Lacie Quadra d2 320GB External Drive

hd_d2quadra_1.jpgLacie delivers a four interface external hard drive.  I included the pic to show how well this will go with your Mac.  Seems to play well with Macs and Windows boxes.  It also comes with EMC® Retrospect® Express backup software for Mac or Windows.  The Lacie Quadra also offers extremely fast burst transfer rates of up to 80-90 MBps via eSATA, making it ideal for graphics and audio/video pros.

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Data Recovery Seeks Writer

This is a great blog.  It’s a highly focused area that does well.  I like writing for it, but time is short these days.  So, I’m looking for someone to take it over.  I need to focus my energies to building the CQ network.  If you have interest, please direct your inquiry to jlong at contentquake dot com.

Lacie Safe Mobile Hard Drive

lacie-safe-mobile.jpgI’ll be heading out for some much needed R&R soon. I love taking my data on the road. I just have too much of it to email or put it on a jump drive. I’m sure that the future will hold a portable storage medium that can hold libraries full of information. But until that day arrives, we’ll have to get a little creative.

Security quickly becomes an issue if you are carrying around sensitive data. Well, it just so happens that Lacie can handle that type of job. The Lacie Safe Mobile Hard Drive gives you a hard drive on the go with fingerprint encryption built in. The drive comes in 80 and 120 GB varieties. And it can handle up to 5 user profiles and 10 fingerprints.

Here are the specs:

Interface : 1 x Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port (USB 1.1 compatible)
Interface Transfer Rate : Up to 480 Mbits/s max (60 MB/s)
Max Data Transfer Rate : Up to 25-27 MB/s in DES mode; Up to 20-21 MB/s in Triple-DES mode
Rotational Speed (rpm) : 5400
Cache : 8MB or greater
Seek Time : < 12 ms
Data Encryption : DES** (56-bits key) or Triple-DES** (128-bits key) Key linked to a password chosen by administrator
Installation & User Management : Easy to use & install; Switch from PC to PC without installing any software. Different user access rights: Read/Write or Read only
System Requirements : Windows® 2000/XP, Mac OS 10.2 or higher;
PC or Mac with built-in powered USB bus;
Pentium® II 350 MHz / G3/G4/G5/Intel processor;
minimum 128MB of RAM
Dimensions : 5.43 x 3.15 x 0.98 in / 138 x 80 x 25 mm (LxWxH)
Weight : 8.11 oz. / 230 g
Comments : 1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes. Once formatted, actual available storage capacity varies depending on operating environment (up to 5-10% less).
*For standard USB equipped computers, it’s AC adapter free. An optional AC adapter is available for a non-powered USB hub or host adapter (sold separately).
**DES (Data Encryption Standard) and Triple-DES are certified algorithms developed by the US NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology).
Box Content : Hi-Speed USB 2.0 cable; USB power-sharing cable; CD with PDF User’s Manual; Quick Start Guide

Data Recovery Via Ubuntu Live CD

Live CDs are great inventions. Live CDs simply load an operating system that allows you to test drive that OS without installing it on your hard drive. Now, that’s a very nice way to try the OS out, but it can also come in handy when your primary OS goes south. Most people get confused that they could access the hard drive when the OS can’t be loaded. Sometimes data that is crucial for the OS to load has been corrupted, but the drive can still be accessed. Now, one way to get at that data is to physically pull that drive from the computer and put it in another one with a good OS. So, when you boot the working machine, you can see that problematic drive and grab any data you can from it. But what if you don’t want to do that? This is especially true if you are working on a laptop.

My recommendation would be that you go on over to Ubuntu‘s website and download that OS. You will need to burn an iso image after you download it. Don’t worry we have you covered. Now, boot up your Ubuntu CD. After it boots, you will need to do some things to access the NTFS partitions that Windows uses. If you are using a FAT partition, you won’t have this issue. But if you have an NTFS partition, we have a little more work.

Now, you need to change the sources list. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t worry. Click on Applications > System Tools > Terminal. This is akin to Windows Command prompt box. Now, at the window, type sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list. This will bring up a notepad like document. In there you should see two lines commented out. The directions talk about uncommenting these lines to get to the sources. Simply remove the preceding # at the beginning of the lines. Now, save the document.

