The Seagate 120GB External Drive’s Construction

What Seagate has done is taken their mid-performance 120GB 7200RPM Barracuda drive with 8MB cache and 8.5ms average seek times and have encased it with thick plastic to make it look like a desktop peripheral, which can be moved around easily from PC to PC. Wanting to take the thing apart and tinker with the insides, we were disappointed to find, from our Seagate sources themselves, that there was no method of getting inside the casing besides to crack the thing open with a screw driver.

Click to enlarge.

This unit features a USB only interface and does not carry any other features, which is why it is called a “storage-only” device. It is simple to install; just plug it into the USB port of any PC and power it up.

The following 3 models are available from Seagate:

Configurations for Seagate's External Drives
Model No. Capacity Rotational Speed Cache (Buffer) Seek Time (Read, typical) Interface Transfer Rate
ST3120027A-RK 120 GB 7200 RPM 8 MB 8.5 ms USB 2.0:
Up to 480 Mbps (60 Megabytes/s**).
ST3160026A-RK 160 GB 7200 RPM 8 MB 8.5 ms
ST3250801U2-RK 250 GB 7200 RPM 8 MB 8.5 ms
*Information in the table has been taken directly from Seagate’s website.
**Theoretical limit. Actual transfer rates may differ.

Seagate offers the USB 2.0-only models in 3 sizes: 120GB, 160GB, and 250GB. Higher capacity models are also available, which are in the USB/FireWire line. That current product line features total capacities of up to 400GB with a 500GB version expected to be released later this year.

Index The Software


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  • leydar - Tuesday, October 9, 2007 - link


    Wanting to take the thing apart and tinker with the insides, we were disappointed to find, from our Seagate sources themselves, that there was no method of getting inside the casing besides to crack the thing open with a screw driver.

    That's not the case. I've been trying to get into my own 400Gb (sorry article's a little old) for a while and finally managed it. There are three slits on the baack of the casing (the side with the power etc sockets). If you stick a screwddriver or flat piece of metal in each of these leaning toward the grey plastic side you can release each of three fasteners. Once you've done this slide the grey face toward you (at the back of the drive). After that you'll need a five pointed screwdriver and you're in.

  • huges84 - Thursday, October 6, 2005 - link

    To me the most important criteria for determining the criteria for whether or not the backup software is worth anything is the ability to backup an entire drive and then restore it to a different hard drive than the source drive (ie a 3rd drive). It must be able to restore an entire OS installation to the third drive.

    Why is this important? Because that is exactly what the user will need to do if his ro her primary drive fails. And if one is going to spend the money on an external hard drive they are doing it for one or two reasons: extra storage space and/or backup space. Any drive can do the former, but only well written software can do the extreme case of the former (mentioned above).

    Because backing up and restoring an entire OS install is something that is extremely hard to do without the aid of software made specificly for this purppose (at least on Windows), this is something many customers are interested in. Unfortunately It's hard to find out the answer without actually trying it. Also, it would require the user have two internal hd (one of them being blank) in order to perform the test without risking data loss.

    So Anandtech should do this for every external hd review. If I am spending a lot of money on an external hard drive, especially one that is explicitly meant for backups, I want to know before hand exactly what the software is and isn't capable of doing. This will be the deciding factor (assuming equal hard drive reliability and no huge performance differences) between the products. Why save $15 and get slightly faster file transfers if I am going to have to shell out $50 for decent total backup software if the competitor will give me good software to begin with?

    Thank you for considering my post.
  • Jynx980 - Saturday, October 1, 2005 - link

    Does the BounceBack software default to starting with widnows every time? How much RAM does the software it take up when running in the background?
  • PuravSanghani - Sunday, October 2, 2005 - link

    Here are the system requirements for the BounceBack Express software...

    Minimum System Requirements - Windows
    - Intel Pentium or compatible processor
    - 128 MB RAM
    - Windows 2000/XP
    - 15 MB available hard disk space

    Minimum System Requirements - Mac
    - G4 Processor or greater
    - 128 MB RAM
    - Mac OS X or greater
    - 15 MB available hard disk space

    Supported Backup Devices
    - Internal IDE and Serial ATA Drives
    - External USB and FireWire Drives
    - PCMCIA Interface Hard Drives
    - All CMS ABSplus Devices
    - Requires sufficient hard disk space for backup
    - CD contains both Mac and Windows version
    - Includes Rescue CD (for Windows users)


  • Olaf van der Spek - Thursday, September 29, 2005 - link

    > This is because the USB interface is dependent on the CPU whereas the FireWire interface is a peer-to-peer technology, which we mentioned during our look at the E5 last month.

    I guess I can't read graphs, but isn't the CPU usage in case of FW 76.4% and in case of USB 79.3%?

    Looks (almost) the same to me, so FW doesn't have any advantage.
  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, September 29, 2005 - link

    I noticed that too. Not to mention that the Seagate's USB CPU utilization was lower than the E5's Firewire... Not what I'd call a valid conclusion. Reply
  • CrystalBay - Thursday, September 29, 2005 - link

    Author P.S. how are you running ddr2 with A64 and NF4 Reply
  • DrMrLordX - Thursday, September 29, 2005 - link

    Makes no sense to have DDR2 on an athlon 64 platform. It really doesn't.

    Typo, I hope?
  • overclockingoodness - Thursday, September 29, 2005 - link

    Well, Duh! Of course it's a typo. Reply
  • PuravSanghani - Thursday, September 29, 2005 - link

    That was definitely a typo and it has definitely been fixed. Reply

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