on 8 October 2012
I'm somewhat taken aback at the response here.
I have six of these Seagate GoFlex drives - all bought in pairs. My first two and my second two were the (as then available early type) USB 2.0 docking stands for which I had to buy the Seagate USB docking stand, to run at USB 3.0.
The last pair, I bought direct from Amazon this May, and I've found myself on this vendor's site and reading these comments, specifically wanting to buy the USB 3.0 version - Part Number 7636490033216.
I'd like to make 3 points, please.
1. None of my 6 drives are noisy in any way.
2. An HD that arrives DOA (Dead On Arrival) is pretty unusual - I've not had one in over 30 or so I've bought mail-order since around 1985, and just MIGHT be caused by damage in transit.
In fact the only component in all that time was just over a year ago and was a 2GB DRAM chip, which is pretty unlikely to be damaged in transit, and must have escaped some part of the manufacturer's tests.
That said, I fully sympathise with anyone who pays up front and receives faulty goods.
3. THIS IS IMPORTANT TO THOSE UNFAMILIAR WITH THESE DRIVES:
I have seen a few reviews where peeps complain about the "capacity indicators" advertised not working. These ate the line of 4 small LEDs on the base, adjacent to the main LED that gently brightens and dims, signifying the drive is in use.
Seagate do not make it clear this facility only works when the drives are being used in USB 3.0 mode and they don't work in the default (and backward compatible) USB 2.0 mode. Naughty Seagate for not making this clear, but I have seen several reviews where the customers have claimed their disks were faulty because these lights didn't work (On the USB 2.0 docking bases) and somewhat slagged off the retailer and the manufacturer. Plus raised their blood pressure and gone through a load of hassle returning and getting a refund for almost certainly A Perfectly Good Hard Drive.
I'm not sure why I've just spent around 30 mins laboriously contributing this (I'm disabled) but I have absolutely no financial interest in this retailer nor Seagate, and to see the negative reviews posted here rather annoyed me in view of my record of 6 of them from 3 different mail-order sellers over the last year or so, all giving me very good service.
Hence me "sticking my tuppence-worth" in.
I'm ticking the box to receive an e-mail if anyone cares to comment on this review, but as I said I am disabled, so I cannot promise an instant reply.
on 2 December 2012
I bought this drive to use with my iMac. I only have USB 2 on my Mac but as the interface on the drive is changeable I'm hoping to get the Thunderbolt interface once it drops to about £30, currently it costs over £140 which is ridiculous as that's more than £99.99 i paid for the drive.
The drive is very quiet in use and the discrete white led glows when in use. Build quality is plasticky but weighty. It's designed to stand upright on four small rubber feet. The USB 3 cable supplied is shortish but adequate and has what looks like a propriety plug on the end that fits into the drive. It's not a usual USB 3 plug but could be a micro USB 3 plug if such a thing exists.
I formated the drive on the Mac and didnt bother with installing the supplied software. Time Machine works great. Be careful not to move the drive when in use as the (micro) USB plug can move causing the drive to be ejected.
The only strange thing is that the power supply makes a strange electronic ticking noise which even continues for a while after the adapter is unplugged. Other people have mentioned it on a Seagate forum, I've never experienced anything like it before but as others have mentioned it, it must be how the adapter is designed. They also supply the socket pins for other countries power outlets in the box and therefore can be interchanged on the adapter.
Before Mac formatting I tested it on my PC over USB 3 and I got the usual 40-50MB/sec write speed which is twice USB 2. Hope thunderbolt gets cheap fast as I need it's speed for large backups.
All in all happy and I've given 1 star less for the weird power supply noise.
Update, contacted Seagate and they sent me a replacement Power Supply and no noise now, so 5 stars!
28/12/12 Purchased a second one of these drives and it had the same noise from the power supply which Seagate promptly sent a replacement for. Although the drives don't make any noise in transferring data they do have a continuos whirring noise which is either a fan or motor spinning and I could feel the vibrations on my desk. I placed the drives on a mouse mat and this has stopped the vibration in my desk and reduced the whirring sound.
On opening the box the backup plus comes in one is immediately impressed with the solid build quality of the matt black unit. Included is a compact power adapter with options for UK or Euro plug (it can not be powered over the USB cable) and a relatively short USB compliant cable.
