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  1. Member
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    Is the Seagate STEB4000200 Expansion Desktop 4TB a 5400 RPM HDD?

    https://www.seagate.com/support/external-hard-drives/desktop-hard-drives/expansion-desktop/

    I can't find this information in the specifications, but only the BarraCuda Pro 4TB seems to be 7200 RPM.

    https://www.seagate.com/internal-hard-drives/hdd/barracuda/

    Does anyone know the exact model that is inside?
    Last edited by kyrcy; 13th Sep 2020 at 09:31.
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  2. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    The older seagate expansion drives were 5400 rpm so i would say the 4 tb version are the same.,
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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    Originally Posted by kyrcy View Post
    Is the Seagate STEB4000200 Expansion Desktop 4TB a 5400 RPM HDD?

    https://www.seagate.com/support/external-hard-drives/desktop-hard-drives/expansion-desktop/

    I can't find this information in the specifications, but only the BarraCuda Pro 4TB seems to be 7200 RPM.

    https://www.seagate.com/internal-hard-drives/hdd/barracuda/

    Does anyone know the exact model that is inside?
    according to this - https://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Archive-STEB4000200-external-drive/dp/B00UNA1OBQ
    it has a 5400 RPM HDD.
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    Unless it's specified (usually only for third party externals), always assume any name brand, especially Seagate and WD external drive contains a 5400RPM drive and the actual drive inside is subject to change to another entry level drive at any time. Understandable since the single drive Seagate and WD externals are sold for much less than their identical counterparts.

    The good news is that current 5400RPM drives perform better than older drives because they usually have a 256 or 512MB buffer. I've posted about how I've gotten sustained 120-130MB/s transfer speeds on my 5400RPM 8TB Seagate Archive drive and 12TB WD NAS drive (decased from an external Easystore) from another drive in my multi-bay USB 3.0 enclosure.

    Edit: I've read accounts of people getting 7200RPM drives in their externals in the past, but it's very rare and short lived. Almost certainly due to overrun of 7200RPM drives or drives that didn't meet the full requirements to be sold as an internal 7200RPM drive.
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    I suppose if I really want 7200RPM I should buy an internal drive, even if it is more expensive. The least expensive 4TB options are SEAGATE ST4000VN008 IRONWOLF and TOSHIBA N300 HDWQ140EZSTA. Because of previous bad experience with Seagate, I do have a preference for Toshiba. What do you think?
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    Yes, the only way to be sure to get a 7200RPM drive, which are fewer since the introduction of SSDs, is to buy an internal marked as such.

    As for reliability, buy on price and warranty and keep at least one backup of everything on it. You personal (and others) bad experience with Seagate means nothing compared to the billions of Seagate drives drives in use.

    AFAIK, there are were only three truly bad hard drives with excessive failures and two of the companies that made them no longer make hard drives. The Quantum Bigfoot series in the mid 90ʻs, the IBM 75GXP and 60GXP Deskstar (nicknamed DeathStar) series in the early 2000ʻs and possibly the Seagate ST3000DM001 in 2011-2012.
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  7. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    i've been switching over to toshiba drives from samsung. all 7200rpm. only thing i notice different than the samsungs is that they run hotter. so far i'm happy with them.

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  8. I suppose if I really want 7200RPM I should buy an internal drive, even if it is more expensive. The least expensive 4TB options are SEAGATE ST4000VN008 IRONWOLF and TOSHIBA N300 HDWQ140EZSTA. Because of previous bad experience with Seagate, I do have a preference for Toshiba. What do you think?
    Problem with Toshiba is the customer service, at least in Europe and at least for 3.5" HDDs : unless their policy has changed in the past few years Toshiba Europe doesn't propose a direct RMA service for internal 3.5" HDDs, so one has to deal with the seller instead. I had an issue with a Toshiba 3.5" drive back in 2014, purchased from an online shop, and could get a replacement unit from another brand, but a few months later that online shop vanished, so if it had happened then I'd have been SOL / JWF (another lesson is that it might be preferrable to purchase that kind of equipment from well established shops rather than new ones which happen to have slightly cheaper prices for a particular model on a particular day).

    Otherwise, Seagate does have a bad reputation in recent years among data recovery specialists — although arguably they only see those which do fail so their experience may not be statistically significant ; still, from what I could gather these ranges of drives have design flaws which make certain types of failure more likely to happen, and when they do happen the consequences tend to be more severe than with other brands. But speaking from my own experiences : I've had issues with a ST2000DM001, I could recover 100% of it (only a small part of the filesystem area was corrupted) ; I've had issues with a ST3000DM001, I could recover almost everything except 6 video files (and I could recover a good portion of those files although it was tricky) ; and I've had issues with a Western Digital WD6400AAKS, but for this one it happened suddenly and it was most likely a head failure, so DIY recovery highly unlikely {*} (fortunately I had nothing valuable on this one). And my main drive for daily storage is a Seagate ST2000DX001, from the same dreaded range, purchased used about three years ago, which is still working flawlessly.

