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TOP 500 REVIEWERon June 29, 2012
Capacity: 500 GB|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've purchased a lot of different hard drives over the years and used to build my own external drives using internal drives and external enclosures. It used to be cheaper to build your own external drives. These days, external hard drives are very competitively priced, like the Seagate Expansion drive.

PROS:
- Quiet
- Stays cool
- Fast USB 3.0 performance
- Backwards compatible with USB 2.0
- Works with Mac OS X 10.4.8 and up

CONS:
- Measly 1 year warranty

DESIGN & BUILD
The Seagate Expansion portable hard drive's enclosure is made out of matte plastic that feels pretty well made, though I'd prefer aluminum for durability and better heat dissipation. Glossy plastic enclosures are hard to keep looking good, so kudos to Seagate for using the matte plastic instead. The back of the drive has the USB 3.0 port and there's an itty bitty blue power/activity light on top of the drive, towards the back. Also, there are small rubber feet on the bottom, to keep the drive from sliding around on your desk. The USB 3.0 cable is short, so it's best suited for use with laptops.

PERFORMANCE
CrystalDiskInfo identified the internal drive as a Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012, which is a SATA II (3Gb/s) drive with a 16MB cache. It has a height of 7mm and runs at 5400RPM. 5400 RPM drives are the standard for portable external hard drives because they don't run as hot as 7200 RPM drives. 5400 RPM drives are perfectly suitable as storage drives.

I tested the Seagate Expansion drive over USB 3.0 with CrystalDiskMark and got sequential read/write rates of 107MB/s read and 105MB/s write. That's likely about 3 times the rate of what you'd get over USB 2.0. So yes, the Seagate Expansion USB 3.0 drive is great for transferring large multimedia files, like photos, movies, and music. Of course, there are plenty of other USB 3.0 drives with similar performance.

MISCELLANEOUS
The formatted capacity of the 500 GB drive is 465 GB. On the drive, there's a small registration utility for Windows that's safe to delete after you register. I deleted the utility, but kept the autorun.inf and SeagateExpansion.ico files so the drive would show up with a Seagate icon in Windows Explorer.

Online, the bare 500GB drive can be bought for around $65-$75, so the external version is a decent value if you like the enclosure and internal drive.

Though the Amazon product description doesn't mention compatibility with Mac OS X, Seagate's website shows compatibility with OS 10.4.8 and higher. It comes pre-formatted in NTFS, however, so you'll need to reformat it if you intend to use it with a Mac.

The Seagate Expansion portable hard drive comes with a measly one year warranty. The Western Digital My Passport 500 GB USB 3.0 portable hard drive costs nearly the same as the Seagate Expansion drive, but comes with backup software, has hardware encryption, and a two year warranty. For a little bit more, you can even get Seagate's own Backup Plus 500 GB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive , with a two year warranty. As far which company makes better hard drives, well, that's hard to say. I've used drives from both companies for many years and I've had drives from both companies fail. In fact, it's not unusual for hard drives to fail over time, which is why the length of the warranty can be a significant factor in deciding which drive to buy.

CONCLUSION
The Seagate Expansion portable hard drive is a very nice drive. It performs very well and is a pretty good value overall, however, the short warranty is a concern. I like the drive a lot, but I'd personally look for a portable hard drive with a longer warranty.
3838 comments|743 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 18, 2012
I also have the big brother version of this drive (3TB external hdd, AC powered), and both were very easy to use, plug to the USB port, and then start transferring files.

This is the portable version, which means no addition AC power supply needed, everything is powered by USB. Portable also means smaller compared to the AC powered external HDDs. Maximum capacity for portable HDDs right now is 1TB compared to 3TB for AC powered external HDDs.

Besides media files, this is also perfect for backups, documents, etc., and if you have a laptop equipped with SSD, you'll gonna need more space and this is perfect.

So far so good, no problems at all. Used it on my old HP laptop with usb 2.0 port, works good (slower transfer speed of course). Used it on an alienware m14x with usb 3.0 port, works good again and now with fast transfer speed. Used it on my LG 3dtv to watch full hd movies saved on the drive and it works great! I hope it stays like that, can't comment on the reliability yet..

