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Quantum GoVault Data Protector 800 Tabletop Dock

Iomega And Quantum Tackle Backup

The GoVault is also based on magnetic disks, but it utilizes conventional hard drives instead of a special media design like the one Iomega’s device uses. Quantum did something intended to lower the price-per-gigabyte ratio: It created a backup solution that embeds 2.5” Serial ATA hard drives into a cartridge, providing better robustness. Quantum says that cartridges withstand a one-meter drop to hard surfaces. The drive appears just like any other hard drive in the Windows device manager. Quantum does not support Macs, but only PCs with Windows or Linux operating systems.

Product Versions

We looked at the Data Protector 800 Tabletop Dock, which is an external device with a USB 2.0 data transfer connection. There is an internal version for Serial ATA, and there are various bundles between each of these drives and two cartridges at 40, 80, 120 or 160 GB capacity. Since these are all based on 2.5” hard drives, Quantum can increase available capacities at any time at up to 500 GB.


Quantum does not have the same high reliability numbers as Iomega, reaching 300,000 and 375,000 hours MTBF versus 400,000 hours with the REV 120 GB and only 5,000 insertion cycles, which may be the case because of the Serial ATA connector, which certainly wasn’t designed for such an application. We do believe that it is robust enough, though.


Quantum has one significant performance advantage: If the internal Serial ATA version is used, the GoVault drive should only be limited by the performance of the 2.5” hard drives used. With our test sample, the device reached its limits when the USB 2.0 created a bottleneck. However, it turned out that the backup process takes longer on the faster Quantum drive, as it stores files directly and uses Quantum’s so-called de-duplication technology to avoid storing files redundantly.

This is how the GoVault looks in action.


While the GoVault cartridges basically are just beefed up enclosures for 2.5” hard drives, the GoVault drive is more than a removable drive solution, as it does address issues related to missing SATA hot plug support—required to exchange hard drives on the fly. Drives will be available in the Windows device manager even if you remove them.

Not Cheap Despite Affordable Media

The GoVault drives are affordable, as the internal SATA version bundled with one 40 GB cartridge retails for $329, and the USB 2.0 version retails for $369. However, the high-capacity bundles as well as the cartridges are fairly expensive. Be ready to spend $209 for 80 GB, $319 for 120 GB and $339 for the 160 GB cartridges. Clearly, that’s unreasonable given that a 160 GB 2.5” SATA hard drive costs between $55 and $75 in retail channels.

The front part is well branded and carries the status LED as well as the eject button.

The back side shows the power plug and the mini USB connector.

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  • 1 Hide
    predaking , August 1, 2008 12:38 PM
    over 50 cents a gigabyte?
    sata hard drive dock, with usb2.0 and esata

    then purchase any hard drive of your choice. I think you can get 500 gigs for under 75 now. Thats around 15 cents a gig.

    and you don't need to worry about the back up drive breaking when you need to restore given how easy it is to plug a sata hard drive in.

    just keep the hard drives where you would the tape back ups and remember, don't put all your eggs in one basket. have a live copy, a back up or two, and an offsite back up for critical data.

    heck, buy two 500 gigs hdd and mirror the data across them, so if one goes, you have a second.
  • 0 Hide
    Arbie , August 1, 2008 3:19 PM
    I just want to chime in about Iomega. I have ten of their external USB2 hard drives, ranging from 320GB to 1TB. I've used several of them very hard - almost like internal drives - for about 18 months. I have never had a single problem. My experience with one drive from another maker (Buffalo) was a disaster. So... Iomega knows how to make good stuff.
  • 0 Hide
    ctbmike , August 2, 2008 1:22 AM
    I would also like to chime in about Iomega. I used to install 35GB REV drives to backup the SMB servers that I build and sell, and have about a 30% failure rate on the drives in the 12 to 24 month timeframe. Needless to say, Iomega will not make good on the drive, but they will replace the media (the 35GB REV disks). After many disappointing phone calls to them throughout all these drive failures, they finally told me (on this last failure) that I could buy a 3 year extended warranty on the drive! This left such a negative impression on me that I will never buy another Iomega product again.
  • 1 Hide
    valeadmagnet , August 2, 2008 8:41 PM
    It's all about the software. Hardware is just a commodity.

    Just get the EMC Retrospect Express for $40 and an internal 750GB SATA drive from NewEgg for $100 and you all the power and features of the Iomega product, faster performance, double the storage for less than half the price. If you need it to be external get a $30 enclosure.

    If you want it to be 2.5" portable buy same EMC Retrospect Express software and a $175 500GB Acomdata PD500USE-BL 500GB
  • 0 Hide
    bobbknight , August 4, 2008 12:17 AM
    I sorry but these companies are in the market to sell their propitiatory media. A much better option for critical data backup management, would be a raid 6 redundant backup and a monthly dual layer DVD of that.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 8, 2008 6:23 PM
    The idea behind both products is removable backup. Storing to an external hdd or raid is fine but is at risk due to disaster or a virus. Offline and offsite is a key component.