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The Drive: 500GB, Portable, USB 2.0

Perfect Consumer Backup With Seagate And Rebit
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The Replica is simply a 250GB or 500GB Momentus 5400.6 hard drive wrapped up in a USB 2.0-based shell. Since the primary purpose of this drive is backup, we can live without eSATA or FireWire ports (the latter of which isn't that popular anyway). 

Obviously, the drive is bottlenecked by its USB 2.0 interface, reaching a maximum throughput of 32 MB/s (a shame, since we're starting to see pre-production USB 3.0 devices in the lab that'll alleviate this limitation). This is a good result for USB 2.0, but mediocre when compared to other, higher-performance portable or external storage solutions. The 18.3 ms access time also is an average (but sufficient) result.

The device only comes with a mini-USB port and two holes for the included, detachable stand. The stand integrates a USB connector and cable, allowing it to work as a docking station for the Replica drive. Seagate also included a short USB cable to directly attach the drive to a system, for times like when you’re on the road.

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  • -3 Hide
    Onyx2291 , November 13, 2009 5:24 AM
    Wish I had this when my comp stopped booting up two months back. HD got wiped.

    Then HD failed and had to get a new one after that one was repaired.. Ugh..
  • 3 Hide
    claykin , November 13, 2009 6:31 AM
    Early in the article you wrote the backup is file based. I assume you are referring to the file backup function only? Snapshot/images should be block based if they are to be reliable. Can you confirm snapshots are block based? Also, 7 hours to backup 110GB is pretty poor. Norton Ghost, Acronis Trueimage, Storagecraft Shadowprotect will all do 110GB to a USB 2 disk in ~2 hours.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 13, 2009 7:10 AM
    Regarding as to why so many people don't backup I thought I'd share my take on the matter, YMMV.

    I built my first PC in 2003 and over the last 6 years I've had a total of one unexpected data loss, windows seemingly dropping the partitioning table during an install of Windows 7 RC1. This was annoying since it meant I lost perhaps 5-10Mbyte of unrecoverable data in the form of documents and media that were self-produced as well as some that were no longer available on the 'net.

    It didn't cost me any time though, which for me is the main concern, as it was unrecoverable data.

    I'd never even consider backing up my OS though, with the extreme complexity of the Windows OS and its penchant for picking up thrash files in odd directories and general "reverse-garbage-collection"-behavior I'd be denying myself the feeling of a fresh install for no good purpose at all.

    Reinstalling the OS takes perhaps half an hour and it's time spent on my terms. Setting up a regular backup system takes... well I have no idea how long but I bet it ends up taking more time than half an hour over the last 6 years.

    Of course there's the kind of people that install both the OS, all their software and all their media and documents on the same partition which means they'll thrash all their data if the OS gets corrupted in some ways but that's an issue that's unrelated to the need of backups.

    There are definitely good reasons to backup data, for a very small minority of users. The rest would do fine with just learning to keep their personal files on a non-OS partition, or indeed copied to a CD/DVD-RW.
  • 4 Hide
    apache_lives , November 13, 2009 7:24 AM
    1 - If your data is important, BACK IT UP

    2 - If your data is ultra important, KEEP A BACKUP OFFSITE

    3 - Test your hdd's once a year - i would say in that time frame a good 1/3 of all hdd's develop bad sectors which can corrupt data/patitions making the whole drive inaccessable (also check and test the rest of your computer too)

    4 - Keep your hdd's at 40*c or below - lowers risks alot.


    Exodite2 patitions wont save anything in most circumstances, you are much better off with a seperate drive atleast, or if you have that much data like me, a server (well a basic system with say RAID1/5/10 to share over a network etc)

    Faulty memory, motherboard, psu and hdd all corrupt hdd data (or run the risk of corruption) - all can corrupt the patition table, making the contents inacessable etc i dont know how many times i have seen this and 99% of the time i can quite easily get the data back with microsofts own tools that come with windows (obviously not using the windows off the corrupted install).
  • 2 Hide
    JimmiG , November 13, 2009 8:53 AM
    If I had the money and time, I would build a dedicated system with lots of storage space (in RAID, of course) and do backups over gigabit ethernet.

    The problem with external drives is that they're too small! How can I use a 500GB drive to back up my 640GB C: drive, my 1TB storage drive, my 500GB drive used for music and video, and my other external 500GB drive? I would need about 2.5TB just for *one* backup (somewhat less with compression), but I'd prefer to have at least 3 or 4 incremental backups so I can go back in time if a file became corrupted and then backed up. Also, USB 2.0 is too slow to be used for such large amounts of data.