Warranty: Only 1 YEAR. Why did Seagate shorten the warranty? I have no idea.. If you want other drives with longer warranty, here's some options:
Seagate Backup Plus 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive STBU1000101 (Silver)
Western Digital My Passport 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive - WDBBEP0010BBK-NESN (Black)

PROS:
- Portable, no external power supply needed
- Maximum capacity of 1Tb for portable drives (as of now..)
- Matte casing, so its not prone to scratching and fingerprints
- Fast usb 3.0 transfer rate and compatible to usb 2.0 (all usb 3.0 devices should be compatible to usb 2.0 port)
- Plug and play, works after removing out of the box. No need to reformat

CONS:
- Only 1 year warranty. Another year or two could provide more peace of mind..

What's included?
- Seagate Expansion portable hard drive
- "USB 3.0 cable", Amazon's product page says it's a usb "2.0" cable. The included cable is 3.0. One side of the cable is USB 3.0 and the other side is micro USB 3.0.
- Quick start guide
- 1-year limited warranty

Two thumbs up for this external hard drive, highly recommended!
99 comments|216 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Capacity: 1 TB|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
An external hard drive like this Seagate Expansion 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive (STBX1000101) is about as good a backup drive and portable solution as you can find. It's compact, very portable, and for those still using computers with USB 2.0 ports, it's a forward-looking device for when a computer with USB 3.0 is in the plans. But first, here are the basics...

Likes:

+ Compact and sturdy; measures about 3½" wide x 4¾" long x ¾"high
+ USB 3.0; can be used with USB 2.0 computers
+ Works with Windows PCs (Vista or higher) and Macs (O SX 10.4.8 or higher)
+ Easy plug-and-play setup on both Mac OS and Windows systems
+ 1 TB (terabyte) capacity; about 930 Gb useable space formatted
+ Runs quietly; offers excellent performance
+ Reasonably priced; excellent bang-for-the-buck

Dislikes:

- No password protection, but this may not matter to many

First Impressions:

Packaging is very straightforward, as it comes in a box that's easy to open. Inside is the expansion drive, a USB cable, a simple IKEA-style quick setup sheet and a warranty statement (see note below). Looking at the drive itself, its semi-matte black case has a metal-shielded top over a rigid plastic base, and measures all of 3½"W x 4¾"L x ½"D, and it weighs less than 5¾ ounces. On the back is a USB 3.0 port, and it comes with an 18" USB cable that plugs into the USB 2.0/3.0 ports on the computer.

In Use:

We all have differing reasons for purchasing and using external drives like this. Some use these for video storage, others for photos, and some as a backup device for all files. In my case, the primary dedication for this external hard drive is for digital images in both JPG and RAW formats, Word documents and some videos. But compatibility with both Mac and PC was an important standard, as this drive is being used in mobile situations.

I first tried it with my 2.4 GHz MacBook Pro running OS X 10.6.8 after re-initializing the Seagate as Mac HFS extended journaled, first transferring about 20 GB of documents and photos. I then tested it with the Time Machine app to insure that it could be used as a drive for full backups in the future. All performed as expected, so I reformatted the drive with the exFAT file system to ensure complete data compatibility between both the PC and the Mac, then loaded images and docs totaling 83 GB for transfer to the PC.

All files transferred without error, so the final step was to reformat the Seagate Expansion drive under Windows 7 (64-bit SP1) on my notebook PC, a 2.20GHz Pentium Dual-Core ASUS. Did a few more tests, and no more errors were encountered, so I went back to the exFAT file system for complete portability and compatibility between systems. Should note that all of my computers are still running USB 2.0, and my backups and file transfers are running smoothly. Right now this drive is connected to a Plugable 7 Port High Speed USB 2.0 Hub with 3A Power Adapter, so I'm getting speeds between 443 and 480 Mbps, which is about as good as one can get under USB 2.0.

