back to article Portable drive, 5TB capacity. Hmm, there's something fishy here

Sitting in my desk drawer is a 500GB Hitachi Life Studio Mobile. External drive, pathetic capacity. Seagate has a 5TB Backup Plus Portable external drive in the same physical size, with ten times as much storage space. The Backup Plus is 20mm thick and comes in 4TB or 5TB configurations having, we understand, a 15mm thick …

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Windows

Onedrive?

5TB drive, 200GB OneDrive? Bit of a mismatch or was this done before MS reduced everyone's storage space.

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How much is Seagate paying for this advertorial...?

comparing a new drive to the totally outdated drive on your desk is as irrelevant as it gets.

I'll stick with my 2.5" 4TB Samsung drive that still came out of an actual Samsung factory and

... it didn't come with a shitty, failure prone Barracuda.

Also look at the difference in first year failure rates between Seagate and HGST drives: almost 20% vs 1.5%.

You'll probably be better off with your old HGST.

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"The Hitachi Life Studio drive is in my waste bin now. Six years on it still works but 500GB is smaller than a decent USB stick's capacity now and the drive is useless."

Did you mix up MB and GB by any chance?

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@tin 2

I was wondering where I can get a 500gb usb drive, guess I'll be dumpster diving for this one?

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... in my waste bin now ...

Let me commend to you groups such as Freecycle and Freegle. It may take a bit of effort to give away stuff that is still useful rather than to simply dump it but it does help make the world a nicer place.

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Try Google, this is the top of the list:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/HyperX-DataTraveler-Predator-Flash-Drive/dp/B00AV3XGPW

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Freecycle

To all the peeps saying Freecycle it, I can understand the sentiment but there's no way I'd give a used hard disk of mine to anybody else. I'd be forever worrying I'd left some personal data on it. (and yes I know you can secure erase using software, but I was always taught the only way to properly erase a hard disk was with a large hammer)

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Re: Freecycle

@Lord Elpussy

Well, you were taught wrong. You can securely erase a drive with a multi-pass protocol that will protect you from anyone short of a nation-state. Quit being overly paranoid and egocentric.

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Black Helicopters

Re: Freecycle

@Laz. One pass is enough. All that crap about multi-pass is overkill.

"The notion that overwritten sectors can be recovered by searching for 'shadow' copies on today's hard drives is false."

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2477228/data-privacy/is-overwritten-data-really-unrecoverable-.html

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Re: ... in my waste bin now ...

Locally it's Craigslist "Free" to find new homes for old tech.

Or vice versa. Picked up a lovely Samsung colour laser last month for free.

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Mushroom

Possibly a GB/MB mix up, or just a bit of exageration, as you can get USB drivesthat size, but there are VERY expensive.

But I would just like to add that the chances of the Seagate still working in 6 years time are remote at best; I have Hitachi and WD drives that have lasted over a decade, but my record for Seagate is 5 years, and more than one has failed inside the warranty period - despite this fact, Seagate have failed to replace them, so FUCK YOU Seagate, you will never get another penny of my hard earned cash.

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only £292 effing bargain. I'll chuck my spinning rust in the bin right now*

*that's really what I meant. Already checked that you can actually get 512+ GB pens at mymemory, but they're still 3-4x the price of a hard drive.

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Thumb Up

"the only way to properly erase a hard disk was with a large hammer"

Large axe is more fun.

Especially if you take it to work.

Need a decent block to go with it though ...

Lart? what lart?

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FAIL

Hitachi will last longer

You should rescue it. Hitachi's are way more reliable, according to BackBlaze's stats.

There are 14% odds of you losing your Seagate data in a year.

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Re: Freecycle

@LazLong My security is my business, not yours or anybody else's. You have no idea what I store on my hard disks. For all you know, I work for the government and have classified data that must be securely destroyed. I don't, but you didn't know that.

And you need to check your dictionary; I don't think you know what egocentric means.

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Pint

Re: Freecycle

@Lord. It is your business, but you also made it our business when you posted bad advice. On here people like to post informative stuff and correct any bad thinking, especially when someone appears to advocate wasting stuff for no good reason. Overwriting the data is more secure than smashing up the disk. If you whack it, someone could still (theoretically) get the platters, or parts of them, and extract some data. If you overwrite the data, it's gone forever. The stuff from the early 90s about recovering erased data from a floppy disk won't work anymore. (I posted a link above explaining why) What you were 'taught' is not true for today's tech, and Laz was pointing that out to you.

