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Gadget Stimulus Plan Day 7: Win a 1.5TB Seagate FreeAgent Xtreme Hard Drive



freeagent_xtremeWe’re trying to close your gadget deficit while the economy’s in the dumps with the Gadget Stimulus Plan. Today we’re giving away a Seagate FreeAgent Xtreme hard drive.

With a 1.5TB capacity, the FreeAgent Xtreme has enough capacity to backup multiple notebooks, tablets or netbooks.

I’m currently using a FreeAgent Xtreme to backup thousands of my RAW image files and video projects. While most external hard drives only have a single interface, the FreeAgent Xtreme has an eSATA port, dual FireWire 400 ports and a USB 2.0 port.

More and more mobile devices have eSATA these days, which makes transferring data incredibly fast.

Below are the peak transfer speeds of each interface, but your real-world results will vary. Needless to say, if your tablet or notebook has an eSATA port you should put it to good use.

  • USB 2.0: up to 480 Mb/s
  • FireWire 400: up to 400 Mb/s
  • eSATA — up to 3Gb/s

The 1.5TB FreeAgent Xtreme retails for $209.99. The FreeAgent Xtreme is also available in 500GB, 640GB and 1TB configurations.

There are three ways to enter to win the Seagate FreeAgent Xtreme 1.5TB drive, and you may enter once in each of the three ways.

1) Leave a comment on this article (below) and tell us your worst data loss story (or of a friend/family member’s ).
2) Leave a comment on this article and tell us what’s keeping you from backing up your data.

3) Go to, follow @seagate and tweet the following:

““I entered to win a Seagate FreeAgent Xtreme drive from the Gadget Stimulus Plan GadgetStimulus7 thx! @Seagate”

You have until Saturday, March 28 at 8pm PDT to enter. We’ll assign every entry a number and use to randomly draw a winner.

This contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canda, as long as participating in contests like this are legal in your hometown. It’s your responsibility to check local laws and regulations. Those who enter more times than allowed will be disqualified. The winner will be notified by either email (if random comment is chosen) or by an @reply on Twitter (if random tweet is chosen. He/she will have 48 hours to claim the prize and provide shipping info.



  1. Benz145

    03/24/2009 at 8:36 pm

    Just today actually. Was chatting with a friend online telling him that he should try Live Mesh. He installed and went to remote connect to his desktop and it didn’t work. Upon physical inspection, the computer had BSODed and the HDD failed.

    My personal story actually involves the SATA component on my mobo failing, putting an 80GB drive of mine out of commission because I have no way to hook it up to the computer.

  2. Andrew

    03/24/2009 at 8:45 pm

    I’ve lost some data a couple of times when my hard drive failed, but I was able to recover virtually everything important because I kept copies of them on both my desktop and notebook computers.

  3. serchend

    03/24/2009 at 9:12 pm

    I do freelance application programming and in the mid 80’s I had a 15MB hard drive crash and lost all the programming I was working on. fortunately I had printed out the source as I was working on it, I only had to re-enter about 650 pages of code. I then went out and immediately purchased a tape drive.

  4. HG

    03/24/2009 at 9:39 pm

    I had a friend that never backed up on a iBook and hard drive crashed. I managed to recover 75% of data including pictures that where very important to them.

  5. Paul Gillespie

    03/24/2009 at 9:39 pm

    Worst data loss story: Had a server at work that got a virus that ate files. Our shared drive had 10GB of data on it. They caught it the same day and erased the virus, so all is good, right? It would be…except IT had turned off backups on it three months prior (accidentally).

  6. Ken

    03/24/2009 at 10:11 pm

    No big data losses, just a few files here and there.

  7. Corinne

    03/24/2009 at 10:13 pm

    My worst story? Freshman year at Cornell. About the second or third week. I had a paper due. My first ever for my college career.

    I had just finished it, and bam, my computer died.

    I learned a very painful lesson when begging my professor for an extension.
    Always back up your data.

  8. Howard

    03/24/2009 at 10:21 pm

    I’ve always had the luck of getting HD’s that happen to die around its mean time to failure rating. So I’d lose all my documents every 2.5 years, which sucks.

