Maxell 250GB myGEN 250GB Negro - Disco duro externo (Windows 2000, Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah, Mac OS X 10.1 Puma, Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar, Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, Mac OS X 10., Negro)
Descripción del producto
Capacidad de disco duro: 250 GB
Color del producto: Negro
Conexión USB: Si
Sistema operativo MAC soportado: Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah, Mac OS X 10.1 Puma, Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar, Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion
Sistema operativo Windows soportado: Windows 2000
Tamaño de disco duro: 2.5"
Unidad, tamaño de búfer: 8 MB
Velocidad de rotación de disco duro: 5400 RPM
Versión USB: 2.0
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What makes this one special? Maxwell's myGen has a short built in usb connection which makes it ultra portable for laptops. There is an additional M/F usb cable included for connections that require more length. It allows several computers to back-up onto the single drive and not all devises allow for this function. Maxwell covers it with a 3 year limited warranty. Although this devise can provide you personal "cloud" space, it's available for a charge with the first 2G being free. Maxwell's myGen comes in three storage capacities: 250 GB, 320 GB and 500GB. This one is at the lower end (250 GB) with the price higher then my favorite (Verbatim) but close to most other similar devises.
If you are looking for a portable devise for your laptop, I highly recommend this one. If you are in the general market, this is a good option. It allows for several computers to use it and it does a great job of easily transferring information from one source to another.
I have two Macs (a 15" MacBook Pro & a 27" iMac), both with OS X 10.6.4 installed & a "generic" PC that I built myself with Windows 7 Professional 64-bit installed. On my Macs, Disk Utility reports that this Maxell external HDD contains a Toshiba MK2565GSX drive (5400 RPM, 8MB Cache, 2.5" SATA, 3.0Gb/s).
I tested this HDD on all three of my systems. Here are my results:
MACBOOK PRO, 15" (May 2006, model identifier MacBookPro1,1 w/ 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo CPU, 2 GB RAM)
When plugging the drive into the USB port on the right side of my MBP using the short permanent USB cable, my MBP immediately POWERS OFF! I tried this several times, and each & every time, my laptop powered off immediately w/o doing a proper shutdown. Interestingly, when I attach the supplied extension cord to the short USB cord and plug in only one of the male plugs on the other end to THE SAME USB port, the drive powers up & mounts fine. Using the USB port on the other (left) side of my MBP, the drive powers up & mounts fine with or without the extension cord. Same with using a self-powered USB hub. Note that my laptop was connected to an AC power source during all these tests.
IMAC, 27" (October 2009, model identifier iMac11,1 w/ 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 8 GB RAM)
Drive powers up & mounts fine to the USB ports on the back of my iMac, as well as to a self-powered USB hub. Works fine with or without the supplied extension cord (needing to use only one of the male plugs on the end that attaches to computer / hub).
GENERIC PC (Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600, 4 GB RAM)
Drive powers up & mounts fine both with & without the supplied extension cord on a self-powered hub. Powers up, but will not mount using only one connection to a USB port on the PC with the extension cord - requires BOTH male plugs be plugged into two separate ports to power up & mount. Powers up & mounts fine when connected to one port using the permanently attached short USB cord.
Like many external USB hard drives, this one may or may not draw enough power from a single USB port / connection in order to power up & mount successfully. I have encountered this before with other external USB drives. It all depends on a particular USB port's power output. So, drive manufacturers provide means to supply the extra power when the disk drive is attached to an under-powered USB port. Some provide a separate power connection & supply - this drive by Maxell provides an extra USB connection spliced into the extension cord so that a second USB port can be plugged into to provide the extra power. BUT, on some laptops, like my Macbook Pro, there is only one port on each side of the laptop, so the spliced cable does not work. Self powered USB hubs can overcome this, however.
Nonetheless, I have never seen an external USB HDD cause a laptop to immediately power down like this one did when attached to my MacBook Pro w/ the drive's short cable (and I have used or tested several other drives over the years, mostly made by LaCie). I found this unacceptable, albeit avoidable as I had a couple of work arounds (use the extension cord, or a hub).
