Rebit claims painless backup

With one small exception, a Rebit appliance offers hands-free continuous backups

I've been talking about backups on and off since my hard disk crash back in January. I have been testing another backup solution since February -- or trying to test it. The product is Rebit, and I think I finally have it tamed on my 64-bit Vista system.

When Rebit first sent me a backup appliance in February, I discovered as soon as I set it up that it would not install on a 64-bit system. Oops. There had been a communications problem; the 64-bit support was in the works.

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In April, a revised version of the software arrived to be installed onto the external drive. This software not only supported 64-bit systems, it supported backups from multiple computers, all with a minimum of configuration effort. Unfortunately, it had a habit of starting multiple versions of itself on about 20 percent of system boots. When that happened, it would pretty much lock the system up, requiring a hard reset. In addition, it destabilized Explorer and made context menus from Explorer unusably slow, at least while the Rebit software was running.

On the other hand, it did a good job of maintaining backups without any intervention, and an especially good job of backing up works in progress, such as the article shown in the figure below. I worked out a regime where I'd power up the Rebit drive when I was packing up for the evening and reboot the computer with the drive off in the morning, so that I could have backup and still be able to use Explorer.

This week, finally, I received an improved version of the software. It no longer crashes the computer or Explorer, and generally feels a lot more unobtrusive than the earlier version. It does still introduce a long delay to Explorer context menus, however, so I asked for instructions on disabling that "feature." It turned out to be a simple matter of unregistering a DLL.

Right now, Rebit is humming away keeping my backups up-to-date without interfering with my computer in any noticeable way and I can recommend it for small shops without larger backup solutions and for home computers.

By the way, Rebit and Seagate have teamed up, and this same product is also offered as the Replica backup appliance.

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