  9. Dave

    03/24/2009 at 10:47 pm

    I would llike the 1.5tb to back up all my stuff. Thanks

  10. Gregory Larsen

    03/24/2009 at 10:53 pm

    I was once very organized…once…and had every document i’d ever written on a computer on a hard drive. Needless to say, the hard drive failed and it was all gone–nothing ever recovered. None of it was important stuff, just the nostalgic stuff but it was sad…

  11. Grant

    03/24/2009 at 11:10 pm

    Um, I was installing ubuntu on my machine, which I am using currently, and i accidently installed it on the wrong partition of my hard drive, since I was planning to dual boot windows and ubuntu. After installing I discovered that I deleted all my work documents, pictures, and video. Since this was my family’s main pc, it kinda sucked.

  12. Aldrik Corbe

    03/24/2009 at 11:23 pm

    It happen during my college years and like every other student, you don’t plan you just cram. I crammed a 500 page research paper by basically typing it up a couple of days before it was due and just my luck I contracted a virus which made my research paper just a bunch of ascii sysmbols and giberish. The funny things which it wasn’t during that time, was it was the only copy. It is a good thing I had a rough draft and bunch of good friends which helped me type up research paper a couple of hours before due time. I ended up submitting my research paper in the nick of time. I guess I gave a new meaning to “hot off the press” cause it was literally from the printer to my professor. Enough said, you know that 1.5 TB will be utilize. Never again… Always back up!

  13. Amitai Rosenberg

    03/24/2009 at 11:37 pm

    Once our computer went down. We thought that all the files were lost. But then someone managed to save the files.
    If we had a large drive we could of made sure the files were saved beforehand.

  14. Vickie Bartlett

    03/24/2009 at 11:49 pm

    Somewhere around 1997, and still being somewhat new to computers, I found that I could compress the drive and store more stuff. Well, the drive hiccuped and I thought I lost everything. Luckily I had a friend who was able to take the hard drive out and recover my personal stuff.

    I do back up to CD, but mainly just photos, music and data, maybe a few setting here and there, but probably not as often as I should.

  15. echostryk

    03/24/2009 at 11:50 pm

    Back in the days before readily available automated backup solutions, I was manually copy and pasting files from one computer to another to prepare for a format. I double checked all the files that I had copied and all seemed good, so I went ahead with the format. Turns out that I forget that not all files are stored in logical locations and that I had deleted my mother’s entire email collection, because she had never moved her Outlook PST file from it’s default location in the Program Files folder. Needless to say, I wasn’t too popular for a while.

  16. Kenrick

    03/24/2009 at 11:56 pm

    Back when in the days when a 486 was new, I forgot to take a backup for about three weeks while working on my dissertation. The hard disk died and luckily I was able to reboot to DOS, mount the drive and recover most of my dissertation files.

  17. Nick

    03/24/2009 at 11:58 pm

    My worst story… I spent 5 months scanning several generations worth of family photo albums when I lost everything in a fluke brown-out. *tear*

  18. Ben

    03/25/2009 at 3:03 am

    I guess I’m lucky. I don’t think I’ve lost anything from a hard drive crash or whatever. Sometimes I had burned video files to CDs, and when I try to play them later, the files are corrupt even though the disk is in perfect condition. That’s annoying.

  19. Frank Jackson

    03/25/2009 at 3:04 am

    It’s happened to me. Loss of valuable information due to a hard drive failure. 2 months worth of work notes lost due to lack of a regular back up process. With 5 PCs in the house, having a portable solution should help remedy that situation.

  20. Gary

    03/25/2009 at 3:49 am

    I had a friend who lost her hard drive, along with 10 years of pictures she had taken of her children growing up. No back-ups and she had very few ever printed as hard copies. Bye bye childhood memories.

  21. John in Norway

    03/25/2009 at 4:58 am

    A friend asked me if I could recover anything from her 2.5″ laptop drive. They’d tried the usual things but with no success. I hooked it up to my PC running windows and also had no luck. I then ran Linux from a CD and managed to read the folders on the broken hard drive. I was only able to copy one folder at a time for some reasson but finally, after many hours, mangaed to recover 90% of her files. According to an ‘expert’ friend of mine that shouldn’t have been possible.

