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External 1 TB hard drives are now less than $100. Which are least prone to problems? Manufacturer and model:

Type: General

Submitted by lk2fireone (196)
Iomega Prestige 4% 1 Votes
Seagate 18% 5 Votes
Western Digital 57% 16 Votes
Other 21% 6 Votes

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28 Votes Total

Nov 26, 2009

Poll Replies (23)

Replies to the user poll above.

Msg # User Message Date


exotics4me (463) Really good question.

I'll give you some of my results so far using at least one of each of these brands.

Iomega Prestige - I have 3 of these, all are 1 TB. I've had zero problems with them and one is over a year old. I don't know if it would make a difference, but they do have a manual on/off switch on them, so you don't have to run it the whole time your PC is on. This also can be a problem since I've often left mine on for weeks since I forget to turn it off. It also is by far the quietest and runs coolest of the three. The only noise is when you first turn it on and it lasts about 5 seconds. One other advantage, the Prestige comes formatted in NTFS instead of Fat 32. I guess the quietness of it can be shown by my leaving it on accidentally. The only flaw I've noticed is a fairly big on light that will light a room up. I just put a piece of tape over it.

I have 1 Seagate Free Agent Desk 1TB. I haven't had any problems with it, but it gets moody. It goes into sleep mode, you move your mouse and it wakes up, "whiiiiiiz" all day long whiiiiz. It is to the point that I completely unplug it and use it only to store anything that I'm not positive that I'm going to keep. I do think it is very sturdy and dependable though. I've had it for about 16 months.

Western Digital MyBook - I've had 4 (two 500 GB, two 1 TB) total and two of them died on me, a 500 GB and a 1 TB. These are really good when they are working. There are a few things about it though that I don't like even when working. It stays on as long as your PC is on. When it wakes up from sleep mode it triggers my anti-virus. It also is the noisiest of the three. And much like the annoying light on the Iomega, the MyBook has a circle or strip on the front of it that lights up all the time and flashes when in use. The circle itself is bigger than a silver dollar and depending on which model can either be a green light or blue one. Put two of them together, one green and one blue, you will look like you have a Christmas computer desk!

One last one, I had a Lacie 1TB as my first 1TB. It was very good, but it ran very hot. It still works though. I've had it nearly 2 years, but I won't leave it plugged it up.

11-26-09  12:54am

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RagingBuddhist (65) You do know that this is one of those polls that will get some people swearing they prefer a brand that others think is garbage, right? Anyway, here's my take.

I have 4 Iomega externals that seem to run flawlessly. The oldest two are about 2 years old. They're solidly built, with the drive attached to the aluminum housing with a thermal pad for better heat dissipation.

I had a Seagate Free Agent for all of one day. It kept overheating and would cut out in the middle of writing to the drive. The forums and tech sites seemed to be full of people with the same issue. It went back to the store.

I also had two Hitachi externals, both of which I wound up taking apart to use as internal drives. They also kept overheating. The drives are fine - the plastic housing just didn't allow the heat to dissipate properly. Another known issue on the forums.

Western Digitals I won't touch. When WD dropped their warranty on their internal drives from five years to three, I suddenly found I had multiple drives dying within a year. My history with the internals won't let me try one of their externals.

11-26-09  01:05am

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Drooler (220) Shit. I have a Western Digital 500 GB. Don't die! PLEASE DON'T DIE!!!!
11-26-09  02:49am

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Denner (235) Oh. yes - we need more space.... with all those damn large, newer video-files.
Got two Maxtor/Seagate (300 Gb and 500 Gb) - one three years old - when it was still Maxtor - and the other a year old.
Both works with no problems. Except for what exoctic also say - they 'go to sleep' when you do not use them for some time - and you have to wait 5-10 seconds, before they 'wake up'...
Just got a new PC (Acer Aspire 7Gb and 700 Mb space) but still considering getting another external - right now there's a Packard Bell 1Tb for about $100...is that brand ok??? - or should I keep looking?
Still wanting more and more space - because I have to second RagingBuddhist's earlier statement:
'Deleting - what is that?'

