Never forget to back up your files ever again. Now it’s easy and automatic.

Seagate® Replica™

* Back up your entire computer automatically.
* Take the work and maintenance out of backup.
* Have easy, instant access to accidentally deleted files.
* Effortless, automatic backup for everything on your PC, including the operating system, programs, and settings.
* No tedious installation, nothing to configure.
* Up to 250GB capacity for single PC and 500 GB for multiple PCs.
* USB 2.0.

Every file is perfectly safe.

From a little mistake to a major catastrophe, your files will always come back.

* Easily retrieve accidentally deleted files.
* Restore your entire system in the event of a PC crash.

No maintenance. No hassle.

There’s nothing to forget to do. So everything is always safe.

* Password protection ensures that only you have access to your computer’s backed up files.
* Replica automatically removes the oldest versions of files to free space.
* Five-year limited warranty.
* Multi-PC version includes a convenient vertically standing dock.

Weighing in at less than a pound and only slightly larger than a pack of cards, this featherweight device manages to pack quite a punch.

The Replica comes with bare-bones software and strikes a good balance between peace of mind and individual-user control. Seagate provides a USB 2.0 cable, recovery guide and recovery CD.

After the hard drive is plugged in, it checks for updates to the Replica software, downloads the most current version and starts mirroring your computer’s content. The startup process is short, taking only a couple of minutes, though the actual backup is a time-gobbling endeavor taking about 4 hours to transfer 130 GB of data. A blue light on the top of the Replica’s case blinks continuously while data is being transferred, making it easy for you to go about your other business while it works in the background. It’s also stealthy for a hard drive, emitting only a quiet whir when working at full speed.

http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/products/external/replica/

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Software Support Plans – Are they worth it?

I had someone ask me the other day if they should bother purchasing the annual software support plan if they never call the vendor for support. It’s a good questions since the support plan isn’t cheap. Unlike insurance for your car or house, where it’ll be replaced or repaired if something happens, software support plans cover tech support and software upgrades. If you don’t ever call for support, and are happy with your software the way it is, then what’s the problem with letting the plan lapse? For the most part, there isn’t a problem with it. Many people keep their laptops and software running for several years and are fine. However, then MIcrosoft introduces a new operating system, and your laptop breaks so you are forced to purchase a new laptop, with the new operating system on it, and your old software won’t run on the new setup. What then? When you call the vendor and request a version of the software that will run with the new setup, they’ll let you know that you need to pay for the years you let the contract go before you can get the new upgrade. In this, I’m referring to the CAT vendors, not necessarily other software vendors, though for the most part, with other software vendors you don’t have to purchase support plans, you can pay for the calls as you need them and even pay for the upgrades at a greatly reduced cost of the regular program. CAT vendors are different though. Their market is much smaller than the general public, since they are in a niche market, so once they sell their software, they don’t have a lot of people going in daily to purchase more software. What the contract price allows the vendor to do is to pay it’s programmers to make the software work better and more efficiently. Without the money from the users, it’s much harder for the vendor to make improvements, which ultimately makes your job easier. I know it’s hard to justify the cost of the plan when you’re writing that check, but in the long run, by improving the software and making upgrades available to you, it will help you in the end. Besides, you’re going to have to pay the cost the next time you need to upgrade your hardware/software.

What’s wrong with my connection?

There are times when you setup your equipment, just like you always do, and your writer just won’t talk to your laptop. What’s wrong with the connection? It could be several things. If you’re using a USB-Serial adapter, unplug it from the USB port and plug it back in. If your laptop volume is up, you should be able to hear a couple of beeps. If you don’t, go into Device Manager (in Windows XP you would use one of these methods - - Click Start, click Run, and then type “devmgmt.msc” (without the quotation marks).- Right-click My Computer, click Manage, and then click Device Manager.- Right-click My Computer, click Properties, click the Hardware tab, and then click Device Manager.) (in Windows Vista you would click Start  | Control Panel | System and Maintenance | System | Device Manager (Device Manager is located under “Tasks” in the left hand column of the “System” menu). Double click on the Ports (Com & LPT) line. This should open the Ports item and list the available Com ports. See if your USB device is listed and note what Com port it was assigned. Check your CAT software settings to make sure your realtime option is set to the same Com Port. If there is no USB Serial device listed under the Ports list, unplug the adapter and plug it in again to see if it shows up. If it’s listed, but has a yellow exclamation mark on it, there’s a driver problem and may need to be reinstalled. Occasionally with USB adapters, it could switch port numbers on you. If the Com Port is the same and it’s still not connecting, it could be your cable. Try a different writer cable to see if that’s the culprit. Over time, with the cables being wound and unwound, folded and unfolded, the wires inside get week and could break, preventing a connection from occurring. If none of these fixes the issue, it could be your writer that’s causing the problem and at that point, it would be best to take it in and get it serviced. – AskBillFirst

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