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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2004
Buying this at my local Staples, I initially thought it was a bigger sized, capacity flash card... turned out to be one of those micro drives like with the ipod. All the better....


>price. This product's MSRP is roughly $one hundred eighty as of this review. My local Staples only sold it for $one hundred thirty after -$fifty instant rebate. It's a great deal when you compare the price per MB/GB vs. USB flash memory card type devices.

>Easy to use. Just plug, drag & drop.

>It can reach close to the limits of USB 1.1 and 2.0 maximum transfer rates.

(57min to transfer 3.04GB of 9 files about 70MB to 280MB each on USB 1.1. 10 min on USB 2.0)

>Nice extras. Rotating and retractable USB connector and included USB extension cable provides easy access to hard to reach ports. Also includes a carry case.

>Seems to be faster than mainstream USB flash memory and flash memory card products

>NTFS and FAT32 file systems available (NTFS for WinXP ONLY IIRC).

>I've only used this unit for 3 days so far, too soon for a chance for anything to go wrong really, but the overall build quality and durability appears good.


>During the transfer (read or write), the unit heats up quite a lot.... like a warm coffee mug. At least it wasn't painful to touch for me

>without carrying along the USB extention cable, u may not be able to connect to some computers or certain computer setup environments.

>If you're using a PC that can only handle FAT32, it's going to be slow in handling lots of small files (as opposed to fewer large files) and/or folders and subfolders.

(On USB 2.0, 3 files taking up 19MB only took <10 sec to transfer. On the other hand, 21MB of scattered photo files about 63KB each with over a dozen folders and up to 2 deep took close to a minute! The transfer rates for such a scenario are MUCH better if your GigaBank is formatted for NTFS)

>Needs defragging like just like an internal hardrive. The included defragger that comes with Windows can handle this though.

>More physically fragile. Conditions such as extreme heat/cold (like those found in Iraq, or Canada), low pressure environment, spills, vibration, drops that wouldn't be a big issue for flash cards may cause damage to this unit.

>May not be as fast as new generation of "ultra" or "extreme" flash memory cards

>It's bulk won't enable other USB devices to be plugged in tightly stacked USB ports without an extension cable.


If value and capacity are more important than transfer rates and durability, then this is a solid choice. With a USB 2.0 connection and NTFS formatting, it'll be faster than most mainstream flash cards, but cheap enough to make it worth your while vs. newer, faster flash memory cards. With only with USB 1.1 an/or FAT32 formatting, it'll be much slower, but the ease of use and decent transfer rates still make this product worth consideration. Just be sure to take extra good care of it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2006
Now I'm pretty open to seeing these things on the market these days but these Gigabank things simply suck. I work in an IT support group and we deal with all sorts of modern gadgets, this has got to be one of the worst. When everyone else says they have a heating problem, they aren't joking. This thing gets hot, real hot. It also has no buffering to prevent the drive breaking when you walk around with it in say a bag or pocket. Simply shaking it can break the mechanism. If you want price and portability, I would suggest the 5GB version from Seagate priced at $100 on average. It is a bit larger but comes with a cable attached to the device (its only about 5 inches long) but it gets the job done and lacks the inherent problems of these Gigadevices. We've got a dozen of the Seagate drives here that we use several times daily. We've kicked them, thrown them, dropped them, and in general abused them to one degree or another, the most we managed to do was scratch and chip the paint on it. I would reccomend going with the Seagate version of 5GB for half the price, besides Seagate is the industry leader in hard drives for a reason, they make good drives.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2005
Dont buy this product. The one I got lasted for 3 weeks before I started getting I/O errors. In my opinion the thing runs way, way hot and thats why the disk failed. Case in point: after working on a MS word doc with autosave set to 5 min intervals for several hours the unit was almost too hot to touch.

4GB may sound great too but formatted as NTFS I only got 3.78 GB of space on it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2005
I'm a scientist who needed a portable hard drive like this to store data, reports, and reference materials for working on different computers at home and multiple offices (basically, my work goes with me, and the computers I use just store programs or serve as backup storage). I read a number of reviews on this product, and in my naiveté, thought it unlikely that a company in this day and age would produce such a truly crappy product. I figured the problems people reported were due to misuse/abuse, so I took my chances because the combination of storage capacity, no external power source, portability, and reasonable pricing was too good to resist.