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I found a review from 2010, it was an easy search.

500GB or 320GB, there were two models, but USB2 so a bit slow for today.

But you can store a huge amount of data in 500GB. What on earth is this guy doing that 500GB on a powered-down drive isn't a useful amount of backed-up data?

(If it's the only copy, it isn't a back-up.)

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Re: Freecycle

Lord Elpuss: ”For all you know, I work for the government and have classified data that must be securely destroyed."

Or left unencrypted on public transport.

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Re: Freecycle

@Symon I wasn't offering advice, simply stating my opinion. It's as valid as yours or anybody else's, even if you disagree.

Physical destruction still remains the preferred method of data deletion for governments, I just checked with our legal department here and they also require physical disk destruction for certain data types; although here they do it with a furnace apparently.

For my needs it's almost certainly overkill, I agree. But when an agency needs to choose been destroying an asset worth about 10 quid and potential exposure to millions of dollars in losses because somebody didn't configure the secure erase properly, they'll choose the physical option every time.

For what it's worth, given that this thread is dragging on now, the reason for my paranoia is that I 'securely' erased my girlfriend's home PC a couple of years back so she could give it away, and I cocked it up (or the software malfunctioned - I still don't know). Either way she got a phone call from her relative a few days later asking if she wanted her files back or could they be safely erased. I suspect I ran the software in simulation mode. This was years ago, and she still keeps bringing it up every time we have an argument.

Hence if I have to choose between a 'degree' of uncertainty (even user-caused) or absolute, rock-solid certainty, I'll choose for the option that lets me sleep at night.

Peace.

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Re: Freecycle

"a multi-pass protocol"

I call it a hammer (On Spinning Rust Only though), although if I am honest I tend to replace the drives in these caddies as they can make decent spare devices with a cheap replacement drive.

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Re: Freecycle

"The notion that overwritten sectors can be recovered by searching for 'shadow' copies on today's hard drives is false."

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2477228/data-privacy/is-overwritten-data-really-unrecoverable-.html

I'll believe it when the NSA immediately returns a wiped hard drive after seizing it. Otherwise, we can't rule out black tech belonging to state agencies (with deep pockets and big brains) that can still accomplish the feat today.

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Unhappy

Landfill Disks?

The Hitachi Life Studio drive is in my waste bin now.

I think a better alternative would have been to FreeCycle it. There's a lot of people for whom 500GB is a lot of storage. It's certainly more than the personal digital data for the vast majority of the population. Why throw it away when you can give it away?

Six years on it still works but 500GB is smaller than a decent USB stick's capacity now and the drive is useless.

As for switching to flash, a quick scan of a well-known IT retailer lists a 512GB USB pen drive at £190, and a 500GB portable disk at £37. It must be nice to be in a situation where the price difference between the two isn't important.

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Re: Landfill Disks?

Beat me to it - although I'd have been asking "why not just put a bigger drive in it?"

Whichever route you take, it's a hell of a sight less wasteful than just binning something - even if it isn't useful to you any more, there are likely a whole bunch of folks who *could* use a 'measly' 500Gb drive.

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Re: Landfill Disks?

"It must be nice to be in a situation where the price difference between the two isn't important."

I wonder if tech journos still get loads of freebies?

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Re: Landfill Disks?

Err, if the bin men havent been yet, can I have it? I am building a PC for my sisters 2 y/o and being unemployed for the last year, money is tight.

(Her husband died 12 days before Christmas last year, so the family are doing everything they can to take her mind off of it).

I have most of the parts, but a 500GB HDD is a lot better than a 160GB drive, which is the only reliable spare I have right now.

(I had multiple Seagate failures just after Christmas last year, so no spares left).

I know it sounds like a sob story, but it is true, he was helping his brother when he fell 15m through a barn roof, I'll PM the details if you want.

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And the problems are with the software...

The included NTFS driver for Mac makes it interchangeable between Windows and Apple notebooks.

Ye gods, what a craptacularly idiotic idea! Who the heck would want to trust their important data to non-native filesystems that are being handled by Seagate software?!?!

That's a genuinely scary thought.

A quick googling shows that they're probably using a licensed version of Paragon Software Group's NTFS drivers - which I'm sure are fine. But for my backups, I'd rather have a native filesystem please...

