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Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 500 GB USB 2.0 Ultra-Portable External Hard Drive STAA500100 (Black)

4.1 out of 5 stars 629 customer reviews
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500 GB
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  • Easy-to-use preloaded backup and encryption software
  • USB 2.0 plug-and-play drive
  • Upgradable to USB 3.0, FireWire 800 or eSATA or access content over the network and on TV
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Technical Details

Capacity: 500 GB | Color: Black
  • Brand Name: Seagate
  • Model Number: STAA500100
  • Hard Disk Size: 500 GB
  • Manufacturer Warranty Description: 2 year
  • Hardware Platform: PC
See more technical details

Product Description

Capacity: 500 GB | Color: Black

Product Description

The Seagate STAA500100 external portable drives are compact and perfect for on-the-go. Instantly add more storage space to your computer and take large files with you when you travel. Set-up is straightforward, simply connect a single USB cable and you are ready to go. The drive is powered from the USB cable, so there is no need for an external power supply. Plus, it is automatically recognized by Windows operating system, so there is no software to install and nothing to configure. Saving files is easy too, just drag-and-drop. It’s not just easy to use, but it’s fast and energy efficient too. And with the optional accessory, you can get extra function such as USB3.0 port, FireWire port, net media sharing and more. Enjoy fast data transfer speed with USB 2.0 connectivity and 5400 RPM drive performance.

From the Manufacturer

The GoFlex ultra-portable drive makes it easy to store, back up and encrypt all your files with its plug-and-play USB 2.0 connectivity. This drive is great for taking with you on business trips, vacations and on the go allowing you to save or access your videos, photos, music or files. The GoFlex ultra-portable USB 2.0 drive interface returns fast transfer speeds and the GoFlex system allows you to upgrade to USB 3.0, FireWire 800 or eSATA by pairing the drive with the appropriate GoFlex upgrade cable. Extend your content beyond your PC and enjoy it on your TV, over your network, or on-the-go by using it in combination with our GoFlex family of products.

Seagate GoFlex Drive
Store over 16,000 hours of music on the 1TB GoFlex Drive

Seagate GoFlex Drive
Available in a variety of colors to suit your style. View larger
Seagate GoFlex Drive
Store, back up and encrypt all your files with plug-and-play USB 2.0 connectivity

Seagate GoFlex Drive
Protect your files with GoFlex's built-in back-up software
Plug-and-Play with Automatic Backup Software

The Seagate GoFlex's built-in backup software ensures automatic continuous backup of your data. It secures your backed up files and protects your privacy with powerful encryption software. The Seagate Dashboard management tool software provides easy management of backup schedules, file encryption, and at-a-glance drive statistics, including available capacity.

Access Files with the Interface of Your Choice

Use the standard USB 2.0 interface for maximum compatibility with standard desktops and laptops. Or upgrade to USB 3.0, FireWire 800 or powered eSATA by pairing the drive with the appropriate GoFlex upgrade cable.

Free your Files

With the included NTFS driver for Mac, you can now interchangeably store and access files from PC and Mac computers without reformatting. The NTFS driver is simply installed once on your Mac computer, allowing it to access and store files in a PC compatible format. (Reformatting to HFS+ required to use backup software for Mac or Time Machine software.)

Extend Your Content Beyond the PC

The GoFlex ultra-portable drive is the heart of the GoFlex Storage System, and by combining it with other GoFlex Storage System products you can enjoy your content on your TV, access files from any PC or Mac computer on your network, from a mobile device, or via the internet while on-the-go.

Enhanced Versatility Is a Snap

Plug-and-play connectivity options let you protect, store, and do more. The GoFlex Storage System allows you to upgrade the way you access your digital content without having to replace your drive. Upgrade cables and kits make it easy to move up from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0, eSATA or FireWire 800 for up to 10x faster transfer speeds for your large files and HD movies. Extend your digital life so you can access and share your files from anywhere.

What's in the Box

The Seagate GoFlex ultra-portable drive, backup with encryption software pre-loaded on drive, NTFS driver for Mac pre-loaded on drive, GoFlex USB 2.0 interface adapter, 18-inch USB 2.0 cable, quick start guide, 2-year limited warranty.

Get the Most from Your Drive with GoFlex Upgrade Cables

USB 3.0
GoFlex USB 3.0 Upgrade Cable
  • 10X faster transfer speed than USB 2.0
  • Backwards-compatible with USB 2.0
USB 3.0
GoFlex USB 3.0 Upgrade Kit
  • 10X faster transfer speed than USB 2.0
  • Includes PC Card adapter, USB power connector and USB 3.0 cable
    --everything needed to upgrade your laptop to USB 3.0
  • Backwards compatible with USB 2.0
GoFlex eSATA Upgrade Cable
  • 6X faster transfer speeds than USB 2.0
  • Powered by eSATA/USB combo port, no external power required
FireWire 800
GoFlex FireWire 800 Upgrade Cable
  • 2x faster transfer speeds than USB 2.0

Seagate GoFlex Ultra-Portable Drive Specifications

320GB1 500GB1 750GB1 1TB1
Model Number STAA320100 STAA500100 STAA750100 STAA1000100
Interface USB 2.0 USB 2.0 USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Available Colors Black | Silver Black | Silver | Blue | Red Black Black
How Much Will it Store?
Digital Music Digital Music (Hours) 5,331 8,330 12,495 16,660
Digital Photos Digital Photos (Files)
Average file size using cameras highest resolution JPEG mode
102,400 160,000 240,000 320,000
Digital Videos Digital Videos (Hours) 320 500 750 1,000
DVD Quality DVD Quality (Movies)
Based on standard 2 hour movie
80 125 188 250
HD Video HD Video (Hours)
Based on H.264 compression at a 6.75Mbs bitrate
80 125 188 250
1One gigabyte, or GB, equals one billion bytes and one terabyte, or TB, equals one trillion bytes when referring to hard drive capacity.

