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Arco's RAID-based Storage Has No Smoke and Many Mirrors

Conclusion

Both the DupliDisk3 and the EzCopy have their place in the world of bits and Bytes. Each of them covers its own little market niche for entry-level RAID and RAID-related devices.

The DupliDisk3 is an uncomplicated upgrade for those who wish to turn their conventional system into a RAID-1 configuration without changing a single Byte of their Windows installation. The conventional way to achieve this goal - buying a RAID controller and two drives - either requires a re-installation of Windows or a lot of work in the form of reconfiguration. The DupliDisk, on the other hand, just gets plugged between the IDE controller and the two hard drives and takes care of the mirroring itself.

The installation is very well documented, so even users with little experience shouldn't run into any problems. Beyond this Ultra-ATA model, Arco also offers a wide variety of versions (3.5", 5.25", PCI-card, box module, no-slot module). The only flavor still missing is Serial-ATA.

The EzCopy, on the other hand, allows users to quickly and easily copy entire disks without the need for a PC. Just insert the drives, power on, press a button, and the job is done. However, taking an hour to copy a 40 GB IBM drive that only had 16 GB of data already took an hour is a real drawback, however.

Software solutions such as PowerQuest Drive Image 7.0 or Symantec Ghost 2003 complete the same task in only a fraction of the time. Then again, they require the hard drives to be attached to an existing computer, which can't be used during the copying process that involves PC shutdown, drive attachment, powering up, copying, shutting down, disconnect drives and then powering up again).

Also, The rocky-road hard-drive support of the EzCopy is a real faux pas. For example, it refused to copy an older Samsung drive that we used for our tests. Considering its high price of $799, Arco's EzCopy leaves us unconvinced. After all, in a worst-case scenario, future hard drives might not work with the EzCopy either. And its hefty price-tag is enough to buy an entire desktop PC complete with imaging software.