Pros Does what is promised right out of the box - No surprises
Clone directly (drive-to-drive) or save a HD Image (drive-to-backup) for restore later
2.5", 3.5" PATA, SATA all in one unit
AC/DC Power Adapter for powering 3.5" drives
Cons EZ Gig II software not Vista 64-Bit compatible; however, software can be run on 64-bit computer by booting from EZ Gig II Disk (my prefered method)
NOTE: Internal drives not availble in this mode. External drives only (i.e. cloned HD-to ext. backup)
Summary I am the IT Director at a private elementary school. I have 70 computers total spanning 4 different models. Lately I?ve been having a rash of hard drive failures on systems that still have some good years left in them; so, spending $80 on a replacement hard drive to keep these systems running is a no-brainer. Unfortunately, the 10 hours it takes to reload the operating system plus the dozen or so applications and the setup tweaks on each individual machine that crashes is an absolute brain-number.
What I wanted to be able to do is build one computer from each model type to the exact specifications that I need, then copy that hard drive image to a storage drive. Then, if one of my many hard drives fail down the road I will be able to paste the original hard drive image to the replacement hard drive in a fraction of the time, complete with the operating system and all additional applications and tweaks ready to run.
I had read reviews and spoken with users of Symantec?s Norton Ghost 14.0, and my conclusion was that this version of Norton Ghost would not do the cloning job that I needed. I also learned that Symantec offers their own version of Ghost [Symantec Ghost 2.5] that will do the job of cloning hard drives very well. Unfortunately, Symantec requires that I buy a minimum of 5 licenses at an initial cost of $196.
While I was researching cloning software, I was also looking for a single hard drive adapter to use with the cloning software that would allow me to connect any 2.5? or 3.5? PATA or SATA drive to my work laptop. After reviewing several pieces of hardware, I chose Apricorn?s DriveWire-Universal Hard Drive Adapter. The DriveWire?s claims were in line with what I needed, and its reviews were solid. Plus it came with the EZ Gig II software [which I am told is a stripped-down version of Acronis True Image] all for only $39: definitely a reasonable price worthy of a test drive, so I bought one.
Before I started in on the school?s hard drives, I decided to play around with the DriveWire adapter and the EZ Gig II software at home. My daughter?s laptop needed a bigger hard drive [not really] and I just happened to have one from another computer that lost its motherboard; so, I cloned her old drive to the new one, dropped it in to her computer, and lo and behold? it worked perfectly, just like they said. I then made backup images of all my home computers? just for fun.
Now, back to work. Next, I built and loaded up the first of eight new IBM/Lenovo computers that we just took delivery of. The first computer took about 8 man-hours to setup, load all the applications, and then tweak the settings to our specifications. After the first unit was completed, I then copied an image of its finished hard drive to my laptop?s backup drive. This took about 1 hour and 45 minutes for 11 GB of data with no file compression. I had heard that there might be problems trying to clone or copy a true IBM system hard drive outside of its working environment, and I am assuming that Lenovo qualifies as a true IBM computer and not a clone. What made matters scarier was that the new Lenovo?s Recovery Disk Creator application failed to run, so I was about to reformat a perfectly good, brand new, preloaded hard drive with no backup to save me in case this didn?t work. [I really should have picked up a fresh hard drive for this test] I double-checked my settings very carefully, and then proceeded with the clone/recovery operation. No need to reformat the hard drive first. The EZ Gig II software does this as part of the recovery process. It took about 1 hour and 45 minutes to load the image on to the second drive, then I popped the cloned hard drive in to the second computer? and? and, it worked perfectly. All applications launched without a hitch. All mapped network drives were in tact. All I had to do was change the computer?s name for the network to avoid the same name coming up on all cloned computers.
I then pulled the hard drives from the remaining 6 computers, cloned each of them, and then reinstalled the hard drives. In all, the job to completely setup 8 new computers took me a little over 20 man-hours with little supervision, a job that would normally have taken well over 60 hours with constant supervision.
Next, I cloned one hard drive each from my other three model lines. If I have a hard drive failure, I can have that computer back up and running in less than two hours. If my students manage to corrupt the operating system on any computer, I can clone a spare drive in under two hours and then drop it in to the chassis in under two minutes. Yea, I?m a happy IT Director.
Now that I'm a veteran of copying, cloning and backing up hard drives with the Apricorn DriveWire and the EZ Gig II software, I can honestly say that this was the best $39 I have ever spent. These two products work exactly as expected, faithfully as claimed, right out of the box. Stop looking for other cloning solutions. This is it.
Pros Simple, works with many drives
Cons not intended for long term storage
Summary This is a simple device that lets you connect internal hard drives to another computer through a USB cable. It has connectors for 3 different types of drives. I was erasing a bunch of hard drives from computers we were getting rid of, and this let me plug in hard drives from laptops and desktops. It always worked as intended, and is much easier that the external drive cases, if you are going to be plugginh in a bunch of different drives. This isn't a case, so it's not designed to permanently house a drive. I'm very satisfied with the product.