The HP SimpleSave 1TB external hard drive is a great buy for $99. It’s sharp, roomy, quiet and self contained, as its automatic backup software runs right off of the drive. The only thing it installs on your computer is a virtual CD drive that autoruns on boot, starting the auto backup procedure, which I must admit is pretty slick. The HP window launches, and gives you a 30 second countdown before it starts its backup, which is plenty of time to either cancel it if you’re not ready, or change the options.
It comes preconfigured to back up most file types and locations, and allows you to add more. The only fault here is that it won’t take wildcards when you’re adding new extensions, but believe me, there’s not many you’ll need to add. You also have the option to have it back up other external drives, or not. Once you start the backup, the program assesses your files and presents you with a really comprehensive rundown of exactly what it’s going to copy, and from where. If you're happy you can kick it off, if not, you can add or subtract things.
The first time you use it, it does a full backup which took about 2 hours on my Media Center (170GB of video, pictures and music), not too bad. It creates a backup folder and uses the computer’s name for the label, so you can backup multiple systems and still find things easily. When it’s done, it presents you with a report telling you exactly what it copied or skipped due to errors.
After the first use, it will backup only files that have been modified or added, and it will start the procedure itself any time the system has been idle for more than fifteen minutes, making backups a breeze. Some reviewers have stated that they didn’t like the autorun software, and I was a little skeptical myself at first. After all, I’d hate to have a drive that big that was just a one trick pony, but it’s not. You don’t have to use the autorun software to reload files, although it does make things pretty easy. You can drill right down into the backup folders and grab any file you like. I also created a separate folder on it to transfer selected content from all of my portable drives, and I’ve barely made a dent in it’s free space.
All in all, you can’t go wrong with this baby for under a hundred bucks. It also comes in both a 1.5TB and 2TB size for $129 and $159, respectively, so you can start your own disk farm!
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