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on August 3, 2013
I have masses of storage in my system and many years of experience with numerous hard drive brands. I have to say that honestly, Seagate is not one of my current favorites - but ironically I have owned many of them.

Consumer hard drives at this price point are not as robust as enterprise drives. You should expect to have problems from time to time, requiring replacing or repairing a drive, or restoring lost data. Believe it. Prepare for it. Not having backups of your important data is foolhardy and a disaster waiting to happen, no matter what brand of drives you use.

As with most people in the home market today, the amount of data and its importance to our daily lives is increasing. You must plan for and prepare to protect this vital asset.

Here are some tips based on my many years of experience, and trust me, I have made all the mistakes that I am warning you about:

- You must have a way to restore or regenerate any computer system that you consider critical to your life. This includes the data, operating system and applications. There are software products available that allow you to make a backup "clone" of your hard drive, and several products, such as Windows Home Server, that will automatically backup all your data and all your computers. Take a look, and find a product in this category that meets your needs and price point.

- You must make periodic backups of everything; all data and computer system drives. The products I just mentioned can be configured to do it automatically, or you can do it manually. The more often, the better.

- You should buy the highest quality hard drives you can afford ("Enterprise" or "NAS" quality drives are the most expensive). They will last longer, have fewer errors and have the longest warranties. This is a general statistical comment. Of course any given item can be an exception.

- You should have as many copies of your important data as practical for you. And store the copies in different places. At least one copy should be offline (not attached to any electronics while stored). Multiple separate copies protects you from accidental erasures. Even mirrored drives will not protect you from this.

- Heat, extreme cold and other adverse conditions such as dust and moisture are prime enemies of all electronics. Even a robust hard drive can fail if it stays too hot, too often, or is subjected to undue vibration and dust.

- Protect computers from power surges using the best surge protectors you can afford. Clean the airflow holes with a vacuum periodically, and if you have the skills and confidence, clean the insides of all computers of dust that impedes airflow.

All that being said, what does this have to do with this product?

I have found that even though Seagate is not my favorite brand, their recent pricing and product packaging have made them attractive. I just try to use them in a way, with my eyes open, that minimizes my risk - this is a good practice, regardless of the brand.

Here is why I like these units:

- The packaging is very clever and very useful. You can mix and match these drives across various connection methods (USB 2.0, USB 3.0, firewire, eSATA) just by switching adapters. Very handy.

- The USB 3.0 units are fast. They seem to deliver the expected much faster than USB 2.0 performance.

- They can be easily reformatted. I always reformat them, using the default allocation size before using.

- Price point: if you catch the frequent lowball Amazon prices, you can get these drives for less than $34 / TB. Enterprise drives can sell for up to $100 / TB. The best strategy for protecting data is having multiple copies, with the copies separated from each other - not on the same computer, not on the same controller, at least one copy offline, and best of all, at least one copy in a different physical location. The low price point allows me to have multiple "Consumer grade" copies for the price of one "enterprise grade" copy. My gut feel says that the probability of two copies, one of which is offline, failing at the same time is very low.

So, how do I use these units? I use them as 2nd / 3rd copy offline backups of my most important data. Their low price point affords me this luxury. And by keeping them offline, I mitigate the risks of overheating these cheap drives or subjecting them to 24x7 usage, which is not appropriate for consumer grade external drives.

I hope this wordy "review" serves as a help to others who are attracted to these low price points, but have reservations about risking their data.
91 people found this helpful
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on January 11, 2016
The disk performed OK while it worked, but started dying after less than two years of rather light use.

Over the years I've used quite a few backup drives, and this one seems the least reliable of them all. The drive started misbehaving after about 1.5 years of light use. Initially, I attributed that to a bad cable or usb socket. However, when symptoms worsened - the drive became unresponsive, I decided to test with a different setup, only to discover that it was neither the cable nor socket, but the drive itself.

I then found this article with failure statistics by manufacturer. Seagate is by far the worst performer. [...]. Recently I found out there have been so many failures there's a class action against Seagate concerning these drives. Allegedly, they the company knew there was a reliability issue yet continued to sell them. While that claim has yet to be proven in court, I'm never going to buy Seagate again.

If you care about your data, spend a little bit more and go with HGST (I've just placed an order for one).
11 people found this helpful
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on June 11, 2014
I hardly ever leave negative reviews but this story has to be told. I had a 1TB WD hard drive for 8 years and zero problems despite heavy use. Needed more space so I thought this would be a great upgrade to the 3TB unit. Bought it directly from Amazon (not a re seller) This unit stayed on top of my desktop for 4-5 months (as the WD did for 6 years) and failed. Called Seagate 4-5 times and got the run around for 4-5 days Finally sent a picture of the S/N only for them to tell me it was not an authentic drive. Other techs at local stores told me it was. Very dissatisfied with the quality, the fact I had to retrieve my data now and the fact Seagate would not let me return the drive. Thank goodness for Amazon allowing me to return it and I was able to retrieve my data for under $100.

