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Seagate FreeAgent Desktop 500GB External Hard Drive EU & UK 3,5" 7200RPM 8MB USB2.0
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Easily store and automatically copy your content for safekeeping and quick access.
Computers come and go, but your content should always be nearby. With up to 500 glorious gigabytes, the FreeAgent external hard drive is the best place to gather and access all of your important photos, movies, music, games and documents. Simply plug in the power and the USB cable and youre ready to go.
Designed to live peacefully in your home or office, the FreeAgent external hard drive is extra quiet and takes up less room on your desk than a stapler. Even the cable ports are base-mounted to help keep your desk free of clutter. We even add a little bit of sophistication to your desktop with the unique espresso brown finish and molten amber illumination.
To eliminate the slightest bit of worry, weve even included technical support and a five-year limited warranty.
FreeAgent because your digital content should always be nearby.
Top customer reviews
-The product is pretty attractive. A very positive point is that there is no extra power adaptor to sit around, it's integrated into the base of the product. This considerably reduces the clutter on people's desks. The drive is always extremely quiet, suggesting that there is good dampening features in the enclosure (since the noise from hard drives is due to the vibrations it causes when spinning).
-The drive is a Seagate. Generally speaking, Seagate makes the most reliable desktop drives. I use to work in the IT Department of a Fortune 500 company and we managed over 1,000 desktop PCs across several offices. Seagate drives had by far the lowest failure rates. If you purchase a product from say, Lacie, they will simply choose the cheapest drive they can source.
-The power cable plugs firmly into the drives base. Not much risk of the power cable just falling out with a light tug (which could then cause data loss and drive damage). You'd be surprised how many companies fail to design the power plug correctly.
-(edit 1): The drive powers itself down and goes into 'sleep' after a period of inactivity from the user. It's not fully off though, and should you access the drive for any reason, it'll quickly power itself up again and be ready to use in a second or two. It's a good feature since it does mean that you could keep it plugged in to the USB port all the time without worrying that its spinning away pointlessly like most other external drives on the market. I do wish there was an option to turn off the feature though. (edit 6): Actually, you can turn the feature off. In fact you can set how long you want the drive to be inactive before it enters sleep mode. You simply need to download and install the 'Drive Manager' utility from Seagate.
-(edit 2): The drive inside is an SATA drive. So if 5 years down the road, you wish to pull the drive out and install it into your computer, chances are that your desktop computer (by then) will not have an IDE connectors but instead only offer SATA connectors. Obviously this is irrelevant to the vast majority of people, but it is an advantage for the minority of people who actually know how to install/repair/upgrade their desktop computers.
-I must say I do not like having drives in a vertical position. However, at a training programme with IBM, I was taught that it did not matter which orientation the drives were in nor would I believe Seagate would design a defective product. However, the disadvantage of it being vertical is that (a) it very easily knocks over (so keep it away from the edge of the table) and that (b) it isn't stackable which is a big disadvantage if you have several external drives.
-Transfer speeds are slightly slower than competing USB external hard drive products. It's a minor difference though and only noticeable if you actually use benchmarking software. I figure it might just be down to the choice of chipset they used. If your computer has eSata or Firewire connectivity options, you may want to purchase a drive with those types of connections since USB 2.0 is slow regardless of what the specs say.
-The light indicator is only one colour (yellow) and this is a problem because it indicates read/write activity on the drive with this weak 'fade-in/fade-out' effect. It makes it difficult to tell what activity state the drive is in. The yellow light isn't that bright or distubing in a bright room. In a dark room, it sticks out, but its not exactly a disadvantage since it reminds you that it is on.
The instruction manual is terrible it does not tell you how to correctly power down the device. Remember, you should always remove external hard drives by first using the 'Safely Remove Hardware' feature. The drive will then gently power itself down a few seconds after you stopped the hardware. Simply unplugging the USB cable will also cause the drive to shut down but you should NOT be doing this since you risk data loss and permanent drive damage if the drive is being accessed or written to. This is a particularly big problem with this product because the light indicating read/write activity is far too subtle in a bright room and you may accidently believe that the drive is not doing anything when actually the computer could be accessing it. If you cannot safely remove the hardware because it says its in use, then check to make sure nothing is reading/writing to the drive and then, if there is indeed nothing, just log off windows and log on again and then you will be able to remove the drive safely. Seagate clearly designed the drive intending it to be always on when the computer is on (hence no on/off switch) but I do not believe it is practical if you are simply using it for the occasional backup.
