Thursday, May 21, 2015

Seagate Expansion External Desktop Drive

This both a review of the 4TB Seagate Expansion Disk drive and also a money saving hack ...


I am playing  commissioning and testing a new Network Attached (NAS) Storage device and filling it with 4TB Hard disks.

I needed another disk.

Plus I also need a disk enclosure to house a smaller SATA disk to act as backup for another computer.

As so a cunning plan was born ...

Hard Disk Prices

It is actually pretty flippin annoying but a survey of the Hard disk marketplace reveals that it is quite often cheaper to buy a hard disk inside a dedicated external enclosure, with power supply  instead of buying a similar bare drive.

I know, it is just bonkers.

I bought the 4TB from Digitec for 135 CHF
(Note the Seagate website has a different 4TB unit but right now it's not available in Switzerland)


What is included in the package

 Zoom in to see part numbers etc.

iFixit tools used to open up plastic case.  No screws are used just plastic clips.

Bare drive is removed and will be used as an archive disk for my server.   The RPM spin speed is a disappointing 5900 RPM.   Here is the datasheet for the drive which is ST4000DM000

The USB to SATA bridge just attaches to the drive and may be manipulated using the windows Drive Settings program

 I now use an Orico horizontal dock for occasional archiving and this will be the purpose for this bare disk.

Native Drive Performance

These tests were performed using the native electronics before dismantling!

Connection to a USB3 port first on my Xeon Server and then on an old i7 (2009) desktop PC and finally on a laptop.   Same performance figures throughout.

 Partition layout as delivered

Windows file copying using Total Commander 64 bit. Damn fast!

Now tests using HD Pro

Despite the moderate spin speed this hard disk performs excellently.  (Click on images to enlarge as usual).

Attachment to Apple Mac Mini

I need a nightly backup of only 1TB of information. So I have installed an older and smaller 2.5 inch drive in the now otherwise unused black plastic enclosure.

(Rather frustratingly this drive has bad SMART status by HD Tune Pro and other diagnostic software, but NOT using Seagate SeaTools Diagnostics, so I can't return it to Seagate for replacement. Hmmm.  Hence dodgy label on it)

Drive is now partitioned to Apple Mac OSX with HPFS filesystem then this is carved up and virtualised as required to VMware guests which perform the actual backup.


The Seagate Expansion provides a cost effective external 4TB hard disk.  Other capacities are available.

You can use the external unit of open it up for the bare drive only should you want that, since that bare drive can't be bought for that price separately.


Seagate 4TB at Digitec
Picasa Photo Album hires