Top positive review
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Fast, cheap but hit-or-miss
on 1 July 2012
This is currently the best value 2TB 7200RPM drive around, being some £25 cheaper than the nearest competitor. It's also the fastest in most benchmarks, which means if you're after a fast, cheap 2TB drive, it's a no-brainer on the face of it.
The problem is that these drives are also showing some problems. As you'll see from some of the other reviewers here, as well as elsewhere, the two problems are:-
(1) Bad sectors, which can appear very early, and are obviously a very serious problem if they occur, with likely data loss.
(2) A loud clicking sound which occurs periodically, which is the drive starting a load cycle after sleeping. This is a problem because the drives are only rated for 300,000 load cycles, and due to the power settings on the drive, this figure will be reached within a few months on the firmware that most of the drives are shipped with (CC4C). This problem can be fixed by updating the firmware (to CC4H) using Seagate's free utilty, but not all drives are managing to successfully update in this way.
Essentially, it's a lottery. If you get one of the drives made in Thailand, then the chances are it will be fine and you'll have a bargain. If you get one of the drives from the China plant to which production was shifted following the Thailand floods last year, then there seems to be a much greater chance that the drive will exhibit one or both of the above problems. Then it's a case of changing it and hoping for the best. I had a faulty drive from China, and swapped it for one from Thailand, and I'm pleased with the it now. It's a risk, though.