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Of course we had this idea earlier on, in the Shareware Inventions! See Portable Hard disc Drive

Maxtor OneTouch 200Gb portable hard disc drive with extra snazziness!

Maxtor OneTouch portable USB/firewire hard disc driveAfter a while, the world caught up with the idea and folk stopped saying I was mad to want to carry around more than 1.44Mb and that it was a bit odd to carry around a hard disc drive in a padded bag and that floppy disc drives could just be made obsolete and it was somehow acceptable to burn expendable CD-R use-once discs as a means of transferring data about! So now we see such things as the Maxtor OneTouch, a genuine hard disc drive spinning round in a box, with a cable so you can plug it into your computer, or someone else's computer, and you can conveniently carry around large amounts of data!

OK, it's a consumer market, so the new professionally made hard disc drives don't use a padded bag and instead have a nice case, and the wires have been made smaller so they don't need to have ribbon cables with IDC plugs on being shifted about. But the idea is basically the same, comparatively large amounts of data being carted around in a portable hard disc drive.

I'm especially chuffed about this 200Gb OneTouch drive by Maxtor as it was a special gift from ESS Data the data recovery and rescue company, for creating them a nice dedicated affiliate page here at this site!

If you would like to buy a Maxtor OneTouch portable hard disc drive like this with Firewire and USB, there are a few Computer Parts places who might stock it.

Other points of note: The Maxtor hard disc drive works perfectly well on Linux, even though Maxtor have not properly acknowledged this in their instructions leaflet and documentation which came with the drive. It's a basic /mnt/pen bulk storage device. Very fast, especially if you have USB2 or Firewire. I have mine formatted FAT32 so it's compatible with both Linux and Windows systems. I advise avoiding NTFS as it's not properly compatible with Linux and other open source systems. The drive is perfectly happy with FAT32.

The drivers CD that came with the drive had an absurd litigious contract terms and conditions attached, saying such things as Thou Shalt Not Export it from the USA etc. Well at that point the drive was already in the UK, so we'll just NOT SIGN THE AGREEMENT. The CD remains still sealed in the wrapper. We don't need it anyway, as it's only for Microsoft Windows. You'd think that intelligent companies such as Maxtor would be dumping this Microsoft nonsense in favour of the more open-minded open-source model including Linux! They are in the business of making hardware, so it's best if it's made available to work on as many systems as possible, so as to sell more drives.

The agreement also stated that if you didn't agree then you had to send the CD still in the pack AND THE DRIVE back to Maxtor. Well, we hadn't signed the agreement, so that doesn't apply. A lot of people will be using these portable hard disc drives on Linux, so it seems completely unreasonable that Maxtor should want us to sign a Microsoft Windows agreement and in effect only use the drive on Microsoft. They can have the CD back if they like, or it could just remain here in the collection of interesting antiquities.

It might be that the whole problem is to do with this "OneTouch" feature, which has never worked. I don't know what all the fuss is about. In Linux you can do things like cp -pr * etc as standard, so you can backup a whole drive at a touch. In Linux these things have always been included free as a standard part of the operating system. No problems.

On a lighter note, the bright blue LED works. Having blue LEDs on a machine always adds a touch of snazziness to it!

Works on 110 volts or 240 volts equally well and uses a standard figure 8 connector on the PSU. The drive itself works on 12 volts DC, but if you want to run it off a car battery you should use an inline fuse and some commonsense about charging-up procedures.

To get your own snazzy hard disc drive see Computer Suppliers (International Feature)

A special Well Done to ESS Data Recovery for providing this drive. They're a good contact to know if you need your data recovering.