As for the supplied software, like the previous Mac user who reviewed this drive, I use Time Machine & am very happy with it. I did start the install of the supplied Maxell software to see what it looked like, however. Once I saw how "clunky" the interface was, I aborted the install. I didn't bother installing it on my Windows 7 PC, as I use some other software there that I like a lot (Oops! Backup), and I assumed the supplied software would be similarly "clunky" there, as is most "free" software that comes with disk drives.
Bottom line, given the powering down of my laptop & the mediocre supplied software, I give this drive only 3 stars.
Well, the Mac software that comes with this driver is pretty crappy. The version that came with the drive is out of date, of course. Even if it weren't, it refuses to run directly from the myGEN drive because the drive is NTFS formatted, so I can't use it anyway. I have to reformat the drive as a native Mac OS file system before the software will recognize it.
So I downloaded a new version from the web site. The first thing that application did was tell me that there is a new version available and if I want to download it. Huh? Didn't I just download the latest version? Apparently not.
So then I download the real latest version and start it. As I expected, the user interface is ugly and very "un-Macish". It's ugly even for a PC application. The worst part, however, is that the UI has bugs! Clicking with the mouse on some of the buttons doesn't work most of the time! I had to use the tab key to switch from one control to the next, and then press Enter when I think I got the right one.
The software tells me that it has to be installed on an external drive, but because I forgot to format it the first time I launched it, I didn't see the myGEN drive as an option. Once I reformat the drive, the software seems to work. But it's so clunky compared to Time Machine. Not only that, but in order for the software to provide automatic backups, the application has to keep running, which means it takes up a spot in the Dock.
There's an option for free online backup, but I didn't try it. I don't really need it, and I don't trust Maxell to keep my information secure. After all, I have to sign a user agreement to use their service. How do I send them an agreement that they have to sign to ensure that my information is secure?
So basically, like most bundled third-party Mac software, this software is worthless. So this drive is should really be compared with other, bundle-less portable 250GB drives. In this respect, it seems okay. I haven't run any performance tests on it (I will try to do that later). It has a nice feature that the USB cable can be tucked into the drive itself, but unfortunately, it's way too short by itself. It's only about two inches long, so you generally have to use the included USB extension cord if you want to use it with a desktop. With a laptop, it's probably okay without the extension cord, so it's not a bad choice if you want to use the drive between one desktop and one or more laptops.
Maxell's myGEN 250 Automatic Backup drive is a very good backup solution (I rate it at 4 stars out of 5). It's easy to set up, easy to use, and performs as expected for a USB device. Perhaps best of all, if you don't need the continuous backup capability, you can uninstall the software from the local machine and run everything from the drive, itself. Entirely portable. My complaints are fairly minor: an eSATA interface and a full system image and restore capability would be nice, the fonts in the paper documents and on the web site should be larger (with better scrolling on the web site), and some minor inconsistencies between documents should be corrected. But, other than that, this is a very good product. My supporting information is below:
- There's a special note in the box that says: "preformatted using the NTFS file system." This agrees with the online specifications from their web site (maxell.com/support) and with what Windows 7 says. Yet, the small instruction sheet says: "pre-formatted for the PC in FAT32."
- There's nothing on the instruction sheet that says anything about the "Automatic Backup" side of things (the point of the whole drive). But, that information is on the back of the box.
- The support page has a lot of good information (specifically, you can download a PDF of the User Guide there). Unfortunately, the text is a non-resizable, very small font that can't be scrolled through with the keyboard or mouse wheel. You must click and drag their scroll control to scroll.
- The back of the box states the device "includes 2GB of FREE cloud storage (additional storage available with a yearly subscription)." This is echoed in the online FAQ, where it says: "2GB of storage is free - no expiration, and unlimited usage. Maxell reserves the right to close your free account if there is no account activity for more than 90 days. If you wish to upgrade, you can get 30GB for $34.99 or unlimited storage for $69.99 (fees are annual)."
- The backup software runs from drive. But, it installs Maxell Backup Manager for automatic continuous backups (this can be uninstalled).
- The drive has a built in 2" USB cable and includes a 2' (27") extension with two connectors.
- Note that this device is for backing up your DATA. It is not a full system imaging/restoring method.
