Bundled software ruins USB 3.0 hard drive


— 12:19 PM on November 5, 2010

We were pleased when Iomega announced plans to move its external hard drive products from USB 2.0 to 3.0 without jacking up prices. The company's 500GB and 1TB eGo drives were the first to make the transition, and CrunchGear has a review of the terabyte unit, which the author thinks users would do well to avoid.

The drive can be had for as little as $135 online, and CrunchGear praises its transfer rates and rugged design. However, the bundled USB 3.0 cable doesn't appear to work with other SuperSpeed devices, and the eGo commits a cardinal sin by putting its encryption software on a virtual CD that users can't delete from the drive. The reviewer couldn't get Windows to stop auto-running the encryption software whenever he plugged in the drive, either.

Virtual CDs, undeletable partitions, and similar annoyances have driven me to stop recommending external hard drives entirely. Instead, I've been encouraging folks to put together their own external storage with bare enclosures and standard hard drives. That's hardly an ideal solution given the relative scarcity of USB 3.0 enclosures, which tend to be more expensive than their USB 2.0 counterparts. However, it's absolutely worth paying a little extra to have external storage that behaves like a normal hard drive.

   
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