I borrowed my wife's laptop to test the unit with as it includes a USB 3 port and followed the clear "quick start" instructions. The drive was quickly identified and drivers installed on Windows 7 and reported as having 2.72TB of available space (pretty capacious by any home standards!).
Double clicking on "Seagate Dashboard Installer" downloads an additional 90MB and, in less than five minutes, installs the bundled software. The program then launches (unfortunately *behind* other windows which too me a moment to spot!).
Under Home/Settings you can set up your country and, if you wish, you can register your drive (when I chose not to this was accepted gracefully).
The main interface contains three broad areas called Protect, Share and Save.
Save gives you the chance to download and backup online accounts. I signed into Facebook and there was a two minute pause where I was not sure what was happening. Then, suddenly it popped up a message saying "5194 new files"...I think that it must download a large XML configuration file and isn't terribly informative whilst it does so - so bear with it. After that a useful progress bar appears and a directory called E:\My Online Documents\Facebook\<username> appears on the hard drive with subdirectories for "My Pictures" and "My Videos" with a progress bar. Pausing and resuming options work well and the files which appear in these directories have sensible names based on their titles rather than random strings and can be browsed and opened directly from Windows - this is a *very* nice way to keep your Facebook uploads safe. Downloading the first 386MB (238 videos) of my large volumne of Facebook data took 28 minutes (13 MB a minute is not fast but this is constrained by the Facebook servers rather than the drive).
Flickr integration was similarly slick, taking a minute to download my 10MB of photos.
Setting auto save then incrementally downloads additional photos and videos automatically.
The protect option is used to backup Windows. The default setting is "backup all files to Seagate Backup Plus Drive" which creates a directory called \<machine name>\<Windows username>\Backup\<GUID>\<date_time_username>\<drive letter>\Users\<username> and Public and starts to backup. The system took 20 minutes to back up 11,204 files in 4,463 folders (a total of 44.5 GB) which is a speed of 2.2GB/minute and very reasonable.
You can then set up a backup schedule or do a manual incremental backup which creates a new subdirectory with only the incremental changes.
You can browse all these directories and see the files and folders as they exist on your machine, which is nice (as opposed to a big binary file that is opaque to any other tool which is what the backup built into Windows does).
Restore is very intuitive, it gives you the option to chose which files and folders to restore and which version of them to restore if you have incremental backups. BEWARE - the default seems to be to restore *everything* to an earlier time which may or may not be what you are expecting (it certainly wasn't what I wanted to do as a part of this test)!
All in all, this is a very useful, comprehensive solution to backing up your PCs and to keeping a copy of your Facebook uploads locally. It is sensibly structured so that you can backup multiple user accounts on multiple PCs without problems.
The only potential issue I had with it was that the Seagate Dashboard will only backup to a hard drive which is directly connected to the PC that is being backed up, so if you want to back up multiple machines onto its capacious storage space you will need to move the drive between machines. I had hoped that I could install it connected to the USB port on my router and back my three machines up to it over the network but, whilst it appears as a hard drive, the software does not allow this mode of operation.
Apart from that, this is near perfect.
The drive is very quiet, fast and, so far, reliable.
On the downside, the supplied USB 3.0 cable is rather short, at just 1.2m, there's no power switch and no activity light. It's unstable when stood vertically, so I stuck rubber pads on one side and laid it flat on my desk. The stepped capacity gauge LEDs only work if you install the Seagate s/w, and I really don't want any more utilities running on my PC. In any case, they only give a rough idea - better to use Explorer and get an accurate number.
If you can live with those shortcomings, I'd recommend the drive.
The supplied Dashboard software is disappointing though, mainly because it doesn't seem to back up open files. There are some niggles too, e.g. no 24-hour option for time format (maybe it's just me, but I hate the US habit of using a 12-hour clock for just about everything - it's about as bad as the illogical US mmddyyyy date format). Oh, and it won't image drives although I believe there's software available from Seagate's website that will do the job.
I'm happy enough with the drive, given the reasonable price for excellent capacity and USB 3.0 performance (see below) with low noise levels. I'd give it a fourth star if it had a longer cable, power switch and activity light, and a fifth if Dashboard backed up open files. As it is, I've reverted to Acronis True Image Home software; EaseUS ToDo Backup is an excellent alternative, if you don't have True Image.