(Yes, you can just format it. But how many people are going to do that? There must be a better way...)

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Re: And the problems are with the software...

"Yes, you can just format it. But how many people are going to do that? There must be a better way..."

There isn't, not if you want to reach the most people possible. At least MacOS and Linux both grok NTFS, which is the native OS of practically any Windows machine out there today (and Windows still outnumber MacOS by a wide margin in the consumer and workstation sphere, where this type of drive would be most useful). Windows doesn't grok HPFS or any Extended filesystem, and drivers for them can be really hit or miss.

Now, if someone out there had been able to bring a third-party filesystem into the mainstream such that they can actually coerce Windows into supporting it, then we wouldn't be having this discussion. But as it stands, business follows the customer...so your options are either NTFS or exFAT. As the saying goes, pick your poison.

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Re: And the problems are with the software...

There are plenty of choices but you'll not coerce Windows into anything. Why would they? The time for them to come to the party will be when the OS really starts to die a death, that's when interoperability will come to the fore.

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Re: And the problems are with the software...

Name some that can match up with NTFS in both performance and realiability and can be run by all three OS's (and last I checked, you don't need Microsoft's blessing to write a filesystem driver since drivers do exist for ext and HPFS for Windows--they're just, like I said, not mature yet as in not at v1.0).

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Got out some old SCSI drives yesterday including a Seagate Barracuda of about 2GB I think. It's a noisy beast.

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Boffin

Noisy, maybe, but I bet it's got some proper magnets in it rather than the compass needle you get in modern drives.

Oh, the number of HDDs I've pulled apart in my life.....

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I can't beat 2GB, but I've got a 3.2GB IBM DeskStar here. It still spins up, with the added benefit of a hell of a startup whine. Sounds like an A380 going to full throttle.

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It's hard to believe an ibm deathstar is still functional after all this time

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HAH!!

I havent checked it in a while, but I still have a 200MB MFM drive sitting in an Amiga (in the loft)

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Anonymous Coward

Don't through the Hitachi away, give it to me!

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WTF?

Let's see, a misleading headline that states there may be a problem with the drive (something fishy here). Instead of an article about problems with the drive, it's actually an ad for said drive disguised as an article. Is this el Reg's way of getting advertising around ad block software?

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You'd have thought they could have thrown a few benchmarks in there to make it at least look like they did something with the drive!

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Re: misleading headline: NOT

"states there may be a problem with the drive (something fishy here)"

No, it doesn't

Something fishy = "BarraCuda inside"

"The barracuda is a ray-finned fish known for its large size, fearsome appearance and furious behaviour. The barracuda is a saltwater fish of the genus Sphyraena, the only genus in the family Sphyraenidae, and is found in tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide ranging from the Eastern border of the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea and Caribbean Sea. They are found near the top of the water and near coral reefs and sea grasses"

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Anonymous Coward

Erm, maybe because it contains a Barracuda drive? Still a crap headline.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Please notice both the 4TB and 5TB external drives are of the SMR type. They are good for backup and archive, but poor write performance for general use. The highest capacity PMR (ordinary type harddrive) are 3TB from Toshiba.

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They would also be OK for WORM-type usage such as media file storage and playback.

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Anonymous Coward

Any chance of an actual review as opposed to having to believe a regurgitated press release, that's just bound to say lots of nice things about the product, and nothing about the problems, downsides etc.

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Anonymous Coward

if you're hoping for a real-life review, best study amazon reviews. Filter out the idiot reviews from both ends, look at both us and uk, and de, if you feel brave, and then MAYBE you'll get something approaching true picture.

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"Any chance of an actual review as opposed to having to believe a regurgitated press release, that's just bound to say lots of nice things about the product, and nothing about the problems, downsides etc."

That would depend on whether the author wants to get on the "No freebies ever again" list.

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Anonymous Coward

500GB is smaller than a decent USB stick's capacity

clickbait :(

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Hmm, NHS IT may need to buy a few of these for their email system right now.

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Nice Advert.

Did it pay well?

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Really?

I have had one of those 5 Terabyte seagates for at least three months. And the reviews start in March on Best Buy.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/seagate-backup-plus-5tb-external-usb-3-0-2-0-hard-drive-silver/4792600.p?skuId=4792600

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