Iomega Rev Drives – Latest news

I’ve been using and recommending Iomega Rev drives as a backup solution for small businesses for almost as long as they have been available. I’ve found them very easy to use, with a good transfer rate and nice, rugged disks. I’ve deployed mainly the 35GB drive, although I recently installed my first 70GB drive.

The only major problem I’ve seen with the Revs is that the disks may need to be formatted after a while or they won’t let you write to them. I’ve found a firmware update (23B, available at Iomega’s support site) which hopefully corrects the problem – I’ve updated one customer’s drive that was having disk problems so I’ll see if this fixes it.

The one Rev 70 drive I installed was a little different. The drive itself and the disks were similar to the Rev 35, but the drive didn’t come with Iomega’s Backup software I had always used with the Rev 35 drives. I loaded the software myself, but it would not recognize the Rev 70 drive. I have since found out that Iomega quit developing its backup software and instead recommends Retrospect. Thus, I used the included Arcserve OEM software to setup the Rev 70 drive backup scheme. I had not used Arcserve before, but a company where I worked in the past had used the NetWare version until we switched to a Windows version of Backup Exec. Arcserve seems very capable, but a bit overkill for the Rev drive, which I have always thought of as the perfect solution for small businesses. It would certainly be fine for the Rev Autoloader, but that was not what I was installing. After slogging my way through the software and help files, I finally figured out how to setup a backup schedule. Unfortunately, Arcserve compresses and backs up your files into one large file. I have never like this because it is much easier to backup the files in the original directory structure to the disk so that a restore is only a copy from the Rev disk to a hard drive affair. But currently this is where I am with the Rev 70.

Rev 120 drives are now out. They can only read Rev 70 disks from the description, so this baby’s for capacity not backward compatibility. The funny thing is the prices on Iomega’s site show the 120 costing not much more than the 70GB drives. Maybe that’s why the 120 Rev USB versions are currently out of stock.

As a final issue to this subject, I have just recently discovered that Iomega Backup may not be a good solution after all. I had one installation in which I couldn’t open the program even after upgrading it; also, it didn’t appear to be copying all of the files it was supposed to backup. Thus, I have tried my first deployment of Robocopy to do backups with the Rev drive. A dental equipment company’s technician had setup this program at a dental office I do work at, so I looked into it. It seems to be a souped up version of xcopy, and I will go into more detail on Robocopy later. But my first test run with it seemed to backup at a good speed, giving me an uncompressed backup of the directory structure, which I prefer. If this works out, I will start using this for all Rev deployments and may go back and switch my other clients to this method.

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