ToughTech Duo offers solid RAID functions in a portable package
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

ToughTech Duo offers solid RAID functions in a portable package

Years ago I never would have thought I'd see the day when you could have a portable, RAID storage system for around 500 bucks. But that day has come to pass with CRU-DataPort's ToughTech Duo (http://macte.ch/QP3qX), which works with two 2.5-inch notebook drives or solid state drives to back-up or store data.

It's designed for professional photographers and digital media users while on location or in the studio, but, at its price point and relative portability (though it has some heft at 1.65 pounds with two drives installed), it will appeal to many users beyond its target audience. The ToughTech Duo -- compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 o5 higher -- maximizes storage in a mini footprint (3.5 x 6.26 x 1.34) and guards against data loss by writing the same information in real-time to both drives. The system can continue to run while the ToughTech Duo restores data on the hard drive, which is very handy.

Connecting to any host computer via FireWire 800/400, USB 2.0 and eSATA provides flexibility, while the eSATA interface option offers the fastest transfer rates. I used a FireWire 800-to-FireWire 800 connection from the ToughTech Duo to my iMac, and it offered plenty of speed.

One convenience is that the CRU-DataPort device -- which runs very quietly -- also supports bus power with an included FireWire cable, though the ToughTech Duo sports a multi-country compatible AC power supply (with swappable, removable "tips"). In fact, the ToughTech Duo can supply power over a FireWire cable while allowing a data connection over the faster eSATA port. A Kensington security slot is integrated for a lock to prevent theft.

Using the ToughTech Due is pretty easy, even for those not accustomed to working with RAID systems. Unique trays let you swap and mount drives quickly without tools and without voiding the warranty. But you can also screw down the drives in environments where additional protection is needed.

You can access SMART data (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) directly on the LCD menu to track drive temperatures and help prevent drive failure. Companion software (which is both Mac and Windows compatible) allows you to configure what temperature the warning LEDs turn on and/or the audible alarms sound.

However, as the folks at CRU-DataPort point out, a mirror, while it protects against hard drive failure, is only the beginning of your backup strategy. Keeping a separate copy of your data on another hard drive (in this case a third hard drive) will help protect you from data corruption and accidental file deletion.

You can do this with a ToughTech Duo in mirror mode. Simply unmount the volume to stop all write activity, remove one of the two drives, and then insert a third drive. You can remount your ToughTech Duo immediately as you work. The ToughTech Duo will rebuild your data to the third drive, restoring the full mirror.

The removed drive can be treated as a back-up that you can archive in a fireproof safe, off-site and away from the original data. You may access the information on your backup disk anytime with the Duo or another enclosure or drive dock; it becomes a standalone drive.

ToughTech Duo supports RAID 0, RAID 1 and a single drive, so you'll have to decide what configuration best suits your needs. You'll have to initialize all hard drives before you use 'em. You can't add a drive to ToughTech Duo and access pre-existing data on that drive. The hard drive must be initialized by the unit and that zaps all data on the drive.

In RAID 0 mode, the unit will configure the drives in a “striped” RAID. This will split your data between the drives, offering faster performance and allowing you to use the full capacity of the drives in a single volume. However, this mode offers no protection for the data; if either hard drive were to fail, all data would be lost.

In RAID 1 mode, the unit will “mirror” the two drives for best data protection. In this mode, you will work with a single volume equal in size to the capacity of one drive. When you copy data to the volume, ToughTech Duo will simultaneously write the data to both drives. If one drive were to fail, your data would still be preserved on the other drive. After replacing a failed drive you can rebuild the RAID on the fly so that your data is once again redundant and secure.

In Single Disk Mode, the ToughTech Duo supports a single drive. The device is compatible with 2.5-inch SATA hard drives that are no more than 9.5 mm in height.

To remove and/or mount a drive:
Push the ejection button. The handle will swing open.
Remove the drive sled and swing the side panel out. c
Insert the drive with the label up.
Close the side panel. Ensure the panel is flush with the drive.
If you want to, though you don't have to, secure the drive with the provided screws.
Slide the drive sled back into the unit. Close the handle and ensure the sled is securely in place.

Creating a new RAID is fairly easy, and you'll need to use the LCD and interface buttons to do this. If you purchased your unit pre-configured you won't need to worry about these steps:

Upon insertion of new disks, the LCD will read “Raid Error: not a RAID set.”
Press “Enter” on the front interface twice.
The LCD screen will display “Make a new RAID?”
Select “Yes.”
Select your RAID type (RAID 0 or 1).
The LCD screen will read “Will erase all data OK?”
Select “YES.” The RAID is now created.

