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on May 15, 2015
It seemed to have worked the first time I plugged it into the laptop. I have transferred a lot of data and then the laptop stopped recognizing it. A desktop tells me it needs to be formatted first which means it will delete everything I have already put on it. A different laptop cannot find a driver for it. Neither P/N nor S/N nor Model Code nor Model Number printed on the device can be found on the manufacturer's page, and that goes for both Freecom and Verbatim. Needless to say I'm completely disappointed and feel cheated. I have purchased many different products on Amazon and been very pleased. This one is a huge disappointment.
1 helpful vote
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on June 10, 2013
I stressed about what kind of external hard drive to buy. I looked at everything. I had no idea if this would work with my computer but it does! And the best part is the usb is attached to the drive so I don't have to keep up with extra cords (I'm forever loosing things). 500GB is more than I needed but glad I got it. BEST purchase I've made on Amazon by far. I mean, what's not to love?
1 helpful vote
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on January 13, 2015
This worked for about 2 weeks for me, and then just stopped working. It now makes a weird clicking sound and won't go past "preparing backup". That's a good $100 down the toilet.
1 helpful vote
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on May 7, 2012
I have ordered this hard disk a couple of weeks ago and I am very satisfied with both the design and the performance. I duly hope that it is really shock-resistance as I am travelling a lot. My last 1 TB hard disk from WD failed while travelling.
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
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on November 28, 2015
USB connection is VERY fragile.
1 helpful vote
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on August 5, 2015
Always been a big fan of freecom drive, unbreakable!
1 helpful vote
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on November 13, 2015
A+++
1 helpful vote
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on December 25, 2014
Delivered in time and does what suppose to. While my computer has a top shelve with USB ports on top of the computer, the way you plug it in, if you can,t lay the unit on a flat surface, you may have problems plugging in the unit.
1 helpful vote
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on September 23, 2013
Capacity: 500 GB|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First, a caveat: I'm reviewing this Freecom Tough Drive 500 GB 3.0 USB Shock-Resistant Mobile External Hard Drive 97710 (Dark Grey) on a Windows 8 computer using an Asus P8Z77-V Pro motherboard. Unfortunately, my experience (and others' on the web) with USB 3.0 under Windows 8 is basically that it's a poo-shoot. I've got a USB 3.0 hard drive docking station that at least works on all ports on this motherboard, but it never connects at USB 3.0 speeds (only USB 2.0 speeds). The previous Freecom drive I tested (Verbatim Freecom Mobile Hard Drive Sq 1 TB USB 3.0 (97806)) works at USB 3.0 speeds on all the Asmedia ports on my computer, but refuses to stay connected on the Intel ports. This Freecom drive is continuing the trend by working at the proper speeds on all the computer's back panel ports (Asmedia USB 3.0 and Intel USB 2.0) and the top Asmedia USB 3.0 port on the front of the computer, but won't connect at all on the second Asmedia USB 3.0 front port or the Intel USB 3.0 (third) front port. I blame these USB 3.0 problems on Microsoft, though. So, I'm not factoring them into my rating for the drive.

That out of the way, I'll start with a summary and provide supporting details later. In short, I'm rating it at a Not Very Impressive 2 stars out of 5. My primary reason for that rating is the actual throughput of the drive. Yes, it's USB 3.0. And, as stated on the box, USB 3.0's data transfer speed is 5 Gb/s (USB 2.0's standard speed is 480 Mb/s). But, as a rough number, I get, at most, about 60 MB/s (480 Mb/s). I'm assuming the problem is the drive rotates at 5400 RPM (that's 2nd hand from the web -- I can't find any first hand numbers). If you need the theoretical toughness of this drive (I didn't try dropping it), then maybe it's OK. But, if you just need a portable external USB 3.0 drive, I'd suggest you go with the Verbatim Freecom Mobile Hard Drive Sq 1 TB USB 3.0 (97806) I reviewed earlier. It's much faster and more versatile.

OK. Let's start the supporting details with the packaging. I was HIGHLY disappointed with Amazon here. The external Amazon box was untaped and, essentially, open on both ends (I've included a picture on the product page). Anyone could have reached into the box and pulled the internal box out. Heck, with a bit of shaking, it could have just fallen out. This is purely an Amazon problem. I don't know if this is how they ship all their drives or if it's just the ones from their Vine program. But, it's awful. The internal box from Freecom was just fine, though.

Next, the physical stuff. The drive is about 5-1/2" x 3-1/8" x 3/4" in size. It's nicely coated in a rubbery vinyl type material (which, I assume, is part of the shock protection). The USB 3.0 cable is embedded in the sides of the drive and you merely pry it out and connect it. A big problem here is that the cable is only about 3 inches long. This makes the drive extremely awkward to use with a non-laptop computer. On my floor-standing tower, I plugged it in and had to let it hang in space (see the picture I've uploaded). If you intend to use the drive with a laptop or any computer where the USB ports are level with the supporting surface, it won't be a problem.

