Seagate FreeAgent Go 500Gb External Hard Drive


TestFreaks Data











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During my visit to the Pepcom Holiday Spectacular the folks from Seagate were previewing their latest docks for their FreeAgent Go hard drives – the Free Agent Theatre and the Free Agent Dockstar. Of course to be able to use these drives one needs to have a FreeAgent Go portable hard drive. Seagate was kind enough to provide a FreeAgent Go for technogog to test out before we get a chance to check out one or both of the above-mentioned docks.

This docking capability is one of the things that sets the Seagate FreeAgent Go apart from its competitors. It is one of the thinner, sleeker drives on the market and is probably one of the most stylish. These drives are available in ten different colors and can be personalized with MusicSkins specifically designed for the Seagate FreeAgent Go.

The Seagate FreeAgent Go arrives in the plastic clamshell packaging that requires the Jaws of Life to open. Why companies still use this packaging is beyond me. Using surgical precision and a pair of scissors I was able to secure the contents of the package without any bodily harm to myself or the contents. Found within packaging is the Seagate FreeAgent Go, a USB cable (mini-USB to USB Type A) and a User guide.

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The Seagate FreeAgent Go comes in ten colors (Titanium Silver, Tuxedo Black, Ruby Red, Royal Blue, Sky Blue, Solar Orange, Forest Green, Think Pink, Champagne Gold, and Spring Green) and the following sizes – 250 GB, 320 GB, 500 GB and 640 GB. For today’s review we will be looking at the Titanium Silver 500 GB model. The Seagate FreeAgent Go measures 5.12″ x 3.15″ x 0.49″ and weighs 5.64 oz. The hard drive found within the enclosure is a 2.5″ 5400-rpm drive.

Unlike its competitors whose drives are generally protected by a plastic shell, the Seagate FreeAgent Go is composed of a metal on the top and bottom of the enclosure with a white plastic section in the middle. The top of the drive has a brushed metal texture and tapers down on the front of the drive which gives it a sleek and sexy look. Just above this taper is the Seagate logo embossed in the metal.

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Towards the back of the drive we see a series of small pinhole openings which help vent the drive. Beneath these opening is a white activity indicator light. When the drive is in use this light pulsates instead of blinking. The light can be turned off via the Seagate Manager software found on the drive.

At the end of the device is a mini USB connector which attaches to the included cable. To use the drive simply plug in this cable into a powered PC or a Mac USB port. Previous versions of the Seagate FreeAgent Go used a Y-USB cable to provide enough power for the drive. This newer model only requires a single USB port for providing the 500 milliamps required for power.

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The Seagate FreeAgent Go can be used as a stand alone device or in conjunction with one of several Seagate docks including the FreeAgent Go Dock, Free Agent Dock +, Free Agent Theatre + and the FreeAgent Dockstar. When using one of these docks simply slide the FreeAgent Go onto the mini USB connector and attach the dock to the appropriate interface.

Included with the drive is a Quick Start Guide which pictorially demonstrates how to use the drive with a computer. For more detailed information there is a user’s guide found on the actual hard drive. Also included on this drive is the Seagate Manager software which controls the settings on the drive and automated incremental backups, file and folder synchronization and encryption. The hard drive works perfectly with all three operating systems but the additional bundled software is designed for Windows XP and Vista. Mac and Linux users need not apply.

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The one caveat with this software is it only works with Seagate hard drives. Within the Seagate Manager the user can configure various settings such as power management, encryption, and closure lighting configurations as well as testing the hard drive from the My Drives tab.

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Backups, syncing and encryption are available under the Backup, Sync and Security tabs at the top of the manager.

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The encryption software uses the computer’s processing power for any encryption; this differs from other encryption solutions which use onboard dedicated hardware. The encryption software runs off the hard drive meaning it does not have to be installed of a computer connected to the Seagate FreeAgent Go.

Missing from the Seagate software bundle is the previously included Ceedo program; which allowed installation and running of applications off the Seagate drive itself.

Specifications:

FreeAgent Go

The ultimate portable storage solution with the world’s first hard drive docking station for easy access to all your stuff. Sleek, ultra-thin design that’s as stylish as it is striking.

Carry your data anywhere you want
Sync data between computers
Back up files using the optional dock
Store photos, music, and other files

Big capacity. Small package.
Get a lot without carrying a lot. And look good while you do it.
Available in 160GB, 250GB, 320GB, 500GB or 640GB capacity
The thinnest portable drive available. Even the cables are compact
Ten different colors to suit your style and let you tell one FreeAgent Go from the next

Simple backup and sync.

