The 80GB ExBoot External Drive

It would be a slight understatement if we said that the ExBoot was nothing special to look at. In its off-state, it looks like a normal 3.5” aluminum hard drive case with curves. However, when in the “on” state, the lights come up. Just behind the front plate of the enclosure, we see a transparent plastic that allows the multi-color, color-cycling LEDs to shine through. The button for the PushButton backup on the front bezel is also clear to allow this effect. The case features a large ExBoot logo on the right side in blue and gray.

Bezel of ExBoot

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Rear of ExBoot

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The 80GB ExBoot model carries a USB 2.0 interface that is standard on most external desktop drives these days. It would have been nice to see the FireWire option as well, but considering that this is the lower end model in the series, we let that slide. The rear panel also features an on/off switch for the fan, which is a nice feature. This allows the drive to be cooled when needed, but also allows the external drive to run in silent mode. However, even in the “On” mode, the fan is fairly silent.

The inside of the ExBoot consists of a Western Digital WD800BB 80GB hard drive with a 7200RPM spindle speed and 2MB buffer.

The following 4 models are available from AXIOMTEK in the 3.5” size:

Configurations for AXIOMTEK's External Drives
Model No. Capacity Rotational Speed Interface Transfer Rate
EXB-0131/080 80 GB 7200 RPM USB 2.0:
Up to 480 Mbps (60 Megabytes/s**).
EXB-0131/160 160 GB 7200 RPM
EXB-0131/250 250 GB 7200 RPM
EXB-0131/400 400 GB 7200 RPM
*Information in the table has been taken straight from the ExBoot website.
**Theoretical limit. Actual transfer rates may differ.


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  • ktchowkt - Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - link

    I was able to backup my notebook's SATA hard disk without any problem but when it comes to restoration, it is a different ball game. As my notebook does not support boot up from USB, I used the Recovery CD from exboot to boot up. Unfortunately, the restoration cannot be done because the recovery software does not detect the hard disk in my notebook. Is it because the software cannot support SATA hard disk? Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Thursday, November 10, 2005 - link

    External USB/Firewire drives are commonplace these days. I can choose from a dozen manufacturers based on price, quality of construction (I prefer metal-cased drives and rubber antishock mounts for the HDD itself), etc., or I can even buy an enclosure and choose my own drive, which I've already done, since a USB 2.0/Firewire case was about $40 on sale a year ago, which lets me choose the performance I want by choosing a hard disk to fit my needs

    What makes or breaks a pre-made drive then, is the software and features like the pushbutton backup, which the company didn't even bother to include software support for (or so it sounds like from the wording of the review). Does the backup software offer data compression so I could perhaps fit 100-140GB of data on that 80GB drive? Didn't sound like it, but it wasn't made clear. How well did the backup software work? You didn't tell me how a backup/restore of a boot drive worked. And of course, it was mentioned that the user couldn't choose which files to back up. The ExBoot says on the side of the case "Backup and Instant Recovery". For any drive that bears that logo, a review ought to exhaustively test that claim.

    I agree this is a less-than-average product. Most uber-geeks don't buy an external HDD for ultimate performance; for that, we'd get an internal SATA or PATA drive. Performance testing is good up to a point, but most enthusiasts buy an external disk for transfer between multiple computers, or for backup. If ExBoot wants to sell me a drive, I want all the features working, and your top quality software, no matter which capacity drive I choose. Otherwise I can buy a five-year warranty Seagate IDE disk (note: very few external HDD manufacturers offer more than a 1-year warranty) and put it in an enclosure of my choosing, and then purchase Symantec Ghost or even use Windows Backup for free.
    Reply
  • g33k - Saturday, November 12, 2005 - link

    Does this thing boot to windows externally? I don't think win xp can boot from an external hdd. When XP initially loads, all the USB devices reset. Therefore I don't think you can boot to windows with this? Reply
  • PuravSanghani - Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - link

    The system will actually boot off this USB device if a successful backup is made with the software. It is also one of the main features of the drive.

    Purav
    Reply
  • TallCoolOne - Thursday, November 10, 2005 - link

    This would be good for someone booting from a 74GB Raptor drive. As mentioned, the spartan software is not a problem if backing up an entire volume. Reply
  • ElFenix - Thursday, November 10, 2005 - link

    i doubt you'd find many volumes to back up that were larger than that. Reply
  • Pete84 - Thursday, November 10, 2005 - link

    I have a 120Gb external that I use for backups of DVD images and the like, and that is too small. 80Gb? wow Reply

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