Iomega is to package its new Never Down software for system backup and instant recovery with the company's External Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (eSATA) interface desktop hard drives.

The line of eSATA desktop devices will include the Iomega eSATA 3Gb/USB 2.0 Professional Hard drive, featuring 500GB and 750GB capacities, and the new 1.5TB Iomega UltraMax Pro Desktop Hard Drive, said company officials.

Iomega's Never Down backup and recovery software, which is limited to Windows XP and Vista systems, is bundled with each device. However, owners of older Iomega eSATA desktop drives can download the new Never Down software for free.

Operating from the external SATA hard drive, Never Down uses Microsoft Volume Shadowcopy Services to create an uncompressed backup copy of all files on a laptop or PC running Windows. The Never Down software can be run manually or set up to run via integration with Microsoft Scheduled Task Wizard, said Marty Haslam, Iomega's manager of product development and engineering.

After the first system backup, users have the option of overwriting all stored data on the eSATA device or copying only files that have been changed since the last backup. Haslam said the software can restore files that have accidentally been deleted from a PC by using Windows Explorer to copy the file from the backup drive.

In the event of a system crash or data corruption, Haslam said that Never Down can help users avoid downtime by enabling a boot drive directly from the external device. He said the procedure only takes seconds -- basically by switching a PC system into BIOS mode - to boot from the eSATA drive featuring Never Down to revert a PC back to its state at the time of the latest backup. To use the external hard drive, a PC must have an onboard eSATA port or an eSATA card installed.

Iomega has no plans to produce a version of Never Down for Macintosh-based laptops and PCs because Apple's Time Machine software for Mac OS X 10.5 offers similar functions, said Haslam.