To change the RAID type:
Press the Up button, for the “Change RAID Mode” screen.
Press the Enter button.
Press the Down or Up button to select the desired RAID type.
The screen will display “Will Erase all Data.” Selecting “OK” will result in the loss of all data on the drives (so make sure everything is backed up).
If you’re ready to continue, press Enter.
The new configuration will be selected and ToughTech will reboot.
ToughTech has been configured and is ready for operation. Follow the instructions for the
appropriate operating system usage instructions to initialize and format the drives.

In the event of a disk failure or removal for a RAID 1, the RAID will continue to function in a degraded state. You can add a new disk to the ToughTechT Duo to rebuild the RAID.

After the new drive has been detected ToughTech Duo will ask to add a new disk. Press the Enter button to select “Yes” to add the disk. The disk will be added to the RAID and the RAID will begin to rebuild. The LCD screen will display the percent complete for the rebuild. Rebuild times vary; a 1TB hard drive takes just over three hours to rebuild.

There are some things you should note. Never remove a drive from a RAID 0 as this will cause the loss of all data. In the event of a disk failure for a RAID 0, the RAID will be destroyed. Add a drive and then press the Up button to create a new RAID. Follow the display prompts to build a new array.

In the event of a drive failure in Single Disk mode, all data will be lost. Single Disk mode allows usage of a single hard drive. If a second drive is added later, it can't be combined with the first disk, nor will it provide the option of two individual disks to be seen by the host computer. It will allow the option to create a new RAID using both disks, though this will destroy any data on both disks.

If you see your ToughTech volume mounted twice, the unit is probably connected to your Mac using both the eSATA and FireWire connections. When this is the case, the operating system may attempt to mount the ToughTech twice resulting in two volumes appearing. Simply turn off the ToughTech and unplug one of the connections to resolve the problem.

Some Windows users may justly complain that the ToughTech Duo doesn't have USB 3.0 support, and Mac users may wish for Thunderbolt connectivity. But if you can live with the connectivity options (and most of us can) the CRU-DataPort device offers a fantastic, flexible solution for backing up and protecting our valuable data at home, in the officer or on-the-go.

Rating: 9 out of 10

-- Dennis Sellers

 
AAPL
$100.57
Apple Inc.
+0.04
MSFT
$44.95
Microsoft Corpora
-0.38
GOOG
$584.49
Google Inc.
-2.37