There have been many other Seagate drives that I've used over the years, including the Seagate ST302504FDA1E1-RK FreeAgent, a 250 GB 3.5" USB 2.0 external drive that I purchased here on Amazon in 2007. It's still working reliably on an old HP PC running Windows XP, and it's chugging along doing its nightly automated backups of two old Seagate internal 80GB hard drives. My current system backup drive is a Seagate Expansion 2 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive STBV2000100, so my point with this is that I've had excellent use over the years with many Seagate hard drives, and why that's I prefer them as a personal choice.

It should be noted that this is a 5400-RPM drive according to the specs, which is good for external portables in terms of reliability. But if you're going to tote it around in adverse environments where it can get banged and bumped, it's highly suggested that you protect it in a well-padded enclosure or computer bag. I carry this drive with my MacBook Pro in a Think Tank Artificial Intelligence 15 V. 2.0 Laptop Bag, as my files are important to me, and even in NYC subways they stay protected.

Warranty:

As noted on the product page and in the warranty statement that accompanied the drive (dated 7/12), it comes with a 1-year limited warranty from Seagate. This is a mild surprise as other Seagate drives with similar capacities, such as the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex, come with a 2-year limited warranty. This isn't a deal breaker for me as I've had good longevity from these drives over the years, but be aware that it exists.

Cost Considerations:

Doing the math, the Seagate Expansion 500 GB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive costs about $70.00, but this 1 TB version with double the capacity runs just $20.00 more as of this writing. It terms of pure bang for the buck, this one is easily the winner.

Bottom Line:
For most users, this Seagate Expansion 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive will be an easy to use plug-and-play solution for either PC or Mac notebooks. It performs well and without any problems, and when I make that inevitable upgrade to a computer with USB 3.0 ports, it's good to know that I'll be ready to experience the performance boost. This quiet little portable hard drive is easily worth a 5-star recommendation, especially considering versatility, performance and price.

9/27/2012
99 comments|163 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 5, 2012
Capacity: 500 GB|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am not terribly computer savvy. I use a computer for my work all day every day. But I do not understand how many things work. I don't understand most technical talk/gibberish. But I do know that I need to back up my files as my desktop is limping towards a slow and painful death.

I was surprised at how tiny and light the drive was. I plugged it into the USB drive. It was silent. But here is where I ran aground. The interface is not in the least bit intuitive. The only thing that readily pops up to be done is registering the unit. I did that but since I actually wanted to save things to the drive rather than just registering it, I was a little frustrated. While there are a great many tech lovers in the world they are by no means the only people using these products. I was frustrated that there were no useful instructions or a program to help me use the drive.

Eventually, I was able to figure out how to go through the control panel, back up my files, and set future back ups. It just isn't obvious up front.

And yes, I know that people are laughing at my limited technical capabilities. But idiots use products too.
4444 comments|580 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 9, 2013
I purchased this drive to back up my computer files prior to reformatting the drive and selected it primarily because of the positive consumer feedback. I was able to copy my files to the drive, but I have since been unable to access anything on the drive. I have contacted Seagate and they have admitted that it is a faulty drive, and while the drive is covered by warranty and they are willing to replace it, they stipulate that data recovery is not covered. I contacted the data recovery department, and they estimate that it will cost between $600-1800 to access my files. This is highly frustrating because the reason I can't obtain the files is because they sold me a faulty product. Also, while they will replace my original drive, they require that I return the original one, which I am unwilling to do because I still want to try to recover the data that is stored on it. So now I have no computer files and no working external hard drive. Seagate still has the money I paid for the drive. I feel like my files are being held hostage for this data recovery fee. I can't tell you the hours of frustration that this has caused me, and the matter still is not resolved.
3838 comments|153 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I bought this drive for my Playstation 4, since the standard 500GB drive just wasn't cutting it. I wanted a 9.5mm high drive (12mm high drives are a tight fit, and heat is more easily trapped), and 5400rpm (again, heat being a concern, and 7200rpm not showing a significant performance increase in the PS4 specifically).

FYI, on my 2012 iMac, over the USB 3.0 connection using the included cable, read/write speeds were both in the 125MB/s range, very respectable for a 5400rpm drive.

