Seagate 5TB Backup Plus Portable (2019 Edition)

Seagate has recently updated their 2.5″ Backup Plus Portable line, redesigning the hard drive’s enclosure. The previous version was somewhat popular for drive shucking due to price, capacity, and ease of shucking. This new model, the STHP5000400, contains a 5TB 5400RPM hard drive in the 15mm tall 2.5″ form-factor. For those looking to inexpensively fill 2.5″ drive bays in a storage server/NAS, this seems to be the only choice.

Drive Shucking

As always, before attempting to remove a drive from its external enclosure, it should be tested for errors. In Linux, the badblocks utility with the block size set to 4096 (or greater) can be used (e.g. use badblocks -b 4096 -wsv). Not setting the block size may result in badblocks complaining about the size of the drive. For this drive, it will take badblocks over 26.5 hours to complete a full run of a single test pattern.

Furthermore, it takes 11 days to complete all 4 test patterns. Apparently, a block size of 4096 appears to not be optimal for this drive do to its SMR platters.

Comparison shot of the 2018 and 2019 Backup Plus Portable

The previous versions of the Backup Plus enclosure had a metal lid that was attached using double sided adhesive tape. This lid was easy to remove with just one’s fingernails (or guitar pick if one must). However, the 2019 version has a new enclosure. The enclosure has a metal plate that wraps around from the side opposite of the USB connector to the top.

2019 Backup Plus Portable enclosure closeup

Disassembly requires a fine pointed wedge (or X-ACTO knife), and a wedge/smudger. The top aluminum lid contains two tabs at the bottom of the wrapped over portion along with two sliding tabs. On the top side, there are a total of 8 tabs, 3 on each long side, and two on the USB port side. Additionally, Seagate used some double sided adhesive tape on three sides of the top.

Once the top of the enclosure is removed, the drive is accessible. Inside sits the ST5000LM000, a 5TB 5400 RPM SATA 6Gb/s drive. The drive’s specs are very similar to the ST4000LM016 seen in the older 2016 Backup Plus, the primary difference being the increased storage capacity.

Removing the drive is fairly straight forward. Start by removing the black rubber corner pad near the status LED. Then use the smudger to gently pry the drive out from the side opposite of the USB connector (near the red or green rubber supports). As with previous version, Seagate has used aluminum foil tape to meet EMI requirements.

Conclusion

With the 2019 refresh, Seagate has significantly increased the build quality of the Backup Plus Portable. Unlike the previous version, the enclosure requires a little work to open. However, like the previous version, there is a 15mm tall, 2.5″ SATA drive sitting in the enclosure. Thankfully, Seagate still uses a slim USB to SATA adapter, making the Backup Plus Portable 2019 shuckable.

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