Seagate STAA1500601 1.5 TB,External (STAA1500601(1500GB)) Portable Reviews
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Seagate STAA1500601 1.5 TB,External (STAA1500601(1500GB)) Portable

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Like communism- good idea that just does not work well.

Oct 30, 2011 (Updated Nov 1, 2011)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:1.5TB, USB-powered,1/3 the size/weight of 110-volt powered, external drive? WOW!

Cons:Wastes your time- not reliable for USB 2.0 machines (at least).

The Bottom Line: I wasted a couple of hours on copying .8TB of data on this drive, being successful on placing .6TB on it only, w/ USB2.0. It's flaky, spare your time.


HOW THIS DRIVE IS EXPECTED TO WORK
I retired from assembling computers myself- I like a reliable device with reliable software recovery system. I'm tired of wasting time on hardware. That's why I like Apple Computer products, if it's reliable from start- you are in luck.

This drive supports the new USB3.0, advertised to be 10x faster than the USB2.0 (which this drive also supports). I used it with a desktop and a laptop with USB2.0 to copy video files onto this drive.

I expected from this drive: simplicity and reliability, same as I get from my Iomega eGo 1TB 110volt powered external hard drive. Instead I got (after loading .5 TB of movies on it) problems copying files onto it:

 a) Message states that file (I try to copy to this 1.5TB drive) does not exist on the 1.5TB drive. Why should it exist when it is yet to be copied at the time the message is displayed?

b) Message states that basically the drive letter (created for this drive) does not exist. Connection is lost type of notification?

c) My 3 year old Dell XPS laptop (Core 2Duo top of the line upgraded to Windows 7) with its USB 2.0 would power this drive up, only half of the time. When powered up the drive letter for it will not appear in Windows Explorer.

d) My old HP PC crawling Windows XP on Pentium4, runs with it 0K until I gett messages a) & b) seen above.

c) My work laptop is top of the line Pentium i7 machine- I have no clue if it has USB3.0, possibly (I got it in April 2011), but I got messages a) and b) seen above, on it too.

ISSUES LOADING DATA ON IT WITH USB 2.0
I have limited experience running USB-powered external hard drive, namely I used a friend's Western Digital portable USB2.0 powered 0.5TB model without a problem, quote.

This drive worked well when connected to my Western Digital media player- that's about all the praise I have for it. Did it break down on me? Did its cable go bad in 48 hours of use? Is it something like you can read below I googled on Western Digital USB-powered drives problems, quote:

"If your drive is not visible under Device Manager means the particular hardware is not installed properly. This symptom is more common on the drives that are not getting adequate DC power. Check both WD provided USB cable and the micro USB port on your drive under a magnifying glass for possible pin damage or dirt build-up. If cable or port dirty, you can clean it with a small (¼”) artist brush soaked with alcohol. Dry throughout prior to reconnection. If the cable is the culprit, get a replacement cable from WD. Most of the other cables available on the market won’t work. If your USB port on drive is broken, or USB>SATA interface gone bad, you have no other option but to get the drive replaced."

The look and feel:

This drive is 3 times smaller than regular wall powered external drive. It's sleek with rounded edges, and there's a plastic piece connected to the main rectange of the drive, where you connect a 1ft USB cable (which could have been 2 feet for convenience). The aforementioned plastic piece the length of the narrow side of the drive's body swings up and down- that makes me worry as to why it does that, and what's its purpose? Does the main HD cover get heat up too much, or it hosts a fuse (no mention of this anywhere). But I just worry since I had this drive for 48 hours and it works part time when it comes to loading files on it- I don't want a part of the HD case to be moving few millimeters up and down- it might as well eventually fall off.


The conclusion:
USB powered drives actually have a set of known issues:
1) Not recognized on connect (due to DC power issues)
2) Stop being recognized by OS (God knows why)
3) Soiled connectors break up drive-PC communication
4) It used to work, but stopped for God knows which reason.
5) Who knows what else non-sensical (thanks to President Bush Jr. for making that work up) to expect during file upload?

I am not going to investigate if this drive went bad or not- I don't want to get another one. These have 2 year warranty but using warranty is a waste of time for me.

I had an internal Western Digital Barracuda drive crash on me irreparably (the head fell on cylinders, so it was beyond repair) causing the loss of my family pictures, so I don't want to recommend trying WD external drive (as far as I know limited to 1TB max at this time). Maybe this drive would work perfectly for those of us who only have the latest machines equipped with USB3.0. If you have USB2.0 chances are not in your favor that the drive will work well for you- out of 3 computers I tired, it's useless on 1 laptop, and stops working at some point on my other laptop, and PC.

I'll return this $110 drive back to Costco, their generous return policy might give me time to try the next generation of WD drive powered via USB. If it also ends up wasting my time, I'll just get a 3TB wall plug drive instead, knowing it won't let me down. I'll better waste time in a casino, or put a thousand piece puzzle together- it calms nerves down at least, instead of getting this USB-powered drive digirama agitation!

NEED YOUR HELP
Please let me know if you know a reliable hard drive powered by USB which is at least 1.5TB- hopefully under $150.


Recommend this product? No


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