Storage vendor Seagate has taken the wraps off a simple plug-and-play backup system for Windows PCs, dubbed Replica. The idea behind Replica is to keep the backup process simple and straightforward: they back up an entire Windows PC—operating system, applications, documents, and everything else— so that a users can restore their system in its entirety to a new drive in the event of a hard drive failure. Replica’s first backup can be time consuming—because it’s copying all the system’s files—but subsequent backups go quicker because it only has to grab new or changed files.
Seagate is billing Replica as a simple way to preserve photos, movies, and music from loss in the event of hard drive failure or the loss of computer. And remember: no matter what hard drive manufacturers tell you, the failure rate of hard drives is 100 percent: it’s a question of when, not if, a drive will fail.
“While people continue to amass digital content, many still don’t understand the importance of backing up their libraries of personal memories, or they don’t take the time,” says Seagate VP Terry Cunningham, in a statement. “Our goal is to deliver solutions that provide thorough backup protection yet are easy to use, time-efficient, and simple to understand, and the Seagate Replica is about as easy as it gets.”
The Replica is compatible with Windows XP or Vista (Mac users need not apply—although Mac OS X Leopard includes an incremental backup utility called Time Machine). The Replica units sport a 5,400 rpm drive and USB 2.0 connectivity; the units will be available in two capacities: 250 GB (suitable for backing up a single notebook or PC) or 500 GB, with the capability to back up multiple PCs. The multi-PC version also comes with a space-saving vertical dock.
The Replica systems should be available in May, with the single-PC version going for $129.99, and the multi-PC version going for $199.99.