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

Arco EzCopy

Looks like a mini barebone PC, but copies drives - Arco's EzCopy.

Firmware: 5.025.00

While based on the same technology as the DupliDisk, the EzCopy is a different product, which offers simple drive copying and mirroring and not real-time mirroring, namely an external drive copying station. The case is an old-style desktop design, with solid metal parts and a more or less attractive frontage. Its purpose is to create exact copies of hard drives without the need for a PC.

A look inside reveals two drive bays. The source drive is inserted into the upper one, while the target drive goes into the lower one. The EzCopy is operated using a few buttons and a two-line dot-matrix display. Getting the desired results is relatively painless - as long as you follow a few guidelines.

Firstly, it is important that the target drive is empty. As the EzCopy cannot delete exiting partitions on its own, it will abort the copying process after about a minute and display an error message. Secondly, make sure to check out Arco's compatibility list. Not all drives can be duplicated with the EzCopy. For example, the device refused to cooperate with a Samsung SV2042H.

Duplicating the content of an IBM IC35L040 to another drive of the same model posed no problems, though. However, the process did take an hour, which was too long, considering that the drive contained only 16 GB of data. Even the use of a more modern and therefore much faster Hitachi 7K250 as the target drive didn't help much, speeding up the copying process by a mere 30 seconds.

In professional environments, drive images are often copied to a hard disk from the company network. This is one feature that the EzCopy does not support. As a result, a separate "master drive" has to be created for each required hardware or software configuration and then installed into the EzCopy.

The EzCopy is operated using a few buttons. The two-line dot-matrix display shows the options. Important: The bays for the source and destination drives are clearly marked.