Pros Easy installation
Cons Backup utility can't backup "Shared Documents" folder
Summary I bought the drive based on the CNET review, but clearly should have read the user comments. As noted by someone else, the built in backup utility (Maxtor Manager) can not be setup to backup files outside of My Documents and certain other C drive folders. My wife and I keep all our photos, videos, and music in our "Shared Documents" folder so that each of us can access them easily. We also have a laptop that has remote access to this folder.
The fact that Maxtor Manager can't be set to backup these folders has also been noted on the Maxtor's Support Site. Corporate Response: Move everything to a different folder on the C drive. That seems like a pretty lame response. How hard would it be to allow these to be backed up? And I like my current data organization approach.
The other alternative, would be to use some other backup utility other than the included one. The downside to that is that it eliminates the usefulness of the "OneTouch" button on the drive.
Message to Maxtor: Hire some better product development people or at least someone who can come up with a better excuse.
Pros Set up was a breeze, runs quiet....very quiet! Fast boot up!
Cons Light too bright!
Summary I first purchased a Lacie 500 XHD and that thing was so loud I wanted to throw it out my window! I returned it to my local MacResource Store and had to swallow a whopping 25% restocking fee for them to take it back!!!!
Won't shop there again! Next was a Western Digital 500, which had a faulty firewire port, and took no less than 2 minutes to mount on my new Imac. . . ....... can you say irritating! Took it back to my local CompUSA and traded it in for the new Maxtor OT4 Plus 500. Now this is a great external hard drive!
It is very quiet and that is very important to me. Set up was easy and the drive mounts in seconds after startup. I take lots of pictures and transferring files from my internal hard drive was a lot faster than the other machines. The drive also automatically powers down on computer shutdown.
The only drawback is the bad choice of such a bright emittance of light from the backup button! A softer glow would have been just fine.
But if you can put that one drawback aside, it will be hard to beat the new Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus external hard drive!
Pros Cons far outweigh any Pros
Cons Computer will not boot if drive is connected
Summary Actually this relates to the 750G Maxtor Onetouch 4 Plus.
Installed OK and system recognizes it.
Problem is that the PC will not boot - I mean not at all - if the drive is powered and connected. It doesn't even get to the Windows XP startup screen.
I spoke to tech support and they described this as "normal". You have to physically disconnect the drive from the PC BEFORE you try to boot up - otherwise you will never get there. It wouldn't be so bad if the device had a simple on-off power switch (like my older MAXTOR that does not have this problem)but it does not. You have to unplug either the power or the USB cable. Wait until the Start-up routine is complete, then plug it back in again.
As I said under Pros - I consider the incovenience of this device to far outwiegh any good features that it might have. So..... it's back to Best Buy to get rid of a turkey.
Pros It is cheap! Got it on sale for $59 after the rebate. Simple interface. Looks cool in a black box.
Cons Cannot back up files outside of My Documents or drives other than your C Drive
Summary You can only back up files in My Documents. That alone should be have been reason for CNET's reviewer to give it a lousy review. Maybe the reviewer is a novice user? Most intermnediate and all advanced users should be using multiple drives, whether for back up or to keep progam and system files on your c drive and your My Documents on another drive. If this was made in 1999, I would give it higher review. But since this is 2007 and a brand new developed product, support for multiple drives should have been mandatory. Seems even though Seagate bought Maxtor, Maxtor should continue to be avoided with it reputation for a weak warranty and weak features.
Pros Very quiet, cool running, great warranty
Cons Light is a little bright
Summary We switched to these drives after disastrous data loss with Western Digital My Books (we're not alone; search Google). We were looking for a FireWire drive that could spin up and spin down (auto-sleep) with an unmodified Linux kernel (even old RH8 kernels) and these drives work great.
They seem to run much cooler than the WD's and the 5 year warranty far exceeds the My Books (which failed in less than a year under very light load). They also seem to restart normally even if they were asleep during a shutdown which the WD's never did.
Can't speak for the included Windows backup software since we don't use it, but the "full disk" imaging portion of it looks to be a private label version of Acronis True Image judging by the documentation, which we use all the time for bare metal restore of our XP systems.
So I guess our experience differs from other reviewers; we think these drives are great and we've converted to them.