While I was happy with the transfer speed of drag-and-drop, a full backup of my PC in the office took substantially longer. Using the supplied BounceBack Express application from CMS, the process, involving 52GB of data, took close to seven hours - or roughly 1GB every eight minutes. The Seagate drive now contains an almost exact copy of everything I have on my desktop PC. Yes, you read that correctly: an almost exact copy. Certain temporary files would not copy across, nor would some files that were in use. This means that using the supplied software you will never get a perfect image of your PC, but it does offers the ability to make incremental backups. You can upgrade the supplied version of BounceBack Express to BounceBack Pro at the CMS website for an affordable £28 which adds more functionality, including the option to create a bootable CD that enables you to completely restore your hard drive in case of a complete disk failure.
As the name implies, the drive offers push-button backup, something I had some trouble getting working at first. The button on front of the drive didn't start up the BounceBack software, which the manual clearly states it should do after you have done your initial backup.
However, after a re-install of the software it all worked fine, though it meant I had to do another full backup of the system before the push button incremental backup would work as intended. This is quite frustrating, but software is usually the weakest link these days no matter who the hardware comes from.
The manual is reasonably well written. It covers the installation procedure for several operating systems and explains the different features of the drive and supplied software. Alongside the BounceBack Express software the CD contains Windows 98 USB drivers and Seagate's DiscWizard software.
As a bonus, Seagate supplies both cables in the box, which doesn't always happen when you purchase an external device. It's a shame that the power brick couldn't be built in to the housing as it is rather large and looks like something that could power a notebook. This is really the only thing that holds the Seagate drive back as a mobile storage archive, as it means that there's something else you have to carry around with you.
But what's really impressive is the price. At £195 the external Seagate drive is only £8 more expensive than its internal IDE sibling. Priced as keenly as this, it's easy to forgive a few minor glitches. _
Seagate needs to polish off the software to make it work as flawlessly as a push-button backup solution should, while a smaller or even integrated power brick would make the drive more portable. But at this price this are minor niggles - everyone should consider getting one to make that that oft-neglected but vital system backup.
|Seagate Pushbutton backup 400GB|
|Price||£195 inc. VAT|
|More info||The Seagate site|