Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive

Way back in the early 90’s I used an 88MB (5.25″ cartridge) SyQuest for transferring large files to an editor I worked with. That was alright for a while but when I needed something larger I went for a one GB Jazz disk. What appealed to me was the smaller size drive and disk but larger capacity .In those days I used my Amiga for all my main graphics work. So I used several Jazz disks as backup. Meaning they were formated for Amiga. Plus, I used another PC formated Jazz disk for transferring files from a Windows system to my Amiga. It all worked quite wonderfully.

When I worked at AI Effects we used various backup systems including Zip disks. I believe that before Frank networked most of the office computers he had a Zip drive connected to each machine. It was a reliable solution

When I got my laptop in 2002 I also purchased a USB Zip drive. I was able to use it on the windows and Red Hat side of my multi-boot system successfully. This was the days before flash drives became so ubiquitous. And while I love flash drives because they are Very small and Very convenient, sometimes you need a really big drive that isn’t heavy or annoying to carry around. Hey, I’m reasonably strong, but who wants to lug around a brick? Iomega has years of experience making drives that are big on the inside and small on the outside.

So when I found out I would be reviewing the new eGo, I was jumping around in joy. Yeah, that’s all it takes to make me happy. I’ve got the ‘deep Midnight Blue model’….ooooh, ain’t it purdy! The eGo also comes in other colors: Ruby Red and Silver. And you can choose from 250GB, 320GB or 500BG capacity. To use this on the go all you need is the HD and the “Y” USB2 cable. On most desktops or laptops one USB connection will send enough power to the eGo drive to get it going. If you happen to meet up with a system that doesn’t have enough power from one USB port, then use the second plug. The cable that came with my eGo has a very short second plug. This is probabaly not an issue for most newer computers because they all come with USB2 internal. My old Dell latitude has USB 1.1 and I need a D-Link DUB-C2 CardBus for USB2 capability and it doesn’t have enough power for the eGo drive with both plugs in the USB ports. (Hey, it’s old!) But it’s very easy to get another cable with two longer “Y” ends so I can plug the second cable in the USB1.1 plug for the power it needs.

The eGo cable also has a Ferrite choke attached which should prevent electromagnetic interference. My brother, who is an audio engineer, says this is more an issue with recording large audio files, but obviously it can’t hurt to have it for whatever files you have..

Once you register your eGo online you have access to a number of software solutions to whatever backup/storage issues you need.

List of software support online:

    Iomega Protection Suite

  • McAfee(r) VirusScan Plus: a free six-month subscription to this market-leading software that protects your PC with anti-virus, anti-spyware, 2-way firewall, and web security protection (PC only)
  • Iomega QuikProtect: backup software for simple scheduled file-level backup of data to hard drives and network-attached storage devices (for Windows and Macintosh OS X 10.4 and above).
  • EMC(r) Retrospect(r) Express or Express HD: backup all of your data plus applications and settings (for Windows and Macintosh OS X 10.4 and above)
  • MozyHome Online Backup: Convenient online backup service with 2GB of online capacity for free (unlimited online storage for $4.95/month). MozyHome Online service allows you to restore your most important data from any computer with internet access, at any location in the world

Looking over the available software on the Iomega site it appears that there’s a Huge list of documents that the user can examine before downloading or installing anything. That’s something I approve of. Just take a look at how to back up to a hard drive and using Retrospect. This page has a list of questions a customer may have about the procedure and then some. Frankly, it’s a bit overwhelming. But there’s help a-plenty!

The customer services include: 1-on-1 Live Chat which is Free Included in the Warranty! Enter your serial number and the Iomega Online Store Sales agents are available for Live Chat 24/7.

You can join the Support Forums which are also Free! The experiences of other Iomega customers are there for the asking, plus there are the Iomega admins who often chime in.

Phone Tech Support for your product is available Mon to Fri., 9 am to 10 pm Eastern on a pay-per-incident basis of $25 per incident.

If there is an answer to a problem, you are going to find it eventually.

In addition to Mosy which will encrypt and backup you files online there’s an Online Storage service. Very useful for people who travel and don’t always want to carry the files – or may forget an important file. This way all you need do is grab it from the Online Storage. It looks like Iomega have thought of everything.

The eGo comes formated in NTFS (3.1) and I wanted to plug it in as many various systems as I could find because, well, that’s my job! I personally used the eGo on the following Operating Systems

  • Windows 2000 Professional – reads and writes NTFS (3.1) no problem
  • Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid: The first version of Ubuntu that successfully read and wrote to NTFS partitions was 8.04 (using ntfs-3g) so I had no problem copying files to the drive as soon as it appeared on the desktop.
  • MAC OS 10.5 Leopard: By default MAC’s will Read NTFS drives. If you want to Write to one you have to install a driver. I’m not a MAC expert, so some research on your part is required.
  • XP – reads and writes NTFS no problem

Now, one of the main selling points of the eGo is the research that has gone into protecting it from a fall. They wrapped this 2.5-inch portable hard drive inside an anodized aluminum shell that is about a half-inch thick (16 mm) and weighing less than 7 ounces (200 grams). The edge – Iomega’s Drop Guard – feature protects your data from drops of up to 51 inches, or 40% above the industry average! You might ask yourself what is the big deal?? What is the likelyhood that I would drop my HD accidentally? Well, early one morning in 1994 about 4:30AM I was awakened by the crunching sound of the walls bending, and my Amiga computer and monitor bouncing on the desk. The shaking continued as the keyboard and mouse fell to the (fortunately) carpeted floor. I’m happy to say that both myself and my computer survived the 6.9 Northridge Earthquake. Of course, I was a bit freaked out for a while. I hope none of the readers ever have to experience an earthquake, but if it happens at least you won’t have to worry about your data on the eGo drive. Peace of mind in a small package is priceless. Just grab your shoes, shove your eGo in your pocket and Head For Zee Hills!

By the way, the new 500GB Iomega(r) eGo BlackBelt Portable Hard Drive USB 2.0 comes complete with a black eGo Power Grip Belt and Iomega’s Drop Guard Xtreme can be dropped from up to 7 feet (2.1 m). That is over twice the industry average! Sounds like David Letterman should do one of those “stunts” on his TV show. Instead of throwing watermelons over the side of buildings he can throw eGo’s off his head. Sounds like a great bit..right?

Available for purchase at are two new accessories for the new USB-powered eGo Portable Hard Drive: a durable black carry case, and the Iomega Power Grip Belt (like the one on the eGo BlackBelt Drive), available in black and translucent colors.

I love it when my toys have cute accessories. Especially if they are useful!

Written by Cecilia