I recently bought several external hard drives. After looking around on the Internet a bit I settled for Seagate Expansion Desktop (v2) drives. I had read about these drives before and according to the internet the 10TB and larger drives have very interesting drives inside. In fact, I recently bought two 10TB versions of this drive, which contained Barracuda Pro drives (ST10000DM004). These drives are rated for 24hr/day usage, and spin at 7200 rpm so they work very well in a small NAS machine I use. At the time of writing these 10TB external drives cost around €193, whereas the bare internal drive itself costs around €290. Quite the difference! This is why people love so-called ‘shucking’: removing the drives from the enclosure and using them in e.g. their home NAS or home server.

For my annual offline backups I bough a Seagate Expansion Desktop (v2) 12TB (part nr. STEB12000400). For this drive things are even better: it contains an IronWolf Pro drive (ST12000NE008). These are true server drives rated for 24×7 use in servers of up to 24 drive bays. In fact, I use 8TB and 10TB IronWolf Pro’s in servers I use for work. Here the price difference is €210 for the external drive (a nice discount in a Dutch web shop recently) vs. €360 for the internal drive.

Of course, warranty can be an issue when shucking drives. I haven’t (yet?) had the need to return one of my shucked drives. I guess I’d have to put them back into the external enclosures. This would be possible, although I didn’t manage to remove the enclosures without damaging the little clamps that kept the lid attached to the rest of the case… But at these price differences I will take the risk (at least for personal use; professionally warranty without hassle may be worth the extra cost).