  22. Clemens

    03/25/2009 at 6:11 am

    Luckily, I didn’t have any major data loss so far! But I do regular backups now since I went nearly paperless!

  23. Zhiqiang Zhong

    03/25/2009 at 6:31 am

    I trusted lenovo’s recovery software, which can have access to the computer’s hard drive even when windows does not work. However, it is too cumbersome to recover files one by one. And I lost some data due to my carelessness since I have to do it all by hand.

  24. Clayton

    03/25/2009 at 7:34 am

    I’ve lost files occasionally, but only from accidentally saving over them. I’ve lost HDD’s before, but there was never anything important on them. I’m lucky I guess.

  25. drrg

    03/25/2009 at 8:15 am

    I’ve only lost less-important files here and there. Nothing big. I hope that trend continues.

  26. Michael Anderson

    03/25/2009 at 8:28 am

    Worst data loss was discovering that my Iomega Jaz drive had been trashing disks and that nothing I had stored on ~10 2GB disks was salvageable anymore … that was the end of the ‘single backup’ strategy!

  27. Carolyn G

    03/25/2009 at 8:30 am

    I was working at home on an auction program. I had saved it and was almost done except for some photos I needed to add. Well the next day I go back and my computer crashed and I lost the whole file. I had to recreate the whole thing in a day and it wasn’t as good as it should have been.

  28. Tariq

    03/25/2009 at 9:27 am

    Fortunately I don’t have one… I’ve always been paranoid and have several backup strategies in place, both at home and at work.

  29. Dee

    03/25/2009 at 9:33 am

    I lost notes and outline before a an open book final exam.

  30. nike

    03/25/2009 at 9:40 am

    Oh man this would be SWEET! My worst story was of course, RIGHT before I had to give a presentation for investors. I don’t know HOW the computer KNEW that this was critical, but just booting up one morning the drive in my laptop had failed completely. fortunately, I had a backup copy but that was going to take several hours to install – all time I was planning to finalize work on my presentation.

  31. G.Smith

    03/25/2009 at 9:51 am

    My worst data loss story occurred a few years ago when I was doing some home renovations. I took extra precautions to avoid plaster dust getting everywhere, but I guess some found it’s way into the computer room anyway. My PC’s hard drive began clicking like mad and died, taking with it my entire collection of rare Jazz MP3 albums.

  32. M@rc

    03/25/2009 at 10:02 am

    I have a friend that lost not once, but twice its master thesis. The first time he was just starting (he lost a few pages) and it was due to a HDD failure. The second time, his basement was floaded and its laptop was completely destroyed (it was crashed between 2 desks…) Ok the guy is really out of luck, but if he had an external HDD in a safe place the things could have been different…

  33. Brian S

    03/25/2009 at 11:43 am

    A year and a few months ago, my house burned down. I had 4 different hard drives for backups, 4 different computers, and DVD backups. Everything was wiped out in the fire. I had a laptop on me, but didn’t have a backup of all the different computers, and info, so lost over 200 CDs I’d put on the computer, 390 DVDs backup on the hard drive, and a 1 1/2 years of my artwork, plus many things I can’t even remember I had on those. My lesson, never keep all your backups in one place. Make a backup online, and put a few out in different locations. Because it doesn’t matter how much you backup if it all burns, it’s all gone. :-(

  34. Bardia

    03/25/2009 at 11:47 am

    My friend tried to install a version of Linux on his windows desktop and ended up losing all his data! catastrophic !

  35. Hoo-Chuan Tan

    03/25/2009 at 11:51 am

    I’ve got so many data loss stories!
    1) The strap for my laptop broke, causing my laptop to meet concrete, holding all my personal data with no backup for months! A data recovery company and much money later, I recovered it all, and I now am extra careful when picking what to carry my laptop in.
    2) Cheapo external HDD enclosures with hot HDDs cause meltdown!
    2) Living in a house with bad power, a UPS can prevent constant and unexpected power cycling of your hard drives.

  36. bj

    03/25/2009 at 11:54 am

    Old hard drive used at work in a funky networked file system (Domain OS). Lost the hard drive and then discovered the incremental backups tapes for the time period of interest were corrupt. Ended up cannibalizing the electronics from another hard drive to get it to spin up long enough to get all the files off.

