FreeAgent | Go Dock FAQ
Frequently asked questions for FreeAgent DockStar drives, including information on usage, compatibility, and connectivity.
Can I power up more than one drive on the FreeAgent | Go Dock +?
Yes. The FreeAgent Go Dock + is a powered USB hub that will allow you to power up and run 4 FreeAgent | Go drives at once.
Can I connect other USB devices to the Go Dock +?
Yes. The FreeAgent | Go Dock + is a simple pass-through device, and you can connect just about any USB device to it. However, there are limits to cable length and power requirements for certain devices that are being connected, as we will explain below.
Can I connect USB memory sticks to the Go Dock +?
Yes. You should be able to connect almost any USB memory stick to the Go Dock +, and they should show up with a drive letter as removable media in Windows Explorer and (My) Computer.
Can I connect my portable hand-held MP3 player to the Go Dock +?
Yes. The power requirements on most MP3 players with flash-based memory generally do not draw much more power than USB memory sticks.
Can I connect my IPOD or other hard drive based MP3/ Movie player to the Go Dock +?
Yes, in most cases you can. However, if the power requirements of your player exceed the output of the Go Dock +, it will not display in Windows Explorer or (My) Computer, and you will have to connect the player’s power supply to run it on the dock.
Can I connect my USB printer to the Go Dock +?
Yes, you could connect a USB printer to the Go Dock +, but we do not recommend it.
The best practice is to connect your printer directly to your PC. Leave the ports on the Go Dock available for small portable devices such as FreeAgent | Go drives, cameras, iPods, memory sticks, cell phones, etc.
Can I connect a FreeAgent | Xtreme, Maxtor One Touch, WD My Book, or other 3.5-inch external storage drive to the Go Dock +?
Yes. Though the Go Dock + is intended for 2.5-inch portable hard disks and other small devices, the larger 3.5-inch external drives can be connected. The 3.5-inch external drives will have to be powered by their own power supply before connecting to the Go Dock +, because the power requirements of the 3.5-inch externals exceed what the Go Dock + can supply.
Can I connect any USB cable from my PC to the Go Dock +?
Yes, you should be able to, but because of varying cable length and quality we recommend that you use the cable that shipped with the Go Dock +.
How long can the USB cable I use on the Go Dock + be?
The USB specification states that 5 meters, or 16 feet, is the maximum length of a USB cable. The cable that ships with the Go Dock + is 5 feet long, which is well within the limits of the maximum length specification. The best rule of thumb is to keep your cables as short as possible and use only the length you need from the dock to the PC. When connecting devices to the back of the dock, use the supplied 18-inch cable that comes with the FreeAgent | Go, which gives you a combined length of about 6.5 feet.
Can I connect multiple FreeAgent Go Docks together or to other powered USB hubs?
Yes. This is also known as daisy-chaining. The only problem with daisy-chaining a bunch of devices together is that most people do not realize they have gone beyond the maximum cable length of the USB bus. Once you go beyond the maximum cable length, the drive may not be recognized by the PC, or delayed write failures may occur when transferring data. However, the cable length rules are different when daisy-chaining powered USB hubs. The specifications state that you should be able to connect 5 hubs together in a series with 5 meter cables between each hub, giving you a total powered bus (ie, USB cable) length of 30 meters. The only problem with the above mentioned daisy-chain scenario is that most of the time it does not work in practice.
I have four external devices connected to the Go Dock +; can I transfer data to all of them at once?
Yes, but it will be very slow. What you need to remember about the devices connected to a USB hub is that they all share the same data cable. When transferring small amounts of data you could transfer to all the devices, but when transferring large amounts of data and where speed is an issue, you should transfer to one drive at a time.
Do I need to install a driver for the FreeAgent | Go Dock + to work on my PC?
No. The Windows operating system will recognize the dock as a USB hub once the power and data cables are connected. Once it is recognized, all you have to do is plug a FreeAgent | Go into the dock.
Will the FreeAgent | Go Dock + charge up my camera, cell phone, and MP3 player?
Yes. It should allow you to charge up your small hand-held electronic devices, and it should allow you to access the devices from your computer desktop.
Why did Seagate decide to create a powered USB hub?
Most everybody that is constantly on the go has 2 or more portable electronic devices that are accessed from a computer via a USB cable. This usually entails the unpleasant task of crawling around under the desk looking for a vacant USB port, only to find that most of the USB ports are already populated by computer monitors, wireless keyboards, mice, and other external devices.
There are also many laptop computers that are only equipped with 2 USB ports, and often a 3rd port is needed. So, when you run out of available USB ports on your PC or laptop, there is nothing more convenient than having a FreeAgent | Go Dock + on your desktop to connect all of your portable electronic devices.
What should I do when I connect my FreeAgent | Go drive to the dock and it does not display in Windows?
That is always the biggest problem that plagues external devices, no matter who makes it: enumeration and discovery. We have several on-line troubleshooter documents, but there are always a few basic troubleshooting techniques to keep in mind.
Always try something different.
Check for power, cabling, and connection.
Try a different USB port.
Try a different cable.
Try a shorter cable.
Try connecting the FreeAgent | Go drive directly to the PC or laptop.
Try connecting the dock and Go drive to another PC.
Can I connect my wireless keyboard and mouse to the FreeAgent | Go Dock +?
Yes, you could, but we do not recommend it, simply because you might need the ports that the keyboard and mouse are occupying for other external drives or portable devices.
Which FreeAgent drives will the Dock+ and Dock work with?
FreeAgent | Go and FreeAgent | Go for Mac (USB) only.
It will not work with the FreeAgent | Go for Mac (with FireWire), FreeAgent | Go Pro for Mac, or FreeAgent Go (classic)
Can I connect the non powered FreeAgent | Go dock to the powered Go Dock + ?
Yes, but if the drive connected to the non-powered dock fails to display in Windows, you will have to connect the extra USB pigtail cable to the Dock +.
After I shut down my computer, the FreeAgent drive (or drives) that are connected to the Go Dock + are still running. Should I unplug power from the dock while the drives are not in use?
Yes. If you are not using the drives, you should either disconnect the drives from the powered dock or unplug the power from the dock.
I have 2 drives connected to the Go Dock + and when I transfer data between the drives it seems to take longer than normal. Why?
This behavior is normal because the drives are sharing the same data cable.