11-26-09  05:23am

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james4096 (126) I've never had any problems with the WD MyBooks, but I maybe I will in another year.

As far as internals go, I've seen two of the same model seagate 300 Gb die on someone i know.
Last week another guy I know lost a WD, but it was pretty damn old.

11-26-09  05:49am

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Jay G (67) 2 Western Digital "Passports" with no problems so far is my experience (fingers crossed).
11-26-09  06:29am

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pat362 (373) I don't own an external drive but based on some of youtr comments. I'm going with an Iomega Prestige.
11-26-09  06:38am

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littlejoe (23) ive always heard seagate for internal drives, ext are a toss up between seagate and western digital. i actually have a 1tb wd ext i use regularly, then a 750gb seagate internal i use to backup the ext drive on occasion

i should note that neither of these drives are attached to the computer. i only install them/plug them in when i want to use them. that should extend their life a lot

11-26-09  07:58am

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Capn (28) Toshiba.

Reliable performance. Good build quality.

Decent price.


11-26-09  09:13am

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Monahan (42) I have 1 IOmega 1Tb, 1 Seagate 1.5Tb and 1 1Tb WD (plus a few 750's and 640's).

The IOmega works intermittently, and clicks a lot, a very bad sign. Neither IOmega nor the retailer will work with me because I, unfortunately, told the truth, that the drive worked sometimes and others just sat there doing nothing. It must be inoperative, and only during the warranty period.

The Seagate 1.5 Tb works fast, quietly and reliably and has a few nice software features as well. And, unlike the IOmega, but like the WD, I was able to reformat to NTSF for better performance before loading my stash. And at $119.00 the cost per Gig was the lowest.

The WD is fine. Slower at times and I can't play some HD vids without some stuttering on occasion, but it cost me only $89 so I can't complain.

My next one will probably be another Seagate. WD maybe. IOmega, never.

Somewhat off topic; with the lower cost of drives, likely to go even lower, I'm thinking about redundant backups so if I have a drive go bad, I won't lose my stash.

11-26-09  11:56am

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RagingBuddhist (65) REPLY TO #10 - Monahan :

Your Iomega came formatted to FAT32? What utility did you try to format with? Windows Disk Management should handle an NTFS format, no problem.

The redundant drive thing is a definite thumbs up. I've got copies of everything I really want to save, just sitting on a shelf. I lost a 750 gig not too long ago and had everything loaded into a new backup in a few hours. Plus, it beats the hell out of burning 12,000 DVD's!

11-26-09  03:31pm

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Monahan (42) REPLY TO #11 - RagingBuddhist :

They all were FAT32 out of the box. Seagate and WD had software onboard that I copied off then reformatted to NTSF. No problem at all.

IOmega, however, had software that was copyright protected so I could not copy it. The software was not important to me because it was a basic automatic backup utility so I decided to just reformat the drive and lose the software.

But the copy protection apparently blocked the reformat

11-26-09  06:47pm

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turboshaft (24) Western Digital (I hope!).

I own two and they are both still working fine -- a My Book and Passport, both 500 Gb. A lot of WDs seem to have a reputation for behaving like rock stars; fun while they are alive, but short-lived nonetheless. I don't really know what the problem is, whether they have poor quality control standards, or just manufacture so many and their intention is affordability not reliability, or it is something else entirely.

I have read some favorable reviews of Iomega external drives, though they seem to be pricier than other brands. I also own a 4yr old 300 Gb Maxtor (now Seagate) external drive, but it's actually a non-porn drive if anyone can comprehend such a thing. It's kind of nice; an on/off switch, USB and FireWire ports, but it is also a little bulky by today's standards and is pretty loud when I first fire it up.