I kept the unit in one of 2 places at all times: in the case, or attached to a stationary computer in a well-ventilated area. Despite this, within a couple weeks of purchase, I began unpredictably receiving error messages and had instability in safely removing the device (from the tray icon). I had also lost some items I knew were (or should have been) saved to the drive. After a couple months, the drive would not always be recognized; when it did connect, it would often disconnect without provocation. Finally, it simply stopped working--no computer would recognize it. Fortunately by this time, I was in the habit of backing up the entire drive after every use before it totally died on me. The online support from the company was good, but words fail in expressing my disappointment in this product, which almost cost me the last 5 years of my career. If you have important data to store and transport, please do not use a GigaBank.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2007
I bought it for 16 months but did not use it until 8 months ago to store my research data. The swing design for the USB adaptor started to break within a few weeks. It crashed a few days ago and the data could not be recovered. The service center asked me to keep trying on different computers as the only solution but it did not work. Now I have to back up all the research data on 2 or 3 flask drives after this bad experience. Do not need to waste the time to contact the service center since they can not help you either. The quality of the service is very much like the USCIS service center, it is there to show that they will help you but they are actually not.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2005
I work in the IT industry and am familiar with the use of and handling of PC hardware and accessories. The 4GB Gigabank was my first experience with mini hard drives, prior to the Gigabank I used flash RAM devices.

Pros: Came with a nice little sturdy ballistic nylon keychain case and backup software. The USB plug is adjustable and rotatable for hard to reach USB ports.

Cons: Would get extremely hot after sustained hard drive access. Inoperable after only 5.5 months of use!!

I am glad that I did not store any vital data on my Gigabank. I took very good care of my Gigabank drive, even went as far as disconnecting it from my system when I did not need it to avoid overheating. One day it worked fine the following week it was dead, used three different PCs and none could "see" the Gigabank anymore. I had no warning, no errors, no odd behavior leading up to the day it gave up the ghost. From now on it's strictly flash RAM devices for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2007
I have been using this device for several months now. The first time I used it, it became unusually hot. Since then, I have not left it connected longer than it takes to transfer my files and have had no problems with any of the reliability issues that others have described. There may be better products out there for the price. Read the reviews and decide for yourself.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2006
I am a professional computer technician. Repairing computers is my livlihood. My first 4 GB Gigabank was a Christmas gift in 2004. Within 4 months it failed. It would get very hot during data transfers. I/O Magic replaced it. I am very careful to protect my Flash Drives from potentially damaging environments. No one has access to them besides myself and they always stay on my person when not in use. The 2nd unit failed in about the same amount of time. It was also replaced by I/O Magic. When the 3rd unit failed in a couple of months and having been used just 4 times, I called I/O Magic and talked to a rep to detail my uses and to ask if this is a common problem. I told them that all of the units would get very hot. They said they have not had problems with these units and that they were going to replace the unit with the new 6 GB unit because of all the problems that I'd had, but they would not replace it if it failed. I have not even opened the blister pack that it came packaged in, since I'm reluctant to take the chance of losing data as I did with the previous units.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2006
I must concur with the majority of comments here. It's a cute little number with a nifty little carrying case... but that's all I can say for it. This product died on me after exactly one year and 13 days of ownership (of note: the warranty expires at the one year mark... hmmm... curious, no?). The first warning that something wasn't right about the Gigabank was it's alarming tendency to overheat during use - sometimes to the point of actual discomfort if you touched it. Within six months, the product was spontaneously disconnecting itself from my system on a regular basis, culminating in absolutely zero disk activity and failure to be recognized by my system at all a couple days ago. Do not... and I repeat... do not fail to *regularly* backup the contents of this drive if you do foolhardedly buy one. Me, I'm going back to a smaller, but reliable flash disk instead.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2007
It looked nice but after only 2 days it is dead. As others noted, it gets hot. I suspect it fried.
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