Not having an on/off switch is actually an EXCELLENT feature since it stops people from incorrectly turning off their drives simply by flicking a switch, AND it saves people who correctly remove the drive from having to press the off switch. However it is an extreme mishap on Seagate's part to write such an incredibly poor manual. If they have more product failure than they expect, this would be the reason.
A great product if you use it correctly. Probably one of the best you can purchase actually. However, use it incorrectly and you will be a very, very disappointed customer when the drive fails in a year. (-1 star for the manual. For the complete manual, visit Seagate's website)
(edit 3): I noticed that other sellers are selling the product for cheaper than Amazon. However, may I recommend that you still purchase this from Amazon. Hard drives are very fragile pieces of electronics, you want somebody you can trust to carefully deliver the product properly packaged to you in safety and Amazon does a good job of this. Also when you consider that other resellers charge shipping, whereas with Amazon you qualify for free delivery - then you realise that Amazon isn't that much more expensive (if at all).
(edit 4): I recommend people DO NOT BUY FROM PIXMANIA. They are horrific. Of the 7 drives I know people brought from them (a mixture of Western Digital, Seagate and Maxtor) all died within one month. They also have a terrible practice of shipping non-UK versions of drives to customers that require adaptors. The UK versions of these external drives almost never ever require adaptors. They're supposed to be designed for the market they are sold in.
(edit 5): My company purchased 25 such drives recently (direct from our partner PC supplier) so I'll keep people updated if a drive dies.
(edit 7): Seagate has a 'Drive Manager' software utility for their external drives which you can download from their website under the support/downloads section. The software is very simple and allows you to: set how long you want to drive to be inactive before it sleeps (incredibly useful), it lets you test the drive to see if it functions properly (not too useful I think) and it also has a very simple backup function. It doesn't ship with the product in a CD though (as you might expect) so you need to go to the website to download it yourself. If you don't really need the features I just mentioned though, then there's no need to bother installing it since otherwise it adds nothing of use.
(edit 8): Copy and pasted from the other 500GB freeagent product review to here since they are the same product. Bumped the review rating up to 5 stars since including myself, the company I work for and family and friends between us we have 34 such drives (25 in the company) and they have all worked fantastically well once you learn how to properly use the product.
I recently purchased this product from amazon itself. Let me start by congratulating Seagate for such a wonderful product. It is quiet, surprisingly light and sleek.
Data transfer is not an issue in this product. I transferred/backed up 100 gig of data( pictures, music, videos) within an hour. Its super fast.
Setup and installation is child's play. Its easy to disconnect the product from the PC as well. Just like any other USB product, simply disconnect it using Safely remove hardware.
The light too is neatly designed. When transferring data, the light keeps going dim and brightening up, indicating data transfer.
The EU plug is not an issue as there is an adapter included. the UK version sold on Amazon comes for 71£ whereas this is for 15£ less.
My brother has a Western digital mybook but that product is much heavier and bigger in dimension compared to seagate freeagent. Seagate have been frontrunners in Hard disk drives and once again they have proven to be one of the very best.
My full five stars for this!! I recommend this product to anyone and everyone. Whats more, if you buy it from Amazon, you know you are covered for atleast a month when it comes to replacement(which I hardly think will be needed)
First off yes the auto-back up software is pretty much useless but its free software provided with a cheap hard drive so what do you really expect?
The drive itself is cool, quiet, well designed and so far has proved very reliable. It's also got a nice feature in that the disk spins down into idle mode after 15 minutes since it was last used, saving power and prolonging disk life, it also spins back up quite quickly afterwards.
I use it as a media archive and it preforms this job very well.
There are a couple of issues with this drive, firstly it has no power button so it's always on when its connected to the PC and secondly it only has a USB connection. If these are an issue for you though get a Free Agent Pro which have power buttons and FireWire and eSATA connections but are more expensive.
In summery it is a great drive for the price,if you need more than USB get the Pro but you will not regret purchasing this drive.
Most recent customer reviews
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