Skip navigation

Brand New Seagate 1TB External HD slower than an old 500GB. Why?

4073 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Sep 30, 2013 5:56 PM by BDAqua RSS
And1001 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Sep 18, 2013 9:46 AM



l just bought a brand new Seagate External HD "Backup Plus" 1TB, to connect with my old iMac 10.4.11.


Again: 10.4.11!!


I have repeated that because after explaining which type of computer l was to use, both Seagate and the famous computer retailer where l've bought it, told me that they were compatible!


Turns out instead that, well... it was NOT apparently.


Neither re-formatting the Drive and installaing of the Software could be possible... So: stuck.


I have found a way around it: in fact on the re-formatting process (through the Utility Disk), instead of selecting 'MS-DOS File System' (which was required), l have selected 'Mac Os Extended (Journaled)' - just to see what could happen.

Lucky enough It seemd to work (?) - no idea about what or why, anyways now l was able to drag files inside, plug it, unplug it and verything... it seemd to work.


But here comes something quite strange:


When l dragged the files into the Driver they initially seemed a little 'slow'... :S


So l thought to try to compare it with another External Hard Driver to see what difference could come up...


I have dragged the same file, into my Brand New 1TB drive, and my stuffed & creepy old Verbatim 500GB at the same time. The result was:, the brand new 1TB Seagate took well DOUBLE the time than the stuffed old Verbatim 500GB one, to get the files in!! Wiered!


So here l am not shure if all this is normal or somewhere there is something 'funny', so l was looking to ask if someone could tell me about it.

So, why is i that my brand new 1 TB empty HD is much slower than my old completely full 500GB one?


Is it because 1TB is bigger than 500GB and it requires double work (dispite the fact that they have a much different age)?

Is it because the new one has been sort of 'cracked'?

Is it maybe bacause the new one comes with USB3 (backwords compatible)?

Is it for other reasons?


Just, why?


I am not shure is what l have got here is worthwhile keeping, because it seems a little strange.



Thank you to being so kind to let me know

iMac, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,745 points)

    A couple of reasons this might be slower, one the specs for the drive do call for OS X 10.6 or higher. While it is unlikely that running it on 10.4 is slowing it down it is possible,


    Second, and I think the more likely reason, the software that Seagate installs on the drive to make it a 'Backup Plus' is probably slowing things down. Any reason you purchased this drive and not just a plain USB external drive?  If you are looking to use it for backups?


    Before you get to involved with the drive I suggest you try to return it and get a plain external drive. If that is not possible ( and I don;t see why it wouldn;t be) try reformatting the drive again but do not put any of the Seagate software back on it just leave it as a plain drive.


    If you want to use it for backups you can use Apple's Time Machine on it.



  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,745 points)

    I'm a bit backed up now to be able to go into this in depth plus it has been a long time since I've used Tiger (10.4) and I'd hate to tell you something that is not right for your system so…


    First I think if you can you should return this drive. It seems to be overly complicated for what you are looking for.


    Second I'll ask the hosts to move this to the 10.4 community. Hopefully there you will get folk who are more familiar with the OS and can recommend a backup program procedure geared for the OS.



  • rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (5,115 points)

    Just because it is a new drive, doesn't mean it will be faster than old drive.  One has to look at the specs for the drive.


    We need to know the model number and manufacture for each drive.  If you can povide links to both dirves.


    What mac are you using? 


    What type of port have you connected the drive to?



    to better test performce, stop all apps.  copy a large file 200meg or greater to one drive when this stop copy to the second drive.  Time with a wall clock with second hand.


    Is the performance good enough for your?


    What iMac do you have?


    Report system info

    Blue apple > about this Mac

    click on more info

    click on hardware



    do not copy your serial number

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,670 points)

    Hello, I can think of one possibility...


    Not enough RAM, a bigger drive will need more RAM for Disk Caches, & 1 GB is barely enough for the OS.


    Yours can take 2.5 GB, which I highly recommend...




    And actually, a Firewire 400 drive would not only be faster than USB2 & use less RAM, it'd be bootable also...



    Open Activity Monitor in Applications>Utilities, select All Processes & sort on CPU%, any indications there?


    How much free RAM & free Disk space do you have also, click on the Memory & Disk Usage Tabs.


    Open Console in Utilities & see if there are any clues or repeating messages when this happens.


    In the Memory tab of Activity Monitor, are there a lot of Pageouts?



    Also, is Spotlight indexing the new drive?

  • rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (5,115 points)

    Did you reformat the drive? If your not going to use on Windows, the mac format would be best I'd say.


    Data Sheet

    PORTABLE DRIVE -plus-portable-drive/en-us/docs/backup-plus-portable-ds1756-2-1306us.pdf


    Inside the Box

    Seagate Backup Plus drive

    18-inch USB 3.0 cable

    Seagate Dashboard pre-loaded on drive

    Quick start guide

    NTFS driver for Mac pre-loaded on drive


    For even more flexibility, with the

    Seagate Backup Plus design, you can upgrade from the included USB 3.0 interface to

    Thunderbolt technology or FireWire 800 with the available additional adapter


    I did find this stuff on their datashee.  I'd hardly call it a data sheet.  I did contain the number of drives you could stack on a pallet.    It didn't contain any performance numbers. 


    No performance numbers are a big red flag to me. I think they are being fast and loose by not providing real specs in their data sheet.


    could try firewire cable. -plus/


    or return it & get an OWC external harddrive.



  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,670 points)

    Well, RAM doesn't seem to be the problem then!


    Report system info

    Blue apple > about this Mac

    click on more info

    click on hardware

    click on Fireire...



    FireWire Bus:


      Maximum Speed:          Up to 800 Mb/sec


    Mercury Elite Pro Quad USB 3:


      Manufacturer:          OWC

      Model:          0x0


      Maximum Speed:          Up to 800 Mb/sec

      Connection Speed:          Up to 800 Mb/sec

  • rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (5,115 points)

    See this post.



    Notice the complaint that the new device is half the speed as the old device.



    I didn't see a power supply for this external hd.  Is the device buss powered? The manuafacturer might be slowering the device down to save on power.



  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,670 points)

    Good catch, if Bus powered & not getting enough current it can slow FW down to as little as 100 Mb/sec.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,670 points)

    Is Firewrire 800 giong to be compatible with OS X 10.4.11?

    Yes. On OWC Mercury Elites, you'll likely have to open & flip the tiny red switch to make it PPC compatible.


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.