Two lessons: Don't buy Seagate (stick w/ WD or Toshiba) and back your stuff up to a virtual cloud like Crash Plan or Carbonite!!
8 people found this helpful
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on December 5, 2013
This is a fine drive but beware of the drives ABOVE 2 TB (i.e. the 3 TB and 4 TB as of this writing) if you use Windows 7. The 3 TB and 4 TB drives use 4K (4096 byte) sectors and they do not emulate 512-byte sectors. Windows 7 only supports 512-byte sectors and 512-E (emulation) drives that have 4K sectors AND emulate 512-byte logical sectors. Microsoft has stated this is their position. (Google "microsoft windows 7 4k sector support" without the quotes to find their position statement.) You can also find statements about this in Seagate's site in the support section.

How does this affect these drives, and all other drives that are higher capacity than 2 TB? You CAN still connect the drive and use Windows Explorer or any similar application to transfer files to and from the drive.

You CANNOT use the high-capacity (more than 2 TB) drives with Windows Backup. This would be important if you want to use Microsoft Backup to create an emergency restore image of your system partition (C:). This image file could be used in case of a hard drive failure or some other major problem along with a Windows repair disk or the Windows 7 installation DVD to restore your entire system partition.

So if you want to just copy files to the high-capacity drives the 3 TB and 4 TB drives are fine. If you want to create emergency backup image files, stay with the 2 TB or smaller drives.

Side note: This issue relates to ALL hard drives with a capacity above 2 TB. They will only work with Windows Backup if they emulate 512-byte logical sectors.

If this review was useful, please let me know by voting for it.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on June 10, 2014
There's a reason this drive has almost 300 1 star reviews. This is the worst hard drive I've ever had the displeasure of owning. The first drive developed bad sectors in less than one year. So many that data recovery was actually kind of a PITA. A handful of files were complete losses, luckily everything was replaceable. It took 2 days to write zeros to the drive to erase everything.

I was able to get an RMA from Seatgate for the drive. The new drive arrived from Seagate and it still had the previous customer's asset management stickers on it, including their phone number and address... right next to the big sticker that said: RECERTIFIED.

Three weeks later the replacement drive failed as well. I'm not going to even bother with an RMA even though it's under warranty still, I'm sure the next drive will just fail as well.
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on June 24, 2017
This model after what i am experiencing, i only give this 2 stars. I bought a total of around 13 Seagate external drives. These i bought 3 these models. They were ok for a while until one just decided to FAIL, slow transfers, failing transfers & after a disc check was run, it is now inaccessible. I even had to take it out of the case & try a docking station to no luck.

Now at no surprise my second Seagate is now failing :( I am very upset, i have already lost 3TB worth of video around 3000 backup movies of mine + much more data from the first failed drive. Now my second one is transferring slow & fails during transfers to my other drives. I am trying to move data before i lose another 3TB worth of data. I never had a problem with Seagate but since i am now about to lose 2 3TB drives in the last 6 months , i would stay away from Seagate drives.

Sorry Seagate i always felt your drives were very good , since i have owned more then 100 of them all kinds. I used to be a Western Digital hard drive guy & i think my next drive will be that cause i am sick of what i am seeing with Seagate drives failing. I never had a drive fail on my since over 10 years ago. BEWARE of this drive , it may work for a while but it can & probably will fail later & you will lose everything if you did not clone your data. Even my benchmark tool is taking forever to finish cause it says SLOW IO detected , gee i wonder which one that can be.

My transfer speed is down to 2kb/s. Imagine, how i am going to get 3TB worth of data off this drive at the slow transfer speeds before it fails completely.

