Top positive review
ALWAYS buy RETAIL packaged drives.
11 January 2019
This review is for the 4TB Expansion Drive (with the 'diamond square cut' plastic case).
Great compact enclosures. I would suggest putting on some small rubber 'feet' on the base to lift it up and allow any heat to dissipate more freely. The HDD is easily powered by the supplied USB cable. I have had two other Seagate Expansion drives running for almost 4 years with no problems.
Please remember, just because these (or any other) portable HDD's are 'portable' doesn't mean that they should still be moved or knocked around too much. Always handle with care if you're carrying it from one location to another to prolong its longevity.
If you're purchasing this drive to use as the manufacturer intended (as an external USB HDD), then it gets 5/5 stars and you need read no further.
If you're looking for a 2.5" HDD to use inside a laptop, in a Disk Array enclosure, inside a PS4, or other 'internal' device, then read on...
This 'Expansion' drive can easily be opened up to remove the actual Hard Drive inside.
And it's a far cheaper option than buying a bare 4tb 2.5" HDD.
I purchased two of these 4TB drives to use in a 2.5" RAID enclosure.
[Please Note: The 4TB HDD is 15mm thick. Lower capacities are variably thinner. Always check the max bay height of the device you are thinking of inserting the HDD into].
The HDD can be removed from it's plastic casing by gently prising away the top lid (which is clipped in). Some of the clips WILL break, but if you're careful, the plastic casing can still be clipped back together again and reused (if you need to). Once inside, gently lift up the drive (it's only slotted in place by 4 silicone screw covers), then slide out and peel off the sticky silver foil on the connector end. Make sure you peel off the foil on both sides of the drive. The USB/SATA connector can then be gently pulled off. You will also need to remove the 4 side holding screws to enable you to slot it in and secure it to your new bay location.
The end result is that you now have a Seagate Barracuda 4TB drive, exactly the same as you would if you bought a loose ('bare') Seagate drive. The main advantage being - that you've just saved about 30-50% of the cost compared to buying an identical "bare" internal 4TB Barracuda HDD on Amazon!
What are the disadvantages? You've likely voided the warranty.
BUT, before you shoot off elsewhere thinking the warranty factor is a deal-breaker, consider the following two points:
1) If you're buying a bare HDD (no matter what capacity) you should NOT be buying it off of Amazon if its being 'SOLD' or 'DISPATCHED' by Amazon - especially those that come without any retail packaging.
Hard Disk Drives are sensitive little things and don't take very well to being mishandled or knocked about. Amazon packaging staff DO NOT know how to handle or package Hard Drives - this is not some off-the-wall claim, BELIEVE me, it's highly substantiated! Despite Amazon having complaints on this subject stretching back over the last 8+ years, and despite always promising to correct things, Amazon are still today sending out hard drives in insufficient packaging.
The majority of Hard Disk Drive failures that people report and complain about were caused because of how they were handled before they got to you (not the manufacturer's fault) - and if you've purchased one that's been 'handled' by Amazon - you're playing a gambling game of roulette! By the time you receive that drive in your hands, it's possibly been rattled around more times than an ice cube inside a cocktail shaker. Is it really any wonder why you see so many 1 and 2 star reviews (irrespective of brand)?
2) A lot of bare Hard Disk Drives being sold on Amazon (especially those that are 'competitively priced') are actually sold without a manufacturers warranty anyway.
They were either imported from somewhere where the Warranty is not valid. If your drive doesn't fail on arrival (or shortly afterwards), you will never know this unless you attempt to register it. Or because they are surplus drives that were originally intended for use inside an external enclosure (such as these 'Expansion' ones being sold above) -there are actual reports and reviews that Seagate have informed customers of this fact.
And even if your drive does come with a warranty - if the drive fails, it's only going to cover an exchange. You will need to return the failed drive (most likely at your cost) and the warranty will not cover any data recovery. Meaning that essentially, once you send it back to get a replacement, you will never be getting the chance again to have your lost data back.
My final advice is, be aware of the 'handling' risks in buying HDD's from Amazon. And if doing so, ALWAYS buy RETAIL packaged drives. REJECT EVERYTHING ELSE.
If you choose to accept this mission....then, good for you!.... This message will not self-destruct in 10 seconds...