    On a side note, it's interesting to know that Toshiba began to produce 3.5" units at Western Digital's request, just so that the two giants of the sector (WD & Seagate) could be compliant with anti-trust laws. From Western Digital Wikipedia article : “In March 2012, Western Digital completed the acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and became the largest traditional hard drive manufacturer in the world. To address the requirements of regulatory agencies, in May 2012 WDC divested assets to manufacture and sell 3.5-inch hard drives for the desktop and consumer electronics markets to Toshiba.”


    {*} I might still try to perform a head swap on this one, as I have another of the exact same model, and it would at least be a good learning experience, but the odds of success are low without a industrial-level clean environment and the required experience.
    Last edited by abolibibelot; 31st Jan 2020 at 05:15. Reason: a few clarifications / added paragraph (anti-trust laws)
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    Interesting about the RMA process on Toshiba. Checking the Toshiba Europe site, it seems thereʻs no way for the consumer to process an RMA themselves as stated.

    As for data recovery services, anyone looking for a bargain priced drive is unlikely to have the need or willingness to pay for professional service. Anything important enough for me seek deep recovery is backed up immediately to at least one other drive.

    I know Iʻm in the very small minority, but Iʻve come to regard hard drives as disposable after the end of their warranty period, replacing the drive with a newer, usually larger one every 2-3 years. I live with the acceptance that any drive, hdd, SSD, flash, SD can die at any time without notice. I have way more time than money (which I donʻt have a lot of), but not stressing over, buying software and spending the time necessary for unbacked up data is well worth the $100-150 every two-three years buying a new replacement drive.
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    Is it safe to assume that the Expansion Desktop STEB10000400 is a BarraCuda Pro 10TB 7200 RPM?

    I can't find any other model at this size on Seagate's website.
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    Is it safe to assume that inside an Expansion Desktop STEB10000400 there is a BarraCuda Pro 10TB 7200 RPM?

    I can't find any other model at this size on Seagate's website.
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  12. seagate drives have failed me more than any other brand
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    According to this thread at Reddit , it is a 7200RPM drive. However, as with any external, there's always the possibility that another drive could be substituted at any time and it's very likely a binned drive that didn't meet the full specs to be sold as an internal. So while it may be the same drive, it may not perform as well as the internal model.

    While everyone here is great, I highly recommend visiting reddit.com/r/datahoarder for HHD, less so SSD, questions. Some of the members there have experience with dozens+ HHDs.

    Also, there's mounting evidence that Western Digital [is] marketing 7200RPM drives as 5400RPM drives with higher power consumption, noise and heat.

    Bottom line is externals are still a great bargain for cost per TB. Just don't expect the exact same drive and specs as an internal and don't expect the exact same drive someone else got as they may be substituted at any time. The days of a guaranteed WD Red NAS drive, Red or White Label, ended in late 2018.
    Last edited by lingyi; 13th Sep 2020 at 20:36.
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    Originally Posted by super8rescue View Post
    seagate drives have failed me more than any other brand
    As I posted above, any personal user experience is statistically insignificant compared to the billions of drives in use worldwide. Too many environmental and personal use variables to have any significance. It's been years since any truly significant bad brands or drives have been on the market.

    Backup frequently following the 3-2-2/1-2-3 strategy, 3 copies of your data, 2 backups, 1 kept offset. Do this and while it's still a pain when a drive dies, it's becomes much less consequential.
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  15. Be careful because the expansion and backup seagate external hdds now are probably manifactured with the infamous smr technology

    https://create.pro/why-the-data-on-your-hdd-could-be-at-risk/


    This negatively affects the performance (and duration) of the hdd more than the rotation speed
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    Originally Posted by robertoferrari View Post
    Be careful because the expansion and backup seagate external hdds now are probably manifactured with the infamous smr technology

    https://create.pro/why-the-data-on-your-hdd-could-be-at-risk/


    This negatively affects the performance (and duration) of the hdd more than the rotation speed
    It's well established that the drives in Seagate and WD externals are from the same line as the internals. There's no special run of drives for packaging in an external case. As I stated above, they're likely binned drives that didn't meet the full specs to be sold as an internal or could be overruns for a large order that was cancelled.

    As of April 2020, no Seagate or WD drives (external or internal) over 8TB are SMR https://www.ixsystems.com/community/resources/list-of-known-smr-drives.141/ and it would be market suicide for them to try and hide them in externals now if there were. Even the 16TB Seagate and upcoming 18TB drives are CMR. The 20TB Enterprise only drive is SMR.

    There's nothing in the article you linked to, or any talk anywhere about SMR drives having a shorter lifespan. Yes, theoretically, with constant rewrites because of the shingling of the data during writes, there may be an effect on the lifespan, but that probably has little to no effect for the average user.

