GeekDad eases data headaches with Toshiba Stor.e ALU 2S (Wired UK) –

Sorting out my family data storage is something that seems to be
forever slipping down my to-do list. The problem I find is that
there are simply too many options these days. Should I simply back
up everything with a big NAS or series of distributed hard-drives,
or maybe simply pump everything into the cloud?

While I procrastinated over a longer-term solution I decided to
go for a portable external hard drive. The mobile nature of these
devices means that I can back-up family files that are the most
important and either store them in a separate room from the main
computer, or potentially in another house. Maybe I’m just a
worrier, but the scenario I’m considering with this is mainly theft
or fire.

I got set up with the curiously named Toshiba
Stor.e ALU 2S
. This is an aluminium housed 2.5″ drive with USB
3.0. It comes with backup software already on the drive which is
formatted for use on a Windows machine and is available in either
500GB or 1TB models.

Build quality and design were both good. I know that it’s the
quality of the drive inside that really counts, but housing this in
a robust shell is no bad thing. It’s already been dropped and
bashed a couple of times by the kids (not while accessing data
thankfully) and seems to be standing up to the rough and tumble of
family life pretty well.

To get the drive going on our Mac I needed to use Disk Utility
to format the volume as Mac OS. Being
relatively new to the Mac it took me a while to figure out how to
do this and there were no instructions included with the product to
help. Once formatted it worked fine although currently the drive
seems to dismount when it “sleeps” causing the Mac to complain that
I’ve removed it without ejecting — something I’m still figuring
out how to resolve.

Apart from these niggles, having some portable storage has meant that we’ve not only got
our data backed up safely in another location but also that it’s
easier to share our sizeable collection of family videos with
grandparents and relatives.

The only issue I have now is that it’s pretty much full up. It
seems to be a truism that data expands to fill whatever hard-drive
space you have available.

Andy Robertson is’s resident GeekDad who
also runs the Family
Gaming Advice channel