Backup will now work. Apparently, "Windows Backup" can't handle the large sector size of 4012kb, although Windows 7 and Vista can in file copy mode, some lazy programming work on the part of Microsoft I believe...

I spent about 2 days off and on researching this and caught glimpses on the Internet of what led me to the "fix".
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The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Oct 4, 2012 10:20:09 AM PDT
Dear Sheila,

This response is from Seagate Support and we'd like to thank you for your review of the Expansion Desktop drive. We have found in our testing that while data only backups will work for Windows 7 Backup using the configuration listed in the review, image backups with Windows 7 will still have problems. If you are looking for a utility that will perform an image backup to the drive, please use our Disc Wizard utility as this should work properly. Here is a link to this utility for other readers of this review:

http://ow.ly/ecnq4

If you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our support staff:

http://seagate.com/support/contact-support/

Best Regards,
Seagate Support
 
 

38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works with Mac and PC - Decent USB 3.0 speed, July 4, 2012
By 
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Summary:
The Seagate 2TB runs fast, quiet and cool with both USB 2 and 3. It comes formatted for PC, but can easily be formatted for Mac, too. It's not a "video" editor drive or other super high performance, but it is a great utility or backup drive.

Details:
Packaging: The drive arrives in a fairly eco-friendly package that has no internal plastic as all the cushioning is done using recycled paper / cardboard products. The only throw away plastic is the external wrap, which may actually be cellophane (which is a cellulose or wood product and thus more de-composable). No problems with opening, and the device was in great shape.

Enclosure: The matte finish, black enclosure is just a little larger than the drive mechanism itself. This is because the AC power supply is located outside the enclosure (ie. it has a power brick). Curiously, although it is very squared off, it does not have feet or a stand to facilitate sitting it on edge (vertical) as most external drives do to save space. Instead, it comes only with feet on the bottom. There are no fans for ventilation. Ventilation is provided by a lot of small holes in the enclosure. Surprisingly, it does not get hot or even very warm during use. From this I have to assume that the power consumption of the drive is low. Other TB class drives I've used in the past get hotter than this one.

USB 2.0 operation (and formatting for Mac OS).
Using the supplied USB 3.0 cable, the drive was recognized by the Disk utility on Mac OSX (10.6.6). I have a MacBook Pro (2.66GHz Core 2 Duo) without USB 3 (more on that later). It just took a minute to re-initialize the disk as Mac HFS extended journaled. I then transferred a few GB with no problems. Black Magic disk speed test showed a disappointing 38MB/s transfer rate. This is equal to about a 340 megabit / second transfer rate vs. USB 2.0 theoretical 480 megabit / second. I allow an extra bit per byte in my transfer calculations for USB, in case you are a nerd like me and were wondering why I didn't show a lower bps. This is vs. the internal transfer rate for my built in hard disk of over 50MB/s. I thought you would all want to know about this because if you are doing system backups it would be nice if the external backup drive is at least as fast as the internal drive you are backing up. In any case, this is where my USB 2.0 testing stopped because it was clear it would not be fast enough to meet my demands in either backup or video editing. In both cases my current target drives are Firewire or eSATA. The main point here is that USB 2.0 works with the included cable and it works on Mac OS.

USB 3.0 operation.
As stated above, my Mac does not possess a USB 3 port. However, it does have an Express Card 34 slot. I acquired a GMYLE USB3 card (five bucks on Amazon!!) and got the driver from the Oyen digital (competitive and more expensive product). Together, the two worked with some minor effort. I had to load the driver, insert the card, insert the cable and reboot. After the reboot, I was able to immediately see the drive on the desktop and go to work. Initial copy operation was obviously faster than before (8GB file). I immediately fired up Black Magic Disk Speed and found that the drive would now transfer at approximately 150MB/S. This is about 3x the speed of my internal drive and fast enough to do real time 720p video. Wow! I suspect it could go faster if I had a newer computer or optimized my OS, etc. I didn't take the time to pursue any of that and instead fired up Mac OS's backup utility, Time Machine. My 640MB Seagate internal drive has about 550MB of information on it. I started the backup and found that it was done in a little over two hours. This is a great test of how fast the drive works with a million small files instead of just giant videos, etc. This is not a scientific conclusion, but this falls into the "fast enough for me" category. I don't edit 1080 videos and my future backups will be faster because of TM's incremental backup feature (e.g. only backs up the changes from here on out - a few minutes not hours in my case). Very happy. Good speed, no crashes.

Conclusion:
Works great. No hangups and no issues. Stays cool, which implies good future reliability. Very simple - it was fine for me, but some of you may want a power switch. This drive does not have one. All said, very good value and good performance. Fits my needs as tested above perfectly.
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