Opening up the enclosure is very simple, if you start from the "Seagate" logo end, and wedge a gift card in one of the corners. You'll then need to shove another gift card in on top of the first, and then flex the gift cards together to un-snap the case. You'll likely hear a bunch of ugly-sounding noises of plastic catches, but it's perfectly OK. You may break a couple of tabs as you do this, but it's the nature of this sort of enclosure, and won't affect putting it back together at all.

After taking the stock 500GB drive out of the Playstation 4, this 2TB disk was easy to put in, and after a fresh installation of the PS4's operating system you'll have exactly 1767GB free to install the games you'll play (and likely some you won't!).

As a bonus, you can put the PS4's standard 500GB drive in this enclosure. Double win!

5 stars out of 5. Highly recommended.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on November 19, 2012
I bought this hard drive to store all my photos. Bad idea. The disk is not readable right after warrenty expired. Try to download the tools from Seagate and said the disk is bad and repair may damage the contents. Will not buy Seagate again.
77 comments|60 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
Dear L. C. Zhang,

This reply is from Seagate Support. We noticed your review and wanted to apologize for the problems experienced with your Expansion Portable drive. We would like to talk with you to verify the problem with the drive and recheck the drive warranty status. 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
The manufacturer commented on the review below
on February 27, 2014
I have had this hard drive for two months. Then it stopped working. It is no longer recognized by any computer. When plugged in it beeps for a few seconds and then nothing. I did some research into the problem and it seems as though this is a VERY common problem. I would not buy it again.
33 comments|26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
Dear Joshua,

We apologize for the problems experienced with your Expansion Portable drive and would like to talk with you by phone to determine the root cause and available resolution to the problem. A case has been created in our records based on your Amazon name that shows your review and our response. If from the US or Canada, our contact number for technical support is 800-732-4283.

Best Regards,
Seagate Support
The manufacturer commented on the review below
on November 7, 2012
I received the 500 GB version (STBX500100) in early August and it stopped working just after 3 months of sporadic use. I used it a couple of times to back up large videos. By not working I mean the drive is not being detected anymore even though the blue light is on and the disk is rotating. I have tried all the troubleshooting instructions available online (Seagate.com) without success. For background info, the drive came with a NTFS format but I changed it to FAT because I'm also using a MAC laptop (in addition to XP/Vista/Win7), and everything worked fine until recently.

This is the first time I'm buying from Seagate and I'm so disappointed in their product. I have been using a Iomega drive (blackbelt) for 2+ years and it's been working without a glitch.

Well, that's my experience with this product and I can't recommend it, period. I initially bought this hard drive because of all the good ratings here on Amazon, but after this I'm truly questioning everything. Maybe I just received a bad apple.

I will update my review if I'm able to resolve this issue, otherwise I will just return it since it's still under warranty.

Update:

I thought about returning this drive to Seagate for a replacement, but that would have resulted in me losing my data (the data recovery fee is exorbitant!). Since the drive was spinning correctly with a steady power supply light, I figured that the problem was with either the controller circuit or the drive enclosure.
I opened the enclosure and used at SATA to USB adapter to recover my data without any issue. This will probably void my warranty, but I'm ok with it.
The drive power rating is DC 5V, 0.85A.
55 comments|52 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
Dear Renaud,

This reply is from Seagate Support. We noticed your review and wanted to apologize for the problems experienced with your Expansion Portable drive. We would like to talk to you to gather additional details to see if we can fix the problem with the drive. 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/

It should be noted that this drive is only supported for Windows operating systems only as indicated on the datasheet here.

http://ow.ly/faEpf

Best Regards,
Seagate Support
on April 4, 2013
Very compact and small. I Velcro'd it to the back of my macbook case for connivence. I will post pics. Hold 1000 gb just as it says. Very easy to use and simple. They updated the hardware from the old series and I like it. I had the seagate 2 Tb before. Just as great. Just make sure you take good care of it and dont allow too much dust to get on it.

Pros:
Cost is fair
Small
Easy start up and use
comes with USB wire
lightweight
Matte Black

Cons:
Short Warranty
Broken if dropped form high height and hard surface
doesnt come in Matte leopard print
review image review image
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