    The solution for me right now is to backup my entire C: drive to the 1TB internal drive using TrueImage, twice a week. It's quick (SATA), easy, works in the background and doesn't require me to plug anything in. I'll just have to live with the risk of losing my music and video collection, and losing everything is the entire computer blows up or I get an unusually nasty virus. I do back up content I've created to the external drive and the cloud (the upload speeds and storage you get is again too little for anything except a small amount select files).
  • 1 Hide
    seraphimcaduto , November 13, 2009 10:02 AM
    I know backup on my PC machines is often painful, being the only tech savvy person in my household and the rest who regularly crash their systems every 6 months or so so this solution would be a welcome change in my household. My other machine (which shall remain nameless) backup is a breeze however.
  • 0 Hide
    baddad , November 13, 2009 10:53 AM
    All my machines have some form of backup, two of them have raid 5 with external Seagate eSATA drives and I use ViceVersa Pro 2 for backup software. My game machine has the biggest raid 5 drive at 1TB with a 1TB Seagate drive that backs up as the files change. If I were to do a full backup it would take me only 2 hours and 20 minutes to backup 450GB.
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , November 13, 2009 11:15 AM
    Anyone know of a backup/sync feature that enables me to sync specific folders between two windows 7 systems on a lan? (in the same homegroup in case that matters)
  • -1 Hide
    mindless728 , November 13, 2009 11:28 AM
    ok, and a backup solution of this size is meaningless with my file server, it has 2.5TB of space
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , November 13, 2009 11:31 AM
    "...patitions wont save anything in most circumstances..."

    Thus the YMMV.

    In my experience it very much will as the boot/OS partition is the one most prone to corruption. I'm rather apt at torturing my computer but in 6 years of heavy use I've only ever had one issue with lost data.

    Then again the point of my post where simply to give my view of why _I_ don't backup my data. It's simply not worth the investment, especially in time spent.

    I have perhaps 10Mbyte worth of files that I can't easily replace should they be lost and even if they were it'd be a minor inconvenience at best.

    If you're mainly doing work on your home computer things become a lot different, possibly even if you have 3k songs on iTunes that you have to download again.

    What I'm saying here isn't that you shouldn't backup your data, assuming you have a good reason to do so in the first place, but rather that the reason many of us don't is the fact that what few unique files we have aren't worth the inconvenience and investment involved in data backup.

    Obviously that doesn't hold true if you _do_ have a lot of unique files, it's just that a lot of people don't.
  • 1 Hide
    candide08 , November 13, 2009 12:26 PM
    neiroatopelcc - check "Synchronize IT" and Backup 4All Pro for folder sync abilities.

    B4All Pro is also a very nice backup utility.
  • 0 Hide
    claykin , November 13, 2009 12:40 PM
    For sync I prefer Syncback SE or Pro. Its also a good backup tool, but not my favorite for backup.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 13, 2009 12:58 PM
    I got a Seagate Replica for my 75-year-old mother and she loves its simplicity. I tested one myself and was very impressed. I will comment that you can add a password for the backup which, I think, encrypts the files.

    A point not mentioned in this review is that Replica will back up NTFS partitions only. There is an obscure mention in the documentation of backing up FAT partitions "on initialization", or some such, but I could not get it to do anything with a FAT partition.
  • 0 Hide
    Computer_Lots , November 13, 2009 2:07 PM
    I prefer backup to a NAS. You get more options that way and I can backup all of the PCs in my house to one device. I built a little Clarkconnect server which is my router / firewall / photoserver / webserver and backup server. I think I spent a total of $200 on it for an AMD Sempron LE-1250, Gigabyte micro ATX MB, 1GB RAM, 80GB boot drive, 750GB data drive, Antec NSK-1380 case. This was over a year ago when 750GB drives were top-shelf.

    My LAN is all gigabit so backup times are pretty good. I use Acronis Trueimage Workstation so I can do incremental backups and use their universal restore to restore the image to a different PC if needed.
  • -1 Hide
    Codesmith , November 13, 2009 2:19 PM
    I keep my installed software on a small partition (60GB), back that up as needed with True Image. Marcium Reflect is a good enough free alternative, but I already own True Image.

    I move my Desktop, My Documents, Thunderbird and Firefox Profiles to a 2nd partition. I sync all my documents to an external hard drive using the free version of sync back.

    If I need my data to be mobile .. I just bring my external and sync my data in the other direction making the internal drives the backup.

    The really important stuff is also in a Drop Box Folder that gives me 2GB of free online storage that is also synchronized across multiple systems.

    However for most users something like Rebit is what they need. You plug it in and it just backs things up. Nothing to configure, nothing to manage.