If it’s not easy, it won’t happen.
Automatic backup for peace of mind
Encryption technology keeps your files safe
Easy synchronization means you always have the most current version with you
Fast data transfer with USB

Go cable-free.

An optional desktop dock makes syncing a snap.
Access your files without fumbling for cables
Preloaded software means easy setup
All the little extras.
You don’t choose a drive based on these things. But you love them once you have them.
Power management features save energy
Five-year limited warranty

· Dimensions: 5.12″ x 3.15″ x 0.49″
· Weight: 5.64 oz.
· Available capacities: 250GB, 320GB, 500GB
· Drive type: 2.5″ 5400-rpm drive
· Speed: Undisclosed
· Power source: Bus-powered
· Software bundle: Seagate Manager
· Warranty: Five years
Contents
· Seagate FreeAgent Go
· USB cable (mini-USB to USB Type A)
· User guide

For testing I compared the Seagate FreeAgent Go to the Western Digital 400GB Passport 2.5-inch External Hard drive using DiskBench. I ran the Seagate FreeAgent Go using the Physical Disks Benchmark on Sandra 2009 Professional Business. The external drives were connected to my MacBook Pro running Windows XP SP2 through Boot Camp.

On DiskBench we see the Seagate FreeAgent Go was faster in copying and file creation, while the two drives were nearly equal in file reading.

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With the Sandra Physical Disks Benchmark we see an average read performance of 28.36 MB/s.

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These tests indicate that the Seagate FreeAgent Go is on par if not better than its main competitor.

Aesthetically the silver Seagate FreeAgent Go nicely complements the aluminum MacBook Pro.

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The power saving utility helps keeps the hard drive in standby when not in use preventing the Seagate FreeAgent Go from getting unnecessarily hot. The drive is thinner than the Passport and has a “solid” feel due to its metallic composition.

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On OS X the Seagate FreeAgent Go ran perfectly although there were no Seagate tools to be used on the Mac OS. Snow Leopard did list the drive volume to be 500GB as opposed to Windows which listed the drive as having a 465GB capacity.

Vista 64bit Windows versions do not work with the Seagate Manager. Sorry kids, it only a 32bit program. This is unfortunate as more and more people are starting to migrate into the world of 64 bit computing. Hopefully Seagate will resolve this issue with a future update.


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Conclusion:

Seagates revamp of their FreeAgent Go line is a big success. The new drives look and feel like they are meant to last. Their brushed metal appearance makes these drives look sleek and sexy. Want to personalize the drive so more? Then hop on over to MusicSkins and pick out a design for the FreeAgent Go.

As more people digitize their lives with pictures, videos and music; having up to 640 MB of storage in the palm of your hand is almost a necessity. The additional features found in the Seagate Manager make the Seagate FreeAgent Go even more useful. Plus the added ability of docking these drives onto Home Theatre and Networking solutions make these more than just a place to store ones data. Now you can watch movies, view pictures or listen to movies on your home entertainment system by plugging the Seagate FreeAgent Go into the Free Agent Theatre + or having worldwide access to your files and data through the internet using the Free Agent StarDock.

There are plenty of external hard drives out on the market, but if you want something that is stylish, well designed and has features unavailable to all the other drives then the Seagate FreeAgent Go is the one to get.

9

Pros:
+Well designed
+Attractive appearance
+Includes backup, sync and encryption software
+Runs off one USB connection
+Increased functionality with certain Seagate docks

Cons:
-Separate Windows and Mac versions
-Environmentally unfriendly clamshell plastic packaging
-Seagate Manager software does not work with Windows Vista 64 bit

Grades:
Overall score-9-10
Design score-10-10
Performance score-10-10
  • Stealth

    The FreeAgent Go will work with 64Bit Windows. You just need to get the updated software from Seagate. You can download it with a certificate from Seagate Support. It is free.

  • Stealth

    If you do not want the folder encryption then you can download the software from the downloads section of the Seagate website.

  • dave

    Hello,

    First time here and first post.

    I do photo editing.
    I use a home PC, but have recently picked up a Mac Book Pro 13
    to take with me when I travel, with the ideal of backing up my digital files mostly in Raw format as well as occational Jpegs. For a true back up, I want my files on more than just the Mac, so am very interested in the Seagate Free Agent 250GB. Question is which version am I better off with?

