The Personal Storage 5000DV is an add-on storage geared towards video editing and
high-end graphic users. Available in 120GB, 160GB, and 200GB sizes, the Personal
Storage 5000DV also features a "OneTouch" button that automatically activates
download procedure (using Dantz Restrospect Express for copying or backing up data).
The drives runs at 7200 RPM, and supports both Firewire and USB.
This review is for the 200GB drive attached to a G4/867 running both Mac OS 9.2.2
and OS 10.2.6.
Before I installed the software, I hooked the 5000DV drive up to my G4 under OS 9.2.2,
and the hard drive showed up on my desktop immediately - no drivers needed. I tried
the same test under OS X, but there it begged for me to follow the directions and
install the software drivers first.
There is an addendum instruction page that comes with the drive that contains information
on one side for Windows XP, and information on the other side for Mac OS 10.2. For
10.2, the instruction was to follow the instructions on the Installation CD in a
filed name "OS X 10.2 Jaguar update.pdf". Oddly enough, the PDF file looked
almost the same as the addendum instruction page with the "How to reformat"
heading and Capacity chart. The only difference was under "Installation Note...",
instead of listing a single instruction to look for a file on the CD, it actually
listed the detailed instructions (the point being, why not have just included those
steps on the printed addendum page?).
Mac OS X
Per the instructions, I installed Restrospect Express, then installed the Retrospect
Express 5.0.236 update (both installers were named the same, but in different folders).
Then I ran the Maxtor 5000 Update, and the setup process for OS 10.2 was complete.
Mac OS 9
As mentioned above, I was able to use the drive on OS 9.2.2 without any installation.
To get the One-Touch button to operate, however, I did need to install the Restrospect
Express software. Very simple.
The Hard Drive
Out of the box, I was quite impressed with the design of the Maxtor 5000DV hard
drive. The color scheme is very nice, with reinforced and rounded edges. I used the
stand which comes with the drive to prop the drive up vertically, taking up very
little desktop space.
The other major achievement of this piece of hardware is how silent it runs. If it
weren't for the green power light on the front, I would not have known it was on!
Even in operation, with data being transferred from and to the drive, it was a soft
access sound (rather than the loud grinding that many other drives tend to make).
I don't know if the magic is in the case or the electronics, but whatever is muffling
the sound is doing an excellent job.
The drive runs on its own power (via AC through a power adapter), and can use either
the Firewire or USB protocol. For my tests, I had the drive hooked up to my Firewire
chain. The drive was used for several weeks, and quite extensively. The data transfer
rates were excellent, and the drive performed flawlessly. When I shutdown the computer,
the drive properly spins down.
The only thing I could find fault with in this drive, and this is a very small thing,
but there is no external power button. As long as the OS is behaving properly, that's
not a problem, because the drive shuts down when the system shuts down. However,
if you experience a problem with the system, the drive could end up on after you
turn the computer off. In this case, the only way to get the drive to shutdown is
to unplug the power (or reboot the Mac and hope that the OS re-syncs with the drive).
It would be better to have an external power switch.
As impressed as I was with the drive's operation, it was the One-Touch action that
really got me excited about this unit. At first I was afraid of that button that
sat ominously on the front of the unit. I wondered, "What does it do?"
I had originally gone into this review thinking I was just reviewing another hard
To overcome my button fear, I read up on the One Touch operation. It sounded too
good to be true. Push the button and important data files would automatically be
backed up? This is the dream device of every hard working Mac enthusiast who ponders
the importance of backing up data, but finds the task too tedious. Even after a disaster
occurs, and we either suffer the fear of lost data, or actually lose data, do we
ever learn? We make promises to ourselves that we will, from now on, back up important
data. At best, we may do it once before falling back into our familiar pattern of
being free of tediousness (that's why we're Mac users). The One Touch action on
the 5000DV drive removes the tediousness out of the task!
