THG's Holiday Buyer's Guide: Second Edition

Iomega - 30 GB Portable Firewire/ USB Hard Drive

Retail Price - $260/ $250 US

Website - Iomega

Yes, it is another external hard drive device, but with the included software it is a lot more.

Speaking of Iomega, we saw their new 30 GB Portable Firewire external hard drive product at Fall 2002 Comdex. We talked a little bit about it in our Comdex reports, and since then this product has made its way into our labs, where we were able to take a closer look. The most important feature of this unit isn't the unit itself, because other than the fact that it is possible to swap between the Firewire/ 1394 and USB interfaces, there is little to report on the hardware side. (You purchase the drive with one interface and you can purchase the other interface adapter separately.) On the software side, however, it is a totally different story.

We touched upon the fact that Iomega has been able to create low-level drivers that allow their external hard drive products to be accessed by Ghost through the Firewire/ 1394 or USB ports to image or re-image drives. We are excited to report that this works as advertised, as we have made a few test runs with the Firewire/ 1394 30 GB version and the results were excellent!

All you need to do is connect the drive to either a Firewire/ 1394 or USB port. Once this is done, boot from the included CD and select whether you have the drive connected to a Firewire/ 1394 or USB port. After the selection is made, you then will see the normal Ghost screen. In this case, it is the Iomega version of Ghost 2003.

What is so exceptional about this is that it is generally not possible to image or back up hard drives to an external/ removable device very easily, and this is a feature that has been needed for a long time. While the product that Iomega sent us only included a six-pin- to six-pin Firewire cable, and most notebooks use the four-pin Firewire/ 1394 connector, a four-pin to four-pin cable or adapter is needed, but was not included. Beyond that, it might be a little early to know what all the possibilities of this new development by Iomega may be. One thing is for certain, and that is that this product could quite easily be integrated into your backup and recovery strategy. Iomega does a good job with the enclosed information, proposing a backup and recovery strategy that is based upon using not only Ghost, but also Iomega's automatic backup software. Right now Iomega has the jump on everyone by being able to offer this technology due to the development of these low-level drivers, but expect others to follow suit, and to see other products offer this technology using Ghost. Performance of the product is good and about what you would expect of a 2.5" 9.5mm 4200 RPM notebook hard drive connected to a Firewire/ 1394 port. For those who have already purchased one of the Iomega external drives, Iomega is offering the Ghost software as an upgrade, and you can find additional details on the Iomega website. In the meantime, look for a full in-depth review from THG shortly. Talk about a great gift idea... this could be it!

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  • Anonymous
    dear ma'am/sir,
    i have a JVC mini DV. i bought a 4-6 pins firewire cable at CDRKing. the problem is, my desktop does not have 6 pins port. also my thinkpad t60 laptop does not have 4 pins also. please help me find the thing i need to transfer my videos...

    appreciate you immediate response.
    God bless you..