Seagate Expansion 1 TB,External,7200 RPM (ST310005EXA101-RK) Hard Drive Reviews
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Seagate Expansion 1 TB,External,7200 RPM (ST310005EXA101-RK) Hard Drive

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Another Performance Star From Seagate

Sep 6, 2009 (Updated Sep 22, 2009)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Great performance, attractive slim design; affordable; loads of space

Cons:Noe so far.

The Bottom Line: If you want a small footprint, high capacity, affordable external hard drive from a name you can trust, look no further than the Seagate Expansion 1.0TB External HHD.


Can one ever have enough storage space?  I say no, one can always find a use for space and with the prices for hard drive the only thing that seems to be dropping these days, it's easy to grab an affordable external hard drive for not a lot of green.  Such is the case with the Seagate Expansion 1.0 Terabyte (TB) External Hard Drive.  With an average (on-line and off-line) street price of just under $100.00, this black beauty is a bargain waiting to found.

Why a 1TB drive?  Seagate also offers a 1.5TB Expansion HHD, but the reviews on several website was overwhelming negative so I decided to go with the 1TB where the reviews are much better.           

The Drive
 
In The Box

Seagate Expansion 1TB HHD 3-foot USB cable Small Quick-Start Install guideA/C Power AdapterI have always had a love, love relationship with Seagate hard drives.  They are comparable in price the trouble-prone Western Digital drives, but my experience has shown that they (Seagate HHD's) represent a far more reliable alternative.  And Seagate is a nameplate I can trust and have trusted for a very long time; the company has been around since the beginning of the PC revolution.  I choose the Expansion External 1.0TB HHD a USB 2.0 solution for its affordability, storage capacity, and fit neatly on my desk.
 
Installation          

I attached this drive to my Dell XPS One desktop computer running Windows Vista Home Premium.  I unpacked the neatly packed drive, plugged in the power, and then plugged the USB 2.0 cable into the port while the desktop was on-line.  Under Windows Vista there is of course nothing to the install; connect the drive and go.  If you are connecting the drive via USB, Windows Vista/XP will detect the drive, install the necessary drives (if they are needed), and then assign the <a>Seagate Expansion External 1.0TB HHD a drive letter.   

Out of the box the drive is preformatted NTFS, which is surprising given that Seagate also markets this drive to Apple Macintosh users; can Mac read NTFS partitions now?  I don't think so.  But, I prefer NTFS because the file system allows for robust security and the file system utilizes drive space more efficiently by formatting the drive with 4KB clusters.  After formatting there is some 968GB of free space available.

Windows 95/98 users will not be able to utilize this drive because the Windows 95 (OS) does not support USB, and Windows 98/SE has no native support for USB 2.0.  The drive may or may not work with Windows Me.  There was an upgrade to Windows 95 that supports USB version 1.0, but it was released only to OEM vendors; and in any case the Expansion External 1.0TB HHD is not backwards compatible to USB version 1.0 or 1.1.   

After the Expansion External 1.0TB HHD was assigned a drive letter by the OS, I was prompted to install the small utility software included on the drive.  This small application allows you to perform a simple backup and or restore operation(s).  You can also control when the black drive goes into sleep mode.  

Note: be advised, that if you have a preponderance of mapped drives already on your computer, as I do, Windows Vista/XP may not assign the HHD the next open drive letter; this has happen to me.  If after installing or attaching the Expansion External 1.0TB HHD and you get the message that new hardware has been found and is now available for use, but the drive is not assigned a drive letter, you must go to Control Panel /Administrative Tools/ Computer Manager/ Disk Manager, to manually assign the drive letter, or reassign the CD-ROM(s), a drive letter.  Alternatively, you can right-click on My Computer, click on Manage and then click on Disk Manager.

Use               

I bought this drives to serve as storage medium for the preponderance of image files I both download and take with my digital camera, as well as files that I may want to upload, or attach to an email.  And I may want to use the drive to back-up customer files from time to time.  Like I stated at the outset of this review, one can never have too much storage. 

The only indicator that the drive is even on is the small yellow LED on the front of the drive; it even pulses slowing when the drive is being accessed.  And the Expansion External 1.0TB HHD is silent.  Even when transferring a large number of files to it, I hear nothing, not a whisper, not a sound; amazing! 

As I stated earlier in this review, I choose the drive capacity because more than several users complained of failing 1.5TB drives.  You can almost always tell when a drive is about to fail because it start to click slowly as if it on a countdown to failure.  But a drive can also click when the drive head park themselves, so the two should be not be confused.

To stress-test my new Expansion External 1.0TB HHD I turned it and left it on for 24 hours, then proceeded to copy some 400GBof files to the drive from another USB 2.0 attached HHD.  The transfer rate average 5.6 MB per seconds (5.6MBps), which translates to 336MB per minute.  Not too shabby, and I am glad to report that the Expansion External 1.0TB HHD passed without incident.      
 
Conclusion

The Expansion External 1.0TB HHD is high capacity, reliable (thus far and I don't expect that to change), and transportable (if the need arises).  The small, black, nearly unobtrusive drive warrants serious consideration if you need to backup large quantities of files on a continual basis, or just want to supplement your computers' storage space. 

And for those who might need a portable drive, the Expansion External 1.0TB HHD will most surely fit the bill.  I was surprised by how small the drive is.  While not small enough to put in ones pocket the drive will easily fit in even the smallest backpack, together with the AC unit.  If you want a small footprint, high capacity, affordable external hard drive from a name you can trust, look no further than the Seagate  Expansion External 1.0TB HHD.  Did I mention this baby comes with a 5-year limited warranty?  

Seagate also offer the Expansion External HHD in the following drive capacities:

•o   500GB
•o   1.0TB
•o   1.5TB
•o   2.0TB
    
Features & Specifications

Model No. ST310005EXA101-RK
Capacity (Native) - 1.0TB
Capacity (Formatted NTFS) - 968GB
Compatibility - PC, Mac
Interface Type - Hi-Speed USB 2.0
Connector - Mini- pin USB
Data Transfer Rate - 480 Mbps (Hi-Speed USB)
Average Seek Time - 8.5 ms
Spindle Speed - 7200 rpm
Cache - 16MB
Power - AC 110/230 V (50/60Hz)
Power Management - Built-in
Manufacturer Warranty - 2 year limited warranty


Update: Sunday, September 20, 2009

Well Seagate has let me down!  The Expansion External 1.0TB HHD is going back from whence it came, in this case Buy.com. Reason: the drive is dying a not so silent death, after less than a month of service.  I had read more than several reviews on the Internet about the 1.5GB version of this drive enclosure that stated almost universally that the drive had failed.  I also read a few reviews complaining about the Expansion External 1.0TB HHD but I dismissed them and held firm to my loyalty to Seagate.

Out of the box I noticed the drive would click once or twice, but otherwise the hard drive seemed to work fine.  Then a few days ago while viewing a video the playback stuttered as the drive began to click non-stop.  Once a hard drive starts to click continuously, the drive is bad and WILL ultimately fail.  So, I wasted no time in getting my RMA number from Buy.com, and I returned the drive via UPS yesterday!  

Needless the say I am disappointed.  I have never had a (consumer marketed) Seagate drive fail, never, so I am shocked, and again disappointed in the outcome of this purchase.  I can’t say that I will never buy another Seagate drive, but I have since replaced Expansion External 1.0TB HHD with another make, not another Seagate.  Bottom-line: stay away from the Expansion External 1.0TB HHD and its 1.5TB cousin.         


Recommend this product? No


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