Data backup has been on my mind a lot lately. I’m getting to the point at home where I have a lot of pictures, music and documents. Enough to think about what would happen were I to lose it to a dead or dying hard drive.

Maxtor300gbWe decided to look at external storage space for work and were intrigued with Maxtor’s choices. So we purchased the Maxtor One touch II USB 300gb hard drive. The drive was easy to setup and get running. I used the USB drive on 3 Windows XP machines, one with a P4 3.2 ghz with 1 gig of ram, Laptop with 1.4ghz Centrino and 512mb of ram and a P4 2.4ghz with 512mb memory. I had no problems with installation on any of the machines. The model we have is a USB only version and states that it is only compatible with Windows. As a side note I just read on Maxtor’s website that the software does not work on the Server versions of Windows. They do have a version of it that is fire wire and USB compatible and states that it works with Mac OS, no mention of Linux though. One small quirk that I don’t like much is that you have to install Maxtor’s software in order to use the drive. Part of the reason for this is because of the ability to password protect the contents of the drive. When you plug it in, before it is even recognized as a drive letter and is accessible you have to enter a password. I didn’t try removing the password to see if you still have to have the software installed, but it is good to know that our data is protected in case of losing it or theft. I did forget the install CD that came with it at home and wanted to hook it up on a computer that hadn’t had the software installed, only to not be able to. I went to the Maxtor site thinking I could just download the software but couldn’t find it there either. The drive is pretty good size 1 5/8 x 5 ½ x 8 5/16 inches and weighs a decent amount at 3.1 lbs. Not particularly great size for being really portable, but not oversized either. The construction feels solid and sturdy. It has a power adapter and a USB cable that come with it as well. I would think it would be able to be powered from the USB but apparently not. The body is a cool metallic color and it has a cool blue light on the front (not sure why but I dig stuff with blue lights!)

It is designed to easily stack several of these drives on top of each other. Although, the drive actually got somewhat warm, so I’m not sure stacking several of them would be a good idea. Over all it is a very useful and easy to use device. The price is a bit steep for the everyday user at around $260. It also comes with Retrospect backup software which launches with a touch of button on the front and easily and makes backing up of your data a piece of cake. We also purchased the Maxtor shared storage networked drive and we’ll do a review of it in the coming weeks.