The Seagate GoFlex Family Hard Drives

Seagate GoFlex
Ultra-Portable Drive
Seagate GoFlex
GoFlex Pro
Ultra-Portable Drive
Seagate GoFlex
GoFlex Desk
External Drive
Seagate GoFlex
GoFlex Home
Network Storage System

Product Information

Capacity:500 GB  |  Color:Black
Product Dimensions 3.3 x 0.1 x 4.3 inches
Item Weight 5.3 ounces
Shipping Weight 1.1 pounds
Item model number STAA500100
Customer Reviews
4.1 out of 5 stars 629 customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #1,234 in Electronics > Computers & Accessories > Data Storage > External Hard Drives
Date first available at Amazon.com May 4, 2010

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Size: 500 GBColor: Black Verified Purchase
I was expecting this drive to be like a spare drive to back up files and store data on and allow me to edit some files as I wanted. I really was expecting it to work just like a jump drive does, but have a lot more storage space. I didn't want to have to plug it into a wall, you know, portable. I wanted to be able to take it to several computers I have at home and at work. What I found out after I placed my order was that these drives by Seagate have pre-installed software on them that once connected to your computer will ask you to load, after a two minute wait. If you install this software "Dashboard" and whatever else is there, you may have some of the issues like all of the other negative ones I read. YOU DON'T NEED THIS SOFTWARE, SO DO NOT INSTALL IT!!! Seagate must think that the only purpose to buy this drive is to do a back-up on one computer and to have it auto run every so often, hence their software. I personnaly am not interested in their software, especially everything I have read to date on it.

So I started by removing the software from the drive, then just using the drive as a back up and to copy some work files to. All seemed fine, then took to work and tried to update a file and found out the the whole drive is read only format, no update capabilities allowed from another machine. Did some more reading and discovered that if I Format the drive completly, (don't do the quick format) do a full format which will take about 1 hour per 100 Gig, so make sure you have plenty of time to do this. When your done the drive will be free of Seagate's software and read only formats for file updates. The drive will work just like a jump drive allowing you to take it from one computer to another, update files as you see fit, back up files and so on...you get the picture.
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Size: 1 TBColor: Black Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This drive has a large capacity (by today's standards) and is very portable. It is convenient and highly compatible, not fast, but no slower than others in its class.

I seriously doubt the claim that buying a USB 3.0 adapter for the drive will speed it up noticeably, and certainly not 10x. I discuss this point below. [Update 8/10/10] See below. A discussion in the comments has convinced me that the optional adapters may indeed make a difference for transferring very large files, such as video, but not a 10x difference.

large capacity for portable drive by today's standards
small and not too heavy, similar to competitive products
USB 2.0 offers terrific compatibility (Win, Mac, Linux when drivers are available)
alternative interfaces available (eSATA, USB3, Firewire)
USB provides power, so no power supply needed
very standard USB connectors on both ends of cable
compatible with Windows and Mac, and probably Linux (not tested)
[Update] ability to connect directly to TV for playing audio and video without computer via new dock [see below.]

misleading claims of value of changing cables [Update: maybe not, see Updates below]
slightly larger and heavier than WD Passport
glossy top attracts fingertips (like Passport)
black case is hard to find in my black computer backpack, but probably other colors will be available in the near future

not fast, not slow, about the same as competitive products, slower than desktop drive or many 3.5" external drives, but far more portable


The drive spins at 5400 rpm. This is not as fast as most desktop drives (which are 7200 rpm), but 5400 rpm saves power and runs cooler.
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44 Comments 515 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Size: 1 TBColor: Black
I've had my eye open for one of these since before they existed. I work in the Multimedia industry and require a large amount of space to store my data. I purchased this drive on August 8, 2010. Yesterday, Sept. 2, 2010, it failed. I contacted Seagate and they referred me to their data recovery team who offered to recover my lost data for up to $1500. Not expecting to have the hard drive fail immediately, I was still in the process of backing up my files and lost almost all of them.
29 Comments 197 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Size: 500 GBColor: Black Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The design of this external drive is excellent. The enclosure itself is tiny, just a centimeter longer and about a half centimeter wider than the 2.5" 500gb hard drive it houses. It is made of piano-black plastic that is matte on the bottom (to prevent it from sliding around as well as to avoid scratches) and shiny on the top and sides. This is actually my only complaint with the device: these days it seems like every peripheral device needs to be polished, and these surfaces are finger print magnets. I blame Apple for making their wildly popular i-Pods shiny. I prefer matte surfaces that absorb use better and don't need to be polished constantly.

Functionally the drive is excellent. The hard drive included is a slower 5400rpm drive, but for a back-up drive that's adequate. It also allows the use of a single USB connection for data and power, unlike many other portables that need two connections to function properly. Windows 7 immediately recognized the drive and installed the appropriate drivers. There is a proprietary back-up software that comes with the drive which I did not spend much time messing around with simply because I intend to use the drive as media storage for my notebook, not as a back-up solution.

Where things really get interesting is in the design of the enclosure, which has a separate USB connector piece that plugs directly into the SATA connectors of the hard drive itself. This allows for you to swap out the connector once USB 3.0 is released, or even a eSATA connector if Seagate releases one (this drive is too new to be on their web-page but I can only assume they will release one). It also allows for you to dock the drive in a Seagate hard drive dock. This open-ended design is fantastic and I'm surprised it's not available on more external drives.
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