UPDATE Oops - completely forgot to add my performance test results. I can't find a way of adding these in easy-to-read tabular form, so forgive the layout. Bottom line - the Seagate drive is generally 2-3 times faster than my USB 2.1 drive.
I used a Maxtor OneTouch4 1TB USB 2.1 alongside the Seagate Backup Plus 3TB USB 3.0.
With a single 1,483,392 KB file, I saw these results respectively:
Write 56.20 secs (26.4 MB/s) and 28.65 secs (51.8 MB/s)
Read 48.92 secs (30.32 MB/s) and 13.75 secs (107.88 MB/s)
With a batch of 11 files totalling 1,618,546 KB:
Write 73.40 secs (22.05 MB/s)and 40.60 secs (39.87 MB/s)
Read 53.61 secs (30.19 MB/s)and 19.52 secs (82.92 MB/s)
Those are averages of three tests, using a fairly high-spec Win7 Vaio laptop.
on 30 December 2014
I've been using this for a year and would say it is reliable. it is slightly more obtrusive (a droning, even on a soft mat) than the fan on my Dell All-in-One. Connexion is lost every few days with the Win 8 error message "Windows does not recognize the device." This is remedied by pulling out and re-inserting the USB plug into the computer. It re-connects but is irritating.
I'm not keen on Seagate's Dashboard software that does the automatic backing up. If you make a mistake by saving a Word document with a long file name (as in the first line of the document) you cannot delete it or re-title on either your computer or the Seagate drive unless you open it on the computer, re-title it within Microsoft's allowed number of characters, and save/backup again. It is a Microsoft, not Seagate aberration. The problem is, the Seagate drive saves the new version in a different place every time.
It became relevant when I discovered that the backup software filled the 4-terrabytes within a couple of months by saving a full version of a file you're working on even if you only changed one character on a document, or made a tiny change to an image. I decided to delete everything on the Seagate drive then back up manually the small number of files I habitually work on. It's not satisfactory because you will always miss something but at least I wouldn't fill the drive. It is not easy finding the most up-to-date versions it has saved because there are so many versions. In any case, as I say, remedying on your computer does not correct it on the Seagate drive. The net result is that old versions of these long-name files litter the drive and I can't get rid of them. It seems the only way I can get around this is by reformatting the Seagate drive and starting again. The software should be thought through more carefully.
When you connect the drive and examine its contents, you will see an installer for the Seagate Dashboard. When launched, this will download and install the dashboard. It's about 80MB in size. It installed flawlewssly on my Windows 7 64-bit, with no need to re-boot.
In the home screen of the dashboard you get options to Protect, Share or Save.
Protect Now (begins backing up all your data files to the external drive whenever they change). This is essentially a constant backup of any changed files from any local physical hard drives. If you're in a hurry, or not very techncal, this is probably your best bet.
New Backup Plan
Allows you to create your own custom backup plan, and you can schedule backups by All Files, User Folder, Documents Folder, MUsic Folder, Pictures Folder, Videos Folder or select files individually. Notte that it will only allow you to include files on physically installed hard drives. Attached drive mappings and network drives do not appear in the dialogue. You can select frequencies including Snapshot (once off), Monthly, Weekly, Daily, Hourly or continuously (whevever a file changes).
Backups are stored in a folder at the root of the ecternal drive called 'Seagate Dashboard 2.0'. Under that, they are broken out by Computer Name, User Name, 'Backup', A unique ID code, a date and time stamp + username, Drive letter, and finally the files and folders which were selected on that drive for backup. They are held uncompressed and in their original state.
If you want to restore files, the dashboard will allow you to select which backup you want to restore, the last time it was updated (e.g. if it's a continuous backup). You can select which files you want to restore (if not all), then you can select where to restore them to (the default is the original location).
Altogether an impressive, fluid and comprehensive backup and restore package.
A dialiogue prompts you to login to your Facebook account, and you are informed that xxx number of people are using the Seagate Dashboard app. There were 850 people using it when I connected. Then choose 'Go To App' and you are told it would like to 'Post on your behalf'. Select 'Allow' and you will be taken back to Seagate Dashboard to select a folder or file to up load. You then get to select an existing album or create a new album in Facebook and voila - the images are uploaded for you to your photos, from where you can do what you like with them. Click go and the image is uploaded quickly and without fuss. Note - you can only select files which are on physycally attached har drives - not mapped network drives or shares.
