Manage Your External Drives Efficiently with Zentimo – Review and Giveaway

 
Scroll down to win one of the three licenses of Zentimo (worth $35 each) that I am giving away.
 

Zentimo

Zentimo is a new(ish) product from Crystal Rich Limited, the folks behind the popular USB Safely Remove tool. Zentimo describes itself as a “Swiss army knife for your external drive needs”. I would describe it as an evolved version of USB Safely Remove that is better suited for external hard disks.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with USB Safely Remove, its major benefit is being able to eject external drives safely and easily. Windows has a safely remove feature that allows you to unmount devices so that they can be removed without any data loss and disk errors. Unfortunately, Windows’ safely remove feature fails, if any process is accessing files stored on the drive. On such occasions, USB Safely Remove can identify the offending process and unlock the drive, before safely removing it. Moreover, unlike Crystal Rich’s application, the built-in safely remove feature is slow, and makes it really hard to correctly identify a device, if there are multiple external drives.

All of these advantages are present in Zentimo. However, it offers several advanced features to make management of external hard drives easier. Some of the major benefits of Zentimo are:

Arrow Enhanced Device Menu: The improved device menu not only lists every plugged-in storage device, but also creates separate entries for individual partitions. You can directly open a partition, or even launch portable apps stored on the device from the menu itself. As visible in the screenshot embedded below, the menu also offers other useful information like amount of free space remaining and the name of the partitions.

Zentimo-Device-Menu

Arrow Improved Safe Removal: Like USB Safely Remove, Zentimo can identify and unlock or close processes preventing a device from being ejected. However, it goes a step further. Zentimo can actually power-off the hard disk to ensure that it is not spinning when you unplug it. However, I am not convinced there are any real benefits to powering off the device. It seems that unless you have a really old device, (at least theoretically) you shouldn’t need to do this. The official explanation of this feature acknowledges as much.

Zentimo-USB-Safely-Remove

When you safely remove the device in Windows XP it powers the device off – in case off a flash drive its led was switched off and in case of a portable hard drive it was spun down. But Microsoft changed this behavior in Vista and it still exists in Win 7: after you stop the device on these OSes the hard drive continue spinning and flash drive continue lighting. All modern hard drives park theirs heads automatically when you unplug them so in theory this behavior shouldn’t lead to data looses or drive damages. But in practice the hard drive usually sound strangely when you unplug them on run and this makes a hard drive owner being a bit nervous when he hears that.

Zentimo-Quick-Settings

Arrow Enhanced Device Management: Zentimo has some nifty device management settings. You can change the name of the device, as well as assign it a custom icon to make it easier to recognise. Additionally, you can assign it a fixed drive letter, or even mount it as a folder. As in USB Safely Remove, you can automatically run certain applications when a USB device is inserted or removed. Zentimo also claims powerful integration with TrueCrypt. However, I didn’t test this aspect.

Arrow Benchmark: Zentimo has a single click benchmark option for external disks, which tests read/write speeds with small as well as large file to give you a comprehensive idea about your device’s performance.

Zentimo-Benchmark

Zentimo-Benchmark-Results

Arrow Portability: Zentimo saves the settings in the device itself, so if you plug it into another system running Zentimo, all the customisations will be carried over.

Ideally, we shouldn’t need an application to safely remove devices. Unfortunately, the truth is that Windows’ default implementation is overtly simplistic, and can be extremely frustrating on occasions. USB Safely Remove is amongst my favourite applications, and I regard it as a must have. Zentimo is a significantly improved edition of USB Safely Remove. If you already own USB Safely Remove, take the trial edition of Zentimo for a spin to find out if you really need the additional features. Zentimo is pricier than USB Safely Remove, but a 50% discount is available to the owners of the latter software. If you have never used any of the products from Crystal Rich, I highly recommend trying them out. Zentimo is obviously better than USB Safely Remove, but not everyone will appreciate the advantages offered by it. Go for it, if the extra fifteen bucks doesn’t bother you, or you need the additional features. The benefits of Zentimo are a lot more than skin-deep, and it’s still early days for the product.

Download Zentimo (2.9 MB)
Platforms Supported: Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7(x86 and x64)
License: Shareware (30 days trial)
Cost: $35 (1 Year Upgrade License)
Version Reviewed: 1.1.4.1012 Beta

Zentimo License Giveaway

As promised, I have another contest for my blog readers. Zentimo is sponsoring three licenses worth $105 (each license is worth $35). The license will entitle you to unlimited use of the software along with one year of free updates. Here’s how you can participate in the giveaway.
Arrow Comment on this post. Make sure you use a valid e-mail address. (compulsory)
Arrow Follow @indyan and retweet this message to get a bonus entry into the lucky draw. You must post the status update URL in the comments section to be considered. (optional)
Arrow Subscribe to my e-mail newsletter to get a bonus entry into the lucky draw. After subscribing, you must let me know by leaving a comment. (optional)
Arrow You can also blog (post in a forum) about this contest to get 2 additional entries. Once again, you must leave a comment with the URL of the blogpost. Please don’t spam, or violate rules of the board to promote the contest.