Setting up the One Touch operation was relatively simple. You press the button the
first time, and it automatically starts up Retrospect Express. Restrospect then walks
you through the process of creating your One Touch script.
It was extremely easy to setup the backup script, and even more easy to perform a
backup. You don't need to have Retrospect running for the One Touch to operate. Simply
press the One Touch button, and Retrospect automatically starts up, loads your One
Touch script, runs the script, and then quits. I was floored. The "dynamic duo"
of hardware and software made it so easy and painless to back up vital data, truly
at the touch of a button!
There is more you can do with the Retrospect software, of course, including scheduling
backups to occur automatically. The software by itself is a great product, and can
be used with your other drives as well as with your Maxtor drive. There were only
a couple of things I wanted to do that I was not able to do. By default, the One
Touch script does a copy of files from one source to your Maxtor drive. I wanted
to have the script copy files from multiple folders in different locations, but Retrospect
did not support that. I tried tricking it by using aliases to the folders all in
one folder, but all it did was copy the aliases (not the actual folders and files).
Retrospect does support multiple sources, but only for backup archives, not for file
duplication. I preferred the file duplication because it makes the copy readily
available (rather than in compressed format that can only be read by Retrospect).
I wanted my One Touch to make copies of my iTunes MP3 folder, my digital photo folder,
and my video folder, but they are all in different folders and on different volumes.
Instead, I have my One Touch setup to handle my MP3 files, and then I have other
scripts to handle the others.
Pricing & Availability
Prices and availability appear to vary from one location to another. At the time
of this review, Maxtor's store lists the 160GB for $250 and
the 200GB for $300. There's also a $30 mail-in rebate offered on the 160GB and 200GB
drives that ends on 9/23/03 (the date this review was posted). Amazon lists the 160GB size for $225 ($41
off their normal price of $266). I found the 200GB drive at J&R Music for $250.
- Versatile add-on
storage for editing/storing videos and high-end graphic files
- Maxtor OneTouch:
the easy way to make back-up copies of your files
- Dantz Retrospect
Express software included
- Flexible Dual Interfaces
(supports Firewire and USB 2.0 & 1.1
- Powerful Performance:
- Maxtor award-winning
7200 RPM hard drive technology
- Up to 480 Mb/sec
data transfer rate - USB 2.0
- Up to 400 Mb/sec
data transfer rate - FireWire
- Expandable Storage:
- Connect up to 62
- Connect up to 127
USB 2.0 devices with USB hubs
- Stands vertically
- Hot swappable
- Compact design
- PC and Mac compatible
- Mac-ready model preformatted
for Macintosh computers
Included with Product
- Maxtor Personal Storage
5000 external hard drive
- USB cable
- 6 pin to 6 pin FireWire/1394/i.LINK
- External AC power
- Vertical stand
- Installation software
(Dantz Retrospect Express & Maxtor Personal Storage drivers)
- User's Guide
- Quick Start Install
- Retrospect User's
Guide (on disk)
The Maxtor Personal Storage 5000DV is an awesome technological achievement in hard
drives. Whether you use it as a Firewire drive or a USB drive, on Mac OS 9 or Mac
OS X, you really cannot go wrong with this drive. With 200GB of storage, a sleek
design, solid performance, and whisper quiet operation, the hardware alone makes
this drive a valuable addition to any Mac system. With the One Touch operation and
Restrospect Express software, this package is a cut above the rest. It would be
nice to have an external power switch, and the ability to copy files with the One
Touch script from multiple sources, but feature-for-feature, nothing else comes close
to this product. I highly recommend it to any Mac user, and for those with backup
needs, this is a must-have add-on to your system.
- 200 Gigabyte storage
drive with solid performance
- One Touch action
button for easy backups
- Retrospect Express
software for all backup needs
- Stylish design with
desktop saving stand
- Lacks an external
- Retrospect only supports
a single source per script for file copying
- Setup for OS X not
as simple as for OS 9
out of 5 Mice