Reliable portable HDD's of 3TB to 4TB capacity?

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Deks, Jul 16, 2016.

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  1. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    Hi guys... I'm in the market of getting myself a new external HDD for storage to replace the existing 1TB Toshiba I have.

    I like the 2.5" ones due to their portability and ease of use (and needing only a USB port for power)... however, many people who bought portable drives recently seem to have experienced a problem with the external drives failing after only few weeks/months of use, or just after 1 year.
    The failure problem is due to the cheap SATA to USB converter inside the enclosure it would seem (not the HDD's themselves)... however, there's an extra problem with this.
    Many (if not all) new portable HDD's come with a fully fused converter which makes it impossible to replace only the converter (with a higher quality one) in the face of potential failure.

    I was wondering if any of the new 3TB to 4TB capacity portable HDD's might not have a fused SATA to USB converter?
    If so... which ones would they be?
    A friend of mine bought himself a 2TB capacity external mobile HDD recently which failed after mere 3 weeks of use, and after opening it up so I can see if I can replace the converter, I noticed it was fused into the HDD (which left him with the only available option of buying a new portable HDD).

    Another option that I might have is to just buy 2.5" 3TB HDD along with a sata to usb converter cable and an enclosure that would fit the HDD in question (problem is that its difficult to estimate proper sizes of these enclosures so they can fit the 3TB 2.5" capacity drive) - and this option is of course most expensive for some reason.

    I am presently based in Scotland - Edinburgh, and I've been looking into some options for portable HDD's such as these:
    http://www.ebuyer.com/722812-wd-my-...able-usb-3-0-external-hard-wdbbkd0030bbk-eesn
    http://www.ebuyer.com/708291-toshib...nch-3tb-usb-3-0-portable-ext-hdd-hdtc830ek3ca
    http://www.ebuyer.com/708295-toshib...inch-portable-external-hdd-black-hdtb330ek3ca
    https://www.cclonline.com/product/2...-M3-4TB-Portable-External-Hard-Drive/BAK6904/

    And as for the non-enclosure option (self made) :
    http://www.ebuyer.com/740667-seagate-laptop-hdd-3tb-sata-6gb-s-hard-drive-st3000lm016
    http://www.ebuyer.com/620400-starte...a-iii-hard-drive-adapter-cable-w-usb3s2sat3cb
    + which enclosure would fit that particular HDD?

    Any information on the internals of the M3 4TB drive (namely, is the usb to sata converter fused into the hdd or not)?
    Or should I just take the plunge and buy it or spend more money and get 3TB external drive with a separate usb to SATA converter cable?
     
  2. Starlight5

    Starlight5 W I N T E R B O R N

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    @Deks Seagate-Samsung drives traditionally come with SATA bridge, ar least some time after release - that's what you should be looking for; Toshiba - depends on the model, and WD has soldered USB. While only STDR4000 is confirmed to have SATA drive upon opening, Samsung M3 should be absolutely the same, as well as STEA4000 I use - cheaper version of the same drive in different enclosure with shorter warranty. Steer clear of STDA4000, though - it has 2x 2TB drives in RAID and considered unreliable. If you want to stay on the safe side, buy STDR4000, though I am pretty much sure these drives are the same, internally.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
  3. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    Yup... in case the SATA bridge goes bonkers (as it's usually the case when it comes to early failure in external HDD's - although mechanical HDD failure also shouldn't be excluded, though that seems pretty low), it would be a relatively simple matter to replace it with a quality one.

    I just don't understand why is it such an issue for the manufacturers to use quality parts? Sure, the price might go up a bit, but it wouldn't be THAT much more expensive (for them anyway).
    Although, I can easily see why this would happen - planned obsolescence taken to the extreme where you are forced to pay through the nose for data retrieval (in which case it's not worth it).

    So the M3 4TB should have a SATA bridge?
    Any way to confirm it just in case?
    Was thinking on going to Argos to collect in the day if they do.
     
  4. Starlight5

    Starlight5 W I N T E R B O R N

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    @Deks sadly I can't confirm it regarding M3; FWIW on eBay someone sells 4TB drives pulled from STDR4000 and their enclosures separately. And all micro USB connectors are common point of failure themselves.
     
  5. Porter

    Porter Notebook Deity

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    I'l give a couple data points from my experiences. I have two of the STDA4000 I got off amazon august 2014 and June 2015 and they have worked flawless for me on many machines and many backups cycles. One of them I even parted out to install the drives in a laptop, and eventually put it back together and have been using it as an external ever since.
     
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  6. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    I got myself the M3 4TB drive.
    £119

    Transfer speeds seem a bit sluggish but manageable. We'll see how it ends up performing.
    Right now though its good that I got myself 4TB because I can easily store some large files I had.
     
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  7. Starlight5

    Starlight5 W I N T E R B O R N

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    @Porter thank you for the feedback on STDA4000. Are there the usual ST2000LM003 drives inside it? If yes, I might try to get the enclosure with RAID controller separately, and reuse mine.

    @Deks good luck - and let us know if you decide to open it. (=
     
  8. Porter

    Porter Notebook Deity

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    Yes I am certain it was that drive, which was the first 9.5mm 2TB drive to market if I remember correctly.
     
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  9. TomJGX

    TomJGX I HATE BGA!

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    Indeed it was...
     
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