Maxtor Aims to Simplify Data Backup

Monday Sep 20th 2004 by Lauren Simonds
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Maxtor revamps the backup software and adds new features to the OneTouch II, the newest addition to its line of external drives.

Maxtor today announced the latest member of its popular external drive family, the OneTouch II, and the company says the drive includes new Dantz software, exclusive to Maxtor, that simplifies data backup to the point where it's nearly a non-event. Should the drive work as promised (we'll be reviewing it in the near future), it stands to make securing critical data much easier for SMBs.

Maxtor also added other changes to improve security, data restoration and overall user experience. "We completely overhauled the software, improved the back up capability and added new features," says Paul Streit, senior manager of solutions marketing. "We pretty much gave our external drive an extreme makeover."

Redefining "Easy Backup"
In earlier iterations, the OneTouch setup involved installing the software, plugging in the drive, and then working through a rather complex process to configure which drives, folders and files you wanted to back up. "We listened to our customer feedback." says Streit. "They told us the software could be easier. They wanted as simple an installation as possible — no complexity, just hit the button and that's it."

The result of that feedback is a new software program that Dantz developed exclusively for Maxtor. Instead of facing a slew of complicated backup questions, you're presented instead with a wizard that asks for your name, language preference and whether or not you accept the license agreement. All the configuration happens transparently — behind the scenes.

According to Maxtor, the default backup configuration is very conservative in that it backs up all local drives, both internal and external — and even RAID arrays. And by "backs up," they mean everything — from the operating system to applications to data files — even files that you have open at the time.

The actual back up runs on an automated schedule (but you can still use the One Touch button of instant backup). The backup is, by default, set to run Monday through Sunday at 10 PM. If your PC isn't on at the time, the back up will run in the background when you next boot up. Streit says that the software monitors how busy the computer is before it initiates the backup, and it will scale the backup to your computer's activity.

Securing Your Data
Maxtor added the DriveLock security feature so that customers have the option to password protect the data they store on the OneTouch II. Once you choose a password, the next time you turn off your computer — or if someone disconnects the drive from the computer — the drive locks automatically. It takes the right password to regain access to the drive and its contents.

What About Mac?


Maxtor's OneTouch II external drive
Maxtor says the OneTouch II makes backing up data easier than it's ever been.
The drive's software let's you save historical versions of the same files — a handy feature if you need to track document evolution or payroll accounts that update daily.

The software also lets you restore your system to its previous status at a given point in time. And finally, should your drive begin to fill, the software "self-grooms" — meaning that it deletes older backup versions in order to save space.

Restoration Software
The OneTouch II comes with software for both the PC and the Mac in its box, but the features are quite different. According to Streit, Mac users focus on lots of storage and whether or not an external drive is bootable compared to PC users who opt for the back up features.

That said, The Mac software doesn't offer the simple backup configuration or the historical backup capability that PC users will enjoy, but it will let you make an exact copy of your Mac's system drive so you can boot from the OneTouch II. Mac folks can also take advantage of the LockDrive security feature. Note: Microsoft doesn't allow you to boot an OS from an external USB or Firewire drive.

Pretty on the Outside, Power on the Inside
The OneTouch II looks a bit different than previous versions — Maxtor calls the new look "sophisticated" and "contemporary". It houses Maxtor's newest drive, the DiamondMax 10 (known in the retail channel as the SATA Ultra 16 hard Drive Kit). It's a SATA, 7,200-RPM drive with 16MB cache buffer, and features both USB 2.0 and Firewire connectivity.

Pricing and Availability
Maxtor sells the OneTouch drive through leading retailers and online stores. You can also buy it directly from Maxtor.

  • OneTouch II; 300GB capacity — $379.95
  • OneTouch II; 250GB capacity — $329.95
  • Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com

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