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External hard drive: Seagate, WD, or Lacie in terms of reliability?

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by afterdark, Mar 15, 2008.

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  1. afterdark

    afterdark Notebook Geek

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    After spending the last two hours reading reviews on the seagate free agent pro, western digital my book essential edition, and the lacie d2 Quadra I still need some help deciding. It seems as if a lot of the WDs fail after a few months. The seagate free agent desktop come DOA or have heat problems. Are the free agent pros pretty much the same thing as the free agent desktops? What's the difference? Is one more reliable than the other? The lacie seems to have the best reviews.

    I am looking for an external HD that is 250-500 gb that is the most reliable. I know building your own would be the best but I need to back up my files asap so I can ship my laptop out for repairs. So which external HD would your recommend out of these three? Are there anything more reliable out there? If you ever owned any of these or know someone that does, please give me some advice. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. wobble987

    wobble987 Notebook Virtuoso

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    i have 2x 500GB FreeAgent Pro harddrive.. overall i'm satisfied with it... it looks nice :), runs cool and quite.

    many people dont seems to know this. the difference between the freeagent pro and freeagent desktop is the amount of the cache the actual harddrive have, and the possibility of changing connection interface. think of it, the freeagent pro has premium higher grade harddrive compared to the vannila flavoured freeagent desktop. ALSOoooO! with the PRO you get a nice looking brushed metal case, instead of the boring plastic case.

    the harddrive or casing do not get hot, the only hot part is the metal screw that is on the bottom of the casing (the metal screw is used for the user to easily change the input (firewire/USB) catridge -pardon me, it is rather hard to explain-), nothing to worry about, it will give you a shock if you touch it after you use it.. but then again it is on the bottom, so that will not be a problem.

    the one thing i dont like about the freeagent is the touch sensitive power button, it is imo a gimmick. it doesn't give you feedback.. a beep at least, would be welcome, even better, why not used tried and true mechanical button.
     
  3. optomos

    optomos Notebook Evangelist

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    I have been using a 750 and a 500 FreeAgent Pro HDD. I like the looks and the build quality is great. Again, they come with a 5 year warranty while others do not, but some would say that is just a gimmic.......I'ts a gimmic until one goes belly up on you. I did notice the other day that WD had a 5 year warranty now on one of their HDD's.

    Like wobble987, the touch sensitive button is lame, but I hardly use it anyway.

    If you go with Seagate make sure you get the FreeAgent Pro.
     
  4. Tim

    Tim Notebook Virtuoso

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    I have a WD Mybook 250GB and that has been running strong for over a year now. I haven't had any problems with WD so far.
    Tim
     
  5. THAANSA3

    THAANSA3 Exit Stage Left

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    I don't know which brand is truly better, but I know that my WD did fail on me after about 8 months or so. I filled out an RMA and the company sent me two hard drives for free since I was still under warranty. The two that they sent me were the new models, better than what I had before. We'll see what happens with them.
     
  6. richarddd

    richarddd Notebook Consultant

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    I little while ago I spent a lot of time reading newegg reviews of external drives (I was looking in the 750gb range) and everything seemed to have reliability problems. I couldn't find any basis for deciding. I have not yet bought. I'd say go for a major brand and choose on price.
     
  7. Ardroth

    Ardroth Notebook Consultant

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    All hard drives have issues... you just have to take a chance. I was looking at LaCie before. They seem to have slightly more positive reviews... but still a lot of negatives. I used to use Conventional "external hard drives" as mentioned above, but I got sick of them. They are all "gimmicky". Fancy buttons, lame software, cheaply built... it's the whole idea of aesthetics over functionality. Also, some drives actually contain other manufacture's drives! For instance, you might buy a Western Digital Mybook... open it up, and there's a Fujitsu drive! What is the deal with that?! Also, since maxtor and seagate are teamed up now, a lot of "maxtor external hard drives" are really Seagate drives in a maxtor enclosure. It's bullcrap. Oh, and don't forget that if you open the enclosure you've just voided the Warranty. So if something goes wrong, and you want to troubleshoot (take the drive out, put it in another enclosure/desktop to test, etc.) than you better be certain you know the issue... because if you don't you're left with a brick. Because the company will no longer replace/fix it for free.

    I started just putting my own together: buy a cheap aluminum enclosure (I got mine at radioshack), and a good solid hard drive (I use all Maxtor diamond series), and boom! Perfection. I've been using these for almost a year without a single problem. Fast, stay cool, run quiet, and still look pretty nice! No stupid buttons (other than a power switch), no crappy software, and I provide my own quality control by manufacturing myself. Plus, if something goes wrong, you can troubleshoot whether it's the drive or the enclosure and not have to worry about voiding any warranties!

    You're concerned about time... it really doesn't take long at all to build one. Go to a computer/electronics store and pick out the 2 components. Then take the 10 mins to put them together, plug it in, and you're set.

    I hope you consider this info! Good luck!
     
  8. wobble987

    wobble987 Notebook Virtuoso

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    to ardoth..

    the reason WD Mybook were using fujitsu drives is because not so long ago.. western digital actually didn't make 2.5" hard drives.

    currently; seagate is better than maxtor... thats why maxtor were bought by seagate. maxtor is now just for value/budget line of seagate harddrive.
     
  9. hydra

    hydra Breaks Laptops

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    I use two drives for my music library, 1400 CD's in lossless, same image on each, the Seagate Pro is my working drive. I shop for price so have a collection of Seagate's and WD's and Samsungs and one ancient Hitachi.

    Which one is best? Who really knows..they can all fail. I've been lucky the last three years. If you really have important files, think about spanning across drives or burn to DVD.
     
  10. THAANSA3

    THAANSA3 Exit Stage Left

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    Good info. Thanks.
     
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