    PC or Mac?

    If I read the review correctly the PC version will work just fine with the Mac, just won’t have the working software, so I’ll need by hand to drag and drop?
    Which is not an issue for me.

    How will the Mac version work with my PC?

    Would I be better off going with the Mac version?

    My intent when I get back from a trip is simply to tranfer the Raw & Jpeg files to my PC.
    Not to use the Free Agent for doing back up from my PC.

    So it seems that if I want to use Seagates software on the Mac I need to get the Mac version, but will my PC have trouble seeing the hard drive/files?

    Any advise would be wellcome.

    Dave

    • Dogma_dogma

      Hi i have a personal question for you. Does photo reading really work ?
      i have scene the DVD presentations but am always in doubt if this is just a false bait to attract buyers or does this really work ?

  • Michael Kiseloff

    I’ve recently bought 1T 3.5” Seagate External Drive. This model does not provide power on/off switch. Do I need to unplug power cable every time I’ve ended a session ?

    • maga

      yes

  • Augustine Reis

    I have a “Lenovo” Laptop Intel Celeron (R) M CPU 430 @ 1.73GHz, 1.73 GHz, 1.49GB of RAM equipped with Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition version 2002 service Pack 2.

    My system cannot read the information on the my 500 GB Seagate Freeagent external hard drive using the supplied USB cable. The external drive does not come up at all. When plugged on other system, it is seen.

    Is a required driver missing out on my system?

    Please help

  • StamosD

    For Augustine:

    These drives consume a >lot< of power. Not all laptops are capable of giving the whole 500ma down one USB slot. You need to get a Y USB cable as mentioned in the article. 2 Plugs go into 2 USB slots on your laptop giving twice the power. Your drive will then be successfully recognized and the data read.
    Alternatively you will need to get a small powered USB hub to provide the needed oomph for the drive.

    I should know, my 500gig FreeAgent GO (older type?) causes my Sony Vaio P to completely crash and burn when plugged in, even with the supplied Y cable.

    For the reviewer:

    Win64 will run *all* 32bit programs. But not 16bit progams.
    64 bit programs are few and far between, absolutely not mainstream!

  • Kira

    How do I get it to work with my ps3 or xbox 360 so I can watch things I have stored on there??

  • yagiz_salor

    Thank you for your great test.

  • Tom

    The most annoying problem is that the drive insists on installing OVER FIVE HUNDRED MEGABYTES of junk in over a hundred folders and subfolders on the customer’s main hard drive (C:). The installation program asks only about installing the Muvee software, and then installs it anyway even if you tell it no. The rest of the junk files are loaded without even asking. Among the trash that Seagate feels entitled to stuff onto your hard drive are multiple pdf files of every version of the user license agreement for every country in every language. Despite the fact that the customer has to select both their country and language at the beginning of the installation, the install program still copies every version onto the customer’s main hard drive.

    And, if you try to contact Seagate tech support to ask if any of the files are really needed, you then discover that Seagate does not have any tech support available. All they have is a supposed “live chat” system, but after you fill out all the data required to enter the so-called “live chat” you get a prompt “How may I help you?” which turns out to be their server software pretending to be a live operator — but that is all you will ever get from the so-called “live chat”.

  • Russ

    Gosh… is this really the best of your product? I think this is the worts ever…. you need to shut down the entire company.

  • Angry Customer

    I am no longer able to see the drive listed
    under My Computer. I can not see any of my documents. This drives s*** I’m running Windows 7

  • Russ

    My gosh!!!! All of my precious data are all gone due to this product… and the technical support guy wasn’t usefull at all… Everything now are junks!!! I will never buy any of your S****D product I’ll rather buy HITACHI from now on!!!!!!

  • Angry Customer

    drive is not freindly I can even think I bought this drive

  • matt

    I bought a one push button backup from smalldrives here http://www.smalldrives.com the software for backup button is for windows – is there anyway I can get similar software but from my mac ? as it is it recognised on the mac but the backup button does nothing- any clues please ?

  • mandore 100

    1.7.2010 i bought a 320 free agent go ultra portable drive. upon plug-in my avira antivirus detected 2 virus [autorun….] & i cancel the scaning process later i rescan it with DR WEB CureIT again the 2 virus [autorun….] detected & cancel it again due to the pre loaded software on-drive [window only] might be missing any files. what should i do either to ignore the virus & proceed installation or delete the virus prior to installing the pre-loaded software. would anyone please help me with this calamity? thank you in advanced……..

