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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reliable and tough
I bought this a few months ago as a backup device for my Mac. It has worked faultlessly so far. I then wanted to use it with a PC and initially had problems, so I rang the Freecom Tech Support. Would you believe it, they have English people working in England? Anyway, I got the right advice when I got through and the device is working well with the PC.

It's a...
Published on 11 July 2007 by Amazon Customer

versus
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Be prepared to buy an additional power supply
This drive seemed like just the thing: built for travel, compact, and good amount of storage for the money. What I didn't expect is that a device meant to be portable may very well keep you tied to a fixed location because it needs an external AC power supply to operate correctly. And, most annoyingly, the product does not come with the requisite adaptor. Here is an...
Published on 25 Oct. 2007 by Skip


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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reliable and tough, 11 July 2007
By 
Amazon Customer "Stevie" (Durham, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Freecom ToughDrive Pro 2.5" 120GB Shockproof USB 2.0 Slim Hard Drive (Personal Computers)
I bought this a few months ago as a backup device for my Mac. It has worked faultlessly so far. I then wanted to use it with a PC and initially had problems, so I rang the Freecom Tech Support. Would you believe it, they have English people working in England? Anyway, I got the right advice when I got through and the device is working well with the PC.

It's a funny-looking bit of kit (no silver!): the silicone case does feel strange. The integrated USB plug is attached to the device by a very short (2 or 3 cm) "cable" - actually, it's more silicone - so if you want to use it with a tower computer you will need a USB extension cable. I'm not wholly confident that the integrated USB cable would survive too much twisting but apart from that, it looks robust and the whole thing packs away so the USB plug is protected in transit.

It's very quiet in use and comes bundled with software, including a version of the very well-reviewed Acronis True Image.

I'm careful with my gear so I can't say it's survived any sort of significant damage. I suspect it will, though.

Addendum March 2009: it's still working without any problem.

Addendum October 2011: no longer working.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 13 Sept. 2007
By 
Mark Ayliffe (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Freecom ToughDrive Pro 2.5" 120GB Shockproof USB 2.0 Slim Hard Drive (Personal Computers)
The company I work for has a set of 16 of these which we use for daily backup of servers. They replace our DLT tape backup system. They have proved excellent in use over several months, never missing a beat and have survived high temperatures in our server room which lesser drives balked at. They aren't the fastest way to perform a backup, but we manage to do it quicker than our tapes did with a trick or two and they don't suffer they problem that tapes have when full, i.e. you still have a mostly useful backup. And they are rather more portable than the tapes they replace too.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good product after initial teething problems, 8 Oct. 2007
By 
Pete (Ipswich United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Freecom ToughDrive Pro 2.5" 120GB Shockproof USB 2.0 Slim Hard Drive (Personal Computers)
I was looking for a smaller external drive for back-ups which had to be portable, having decided against the Western Digital Passport (have one at work and it does scratch easily) I went for the Toughdrive as I also have several larger Freecom drives which are working well. Firstly, had to reformat the drive from FAT32 to NTFS. A (long) while later took it home to start my first back-up. The True Image software is an older version (v8) which seems to only want to do a full image or nothing, so instead used Retrospect which came with another older drive. However major problems with continual delayed write errors then it gave up after a few minutes. Odd that it formatted at work OK but would not work at home. Heeding many other reviews for bus-powered drives, I traced it down to using a 4 port USB hub/splitter which must also be splitting the power too! Not enough juice to power it. Hub removed and drive put straight into USB and works fine.

This drive is almost silent in use, very discrete, easy to take with you for true off-site back-up or hide for security. Rubber coating means putting it down on the desk or into your bag/briefcase always has a soft landing. I recommend this, but do read other reviews and be careful if you think your USB ports might not have enough power.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tough, Stylish, Reliable and Easy to use, 18 Aug. 2007
By 
Mr. N. Sharman (Suffolk,UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Freecom ToughDrive Pro 2.5" 120GB Shockproof USB 2.0 Slim Hard Drive (Personal Computers)
This is one of the best external drives I have seen and used, unlike a number of the external drives that break when slightly knocked! Freecom have made this a very tough drive that will withstand most drops and knocks. The software is very easy to install and within a couple of minutes I was using the drive to back-up my computer. I have had no problems with the drive and it has worked perfectly everytime and at a very good speed. I would highly recommend this drive if you are buying a mobile harddrive.