  37. Jim P.

    03/25/2009 at 12:25 pm

    Teenagers insatiable appetite for Facebook, MySpace, Email and etc. and without dad setting up a virus ware program, their laptop ended up with a nasty virus. After much ado, I had to completely re-load XP after attempting to transfer what files I could to another PC (with McAfee) Had I periodically utilized a backup hard drive I could have restored files after the laptop was returned to working condition again. PS: the laptop now has McAfee also.

  38. Iris G

    03/25/2009 at 12:57 pm

    My worst story is actually a recent one. I had been lax in backing up my data without realizing it. I had been trying Windows 7 beta, and wanted to go back to Windows Vista. So, in the process of switching from one OS to the other, I had deleted all of my word, excel, e-mail, photo and other files I had created or received since I swithced to Win 7. That was over a month worth of work gone in a forgetful moment. Its taught me to be much more careful. Although, I could really use a storage bump as my current drive is getting pretty full.

  39. Luis Reyes

    03/25/2009 at 3:37 pm

    Our entire bookeeping was wiped out about 3yrs. ago and guess what? NO BACKUP.

  40. C.M.

    03/25/2009 at 4:16 pm

    I once had mechanical problem with my hard drive.
    Basically, it overheated and I lost all my data with a blue screen of death. At that’s what I thought. I had everything from school work to important documents pertaining to tax returns, work documents, videos and etc. Since it was a mechanical failure, I really didn’t know what to do. Since my assumption was that the hard drive overheated, I wrapped my hard drive in a zipbloc bag and left it in the freezer for about a day. After that, I took it out and I tried to transfer my data to my new drive and it worked! At least until the failed hard drive thawed. Then I repeated my process of freezing and thawing for about a week. And eventually I was able to recover all my data. Thank God! Now I have backup of backup. Good to have several external hard drives.

  41. Jean D.

    03/25/2009 at 5:01 pm

    My daughter lost a school paper she’d been working on for weeks. I felt so bad for her. The teacher wasn’t nearly as understanding.

  42. Nick

    03/25/2009 at 5:21 pm

    I remember wiping out my father’s entire chiropractic office data (appointments, records, billing, etc) when i was just a wee computer geek. They ran backups occasionally and only had to re-enter everything that had happened since the last backup. Lesson: dont’ run anything with the word ‘clean’ in it unless you know exactly what it does.

    I’ve also had a couple hard-drive failures over the years and lost tons of music and pictures. :(

  43. Al Johnson

    03/25/2009 at 7:20 pm

    I sure could use this. Will not buy one now. There is a recession going on

  44. Barbara Baker

    03/25/2009 at 9:07 pm

    This past March on Friday the 13th I woke to a crashed computer. With no warning everything was lost. Luckily I had insurance on the computer itself so they were able to send out a new one, but everything I had on that computer is no more…

    It’s frustrating when you don’t have the money to maintain some of the needed things to get you by. Needing a external hard drive is a very important thing to have and I really wish I had it sooner…

    Please count me in for this, it would sure help me out in case another disaster strikes my computer. At least next time I’ll be ready!!!

    -barbarabaker :)

  45. Mike

    03/25/2009 at 10:33 pm

    I was re-installing windows XP on my computer, and while I could swear all my files were backed up to another computer… they weren’t…

  46. LawDogRG

    03/26/2009 at 6:49 am

    No horror story, thank goodness. Just really need a big external HDD for back up.

  47. Max

    03/26/2009 at 7:39 am

    On a flash drive, I accidently moved folder-A to folder-B; I thought that I deleted folder-A. Later I discovered what had happened; I backup the flash drive to a DVD disk.

  48. Rhonda Mason

    03/26/2009 at 8:13 am

    My worst? My Mom went back to college and graduated when she was 60! I have no back up and lost all those photos. That was a heartbreaker!

  49. Justin Sisney

    03/26/2009 at 8:16 am

    I had a friend take her laptop into a computer store to get fixed. She asked them to back it up before they did anything. To fix her problem they just formated her computer and reinstalled windows. Of course they did not back anything or tell her that they were going to erase everything. My friend lost ALL of her pictures. She had no hard copy of any of her pictures of or son or her the pictures that she had taken of her family. It was a sad day.