This is the only Seagate model i had fail on me, or give me data redundancy errors while trying to copy files to another drive. It also happens while extracting rar files, the file suddenly cant be found,etc Disc check will not process fast enough , it is taking a lifetime to recover bad clusters if there are any. Seagate tool for windows is also taking forever to find/fix any problems.
(Old Model) Seagate Backup Plus 3TB Desktop External Hard Drive USB 3.0 (STCA3000101)(Old Model) Seagate Backup Plus 3TB Desktop External Hard Drive USB 3.0 (STCA3000101)
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on December 25, 2015
The drive was working fine for about 2 years, when suddenly it seems to not turn on today [Dec 25, 2015]. It decided to just shut down one day suddenly.
When I try to power cycle it, it makes a slight murmur, tries to start up, I can hear the disk drum rotating, all but for about 5 secs, and then the drive goes dead silent. It does not even show up on my PC, even though I have connected it directly through USB.
So much for trusting Seagate for two years and saving all my data on it.
All my precious data is gone now. Don't know what to do.
Wish I could give this a 0 stars for the stress its causing me now.
Update: Dec 28, 2015: Called their tech support line, I was asked by automated message that wait time will be 1 minute, sadly, that was 20 mins ago. So, not only is their support unavailable, but it seems they have resorted to lying about it too.
So, a defective product being sold with false promises, with no support. Go figure.

Update: Jan 02, 2016: I tried using their self serve software data recovery option, since it costs less money than their in-lab services. After scanning the hard drive very briefly, the software popped up a message stating that I should contact their In-lab recovery service for further help, which costs approx $700. This is getting ridiculous. One should not have to pay such a hefty price just for trusting one's data with a hard disk manufacturer.
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on August 14, 2016
Bought this drive at 2013, and its still alive today! I like the feature where it goes to sleep while idle but does not disappear from the drive list. When you need to access it, however, it might take up to 10 seconds for it to come back to work, but I suppose this help protect the drive from unnecessary wear and tear. It's awesome too that Seagate drives are running at 7200rpm by default, instead of WD with some external HDD running at 5400rpm. Personally, I'd prefer my drives standing up vertically, so I was kinda bummed when all new Seagate drives are designed in a way that they stand horizontally. Of course, you can just place it vertically, but it'd be very ugly with the cables and all. I love Seagate drives, but recently one of my internal Seagate HDD died and cost me about $1.5k to recover the data. Seagate drives have a high rate of failure compared to the past, but I heard things are changing and they're improving, and I certainly hope it's true. Can't wait to get another 8TB drive for backing up my precious data after doing more research!
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on February 3, 2014
I bought this drive for my new iMac. I wanted a decent quality large capacity USB 3.0 drive. I had to reformat it for Mac which wasn't a big deal. But I started having problems from the gitgo.

Every so often this drive would disconnect itself from my iMac. I'd wake up in the morning to a message saying that the drive was not ejected properly. Then it happened at least twice during the day. I should have returned it immediately. Instead I contacted Seagate whose customer service was (initially) awful. Some tech told me that it was my OS or the software on the computer that was causing the problem. I'm an expert computer user and technician and I basically told him he was full of it, and I didn't have any problems with LaCie or WD external drives. After going back and forth for a couple of weeks, I was finally forwarded to some person that stated that this drive has problems with OS X Mavericks. I had already upgraded the firmware on the drive but that did not help.

This person agreed to exchange my drive for a Backup Plus for Mac drive. At least I felt like Seagate was standing behind their products. They even took the time to test the drive at their facility before they sent it out to me - or so they say. In any event, I received the new drive in about 10 days, plugged it in and it seemed to work fine for a couple of days. Then, all of a sudden, the drive was disconnecting once again. It wasn't happening quite as often, but at least every other day. Still, I felt like I had bought an inferior product.

So I needed a working drive. I bought a WD My Book (most recent model), plugged it in and it WORKS. For the past several weeks I have had no problems with the drive disconnecting. It works like it should. As for my Seagate drive, I'm going to reformat it for my work PC and see if it works there - otherwise I might as well throw it in the garbage. Seagate effectively lost me as a customer. Do not buy a Seagate external drive if you plan on using it with a Mac - it simply does not work.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on July 9, 2013
This review is for the 4TB model. I've used many external drives in past and needed a 4TB model for a backup as my user data has gotten very large due to digital photography and music.

Came formatted as NTFS so it worked with windows right out of the box.
Comes with Mac dmg file as well as windows exe file so Seagate dashboard SW will work with either computer if you decide to use it.
USB3 is fast. I backed up 1.5TB in about 6 hours.
Drive doesn't seem to care if I'm not using Seagate dashboard SW they include.
Very quiet.

Seagate SW takes up about 650MB though you can delete it off the drive if you want.
No power switch so it's on all the time.
Form fact makes tipping it over sort of a problem if you're not careful

Pro Tip - you can reformat the drive to whatever you want if you don't like what they shipped. Simply copy the included Seagate SW off the drive (so you don't lose it) and reformat the drive to whatever you want -- exFAT, NTFS, Mac OS Extended, etc.

One final note - I chose Seagate over Western Digital because WD seemed to have some quality issues from the reviews I was reading. Seagate had a better overall "crowd sourced" review so that's what I went with.
5 people found this helpful
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