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Posted on Apr 16, 2013 in Backup, Introduction to Backup | 0 comments

Windows Backup Software Review – ‘Bare Metal Showdown 3’ – Part 2

Quick links for backup software review:-

Overview of the contenders
Test 1 – Hard disk copy
Test 2 – Drive to image
Test 3 – Image to drive
Test 4 – Rescue CD
Features at a glance

About the tests

This years tests were conducted using two hard drives, a 160GB Western Digital Caviar Blue (WD1600AAJS) and a 250GB Seagate Barracuda 7200 (9SL131-302). We installed Windows 8 Professional edition to the Western Digital drive. Rather than use a fresh copy of the OS, we cloned one from an existing, working installation with several programs installed to more accurately simulate real-world conditions. The 250GB Seagate Barracuda was used as the destination drive and was quick formatted before each test.

Test number 1 – Hard disk copy – Drive to drive

For the first test, using each backup tool in turn we copied the Windows ‘C:’ drive (drive we were currently running Windows from) directly to the destination drive. We then removed the source drive and attempted to boot from the destination drive. When the drive copy was completed we checked the integrity of the files on the destination drive using a simple CRC check. Happily, each program that managed to copy the disk did so without corrupting the file contents.

Program Time (mm:ss) Boot? Notes
Acronis True Image 2013 16:01 Yes Had to reboot to start copy
EaseUS Todo Backup 5.3 26:24 Yes
Macrium Reflect V5 28:38 Yes
Paragon Backup & Recovery 12 Home 28:18 Yes

Acronis True Image put in the fastest time here, but not without a significant caveat. It was the only package that made us reboot and carry out the operation in the recovery environment rather than being able to image the drive while Windows was running. In the past most disk cloning/backup software has required this but now it seems Acronis is the only package that does, though by doing so the backup speeds were significantly improved.

All the other packages managed respectably similar times to each other. Paragon gave us the option of resizing partitions on the destination drive manually before beginning the operation. Macrium Reflect was the only package that didn’t automatically resize the copied partition to fill all the free space on the target drive, curiously this is listed as a feature of the software so perhaps there is an option we overlooked.

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