Quick note in addition to 'Stevies' review, my ToughDrive came with a USB extension cable which is handy when using the drive with a PC instead of a laptop where the small USB cable on the drive is fine.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! USB? Fine even when my laptops not got charger in it., 30 Dec. 2007
By 
This review is from: Freecom ToughDrive Pro 2.5" 120GB Shockproof USB 2.0 Slim Hard Drive (Personal Computers)
I am extrememly please, I read other reviews talking about how the usb bus was having issuses. For me? Nothing whatsoever. It worked on my computer and on my laptop which didn't even have a charger! If you have a decendly new computer then it should be able to feed on it. It has been preformatted, my backup software (Vista's) is fine it backed up all my software and stored it in a folder which has compressed it all to as little as 2GB. For me that's amazing as i've got about 40GB in use on my computer! It has it's own encryption software if you want to be secure! I tryed the shockproofness (if that's a word) and it was able to survive that. It has a weird rubbery sillicon casing, but to find out I found that it is just a casing around hard plastic, if you tuck your fingernail under the rubberyness you will see that it can be seperated rather easily. It just needs to install 2 drivers within 10 or 5 seconds and your done. It's all preformatted as I said before. I've added most of my files on there now and it's so seamline! Ok hope this helps. Good luck amazoning.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the box, 16 Nov. 2007
By 
Penny H (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Freecom ToughDrive Pro 2.5" 120GB Shockproof USB 2.0 Slim Hard Drive (Personal Computers)
I was looking at one of the WD drives, but the reviews I read on amazon said that the case was beautiful and shiny but prone to scratches. You will not get scratches on the Freecom toughdrive!

You can use it straight out of the box without installing the software. I plugged it into a spare usb 2.0 port and it just popped up in My Computer as an external drive, ready for me to drag files onto it. I decided to use the Windows Briefcase software already available on Windows XP. But I had a go with some of the software that comes with the Toughdrive and that works well too.

The USB cable is only 2 or 3 inches long. But it does come with a USB extension cable too if your computer has hard-to-access usb ports.

I use this every few days to back up all of my data (and use a 1gb pen drive daily to back up the files that I'm currently working on). The silicon casing on the toughdrive also means that I feel a lot more secure that my data will be safe in case of any accidental drops or anything like that.

Good stuff all around.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Be prepared to buy an additional power supply, 25 Oct. 2007
By 
Skip (Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Freecom ToughDrive Pro 2.5" 120GB Shockproof USB 2.0 Slim Hard Drive (Personal Computers)
This drive seemed like just the thing: built for travel, compact, and good amount of storage for the money. What I didn't expect is that a device meant to be portable may very well keep you tied to a fixed location because it needs an external AC power supply to operate correctly. And, most annoyingly, the product does not come with the requisite adaptor. Here is an email exchange I had with Freecom tech support:

Me:

I have a Toughdrive Pro 120 GB. The first time it was connected to my
Dell running XP, it worked fine and I backed up the files I needed. It
was never recognised by the computer again and now only makes a clicking
sound. I checked the on-line forum and found a suggestion that it may
need an external power supply. I tried that, but it did not work. Out
of curiosity, I asked a friend to try it on his Mac running OS 10.4.9.
Same situation: the disk was recognised the first time, but never again.
Once more, all he gets is a clicking sound. We tried the power adapter
again, but still no hard disk. I am thinking that either a) your
product is rubbish, or b)
there is a way of fixing this, but your on-line support is rubbish.
Can you tell me which of these is correct?

Tech Support:

Hi,

The clicking sound does indicate a power problem, and this is common on
many Mac computers.

Are you using the proper Freecom power supply?
Anything else probably isn't providing enough power to the drive?
What is the output rating of the power supply, both Volts and Amps?