The contest will end on December 18, 2010 at 12:00 Noon IST.

* Under all circumstances my decision shall be final and binding.

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54 Responses to Manage Your External Drives Efficiently with Zentimo – Review and Giveaway

  1. Dodge Neon SRT4 February 8, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    It looks like very interesting program. It really looks like great software.

  2. Tampa Web Design February 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    It is a good and very useful tool as it shows the lots of details and the activities of the external drives. The user can easily insert or remove the external drives with the help of this application.

  3. Dodge Neon SRT4 February 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    I have tried this one, this is very nice.

    • p90x February 11, 2011 at 1:32 am #

      Glad to hear it works good. I will check it out for sure, it’s a fair price too.

      - Robert

  4. p90x February 11, 2011 at 1:32 am #

    Zentimo looks like a fantastic way to manage your drives. I hope to enter the next giveaway.

    - Robert

  5. iPhone 5 February 11, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    I am currently using Zentimo, Its really helpful. And the speed of my drives have been improved by this.

  6. Komodo Dragon February 12, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

    Zentimo is really quite handy and efficient. I have been using it for awhile now.

  7. Computer Virus February 17, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Zentimo is an external drive manager aimed to save time and give more features for an active user of USB\SATA\Firewire storages such as flash-drives, portable drives, card readers and other. Thanks….

  8. search engine optimization usa February 22, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    Zentimo is an external drive manager aimed to save time and give more features really..

  9. Sourish @ Iphone 4 Jailbreak February 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    nice application , you should also try codysafe . They will give you a free copy of the premium version if you review them….. handy tool

  10. Sales enablement February 25, 2011 at 12:11 am #

    Wow!Its really a nice software for handling the external drives easily.I need such type, because I’m suffering with non recognition of my pen drive.Most of the time it create such error.
    Gonna implement it soon.Thanks for sharing…..

  11. sell textbooks February 25, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    This is an awesome tool, Thanks for the review hopefully I have a chance of winning.

  12. Computer Virus March 2, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    So, almost any external USB 2.0 device will transfer data at the same speed. 1TB units are regularly $69, and on sale for $59. You can grab a 2TB for only $99 at newegg, either Hitachi, Seagate, or Iomega. Thanks….

  13. Printing solutions March 3, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    My laptop which is an HP Dv6000 Model has windows 7 on it and I’ve been searching all over the net on how to delete windows 7 and reinstall windows xp using the XP recovery partition that was already in my laptop which i never deleted on installing windows 7. Does anyone know how to do this? I know this is dumb that i want to go back to xp but most of the games work on xp and they crash a lot on windows 7. Please Help?

  14. Beaverton churches March 11, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    Wow! Zentimo looking a good software that help to handle all external storage drives.I think with the help of it,I can manage multiple external drives simultaneously.It will save my precious time too.Gonna try to download its trial free version.

  15. Printing solutions March 22, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    What I always do is unplug my pen-drive from its hub without any steps, but a friend of mine told to me that I shouldn’t do that and remove my pen-drive safely from the system tray. Well, since he does not know the reason i wanted to know what effect it has; does it effect my computer or does it effect my pen-drive?please explain..

  16. KodrutZ March 24, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    Really interesting program, great to see that benchmarking feature included. Wouldn’t mind having one licensed version around… ;)

  17. Beaverton churches April 3, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

    Zentimo is really a great software, whith help of it we can easily manage our huge network of external USB devices.I enjoyed it and fully impressed with its latest features…

  18. Gazz April 19, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    looks useful, thanks

  19. find local musicians May 19, 2011 at 12:48 am #

    Zentimo is looking great software that makes handling task easy of all the external derives.Like usb sticks and external hard drives.

  20. purchases settlements November 27, 2011 at 1:22 am #

    That is pretty cool, I am sad I missed the contest.

  21. Alan Smith February 13, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    Zentimo seems cool external device with great features, I will use it.

  22. purchase settlements March 6, 2012 at 2:27 am #

    Thanks for the information, I was wondering how this company measured up.

  23. WPCircle June 23, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    Nice review of an awesome and useful tool. Thanks for sharing!

  24. chinese android tablets August 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    That is pretty cool, I am sad I missed the contest.i would like to have a try.

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