  • -1 Hide
    WINTERLORD , November 13, 2009 3:48 PM
    kool article this thing looks alswome. i was just thinking of some sort of long term solution to however i believe i will use whats on hand at the moment. im wondering though how far away are we from usb 3.0? and does this thing have a quicker link for esata? that would be alswome because with terrabytes of data i dont think usb 2.0 would be painless if you where in a hurry. also good idea for the manufacter if this thing is mainly for your average joe who dont know much about a PC then they should create a quick start menue and have little check boxes for say 1. pictures - .png .jpeg .tiff and say documents- .doc .rff ect and have the thing backup files that arn't in one of your common folders like program files or windows. then boom zips um up plucvk out the few oddballs that aint needed and wahla :) 
  • -1 Hide
    Orion1024 , November 13, 2009 3:53 PM
    I can see how the simplicity of this device would work out nicely for the majority of people who aren't tech savvy. Unfortunately, most of these same people are either too cheap or lazy to bother with backing up in the first place (they're on the fence over spending a measly $40 for Acronis...even when they already have an external hd). If this product is capable of a sector by sector image then I'd say it's a good deal. Although, as already mentioned, it is pretty slow. It takes me 1hr to image 40GB with Ghost (with verifying the image integrity) and 15mins to restore.
  • -2 Hide
    yyrkoon , November 13, 2009 6:20 PM
    I fail to see how this is better than RAID 1, except that in this solution, the backup drive, and main drive are not connected in the same way. With that said, there are other options that I would consider better than this, or RAID.

    My favorite method for keeping files safe is using rsync. This can give you redundancy that no other method can surpass as far as I am aware. You can mirror files on any media you have access to, and make as many duplicates as you like. This means you can mirror files at more than two locations ( my personal feeling here is 3 locations, including the original ). Anyways, you can have as many redundant copies of files that you want, without wasting a whole drive on mirroring duties.

    DeltaCopy is a good rsync implementation for Windows. While rsync may not be as easy to setup as rebit with this external enclosure. It can be done reasonably easy by anyone who is willing to take the time to read instructions.

    The Microsoft Sync toy I understand to also be a good option. I am not sure if this is based on rsync, and honestly I have not used it. From what I understand it operates the same in principle, and does a good job as well.

    Anyways, there are many reasons why someone would want to use rsync instead of entire drive imaging / mirroring. However rsync does require a little more work to get running. But when running, it will do exactly what you want when properly setup.
  • -1 Hide
    yyrkoon , November 13, 2009 6:43 PM
    apache_lives1 - If your data is important, BACK IT UP2 - If your data is ultra important, KEEP A BACKUP OFFSITE3 - Test your hdd's once a year - i would say in that time frame a good 1/3 of all hdd's develop bad sectors which can corrupt data/patitions making the whole drive inaccessable (also check and test the rest of your computer too)4 - Keep your hdd's at 40*c or below - lowers risks alot.Exodite2 patitions wont save anything in most circumstances, you are much better off with a seperate drive atleast, or if you have that much data like me, a server (well a basic system with say RAID1/5/10 to share over a network etc)Faulty memory, motherboard, psu and hdd all corrupt hdd data (or run the risk of corruption) - all can corrupt the patition table, making the contents inacessable etc i dont know how many times i have seen this and 99% of the time i can quite easily get the data back with microsofts own tools that come with windows (obviously not using the windows off the corrupted install).



    I agree with 1 & 2

    as for #3, if you keep backups on separate drives, that were not part of the same build lot, you're doing pretty good. Your suggestion may work for an enterprise situation where the data is mission critical. Otherwise, what is the point ? You have two or more redundant copies of files

    Google research has proven #4 to be unnecessary. You can read about it online I am sure, but they've tested the effects of heat on hard drives and came to the conclusion that heat plays very little, or no factor where drive failure is concerned. Of course, if your drives are hot enough to melt . . . that is another story.
  • -2 Hide
    apache_lives , November 13, 2009 10:07 PM
    yyrkoonI agree with 1 & 2 as for #3, if you keep backups on separate drives, that were not part of the same build lot, you're doing pretty good. Your suggestion may work for an enterprise situation where the data is mission critical. Otherwise, what is the point ? You have two or more redundant copies of filesGoogle research has proven #4 to be unnecessary. You can read about it online I am sure, but they've tested the effects of heat on hard drives and came to the conclusion that heat plays very little, or no factor where drive failure is concerned. Of course, if your drives are hot enough to melt . . . that is another story.


    I have had over the last 5 years 2x20, 2x250, 2x320, 3x320, 3x1000, 3x1000 and 3x1500gb hdd's all without a single failure because i kept them all below 40*c and tested once a year - where i work we use a scrap server with ~8 old hdds of various make and model etc and same deal no issues - ill stick to my theory.

    In my home i have a few servers, my main being 5tb - i like my data at my finger tips and without having to find my dvd out of a pile and hope its not a dud.

    Also take note RAID1/10/5 is *NOT* a true storage solution - its just as unreliable as a single drive when it comes to corruption, virus's and deletion etc - dont be fooled into thinking its a safe place to keep your important stuff.
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