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It’s time to say goodbye to one of my experiments. Both of my off-site disk units seem to have died within a week of each other. You may recall that I purchased a pair of Seagate “GoFlex” drives about a year and a half ago. I wanted a pair of identical drives that I could keep off-site and swap weekly with my backups. The GoFlex drives seemed like a good deal at the time, and I liked the removable controller – all I had to do was unmount the drive, pull off the controller, and swap in the other drive when it came time to rotate them.

Fortunately, they are backup drives, so I haven’t lost any data. It just took a long time redoing all the backups. I use SuperDuper, so normally at night the backups don’t take very long, as they are just changing the external drive to match the internal.

I decided after this episode (where I mistakenly referred to the drives as being from Western Digital) to make sure that the drives themselves weren’t bad. After all, I’d already had one of these controllers fail. But this time, it’s the drives. And it’s not a mystery why. I took apart the case of the one that just died and the drive nearly burned my hand! The other one got pretty warm, too. There’s very little ventilation for these drives in those cases.

These drives have been a lot of trouble. They were constantly going off-line in the middle of backups, forcing me to repair them to get them working. The last few weeks, even repair in Disk Utility didn’t work. Neither did Disk Warrior, my normal go-to for fixing directories on disks. But Drive Genius 3‘s Rebuild function fixed them up. It was a lifesaver.

That doesn’t mean I’m unhappy with Disk Warrior – it’s saved many a drive for me. But in these cases, Drive Genius happened to be the right tool for these particular problems.

So I’m having a “going away” party/funeral for these departed drives. I can’t say I have been happy with the GoFlex drives, and can’t really recommend them.

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  • James R

    I have found that extended writing, as in making a backup, will heat up a drive enough for it to fail temporarily. I have found that using a small desk fan for additional cooling is a reliable work-around. I use extra cooling for both bare drives in a dock and for drives in non-fan-cooled enclosures. With the fan, the failure rate from heat is zero.