A dialiogue prompts you to login to your Yahoo account, and then you get the message to authorize the 3rd party app to access your account. Say OK and you get an option to upload selected files to Flickr - you'd need to have a dedicated images folder somewhere to do this. Then you get the option to select a Flickr Set as the destination, or to create a new one. As well as going into your chosen set, they are also published to your photostream, and named after the filename. Note that you need to run through the process every time you want to upload new images - it does not run as a service in the background waiting to upload anything you add to the target folder. However, it seems to work fine, and uploads files quickly and without fuss. Note that all images in the chosen folder will be uploaded with each upload, so you will end up with duplicates on Flickr if you run it twice on the same upload folder. Note - you can only select files which are on physycally attached har drives - not mapped network drives or shares.
A dialiogue prompts you to login to your YouTube account, and then you get the message to authorize the Seagate Online Service to be able to view information about your account and manage your YouTube account to access your account. Click 'Allow Access' and you are taken to a file and folder selection dialogue from where you can choose files you want to upload. Select a file, and it will be uploaded to your YouTube account. Note - you can only select files which are on physically attached hard drives - not mapped network drives or shares.
You are told how many items you have on your Facebook and Flickr accounts. You can only select all or nothing for each as ther is only one checkbox for each. Select them and select 'Auto Save' and it proceeds immediately to download your files from each account to a folder of your choice, by default 'My Online Documents' which you will find in your Windows user account on your local machine (in Windows 7 at least) they are separated into folders specific to Facebook or Flickr. The Facebook folder sub-divides them by album and the Flickr folder sub-divides them by collection. Works seamlessly without errors. A great way to easily back up all those images you have floating around on the Internet. Note that there is no option to backup content from YouTube. The Save feature will automatically run in the background, downloading new content as it appears. There is no need to keep running it manually.
Given the amount of storage and intuitiveness of the software, I think this would be a great stirage and backup solution for anyone storing data locally on their PC.
The only drawback I see is that you cannot select to back up attached network devices. I see no particular reason for this, so I'm going to dock a star.
With that limitaiton in mind, if you want a simple to use and extemely scalable storage and backup solution, this one hits the spot, even for relatively non-technical users - recommended.
on 17 April 2013
I have bought several of these drives for a home media server, and so far have to say I'm extremely pleased with the performance and reliability, and at around £100 for 4TB it's very good value.Just a shame Amazon weasel out of paying thier taxes in the UK.
on 8 March 2013
I have read reviews where people have said that they have lost data with this drive.
Beware if you already have data on the drive and then want to use it for the first time with time machine. Time machine starts by deleting all software and data on the drive, in order to configure it for sole use with time machine. This is why people have lost their data. It's does warn you, but I can see how people have made this mistake, but this isn't a fault with Seagate or their hard drive.
I purchased it new for use with my new iMac, transferring data from a previous Seagate hard drive I had, therefore I had no data so just lost the Seagate software that I didn't want to use. It works great this way with time machine.
If you have a seagate drive already with data on it and want to use it for the first time with an iMac do not use it with time machine, unless you have transferred the data to your iMac hard drive first. You can install the seagate software on the your iMac and continue using it as you have done before if you prefer.
on 7 August 2016
I have used this external drive for 2 years and 8 months and it has just packed up on me. I have a somewhat jaundiced eye when it comes to these items, and one of my drawers contains a little graveyard, the last resting place for my failed external HDs. But I have one on my desk that has been going for years, so it's a matter of luck - or poor quality control.
A contributor to Amazon concerning external HDs stated that the failure is usually due to failed cheap USB connections inside the casing, not to failure of the hard disc itself. He recommended transferring the disc to the empty case of another HD. He does not go in to details but if that is true, surely the manufacturers would increase the quality of the USB connection. I would be interested to hear from techies on this. Where would you find the empty cases (with good USB) for a start?
on 28 February 2014
Firstly, they work fine, I have two - one as a live drive the other backing it up in Time Machine on my Mac Pro.
The snag I have found is that when uploading videos to YouTube the end result on YouTube is prone to digital artefacts - it wasn't until I tried uploading from the Mac's own hard drive that I established the cause. Maybe the read speed isn't compatible with YT (they do compress like crazy as well).
Apart from that though, very reliable and at this price a very good way for people like me who have lots of RAW images to store.