  • vijay

    i got my new 500gb segate hardisc external its worked for a week verygood now its asking for drivers now i cannot open all my data is in the harddisc please help me where to locate the drivers for segate hardisc

  • http://www.pgvcl.com/ Deepak

    ii got my new 500gb segate hardisc external its worked for a week verygood now its asking for drivers now i cannot open all my data is in the harddisc please help me where to locate the drivers for segate hardisc…….
    plsssssssssss……………………..

  • Rajesh singh

    i got my new 500gb segate hardisc external its worked for a mont very nicely,but suddenly it started asking for drivers , now i cannot open all my data is in the harddisc ,i have atleast 350Gb of imp data in it ,kindly help,as i can not work.
    i relied on the HDD.
    Thanks,
    Regards,
    Rajesh.

  • Linda

    I have a 500 segate hard drive external, but now it wont read the drive and I have everything on it .. it started making a noise then stops .. please help me

  • vinay

    Hi i got a 500gb seagate external hard disk….but it has oly 465 gb…!is it an issue?? please help me…

  • Tom Laprise

    You can download the Seagate DiscWizard on the Seagate site that offer free disc image capability (lite version of Acronis True Image).

    VERRRRRY USEFULL!

  • http://www.funonnet2.netfirms.com Sukhdev Taneja

    I have a Assembled Computer with Processor Intel Dual Core (R) @ 270 GHz, 3 GB of RAM equipped with Microsoft Windows XP Professional Edition version 2005 service Pack 3 with Wi-Fi Netgear 108 Mbps Lan Card and Internal Pixelview TV Tuner Card.

    I have just bought this external harddisk today from market. But My system cannot read the information on the my 500 GB Seagate Freeagent go external hard drive using the supplied USB cable. The external drive does not come up at all. Is a required driver missing out on my system? When I connect my 500 Gb Seagate Freegent go External Hard drive, it always ask for drivers and show message at last “The hardware was not installed because the wizard cannot find the necessary software.” I think that my Windows have some missing driver for this products. I have successfully running Freecom External 160 Gb Harddrive and Enter 2.5” HDD External Case without Drivers on my computer. Do I need to get a Y USB cable which have two USB cable (one additional USB cable for power consumption for this drive)? Does this drive run successful after plugging this with Y USB cable? I am running Window Xp Sp3. Does Window Xp Sp3 required external drivers for detecting 500 GB Seagate Freeagent go External Drive?
    Please help

  • Dewi Williams

    Please could you tell me how can I keep iPhoto albums in the external disc Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex. I would like to transfer all photos to this disc. To do this should I try and move or copy the whole iPhoto apps to the Seagate?
    Thank you.

  • jeff lowe

    I bought Seagate FreeAgent Go 500 GB portable drive, all of sudden, all folders I moved from my PC to it are not no where to find!!!!! Seagate does not help! Once you paid the money, you are on your own!!! Now you freed up your PC, but you lost all your files!!!!What a stupid product I bought!!!

  • jeff lowe

    Seagate FreeAgent Go looks very thin and very nice that’s why I bought it…..BUT…..it has been a nightmare to use it…..I lost every file I saved to it. I moved from my internal hard drive of my computer to the Seagate drive, and now I cannot find them in the Seagate drive. Their technical support people are not competent–waste of time to call them. and like everything else, it looks good, but it does not do anything good.

  • Cecillundrigan

    how can i sync the free agent go(320 gb) to my ps3

  • Sajuramzan

    hai iam sajaf:i got a new hdd500 gb external free agent go ultra portable drive ,but i will format my hd drive and lost the software means encryption software

  • Shah Faisal

    I bought Seagate 500GB Free Agent Portable hard Disk drive about a month ago. Set up was easy and I moved all my music, photos & all my videos. Today when i copying some data from it to another PC, suddenly there comes a problem while copying that suddenly its icon vanishes from my computer, i pluged it out after safely removes & tried to re-connect it again, and then shows “external drive detected”.but i m unable to access it because Its icon does not show up on My computer. Now every time when i connect it, its light is glowing – but no icon displays & I cannot access it!! Please help.

  • http://www.sonyvaiofseries.com sony vaio f series review 2010

    Nice device.It will be helpful for me.
    Thanks for this information.

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