Maxtor’s OneTouch II is designed to take the headache out of backing up your computers and it does so very well. The device itself is solid and pleasing to look at. Its metal casing means that it weighs around 1.38kg; drop this and it’s more likely that the floor will suffer than the hard drive within.
Installation is simple, starting with the software on the CD (Maxtor drivers, OneTouch settings and Dantz Retrospect Express 1.0, and there are Mac versions too). Then you reboot and plug the drive into either a spare USB 2.0 port or an IEEE1394 / FireWire port. After that it’s a case of just pressing the blue LED OneTouch button and registering the Dantz software.
Immediately you press the button the software automatically starts to backup all the drives on the connected computer. The software can also be configured so that it just backs up selected directories and files, or files of a particular type rather than the entire system.
The Maxtor drive is whisper-quiet in its operation. The only indication that it’s working is the blue LED array flickering on the front of the unit. After the first backup, your system is backed up by default at 10 o’clock each night unless you specify otherwise. Or you can just press the big blue button again.
The drive comes with DriveLock software which allows you to password-protect access to the whole device, so if it’s stolen nobody can access your files. There’s also a diagnostics test that checks the health of your drive.
With a capacity of 300GB, the OneTouch II drive we reviewed is big enough to store the contents of the hard drives of more than just one computer. Alternatively, as Maxtor recommends, you could split this into storage and backup portions, but that then defeats the object of a backup drive.
If you do want to use the rest of the drive as storage then it appears as a local disk in My Computer, and it can be accessed even if a backup is being carried out using Dantz. If the 300GB drive is too small, or too big, then the OneTouch II also comes in 100, 200, 250 and 500GB versions.
As noted above, both USB and FireWire connection options are offered. Two FireWire sockets sit at the rear, allowing you to link up additional OneTouch drives. These can then be stacked on top of each other; alternatively, if you are just using a single drive, a stand is provided so the OneTouch II can sit vertically.
Maxtor has thought the OneTouch II through. The idea of having a backup device that needs just one touch to work, and installs as easily as this does, is inspired. It means it’s perfect for practically any type of user.
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