Review: Coolmax Xtreme Files F1-B Drive

Storage
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TESTING & ACTUAL USE

Several test systems and variations of hardware were used during testing in the course of several weeks. The main systems were:

System 1
System 2
System 3

* AMD Athlon 64 3200+
* AOpen AK89 Max motherboard
* SilverStoneST30NF PSU
* ATI 9800 Pro w/ Arctic Cooling VGA Silencer
* 512 MB Crucial PC3200
* Samsung SP80 HDD

* P4-2.8C processor
* AOpen MX4SGI-4DL2 motherboard
* 512MB OCZ DDRAM
* Seagate 7200.7 80G HDD
* Seasonic Tornado 300 PSU

* Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K PC
* P4-2.53 CPU
* 512 MB OCZ DDRAM
* Samsung 40G 2.5" notebook HDD

Note that the Xtreme Files Drive is meant to be used only with one system. Running backups from more than one system will likely cause errors, and the manual repeatedly warns against this. I found that I could run the Xtreme Files Drive back and forth among the above systems without problems using several methods:

  • Renaming the previous system backup folder.
  • Deleting the previous system backup folder and running backups fresh on the next system.
  • Quick Formatting the Xtreme Files Drive via the Windows Control Panel / Admin Tools / Disk Management.

At the Beginning...

One of the curiosities about this device is that despite being a backup utility, the only way to initiate the software is to physically push one of the three button at the top of the Xtreme Files. No alternative software button can be mouse clicked or Enter-keyed; only the actual button on the physical unit will do. There are three buttons, marked:

  • Data Backup
  • OS Backup
  • Restore

Here's another look at the buttons.


When the unit is powered up, the LEDs around the three buttons normally light up green.


When any of the buttons are pressed or there is any activity in the Xtreme Files:
T
he LEDs glow red in a synchronized fashion to give the illusion that they are spinning around.

DATA BACKUP

When you press the Data Backup button, the red LEDs spin around, and this screen pops up on the monitor screen:

There are three choices:

  • All Files, which backs up all files the programs deems to be data;
  • Selective Files, which provides an option to select the files you want to back up;
  • Exit, which closes the program.

1) Let's look at the All Files option first. Clicking that button brings up the following message.

When you press OK, another screen comes up to show the ongoing backup activity, at the end of which this summary data is provided. Admittedly, there is very little data in this test platform system.



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