Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Product Review - SimpleTech 500 GB External Hard Drive

UPDATE: 05/26/2009 I CAN NOT RECOMMEND THIS PRODUCT! My new computer thinks the Simple Tech 500 GB External Hard drive is corrupt too. DO NOT Purchase this product. The company has NO CUSTOMER SERVICE and I fear I have lost many pictures that can not be replaced. #Fail

UPDATE 11/07/2008 - My computer is dead, but I have some good news. I have a friend that was able to slave the hard drive and we pulled all my documents and most importantly all my pictures were recovered. And we were able to use the SimpleTech drive. There weren't any problems encountered when we hooked it up. That leads me to believe the USB ports on my laptop were having issues before the other problems were obvious. So while I'm not impressed with SimpleTech's Customer Service, the product is still performing well.

UPDATE 09/30/2008 - I'm having serious problems with my computer and I will have to get that fixed before I pursue the problem with the external hard drive. Hope to update this post soon after I get my computer repaired.

UPDATE 09/07/2008 - SimpleTech doesn't have a Customer Support phone number listed on their web site, so I have submitted a request for Technical Assistance. The form is called an RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) I will update what comes of that as soon as possible.

UPDATE 09/03/2008 - I have begun to have problems accessing the external drive. Neither computer is recognizing it. I am trying to determine if it is a problem with the drive or my aging computers.... I will update again after speaking with Customer Service.

We have two computers that are aging and hard drives that are filling up. We needed a solution to backup our files and protect from data loss should the hard drive crash. We've had several scares when our desktop didn't want to boot. Now I work in IT and know we should have made arrangements for a backup solution long ago but, I just always put it off. The final straw was my husband's concern that all his documents and spreadsheets might be lost during the last boot failure about a month ago. I googled and asked friends and co-workers and former co-workers for advise. It came down to what was going to meet our needs. Once I determined what was out there I shopped on Amazon.com since I had $60 in gift cards.

Our computers are older, Windows XP Pro and XP Home, and since I wanted to provide a backup for two computers an internal drive was eliminated as an option right off the bat. Secondly, neither have Hi-Speed USB ports. I was concerned that the models that did not have an external power source might not do the job. An External Device with a Power Source was important to us.

We have two computers so the ability to use the device on more than one computer was very important. Hard drive size range from 120 GB to 500 GB and prices from $80 to $175. We looked at several brands, Seagate, Western Digital and SimpleTech, and decided on the SimpleTech model.

The model purchased is considered a desktop drive and the overall size a bit larger than the portable model. It was cheaper and since it won't be traveling more than one room to another, this wasn't a problem for us.

Important factors: ability to use the drive on multiple computers & External Power Source.

I was impress with the ease of setting up and how quickly I was able to get the first backup running. On my laptop I installed the software from the CD so I could schedule a backup job. Once that was done there were several options for what I wanted to to do. One was to search the entire hard drive for file types that I wanted backed up making the process very automated. It searched for documents, spreadsheets, presentations and media files. Then it backed up up the selected files to the hard drive. Future backups can be faster by selecting to backup files that have been changed since the last backup. A one touch backup can be setup too.

Our desktop computer is older than my laptop and it wouldn't read the CD so I decided I'd just have to manually select the files and copy them to the drive. However, that is when I discovered the software was also on the hard drive and I was able to install it from there and once again have it search the hard drive for "user files" This computer has two participation and it scanned both the C: and D: drives in the same process making the entire process very simple.

We've now had this device for about a month and I'm completely satisfied with our purchase.

7200 RPM HDD
Compact Design: 5.0" (H) x 8.25" (D) x 1.50" (W)
USB 2.0 and 1.1 compliant (data transfer rate up to 480 Mb/sec)

Prices range from $99 to $150 depending on the vendor.

This review is entirely my personal opinion, so take it for what it is - just my 2 cents worth.


  1. Keep me posted as I got the same exact problem on the same exact day with the same device...I cannot view the drive in windows explorer any more...I am worried as I have a lot on there...

  2. Steve, I have submitted a request for technical support. I'm a bit concerned there isn't a customer service phone number listed on their web site, but I'm hoping for the best and they will contact me soon.

  3. Debbie:

    I have done the same, and I did it last Friday and of course, no response...I have crazy hours, so I haven't had time to call them, but I may do so on Friday if I get a chance, but I did see phone numbers for them on this link:


    and the numbers and hours listed are:

    Call us 6:30 am to 5:30 pm PST, Monday through Friday
    800.945.3444 | 949.477.7700

  4. Thanks Steve. I'll give them a call soon.


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