Me:

Thanks for your reply. I was not using a Freecom power supply, but I will check the details of my adaptor this evening. However, even if the adaptor is a problem, can you suggest why the drive would have worked the first time on two different machines (a Dell and a Mac), without an adaptor, before deciding to malfunction? This is obviously not a Mac problem, so that explanation can't be correct.

Tech Support:

Hi,

That is what we see with computers that can't bus power the drives properly, they usually work first time but on subsequent connection or a reboot of the computer they stop working.
This is of course not only a Mac problem, it occurs on Windows PC's too.

The power outputs are critical, it must be 5v and at least 2Amps.

Me:

Hello,

Thanks again for your reply. My adaptor is less than 2 amps, so that may be the problem. I'll locate a suitable adaptor (Freecom, if I can find one) and test it out.

End of exchange.

I will say that the tech support contact was polite, especially given my sarcastic queries, and did offer useful advice. I honestly wasn't expecting a reply at all. For information, the device failed to work on a Dell laptop and a Mac iBook (G3). It also failed to operate on an iMac (Intel). A portable device that does not work on a laptop is not a portable device. Since I use it only for backup, though, I will trouble myself to find an adaptor (can't find one on Amazon, however). If someone needs this for on-the-go storage, beware that you may have to be on-the-go not more than about a metre from an AC power source. I also have a Western Digital 40 GB portable, by the way, and it has worked without a hitch on several different computers.

UPDATE 26 October: Someone in an on-line forum suggested trying a powered USB hub instead of an adaptor. I did and now the drive seems to be working fine. It does still mean, however, that my travels are limited to about a metre.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works well but you may need an external power supply, 24 Mar. 2008
By 
Chi Chow - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Freecom ToughDrive Pro 2.5" 120GB Shockproof USB 2.0 Slim Hard Drive (Personal Computers)
Works fine with my laptop but I had problems with my desktop PC this was down to lack of power to the drive

I emailed Freecom and they sent me an external power supply no problems since.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do Not Buy To Use With Laptop Computer, 13 Mar. 2008
By 
J. Higgs "Monsterworks" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Freecom ToughDrive Pro 2.5" 120GB Shockproof USB 2.0 Slim Hard Drive (Personal Computers)
I ordered this USB mini-hard drive to send to my Dad for his birthday. But before doing so I thought it would be nice to pre-load some media on it. I plugged it into my laptop's USB and it just made a ticking noise. I tried it on a second computer (laptop) and the same thing happened so I sent it back thinking it was broken. Amazon was fantastic and sent a replacement before they even received the first one back (which is postage paid).

But the second one did the same thing and it turns out the USB bus on both laptops I use is not high powered enough to drive it. It worked on a desktop. But that makes the unit useless for being "portable" which is what it is intended for.

I am not interested in buying an extra power supply for it because then I may as well have bought a cheaper, higher capacity but larger USB drive of which I already own three (Lacie, Maxtor, WD - no problems with any of them).

Therefore, this product is not fit for purpose. It will work fine if you use it with a desktop computer but not on any of the (Dell) laptops I tried. So think twice about purchase even if you normally use a desktop (or a laptop with a high enough powered USB) because one of the main uses of the drive is to share media between computers. You might lend the drive to someone to transfer some files and it simply won't work on their laptop.

I am sending this back today for a refund.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The ToughDrive does what it says on the tin, 19 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Freecom ToughDrive Pro 2.5" 120GB Shockproof USB 2.0 Slim Hard Drive (Personal Computers)
I have used Freecom kit for a number of years and I find my ToughDrive 250Gb a vital companion. I have on it what would amount to a roomful of reference books in electronic format, software disc images for the products I work with, personal data and customer data and still plenty of room for more. I back it up at home every weekend, but have never had to resort to a restore yet after over two years of constant use.

The drive has worked on every computer I have plugged it into, and must enjoy bouncing around in the bottom of a laptop bag.

It stands up to the day to day rough and tumble without any complaint.

Nothing short of brilliant.
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