Where's badandy on this one? I bet he could start a whole site about hard drive reliability and setup. :)

11-26-09  10:41pm

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rearadmiral (380) I have eight Western Digital Passport drives. The oldest us probably five years old now. They aren't plugged in all the time, but I've had no problems with them at all. I like the passports because all they need is USB and not AC.
11-27-09  06:14am

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exotics4me (463) REPLY TO #13 - turboshaft :

Amazon is running a special on the Iomega Prestige 1 TB right now for $89

That's the one I have 3 of with no problems.

11-27-09  06:28am

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exotics4me (463) REPLY TO #10 - Monahan :

The newer Iomega's are much different than the last generation ones. I'm not positive, but I think that is why they include Prestige in the name.

I debated on getting one for nearly a month because I can remember when Iomega Zip Drives were a big thing and I had terrible problems with those. But these Iomega Prestige externals really seem to be nice. They aren't much bigger than the Passport drives.

11-27-09  06:38am

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RagingBuddhist (65) REPLY TO #16 - exotics4me :

That almost has to be the case. I haven't seen an external formatted to FAT32 in ages. I know some drives were shipped without being formatted so Mac users could format to HFS but, other than that, it's been NTFS for quite a few years now.
11-27-09  11:38am

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Monahan (42) REPLY TO #16 - exotics4me :

That explains, at least in part, the pricing of the IOmega special deals; they're dumping the old guys.

Saw a 2 Tb (no-name) on sale today for $188.00. I remember in 2006 a good price was determined by it being under $1.00 per Gb. Now it's under $0.10 per Gb.

The solid state drives that haven't really been a big deal yet, will likely replace the current drives and, when an SSD price comes down more, it will probably bring the price of the current hardware down a whole lot more before they become dinosaurs.

Here's more: Review: Hard disk vs. solid-state drive -- is an SSD worth the money?

11-27-09  08:18pm

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exotics4me (463) REPLY TO #18 - Monahan :

Interesting review on the SSD. I wasn't very familiar with them until now. I would never buy an Ipod because of the concern of moving parts moving while working out.

Oh, Super Target has a Western Digital Elements 1 TB right now for $59. We stopped at three in Fresno and all 3 said they sold out of them before 8 AM! The way the electronics manager talked they would have that price going all week. I'm sure they will sell out everyday by 8 AM.

I would say you are right about Iomega dumping the old ones. We also went by one of the Office supplies stores. They had an older Iomega, the one with the one touch menu button on top for $39 for 500 GB. They're also trying to go green with the Iomega eGo externals.

11-27-09  08:57pm

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exotics4me (463) REPLY TO #17 - RagingBuddhist :

Can't say I agree RB. Western Digital has a whole line of externals that are pre-formatted in Fat32 as were the four WD MyBooks I have. Iomega had been shipping from the factory in Fat32 also until the Prestige line came out. It is listed as one of the features on the box, "Now in NTFS out of the box". The Seagate I have also was pre-formatted in Fat32.

There is at least one thread, maybe two, in the forum talking about externals coming pre-formatted in Fat32. Seems like Drooler had a problem a year or so ago with a pre-formatted Fat32. The newest of my WDs was manufactured in March 2009 and it was Fat32 also.

11-27-09  09:07pm

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RagingBuddhist (65) REPLY TO #20 - exotics4me :

I guess I've been lucky with what I've bought, or maybe it's when I've bought. I just know I haven't seen a FAT32 drive in ages - and happily so. As far as the WD drives go, I couldn't tell you what they have - they're still poison to me. But, I have to admit, with some of the prices I've seen on the WD's, they're getting more and more tempting.
11-29-09  03:26pm

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lk2fireone (196) exotics4me, you talked me into buying the Iomega Prestige 1 TB at Amazon. I placed my order today. If I have any problems with the hard drive, I'm shipping it to you for my refund.
11-30-09  04:24pm

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Torn4do (13) I've been lucky so far with Western Digital, and heard some pretty bad things about Seagate's quality nowadays.
12-02-09  04:28pm

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