I first wrote about the Maxtor OneTouch III back in December and now that I’ve had it awhile it’s a good time for an update. I’ve been running it connected to my iMac since my initial review. I also gave one to my father as to use as a backup drive with a Windows PC.
The hardware has been reliable. My main complaint is it’s slower than other drives when spinning up from sleep mode. It’s fast enough for use as a backup drive although I haven’t tried running applications off of it.
The software is a different story. I always have low expectations of any software that’s bundled with drives like these, but both the Windows and Mac software delivered with the drive had significant problems when I tried to use them. Some Maxtor OneTouch drives come with EMC Restrospect backup software but this drive does not. The software was branded Maxtor and does not appear to be a version of software offered in a full version by another vendor.
Maxtor Mac Software
On the Mac some of the software is written for the PPC so uses Rosetta when running on an Intel Mac. The first backup I did using the software took over 24 hours (since it was so long I did use the iMac during much of the time. Copying those same files using just Finder took about 2 hours even while I was using the iMac. Future backups, using the software, also took considerably longer than simple file copies. Although since they were incremental backups they could finish overnight.
But even with the files backed up there were still problems. The restore panels in the software didn’t show any files backed up so there was no way to restore files through the software. I could go out to the drive itself in Finder and try to locate the file(s) but that’s a bit tedious.
There’s also an option to sync directory trees to the drive. This software was also slow in general but at least it worked as documented.
Maxtor Windows Software
When I wrote the first review of the Maxtor drive the Windows software had worked OK and I decided to use it on the drive I was setting up on my father’s PC. The software ran fine at first. Then the schedules backups stopped running and the error message was access denied. After uninstalling/re-installing, general troubleshooting, and searching a terrible support site I was unable to resolve the problem. Manually initiated backups, even those initiated by the “one-touch” button, worked OK. By OK I mean if I changed a file then did a backup the file is backed up and can be restored. File restores also worked OK. Even so, it’s not a confidence builder and I don’t want to count on the backup being there when it’s needed. So I’m looking for alternative backup software. It’s not an Internet connected PC so the available online backup solutions aren’t an option.
Older drives come with EMC Restrospect backup software which is proven software. The software Maxtor is now delivering has proven to be worthless to me on both Windows and Mac.
Maybe it’s due to the acquisition by Seagate, but the Maxtor support site was pretty bad. I clicked on a link to get a software update for the Maxtor III and instead it brought me to a download page for Maxtor II (Retrospect) software. I didn’t notice until I tried applying the update and it told me I needed EMC Retrospect software. So either there’s no Maxtor III software and they just added an unnecessary link, or there is an update and the link to it is bad.
Even if the software worked it needs to run on Rosetta for Intel Mac’s. If your like me you want to avoid needing Rosetta. Even if it worked, the software doesn’t provide a compelling reason to take the performance hit of Rosetta.
The hardware itself has been reliable although unremarkable. I would only consider buying it again if it was significantly less than the Western Digital My Book which I really like (so far at least).
If you’ve had any experience with the Maxtor or any other drive (good or bad) feel free to post a comment and let us know.