Ok, now click on the “Applications” menu again and select “Add/Remove.” It will ask you to load new sources or something. Go ahead and do that.  In there you are going to find either ntfs-3g or ntfs-config.  I forget which one it is.  Once you install that (you can search on those names), you will find a new icon on the Applications > System Tools Menu.

Go ahead and click on the ntfs-3G (or ntfs-config) icon and follow instructions for adding your ntfs drive.  You should now be able to read and write to that volume.  Now, you can simply take anything you want from that drive and copy to another computer on the network – or a thumb drive on the current machine.

Dell Latitude D420 Solid State Hard Drive

dell-latitude-d420.jpgSo, here comes Dell with a solid state hard drive option.  If you have no idea what the blazes I’m talking about, I posted about the SanDisk Solid State drive over at PaulTech.  That will give you an idea about solid state technology and how it could help us.  In any case, Dell recently announced that they started shipping Latitude D420’s with the option to get the SanDisk drives.

“Engineering tests show that the SSD has an operating shock tolerance of up to 1,300 Gs, which is twice the rating of mechanical drives. In fact, during extreme impact testing the surrounding notebook hardware breaks before the drive. In addition, the drives are predicted to reduce the probability of failure by three-and-one-half times compared to standard mechanical drives. This will help reduce costs associated with hard drive failures, which analyst firm Gartner reports is one of two top sources of system malfunctions in notebooks and accounts for up to 45 percent of total hardware failures.

‘This represents an important milestone in the evolution of personal computers with the arrival of solid state flash memory as a durable, efficient alternative to the hard drive,’ said Eli Harari, SanDisk’s founder and CEO.’For those enterprise road warriors who rely on their notebook PCs, hard drive crashes with attendant loss of critical data will soon be a thing of the past. We’re delighted that Dell has chosen the SanDisk SSD to launch this technology into their line of mobile PCs.’

The new drives can also increase system performance by up to 23 percent and decreases boot time by up to 34 percent compared to traditional HDDs available with the Latitude D420 and D620 ATG.”

So, why in the heck wouldn’t you get this option?  Price – to the tune of an extra $550.  Give that a little time for it to drop like a rock.

Get Your Mac Data on Windows

Previously We talked about some Mac startup problem troubleshooting.  It wasn’t exhaustive, but it may help someone.  Now, your issue may end up being a hard drive problem.  Let’s get at that Mac hard drive from a Windows machine.  By the way, you can do this for free!

Now, what about my data on that old drive?  Well, if you were like me, then you only have a Windoze desktop laying around.  Well, here’s a nifty little trick.  Go to your local computer shop and ask them for a cable to hook up a laptop drive to a desktop.  You can get an enclosure or you can get a simple cable to hook it up.  Now, here’s the caveat.  On Windows, you can’t read HFS disks, ie Mac drives.  If you go to Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Managment.  Under Storage, go to Disk Management. Do you see your Mac hard drive listed there?  If so, good.  If not, then either you don’t have the hard drive hooked up correctly or your hard drive is toast.

If you can see the drive, then we can get at its contents.  To do that, you have to download a tool to see the contents of an HFS drive on Windows.   Now, this may require you to install the Java Runtime Engine, if you don’t have it installed.  You should be able to see the contents of the drive or load it.  I was able to grab all the files I wanted from the drive this way.  It’s very helpful.

Troubleshooting Mac Startup Problems

Recently a friend was having power problems with his iBook G4. I took a gander at it. By the way, it’s crazy that you have to take a laptop completely apart to get to the hard drive. I would chalk that one up to nice service $$$$. In any case, it turned out that his issue was a bad power board, which was great – since you can get one on ebay for like $30. Once I had that solved I had to attack another issue – startup problems. I’m no Mac guru, but I did learn quite a bit about startup problems and I wanted to share some of that knowledge. Hopefully it will help someone else.

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Maxtor One Touch III Turbo Edition

maxtor-one-touch-iii.jpgIt’s amazing the rate of data storage increases. It’s also amazing the rate at which demands for data storage increase. This is especially true if you are doing any sort of digital media storage. Suddenly, 250 GB seems like a small amount of data storage. This is where things like the Maxtor One Touch III come in.

The Maxtor drive offers 931 GB of storage. Yes, it’s close to a terabyte. They also have a 1.5 TB version, which I’m assuming is also a little less than 1.5 TB in reality. But it’s very close. Both models come with great, fast firewire and USB support. And Maxtor has nice software that allows you to do auto syncing of data from your host computer. And there is a programmable one touch button. It can run a script, backup data, sync drives manually, etc.

