Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex for Mac Storage System FAQs

1. What is special about GoFlex™ for Mac family?
The FreeAgent® GoFlex™ for Mac storage family delivers an easy-to-use, plug-and-play external hard drive experience while offering the flexibility and upgradability that many people are now demanding due to the evolving nature of how mobile and active people’s lives are becoming. With different options of external drives, cables, desktop adapters, and edge devices, the entire family of GoFlex drives can be customized to fit your lifestyle needs – whether with your PC, on your TV, over your network, or on-the-go. GoFlex interface cables are about providing the speed, performance and connectivity that consumers are demanding today. With the explosive growth of video-on-demand, multimedia streaming and growing personal digital libraries, consumers are now moving multi-GB-sized files at a time. These trends are driving demand for high-capacity, high performance storage. USB 2.0 is still adequate for most people, but as more and more video content is stored and moved around, USB 3.0 will become more attractive for consumers. As the world’s most upgradable external drive, the GoFlex ultra-portable drive can be paired with any GoFlex upgrade cable to enhance the transfer speeds or can be used with a GoFlex device to gain access to your digital life from your TV or over your network.

In addition to offering the option of changing the speed and performance to move and read files more quickly, each GoFlex drive is part of the GoFlex Storage System, which allows it to work with any other product within a broader ecosystem. Products within the GoFlex Storage System include:

  • GoFlex™ ultra-portable drive (14.5mm and 23mm versions)
  • GoFlex™ Pro ultra-portable drive
  • GoFlex™ ultra-portable drive (drive-only version)
  • GoFlex™ Cable – USB 2.0
  • GoFlex™ Upgrade cable – USB 3.0
  • GoFlex™ Upgrade Kit – USB 3.0 kit
  • GoFlex™ Upgrade cable – FireWire® 800
  • GoFlex™ Upgrade cable – Auto Backup
  • GoFlex™ Intelligent dock
  • GoFlex™ TV HD media player
  • GoFlex™ Net media sharing device

2. Why is GoFlex for Mac unique?
Aside from the GoFlex eco system and the ability to take advantage of all the tools available from the Mac OS, the GoFlex for Mac drives can also be used interchangeably with PCs without reformatting the drive. Simply install the HFS+ driver, available for download, on the PC and use the drive on both platforms. There are no file size restrictions or performance hits.

3. Is GoFlex for Mac compatible w/ Time Machine?
Yes, all of the external hard drives in the GoFlex for Mac family are formatted to HFS+ out of the box, which is fully compatible with Time Machine software.

4. What is the difference between GoFlex for Mac and GoFlex Pro for Mac?
The GoFlex Pro for Mac features a faster 7200RPM drive. Since this drive has a faster spin speed, it takes further advantage of the faster FireWire 800 interface.

5. If the activity lights are distracting, can I turn the LEDs on/off?
Yes, via the downloadable program from Seagate’s support website. This program will also allow users to perform drive tests to assure the drive is working properly.

6. How is the GoFlex series of products different from other available external hard drive solutions?
The GoFlex family of drives is different from other standard hard drives available today in that it provides more than just a way to store, backup and protect your digital content. FreeAgent GoFlex drives deliver:

  • Flexibility: You can use one drive in many different ways within the GoFlex family, including on your computer, on your TV, over your network, or on-the-go.
  • Interoperability: Use the same drive on both Mac and PC interchangeably.
  • Upgradable: Use the included plug-and-play FireWire 800 or USB 2.0 interface now and have the option to upgrade to either USB 3.0 or powered eSATA (portables only) later.

7. Is USB 3.0 backward compatible with USB 2.0?
Yes, USB 3.0 is fully backwards compatible with USB 2.0. It is however limited to USB 2.0 speeds.

8. Can I interchange cables and adapters between GoFlex for Mac, GoFlex Pro for Mac and GoFlex Desk for Mac?
It is possible to interchange all cables and adapters between the portable solutions – GoFlex for Mac and GoFlex Pro for Mac – however, you cannot use a portable solution cable with the GoFlex Desk for Mac because the power requirements of the GoFlex Desk for Mac exceed what can be supplied through a USB, eSATA or FireWire port. Therefore it is necessary to use GoFlex Desk for Mac power adapters that are designed to draw power from a standard AC power outlet.

9. Can I plug any bare drive into Seagate’s GoFlex cables? Will they function properly?
While the GoFlex cables are capable of plugging directly into our Seagate Barracuda and Momentus drives and used with a laptop or desktop, we do not recommend or support their use with an exposed drive. The added benefit of the GoFlex solutions is to have a durable enclosure that allows for portability, use with other products in the ecosystem and delivers all the added physical protection you would want to keep your most precious data safe and secure.

10. What does upgradeable mean? Can I increase the capacity of my drive?
While it is not possible to increase the capacity of your GoFlex drive, the unique and seamless GoFlex cable system transforms the GoFlex and GoFlex Pro for Mac ultra-portable drives into truly upgradable solutions in that you can access the content on your drive with any interface you would like, all by simply selecting the cable that matches your interface of choice. Each GF for Mac drive comes standard with FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 adapters and cables for a complete out-of-the-box experience. However, by simply changing the cable, you can upgrade the speed and performance of your interface to faster powered eSATA (portable models only), or USB 3.0.

11. Why is there no power button on GoFlex Desk for Mac?
There is no need for an on/off button on the drive since the option to put the drive to sleep when not in use can be managed through the system preferences of the computer.

12. What are the model numbers of GoFlex accessories?
This table provides the various GoFlex accessory model numbers.

Model Number
GoFlex Upgrade Cable USB 2.0 STAE100
GoFlex Upgrade Cable Kit USB 3.0 STAE101
GoFlex Upgrade Cable FireWire 800 STAE102
GoFlex Upgrade Cable USB 3.0 STAE104
GoFlex Desk Desktop Adapter FireWire 800/USB 2.0 STAE105
GoFlex Desk Desktop Adapter USB 3.0 STAE106
GoFlex Desk Desktop Adapter Kit USB 3.0 STAE107

13. Can the USB 3.0 adapter be used with a Mac computer?
Yes, it will work in USB 2.0 mode. Mac computers do not currently offer USB 3.0 support. However, the USB 3.0 connector will work with a USB 2.0 port.

Note: The optional USB 3.0 PCI Express or PC Express cards will not work with Mac OS since a driver is not available.

14. Can the FreeAgent GoFlex Net be used with Mac OS?
Yes, the GoFlex Net works with 10.5 (Leopard) and 10.6 (Snow Leopard). There was an issue with Mac OS 10.6.3 when using the WFS (Windows File Sharing) feature, but an update to Mac OS 10.6.4 resolves that issue.