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Picasa 3.9.138 - Organize, edit, and sha...
Picasa and Picasa Web Albums allows you to organize, edit, and upload your photos to the Web from your computer in quick, simple steps. Arrange your photos into folders and albums and erase their... Read more
Tidy Up 3.0.15.0 - Find duplicate files...
Tidy Up is a complete duplicate finder and disk-tidiness utility. With Tidy Up you can search for duplicate files and packages by the owner application, content, type, creator, extension, time... Read more
Parallels Desktop 10.0 - Run Windows app...
Parallels Desktop is simply the world's bestselling, top-rated, and most trusted solution for running Windows applications on your Mac. With Parallels Desktop for Mac, you can seamlessly run both... Read more
Apple Final Cut Pro X 10.1.3 - Professio...
Apple Final Cut Pro X is a professional video editing solution.Completely redesigned from the ground up, Final Cut Pro adds extraordinary speed, quality, and flexibility to every part of the post-... Read more
Apple Compressor 4.1.3 - Adds power and...
Compressor adds power and flexibility to Final Cut Pro X export. Customize output settings, work faster with distributed encoding, and tap into a comprehensive set of delivery features. Powerful... Read more
Chromium 36.0.1985.143 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. FreeSMUG-Free OpenSource Mac User Group build is... Read more
Macgo Blu-ray Player 2.10.6.1691 - Blu-r...
Macgo Mac Blu-ray Player can bring you the most unforgettable Blu-ray experience on your Mac. Overview Macgo Mac Blu-ray Player can satisfy just about every need you could possibly have in a Blu-ray... Read more
Apple Motion 5.1.2 - Create and customiz...
Apple Motion is designed for video editors, Motion 5 lets you customize Final Cut Pro titles, transitions, and effects. Or create your own dazzling animations in 2D or 3D space, with real-time... Read more
A Better Finder Rename 9.39 - File, phot...
A Better Finder Rename is the most complete renaming solution available on the market today. That's why, since 1996, tens of thousands of hobbyists, professionals and businesses depend on A Better... Read more
PopChar X 6.6 - Floating window shows av...
PopChar X helps you get the most out of your font collection. With its crystal-clear interface, PopChar X provides a frustration-free way to access any font's special characters. Expanded... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Cubic Castles Review
Cubic Castles Review By Rob Thomas on August 20th, 2014 Our Rating: :: CASTLE CRAFTINGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Some ridiculously frustrating camera issues aside, Cubic Castles is a pretty neat, voxel-based crafting... | Read more »
Space Colors – Tips, Tricks, Strategies,...
Hello Cadets: Want to know what we thought about this hectic space combat/roguelike? Check out our Space Colors review! Space Colors is a cool shooter/roguelike from Team Chaos. You travel from planet to planet across a huge galaxy and complete a... | Read more »
Tap Sports Baseball – Tips, Tricks, and...
Tap Sports Baseball is a pretty simple game to learn, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy game to master, by any means. To start your batting career off well, we thought we’d give you the heads up on some handy tips and tricks. Hey Batter-Batter:... | Read more »
Tap Sports Baseball Review
Tap Sports Baseball Review By Jennifer Allen on August 20th, 2014 Our Rating: :: LET'S PLAY BALLUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Tap Sports Baseball is briefly fun but lacks some important features.   | Read more »
Earn to Die 2 Set to Drive in to the App...
Earn to Die 2 Set to Drive in to the App Store Later This Year Posted by Ellis Spice on August 20th, 2014 [ permalink ] Not Doppler has announced that Earn to Die 2, a sequel to their successful game | Read more »
Frontier Heroes Review
Frontier Heroes Review By Andrew Fisher on August 20th, 2014 Our Rating: :: BLAZES NO TRAILSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Despite awesome visuals and great music, Frontier Heroes just doesn’t quite deliver enough fun... | Read more »
Echo Prime is Now on Sale for $0.99
Echo Prime is Now on Sale for $0.99 Posted by Jessica Fisher on August 20th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Star Realms Review
Star Realms Review By Andrew Fisher on August 20th, 2014 Our Rating: :: A STAR IS BORNUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Star Realms is an excellent adaptation of an outstanding deck-builder. With great visuals and an... | Read more »
This. Is. SPRINGFIELD! War comes to The...
This. Is. SPRINGFIELD! | Read more »
One Tap RPG Review
One Tap RPG Review By Campbell Bird on August 20th, 2014 Our Rating: :: DUNGEON SLIDERUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad This casual arcade game introduces some very light rpg elements into its fantasy-themed pachinko... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple now offering certified refurbished 2014...
 The Apple Store is now offering Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Airs for up to $180 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is... Read more
Best Buy’s College Student Deals: $100 off Ma...
Take an additional $100 off all MacBooks and iMacs, $50 off iPad Airs and iPad minis, at Best Buy Online with their College Students Deals Savings, valid through September 6th. Anyone with a valid .... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP, free...
B&H Photo has three 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They also include free copies of Parallels Desktop and LoJack for Laptops... Read more
Razer Taipan Mouse For Gamers And Non-Gamers...
If you’re a serious gamer on either Mac or Windows PCs, a serious gaming mouse is a necessity for first-tier performance. However, even if like me you’re not much of a gamer, there’s still a strong... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $1899,...
Adorama has the new 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1899 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this... Read more
Mid-Size Tablet Shootout Posted: iPad mini wi...
I ‘m curious about how many iPads Apple is actually selling these days. It’s been widely rumored and anticipated that new models with A8 SoCs, 2 GB of RAM, 8 megapixel cameras, and fingerprint... Read more
The 15 Biggest iPad Air Problems And How To A...
What’s this? Fifteen “biggest” problems with the iPad Air? Does that mean there are a lot of smaller problems as well? Say it isn’t so! My old iPad 2 has manifested no hardware problems in three... Read more
TYLT Syncable-Duo, 2-in-1 USB Cable With Appl...
TYLT has introduced the Syncable-Duo, a universal cable solution for charging and syncing data to smartphones and tablets. The Syncable-Duo eliminates the need for multiple cables by incorporating... Read more
Save up to $140 off MSRP with Apple refurbish...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished iPad Airs for up to $140 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Stock tends to come and go with some of these... Read more
2.5GHz Mac mini on sale for $549, save $50
B&H Photo has the 2.5GHz Mac mini on sale for $549.99 including free shipping. That’s $50 off MSRP, and B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software. NY sales tax only. Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** Being a Business Manager at an Apple Store means you're the catalyst for businesses to discover and leverage the power, ease, and flexibility of Apple Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** At the Apple Store, you connect business professionals and entrepreneurs with the tools they need in order to put Apple solutions to work in their Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.