    Yes, SMR WRITES are slower regardless of rotational speed, but the READ speeds are still faster on a 7200RPM drive than a 5400RPM drive.
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    Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    As I stated above, they're likely binned drives that didn't meet the full specs to be sold as an internal or could be overruns for a large order that was cancelled.
    Shouldn't an external drive perform the same as an internal?
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    No. As I stated above, the days of the drives being the same as internals is long gone. The drives in externals may be binned drives that failed in some aspect of performance and may have firmware that limits their performance and smaller cache than the internal versions.

    If you want to learn more, head over to reddit.com/r/datahoarder where there's lots of discussions about how the drives in externals aren't exactly the same their internal counterparts.

    Edit: The use of SMR in NAS drives was first discovered because people were using shucked "NAS" drives from externals and finding that they didn't perform correctly in their RAID setups and discussed in the article robertoferrari linked above.
    Last edited by lingyi; 15th Sep 2020 at 12:16.
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    WD, and by association manufacturer/industry association, Seagate, recently confirmed that they manipulate their drives according to whatever market/usage they're targeting:

    "For select products, Western Digital has published RPM speed within a “class” or “performance class” for numerous years rather than publishing specific spindle speeds. We also fine-tune select hard drive platforms and the related HDD characteristics to create several different variations of such platforms to meet different market or application needs. By doing so, we are able to leverage our economies of scale and pass along those savings to our customers. As with every Western Digital product, our product details, which include power, acoustics and performance (data transfer rate), are tested to meet the specifications provided on the product’s data sheet and marketing collateral." My emphasis.

    Source: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/09/western-digital-is-trying-to-redefine-the-word-rpm/

    In simplest terms. "We nerf drives we sell for lower prices so we don't undercut our own product lines. We know that the firmware can be changed so that S.M.A.R.T. reports only what we want it to."

    This also lends credence to speculation that some lower tier drives, e.g. WD Blue and Green (which I don't think exists any more) are actually Black or Enterprise drives that didn't meet the higher level specs. Same for the lower tier Seagate drives, including those used in externals. There's also been speculation that larger drives, particularly 12TB drives used in WD externals are 14 or 16TB drives that failed, possibly with too may bad sectors and rebadged with a lower capacity. There have been a couple posters on Reddit Datahoarders that have made the claim, but haven't been able to access the extra space.

    Why do it? Simple. To keep production costs down and not having additional product lines that will dilute the market for higher end drives. Therefore, all 10TB Expansion drives may be an STEB10000400, but not all STEB10000400's are the same.

    BTW, this type of thing isn't new or exclusive to the hard drive industry. In CPUs, there was the (in)famous 3 Core Phenom IIi's which were 4 Core processors that failed testing of the 4th core. And it's no secret that Intel Extreme processors are handpicked, hand tested processors from the regular line that overclock well. No special line for them, just binned or handpicked products.
    Last edited by lingyi; 15th Sep 2020 at 21:33.
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    I have no recent experience with WD drives, but I have some Seagate drives (ST1000DM003 and ST3000DM001) and their temperatures rise very quickly, even though none has failed yet. The most recent drives I bought are Toshiba drives (DT01ACA200, DT01ACA300 and HDWD220UZSVA) and these seem to operate in much lower temperatures. Maybe I should forget about buying one big external and just buy two or three smaller internals?
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    Depends on what's most important to you.

    Large externals

    Pros: Price, minimizes probability of failure, i.e. more drives = more possibility of failure(s), easy to shuck
    Cons: No guarantee of quality, performance, cheap enclosure, USB interface, power supply. If you shuck the drive, you may void the warranty. Less an issue in the U.S. where there's a law requiring the manufacturer to warrant the drive, not the complete setup

    Small internals

    Pros: Guaranteed, within the published specs of getting the exact drive as advertised
    Cons: High cost, more possibility of failure(s). Need for an enclosure (single or multi) or dock if you're planning to use them externally.
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    Is life expectancy the same regardless size (for example 10TB vs 3TB)?
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    Yes. DOA, 10 seconds, 10 months, 10 years.

    Not being sarcastic, that's just the reality of any electronic component, especially hard drives. Which is why I stated above, individual or even large scale data center experiences are statistically insignificant and inconclusive. Too many variables, known and unknown that may affect longevity.

    That said, at some inconsequentially measurable level, there may be a case made that more platters, more heads, greater stress on the drive motor may cause a larger drive to fail before a smaller one. If that's a concern then get a single platter drive which limits you to a 1TB or 1.5TB drive.

    I just posted to another forum, that my personal opinion after 30+ years of personal PC experience and having gone through hundreds of hard drives is that if my hard drives get through the warranty period, which the manufacturers give based on their extensive technical research, I'm happy. Any longevity after that is a plus.

    Once the warranty is over, I plan a purchase of a newer, probably cheaper and larger hard drive and move the drive without a warranty to non-critical use such as backup. The drives out of warranty that I still use as my main drives are fully backed up and I have spares to immediately replace either of the drives in case of a failure.
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