The documentation consists of a 4-3/4" square of paper that folds out in three panels. It uses microscopic print and pictures to tell you how to connect the drive to a Mac or a PC. To wit: plug it in to a USB port, let the drivers install, install the software (if you want), and copy the software and documentation off the drive onto your computer's internal drive (if you want).

The drive contains the following software:

- a software installer
- Adobe Reader
- an app to backup the stuff on the drive to your computer
- a drive formatter
- a power management app
- Nero BackItUp
- a drive encryption utility

I didn't bother installing or using any of those since I have equivalents my system.

There's also documentation for those pieces of software as well as a Safety Manual (garbage because of lawyers) and a "full" User's Manual. There are versions in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.

The disk was formatted as FAT32 and Windows gave its size as 499,928,104,960 bytes. I used Windows to reformat it as NTFS and the capacity edged up a bit to 500,050,186,240 bytes.

I then ran HD Tune 2.55 on the disk while it was connected to the one front Asmedia USB 3.0 port that worked with it. I did the same with one of my back panel Asmedia USB 3.0 ports. Since the numbers differed slightly, I did everything else while connected to the very slightly better performing back panel port. Here's my HD Tune benchmark result:

HD Tune: Freecom Public-Disk Benchmark

Transfer Rate Minimum : 19.3 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 79.9 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 60.3 MB/sec
Access Time : 18.1 ms
Burst Rate : 106.5 MB/sec
CPU Usage : 2.5%

I've also uploaded a screen shot of that benchmark result. HD Tune's Error Scan (Quick) showed no problems. But, its Health tab was blank.

I then ran the latest Western Digital DLGDIAG. The drive passed its S.M.A.R.T. health check and Quick Test.

For real-world tests, I used Windows 8's "Windows 7 File Recovery" utility to "create a system image" of my an Intel 520 Series Solid-State Drive 240 GB SATA 6 Gb/s 2.5-Inch - SSDSC2CW240A3K5 (Reseller Kit) primary disk connected on a SATA 6 Gb/s port. I assumed that the USB drive's transfer speed and latency would swamp most of any delays caused by the SSD and any processing. The SSD had about 105 GB on it. The resulting image was about 95 GB. So, there was some compression/de-duplication going on. It took about 26 minutes to put those 95 GB on the Freecom drive. That gives an average throughput of about 60 MB/s (which agrees with HD Tune).

Next, I copied a single 3.5 GB file from my SSD to the Freecom drive. That took about a minute for a throughput of 58 MB/sec. Ditto for copying it back to the SSD.

To show small file copying speed, I copied all my pictures (3.3 GB, 4,486 files, 457 folders) to the Freecom drive. That took about 3 minutes and 10 seconds for a throughput of 17 MB/s. Going back to the SSD took about 1 minute for a throughput of 55 MB/s (the difference would be from the USB drive's write latency).

So, in general, large file's move back and forth onto the drive at about 60 MB/s. Small files write to the drive at about 17 MB/s and are read at about 60 MB/s. Perhaps "toughness" is worth that. But Freecom's own Verbatim Freecom Mobile Hard Drive Sq 1 TB USB 3.0 (97806) is far faster, twice the capacity and costs only a tad bit more.
review imagereview imagereview image
1 helpful vote
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VINE VOICEon October 2, 2013
Capacity: 500 GB|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Murphy's Law dictates that the one time you neglect to back up your computer, said computer will crash. I was excited to try this product because it would give me an extra incentive to back up my files.

Why I love this product:

* It's super-easy to use. I `m not the most technical of people, but even I could figure out how to use this. The software that's included gives clear instructions on how to use it. When is the last time a technical manual was easy to understand? This for me, was the biggest plus of this product.

* Also included is software and instructions for:
1. Backing up the software that comes on the Tough Drive.
2. Password protecting files on the Tough Drive
3. Green Button Utility that allows you to save energy and increase the life of the Tough Drive.
4. Formatting the Tough Drive. Most folks will stick with the default format, but if need be, you can reformat the Tough Drive to accommodate your specific storage needs.

* The storage of 500 GB will handle any files I have.

* The USB 3.0 is super fast. You can also connect to USB 2.0 if that's all that's available. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I thought the data transfer was super fast.

* No additional cables are needed; cable is integrated right into the drive. The cable is a little short; this didn't cause a problem for me.

* It's shock resistant. Needless to say, I didn't test this feature, but based on the sturdy, padded design, I'm sure it can withstand many shocks.

* The sleek charcoal grey case with a light blue strip looks cool.

* The German engineering means very high quality. I always close my eyes and cross my fingers when I start my computer backups, afraid that something will go wrong and all my computer files will be destroyed. I don't feel that way with this product.

This device was made for backing up mobile devices, but I also use it to back up my computer.

I highly recommend this product to anyone needing a back up hard drive. I guess that means anyone with a computer, since we all should be backing up our data.
1 helpful vote
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