Seagate Expansion Portable User Manual
Seagate Expansion Portable 

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Frequently Asked Questions

For help setting up and using your Seagate hard drive, review the frequently asked questions below. For additional support resources, go to Seagate customer support.

All users

Problem: My file transfers are too slow

Q: Are both ends of the USB cable firmly attached?

A: Review troubleshooting tips for cable connections below:

  • Check both ends of the USB cable and make sure that they are fully seated in their respective ports.
  • Safely eject the drive from your computer, disconnect the cable, wait 10 seconds, and then reconnect the cable.
  • Try a different USB cable.

Q: Is the hard drive connected to a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port on your computer or hub?

A: If your hard drive is connected to a Hi-Speed 2.0 port or hub, the inferior performance is normal. Seagate Expansion Portable performance will improve when it is connected to a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port. Otherwise, the device operates at slower USB transfer rates.

Q: Are there other USB devices connected to the same port or hub?

A: Disconnect other USB devices and see if the hard drive’s performance improves.

Problem: My computer only has USB-C ports

Q: My computer has smaller, USB-C ports. How do I connect the drive to my computer?

A: A USB-C cable is not included with this drive. You have two options: 1) Use a cable with a USB micro-B end and a USB-C end. This cable must support USB 3.0 and higher. 2) Use an adapter with a female USB Type A port and a male USB-C end.

Problem: I must use a USB hub for my USB devices

Q: Can I use my hard drive with a USB hub?

A: Yes, the hard drive can be connected to a USB hub. If you use a hub and encounter detection problems, slower than normal transfer rates, random disconnection from your computer or other unusual issues, try connecting the hard drive directly to the computer’s USB port.

Some USB hubs are less than efficient with power management, which can be problematic for connected devices. In such a case, consider trying a powered USB hub that includes a power cable.

Please note that USB 2.0 hubs limit your hard drive’s transfer rates to USB 2.0 speeds.

Problem: The provided USB cables are too short

Q: Can I use my hard drive with a longer cable?

A: Yes, provided it is a cable that meets USB standards. However, Seagate recommends using the cable shipped with your hard drive for the best results. If you use a longer cable and experience problems with detection, transfer rates or disconnection, use the original cable included with your hard drive.

Problem: I’m receiving file transfer error messages

Q: Did you get an “Error -50” message while copying to a FAT32 volume?

A: When copying files or folders from a computer to a FAT32 volume, certain characters in the names cannot be copied. These characters include, but are not limited to: ? < > / \ :

Check your files and folders to ensure that these characters are not in the names.

If this is a recurring problem or you cannot find files with incompatible characters, consider reformatting the drive to NTFS (Windows users) or HFS+ (Mac users). See Optional Formatting and Partitioning.

Q: Did you get an error message telling you that the drive has been disconnected when coming out of sleep mode?

A: Ignore this message since the drive remounts on the desktop despite the pop-up. Seagate drives conserve power by spinning down when you set your computer to sleep mode. When the computer awakes from sleep mode, the drive may not have enough time to spin up, causing the pop-up to appear.


Problem: The hard drive icon doesn’t appear in Computer

Q: Is the hard drive listed in Device Manager?

A: All drives appear in at least one place in Device Manager.

Type Device Manager in Search to launch it. Look in the Disk Drives section and, if necessary, click the Plus (+) icon to view the full list of devices. If you’re uncertain that your drive is listed, safely unplug it and then reconnect it. The entry that changes is your Seagate hard drive.

Q: Is your hard drive listed next to an unusual icon?

A: Windows Device Manager usually provides information about failures with peripherals. While the Device Manager can assist with troubleshooting most problems, it may not display the exact cause or provide a precise solution.

An unusual icon next to the hard drive can reveal a problem. For example, instead of the normal icon based on the type of device, it has an exclamation point, question mark or an X. Right-click this icon and then choose Properties. The General tab provides a potential reason why the device is not working as expected.


Problem: The hard drive icon does not appear on my desktop

Q: Is your Finder configured to hide hard drives on the desktop?

A: Go to Finder and then check Preferences | General tab | Show these items on the desktop. Confirm that Hard Disks is selected.

Q: Is your hard drive mounting in the operating system?

A: Open Disk Utility at Go | Utilities | Disk Utility. If the hard drive is listed in the left-hand column, check your Finder preferences to see why it is not displayed on the desktop (review the question above). If it is grayed out, it is not mounted. Click on the Mount button in Disk Utility.

Q: Does your computer’s configuration meet the minimum system requirements for use with this hard drive?

A: Refer to the product packaging for the list of supported operating systems.

Q: Did you follow the correct installation steps for your operating system?

A: Review the installation steps in Getting Started.