back to article Seagate intros Innov8: A USB-powered 8TB external hard drive

Seagate has introduced an 8TB external drive with no need for its own power cord. Like 2.5-inch external drives which abandoned power cords ages ago, the 3.5-inch innov8 draws power from its host through its USB C wire. Seagate says it uses Ignition Boost Technology “which eliminates the need for a power adapter on an 8 TB …

  1. russsh

    Ignition Boost

    So it's a lithium battery then?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ignition Boost

      Or a "buck" unit that can take 3>12v and output anything from 4.5 to 48v at about 1500mAh.

      If a USB 2 port can power an old 2.5 inch drive from yesteryear with no power adapter, then its a possibility...

      They cost about £2 from your favourite online tat bazaar.

  2. Gulraj Rijhwani

    Built in incapacity?

    So - does this mean that when the battery dies faster than the primary disk, it will no longer be able to start, and essentially become an 8TB brick? Sounds like built-in obsolesence being hidden behind a veneer of convenience.

    1. Simon Ward

      Re: Built in incapacity?

      It's a Seagate drive - if past experience with their hardware is any indication, it'll probably turn into an 8TB brick approximately 20 minutes after you spin the bloody thing up.

      1. Gulraj Rijhwani

        Re: Built in incapacity?

        Not a fair assessment in my experience. I have had several Seagate drives all of which have lived, or continue to live, well beyond their expected endurance. Not a statistically sound sample, I'll grant, but I have no cause to complain.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Built in incapacity?

          "I have had several Seagate drives all of which have lived, or continue to live, well beyond their expected endurance. "

          So do I - but this is outweighed by having a lot more drives which haven't survived their warranty period.

          DM-series Barracudas are a standout. NONE of them have gone past 14 months in service, with most failing at 11-12 months (several hundred drives). This is the first time I've ever seen a particular model of drive from any manufacturer have 100%+ mortality inside warranty period.

      2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Built in incapacity?

        Having recently pulled apart my 2tb seagate external drive after it stopped working to find a perfectly fine harddisk with a dead sata to USB3 header I wouldn't trust the non drive bits to last a month after the warranty expires...

        Fire because it's a battery near something that just might warm up a touch....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Built in incapacity?

      Surely they're not that thick.

      If the battery is too flat to spin the drive up, I'd hope that it sits there charging for a little while and then kicks into life.

      OK, if you haven't used the disk in a while it might take a minute or two to spin up, but you can spend that time waiting for Windows to recognise that something has been plugged in.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Built in incapacity?

        OK, if you haven't used the disk in a while it might take a minute or two to spin up, but you can spend that time waiting for Windows to recognise that something has been plugged in.

        It seems to me that with every 'security' patch Windows gets less and less inclined to recognise USB drives when plugged in.

        I've even had it ask me if I want to Format the drive. The strange thing is that the drive had been used on that very system less than 10 minutes beforehand. Yes, It was unmounted cleanly.

      2. Gulraj Rijhwani

        Re: Built in incapacity?

        When I say "dies" I mean ceases to hold a charge. Rechargeables on constant maintenance charge (as in this use case) die a lot faster, and additionally if they are not taken through a full discharge cycle periodically their total capacity diminishes. Modern cells are less prone to memory effect than older technologies, but it still happens. The battery will eventually cease to function, and probably before the electromechanical parts of the drive itself.

        1. Frenchie Lad

          Re: Built in incapacity?

          Save yourselves all this anguish about battery like, just buy the disk for a lot less and stuff it into an old PC for backup. I doubt that anyone seriously requires to wander around with an 8TB archive disk be it with or without a power cord.

    3. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Built in incapacity?

      I don't like the sound of a shingled drive either. I'd rather have an inconvenient PSU and no shingles.

      I wonder what is in my Seagate 1T drive? it replaced a WD 1T USB drive that died without warning. The WD is a USB drive controller, no internal SATA/PATA. I have a bunch of WD 1T desktop drives too, that I mean to connect a terminal to, I think they died of faulty firmware and you can revive them. No receipts :(

  3. Gene Cash Silver badge
    FAIL

    "hardly a true engineering milestone"

    Really? So why didn't you or anyone else think of this a while ago?

    This is far more innovative and patentable than say, round corners. It's a really clever solution to a long-standing problem.

    Shingled recording however, is not, and means I won't be buying it.

  4. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

    Is it really a battery...?

    If it is just to handle motor start (which is the obvious high-power phase of a drive) then why use a chemical battery, as opposed to, say, a supercapacitor.

    Then you need a "health" feedback signal from the supercap to the drive controller so that the drive knows not to schedule too many head seeks in a row (i.e. if the supercap voltage is less than X, delay seek until it's greater than Y).

    [ Surely it's not just me who has used one of those cables with two type A connectors to start a portable drive, then unplug the "power only" connector to put the mouse back in? ]

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This assumes two things, first, the host system has a USB-C connector and second, whatever is using it has a large enough battery capacity, or are you supposed to use the host system plugged into power.

    If this actually works, how long before power adapters appear to allow powering it off the mains?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    What has me puzzled...

    is what's the heck would you use it for? I'm pretty much the poster-boy for pack-ratting reference materials, utilities (that occupy whole virtual machines of their own), and data sets. Multimedia is about the only thing I can come up with. And the whole shingling thang is problematic there, unless there's some data magic behind the scenes tailored for streamed, serial I/O on SMR. Even so, I'd have to have at least two, too terrified of losing everything when one is lost, damaged, or stolen.

    Speaking of the latter case, getting through airport/customs without having the drive audited. They'd have to keep it in order to do it correctly. (How does SMR work with Full Drive Encryption?) For a long, long while.

  7. Johnsz

    Chill Out Peple

    For crying out loud how about some perspective here people? Has anyone ever used one of those drives with two USB ports, one for power? They're terrible! Having a small internal battery sounds like quite a useful feature for portable drives. The fact that no one has done this before just means that Seagate has done something quite wonderful. "Obvious" would probably lead one to the conclusion that all disk manufacturers don't understand their markets. A better analysis is that these manufacturers do not want to spend an extra penny for something useful to their customers!

    Now maybe we'll see some high performance large drives that can be used simply on a bunch of systems with tiny internal disks. Presently most of them!

    Congratulations Seagate!

  8. Sureo

    Is it really 8TB?

    Windows reports my "2TB" Seagate drive capacity is 1863.04GB. What will this one say? 7452GB? (Yes I know there's overhead but really...)

    1. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: Is it really 8TB?

      I suspect it is 8TB unformatted as drive manufacturers report sizes, ie 1TB = 1,000,000,000,000 bytes as opposed to 1099511627776 bytes that you might be expecting.

      In addition to to the TB/TiB difference you will also have the usual loss of capacity due to formatting.

      (yes, it annoys me too even though 1TB being 10004 is mathematically (decimal) correct, being an old fogey the binary 10244 is what would seem more logical)

      1. PCComf

        Re: Is it really 8TB?

        I see this complaint so often I'm surprised an enterprising marketer at one of these HDD companies hasn't said something to the effect, "Hey, let's slightly increase the size of our drives so they format exactly at nTB, mark them as TRUE nTB drives and talk bad about how everyone else is cheating you. We can charge more for the drive and with the "TRUE" branding we'll sell more."

  9. Disk0

    No brick to lose/store/break

    seems ideal for archiving. Safe space is expensive...

  10. Alan Brown Silver badge

    USB-C

    Or in other words:

    1: Not plugging into very many existing systems

    2: Taking advantage of the much higher power delivery abilities of this form factor.

    1. M man

      Re: USB-C

      Its called ....THA FUCHAAAA

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