  50. Rhonda Martin

    03/26/2009 at 8:36 am

    I took my hard drive in to have the modem replaced and some how they lost my whole hard drive. All my programs were gone all my photos were gone. I was so upset. I had two programs that I had purchased and used all the time. I of course reinstalled them but all the data was lost for good. One program had over 200 files~!!! I had to start all over and I know how important it is to back up files but I don’t have the hardware to do it and with my recent layoff I’m not going to be able to spend the xtra to buy one either. The Seagate FreeAgent Xtreme hard drive would definitely give me some peace of mind. Thanks for having this review & giveaway :)

  51. Ainsley

    03/26/2009 at 8:41 am

    No big losses. The HD has usually made sounds giving me time to save the important files.

  52. Michael Wilson

    03/26/2009 at 8:47 am

    About a month ago my wife and I got out the dinner with friends. She brings along my portable photo hard drive and it falls out of her purse/car somewhere between the parking lot and dinner. I was supid and had not backed up my recent photos and lost some really interesting shots. So sad…

  53. Rhonda Martin

    03/26/2009 at 8:59 am

    I left a comment at article about why I haven’t back up my files yet.

  54. Rhonda Martin

    03/26/2009 at 9:00 am

    I tweeted at twitter about this great review and giveaway

  55. Michelle

    03/26/2009 at 9:24 am

    Worst data lost I’ve had is when my tablet crashed taking all my notes for the whole semester with it.

  56. Chace

    03/26/2009 at 9:53 am

    took my desktop to bestbuy for a memory upgrade. went in to pick it up to find that some paper work had been mixed up and i had a reformatted harddrive. lost all my family pictures for the last 5 years.

  57. Frick

    03/26/2009 at 10:25 am

    My last notebook crashed and $400.00 later 60% of my data was recovered. I lost about a years worth of work and learned a valuable lesson. BACK UP, BACK UP, BACK UP!

  58. Ralph Montgomery

    03/26/2009 at 8:33 pm

    My daughter had spent the summer interning at a carnivore preserve here in NC and had to write up a presentation. She was using a G3 MacBook at the time creating the Powerpoint presentation with litterly hundreds of photos when the drive went “uuuuurrrrekkkk” and no more MacBook and worse yet, no more presentation or photos.

    I actually purchased Mac specific recovery programs, put the drive in a Linux box, all to no avail. Finally, I put it to Spinrite and after 5 days of grinding on the drive and hundreds of bad sectors, viola! Data recovered. Afterwards she made at least 3 copies!

  59. Solomon

    03/26/2009 at 8:42 pm

    Well Well… I am still crying for the loss of my HD on my personal PC 5 months ago, the eMail the eMail OMG well anyway (Get over it already)

  60. Tanya Anna Wilson

    03/27/2009 at 3:00 pm

    My daughter was moving the furniture around in her room and somehow fried her computer,a 4 year old Dell desktop. We think there was some type of surge, but she lost all her photos and her itunes. She was and still is so sad about that.

  61. Hoot69

    03/28/2009 at 11:58 am

    Fortunately (knock, knock), I haven’t personally suffered any data loss as a result of a HD defect. At work, I HAVE suffered a complete lost, with our IT department suprised that I might actually have critical data on a local drive instead of everything being on the network (despite the fact that my job required dedicated software that cannot be run from a server)..

    On the dark side, I DO tend to run my HD’s at 98%+ full, and 1.5 TB will go a long way before I fill that sucker up…

  62. MiKeN

    03/28/2009 at 8:58 pm

    My story technically isn’t a data loss story but I had thought that I lost my data. I had previously thought that my simpletech external HD had failed and I felt devastated. I lost a years worth of collected media files, homework, and pictures back from who knows when. It was very disappointing that I couldn’t get the HD to be recognized so I decided to plug it in directly to my computer and BAM all my files were still there. The HD enclosure just had a failure somehow but I still had that feeling of losing everything. I now try to keep a backup of everything I own now.

  63. Xavier

    03/28/2009 at 11:19 pm

    Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed and a winner will be notified by email/twitter.

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