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Iomega Rev 70 GB Drive

iomega-rev-drive.jpgThe Rev 70 GB drive is an interesting backup hardware solution. Mind you, it is expensive. But for convenience and ease of use, this drive is very nice. To sum up the Rev drive, it is a removable hard drive. This allows you to take the hard drives to a remote location for off-site data storage. Or, it allows you a way to take massive quantities of data between locations easily. Mind you, this is not a flash solution so care should be taken when transporting.

The included software is pretty neat. It allows you to do a sort of file versioning where it backs up a file automatically if it changes. It also includes a bulk backup job function. Both are helpful. Here’s the rundown:

The Iomega® REV® 70GB USB Drive At-A-Glance:

  • Reliable: Based on proven hard disk technology; Password protect confidential data and encrypt your backups
  • Easy: Plug and play; Easy to set up and manage; No cleaning or maintenance required; Appears as a standard drive letter
  • Affordable: Iomega® REV ® products are a better value compared to traditional tape drives*
  • Fast: Back up and recover files up to 10 times faster than tape*; Retrieve files in seconds with drag-and-drop (compared to linear access with tape drives)
  • Durable: Rigid disks offer virtually unlimited rewritability
  • Expandable: Add capacity when you need it with affordable REV disks
  • Efficient: Retrieve files in seconds, versus minutes, with drag-and-drop (compared to linear access with tape drives)
  • High-Capacity: 70GB native capacity (140GB compressed*) to store and share large files, or back up an entire system on a single disk
  • Secure: Password protect confidential data and encrypt your backups
  • Software Included: EMC® Retrospect® Express Backup and Disaster Recovery Software

What You Get

  • One REV 70GB USB Drive
  • One REV 70GB disk (in plastic case with disk labels)
  • One USB 2.0 Data Cable
  • One Power Supply
  • One Solutions CD containing:
    • REV System Software
    • EMC® Retrospect® Express backup software including disaster recovery
    • HTML User Manual and Help Files
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Three year warranty on drive. Five year warranty on disks.
  • Software provided under license

Cost on the USB 70GB unit is $599 and a pack of 4 70GB disks is $249.
Source: Iomega

Quantum DLT-V4 Superloader 3

quantum-superloader3.jpgWe recently got our hands on one of these massive units. The Superloader is a rack-mount 2U auto-loading tape backup device. Obviously, this isn’t something you want running next to your cube. And it can be noisy when it changes tapes around. So, again, don’t plan on putting this in a place where it will disturb folks.

We chose to get two loader cartridges. These cartridges are long units on both sides of the autoloader face. They reach all the way to the back and hold a lot of cartridges (see specs that follow). We have been really please with the performance and reliability of the unit so far. The unit will cost you $4000-$5000, depending on the configuration you use.



Rack Mount
Height: 8.9 cm (3.5 in.)
Width: 45 cm (17.7 in.)
Length: 75.46 cm (29.71 in.)
Package Weight (without media): 22.7 kg (50 lb.)
Footprint: 0.32 square meters (3.4 square feet)


Read/write transfer rate: maximum sustained (DLTtape VS1 media)
Noncompressed mode: 36 GB/hr.
Compressed (2:1 typical): 72 GB/hr.
Burst transfer rate: 160 MB/s
Average access time: 68 seconds (from BOT)
Loading time to BOT (for previously written tape): 70 seconds (maximum)
Unloading time from BOT 22 seconds (no brush): 61 seconds (brush)
MCBF > 400,000 cycles at 100% duty cycle
Interface type: Ultra 160 SCSI-3 LVD


DLTtape VS1 storage capacity: 5,120 GB (compressed) with 16 cartridges
DLTtape VS1 formatted capacity: 160 GB (noncompressed) 320 GB (2:1 typical compression)
Tape length: 562.9 m (1,847 ft.)
Cartridge dimensions: 10.41 x 10.41 x 2.54 cm
(4.1 x 4.1 x 1.0 in)
Read compatibility: DLT-V4, DLT VS160, DLT VS80/DLT1
Write compatibility: DLT-V4
Shelf life: > 30 years with < 10% loss in demagnetization @ 20C, 40% RH
Cartridge life: 1,000,000 passes (any point on the tape passing the recording head in either direction)
DLT VS1 Cleaning cartridge: 20 uses