Good review of free Windows backup programs.

By on August 11, 2014 8:44:39 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

DrJBHL

Join Date 04/2002
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I think a review for the paid varieties will be coming in the future, but this review on gHacks goes into a good/reasonable amount of detail and summarizes the test findings in a tabular form which was quite welcome.

The first good sign was that the comparison criteria were clearly stated at the onset, as well as definitions of the various types of backup schemes. Brinkmann also made clear which software was being tested and which wasn’t.

For these reasons, I really recommend his review. He kindly gave me his permission to reproduce his table of results, so without further ado:

 

Paragon ended up the winner. To quote Martin Brinkmann:

“Even though Paragon Backup & Recovery Free is a lite limited version, it has more to offer in terms of options than any of the other free disk imaging programs that we have tested for this top list. You can use it to create disk images, full, differential and incremental are all supported. Besides saving them in the company's own format, backups can also be saved as virtual disks, The backup software supports password protection and compression, can verify the integrity of archives, and even ships with partitioning options which can come in handy when you connect a new drive to the computer for the first time.”

One con however:

“The program was not able to create a backup of the Windows partition though without a reboot and running the operation prior to the launch of the operating system.”

Source:

http://www.ghacks.net/2014/08/08/best-free-drive-backup-programs-for-windows/?_m=3n%2e0038%2e1331%2ehj0ao01hy5%2e1do3

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August 11, 2014 11:59:36 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

EaseUS for partitioning...Paragon for backups. Cool

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January 9, 2015 10:23:44 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

"not able to create a backup of the Windows partition though without a reboot"

Interesting, because that does not gel with my own experiences with the Paragon products, although I switched from Backup & Recovery Free to Hard Disk Manager 14 just over a year ago and it might be that the latest free version has such problems whilst the paid for edition does not.

FWIW there is one other fact about Paragon's tools that might be worth pointing out, in light of recent experiences of my own, in that they don't cope well with disk faults - the backup will simply stop and refuse to create a usable image. Whether that is a good approach or a bad one is arguable, but I had a backup fail a couple of days ago and the error message lead me to check the SMART data only to find that the Pending Sector Count was non-zero. Subsequent investigations and troubleshooting suggest that this failure was caused by a single bad sector (in a Stardock icon file, funnily enough) but as soon as it became apparent that the disk was having problems I wanted to be able to take an image of it, bad sectors and all - preferably with an error log telling me which files were affected. Paragon won't do that, best as I can tell, and research suggests that this applies to a fair few of the commercial backup tools.

In the end I took a punt, because Windows would still boot (the OS is on an SSD not the failing HD, although all of the user profiles are on the spinning disk) and used FreeFileSync to take a backup copy of everything on the partition, topped up by a command line copy using Take Command (the sync ran as administrator and that account does not have access to one or two encrypted folders) and I've got a boot time CHKDSK running as I type this, so fingers crossed. I've also got a new 1TB HD all ready to roll but if the CHKDSK doesn't clear the fault then Paragon isn't going to allow me to clone the drive and I'm going to have to find another way.

 

(BTW apologies that this looks like thread archaeology but this post appeared on the list of recent articles because someone else replied to it today but they seem to have subsequently deleted their post, perhaps realising that the original was five months old. However, I am going to leave my reply here in case it is useful to anyone)

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January 9, 2015 3:27:18 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

My frustration with Windows backup program is none seem to have search capability.  If I discover that I've deleted a file I have to try each backup set until I find the one it's on, before I deleted it.  It would be nice to enter a filename and have the software search and select the most recent or all backup sets containing the file.

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January 9, 2015 7:54:19 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Steve Pitts,

(BTW apologies that this looks like thread archaeology but this post appeared on the list of recent articles because someone else replied to it today but they seem to have subsequently deleted their post, perhaps realising that the original was five months old. However, I am going to leave my reply here in case it is useful to anyone)

That was a spammer, Steve ....he was shown the door...

I recently had a vaguely similar issue with a psd file that wouldn't open ....turned out to be an early warning of a failing HD....CRC check failed.

I found a proggy called 'CD check' which saved me....as the graphic file was an important one.

I strongly/highly recommend it as an addition to your 'tools'...

 

http://download.cnet.com/CDCheck/3000-2086_4-10339637.html

The first I saw of the problem was a Syncback error log indicating a failed copy/backup...

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