- When I plugged the drive into my computer, its light came on and the drive spun up (silent -- I could only tell by putting my ear next to it). But, nothing else happened. No boop boop. No drive letter. No installation. The online FAQs suggested plugging in both USB connectors. I did so, and the drive was recognized (note that after disconnecting the drive, whenever I plugged the drive back into a USB slot with just one connector, it worked fine). Since I'm using Windows 7 (x64), there was no AutoPlay of the backup software. But, opening Windows Explorer for the drive showed the executable to click on (as well as a link to the support page for downloading the manual).
- When I clicked the executable, it found a new version and offered to download it. I told it to do so and it replaced the old version with the new one on the drive and restarted.
- The user agreement brought up the fact that the backup software is made by DMailer SA, which is a French company. They also appear to run the online backup aspect of the drive since the URL for that is [...].
- Upon accepting the user agreement, it gave me a suggested backup name. I clicked the box next to it to "password protect and encrypt my data" and it gave me a spot for a password. At the bottom of the screen, it lets you know about Backup Manager being installed.
- Instead of accepting the Automatic settings, I chose Custom. On the customizing page, the defaults showed me that I needed 8.6GB of space for my backup. That barely dents the space on the drive. But, unless I want to spend $35 per year for more online storage, it negates my use of the free amount. Plus, after customizing the backup choices, the space needed for my backup changed to 21GB. So, I skipped the offer of setting up online backup.
- Upon telling it to backup, the software gave me a "processing" note for a few seconds, then minimized and did the backup in the background. Opening up the window showed a progress bar and the file names going by as they were backed up. It took 24 minutes to backup those 21GB (about 15MB/sec). Not bad for an encrypted backup to a USB device.
- For restoring, the process was very similar. I told it to restore, chose the files (all of them), and told it where to put the files. Those same 21GB took 23 minutes to restore (again, about 15MB/sec).
- Note that my backup came from my Intel 2.5-Inch 160 GB X25-M Mainstream SATA II MLC Solid State Drive OEM SSDSA2MH160G2C1 and the restore went to my there, too. Your times might vary, but my guess is that the USB interface will swamp any difference between SSD and regular hard drive speeds.
- The device is just a bit warm to the touch.
- The instruction sheet says that to disconnect the drive, Windows XP and Vista (and thus, I assume Windows 7) users should "simply disconnect the drive when it is not active (when the R/W activity lights are not blinking). No other steps are required." Everyone else must unmount or disconnect the drive first. However, the online FAQ says: "In Windows, use the 'Safe Removal' icon located in the System Tray." So, I'm ignoring the instruction sheet and using the Safely Remove Hardware icon.
- The whole point of this drive is for easy backups. But, just for grins, I copied some files back and forth to the drive. As with the process I followed in my Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Net STAK100 review, a single 828MB file copied to the drive at about 30MB/sec and back at about 33MB/sec. My music files (1220 items totaling 2.93GB) copied to the drive at about 23MB/sec and back at about 29MB/sec. Pretty much normal for a USB drive on my computer.
- Since I question the safety of having a backup device continuously connected to the computer it's backing up, I turned off the continuous backup capability and uninstalled the software. No problem. When I plugged the device back into the computer, it got recognized. But, as with the initial installation, there's no AutoPlay. So, I opened Windows Explorer and selected the executable. I chose the backup set and entered my password. Back in business.
Just a few caveats:
* USB Glitches:
The Maxell myGEN drive comes with two USB connectors branching off a single cord. While it says only one of the two is necessary, my computer, which is fairly screaming and runs Windows Vista (64 bit) would not recognize my drive until I plugged BOTH connectors. I wasn't thrilled to lose two ports to one device, but once I did this, the device recognized the myGEN promptly.
* Support Issues and Errors:
Keep the link [...], since there are a few known errors and glitches with the myGEN, as I discovered when working with mine. The site is not terribly comprehensive, and worst of all offers a bunch of semi-pixellated suggestions on a single web page as "support," but to be fair, they did solve my problem, as well as giving insight into other glitches and potential errors.
On the up side, the backup process is a dream, and it's terrific to be able to click your mouse a few times, and leave it to do its magic. When I returned, an hour or so later, over 100 GB had been seamlessly backed up. Best of all, the drive's built-in program monitors changes to your data in the chosen areas, and automatically maintains backups and updates for all applicable files.
While I had a few issues, overall, I'd recommend it. It's a great product, and well worth the money.