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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 4

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

Test number 4 – Image to drive via rescue CD

Having a rescue CD (or bootable USB drive) is a vital part of using disk backup programs such as these. If you find yourself unable to boot your hard drive then you’ll need some way of restoring a drive image without loading Windows. Using the rescue media created by each product and the images we created in test number 2, we restored each image in turn to the destination drive and attempted to boot it. While in the various recovery environments, we also tested if we could connect to our network attached storage (NAS) device.

Program Time (mm:ss) Boot? Could connect to NAS?
Acronis True Image 2013 12:14 Yes Yes
EaseUS Todo Backup 5.3 38:24 Yes No
Macrium Reflect V5 12:09 Yes No
Paragon Backup & Recovery 12 Home 33:11 Yes Yes

Speed wise, Macrium Reflect takes the crown in this test, with Acronis not far behind. Paragon Backup was significantly slower, while EaseUS was the slowest of them all.

Before relying on a package like this for disaster recovery, its certainly worth testing and familiarising yourself with the recovery environment available on the rescue media your chosen package can create. Recovering the hard drive using the Acronis recovery environment was much more complicated than when using the program under Windows. Partitions had to be selected manually, which is fine for expert users but could add confusion for other users especially during an already stressful time. Other than that the Acronis rescue environment was very good and connected to our network storage device easily.

Paragon’s recovery environment was also impressive. Here, it was a little more fiddly to configure a connection to our network storage device. This is especially true if you’re not used to how Linux makes connections to drives and network resources. However, once connected there were no problems accessing resources over the network or on local drives. The speed of the restoration wasn’t terribly fast, but it worked and that’s what matters most.

The recovery environments for Macrium Reflect and EaseUS Backup were less impressive. Unlike the other three packages, Macrium Reflect only has the option to create a recovery CD or DVD. Many computers are now shipping without optical drives at all, so not allowing a recovery drive to be made using a USB storage device is a rather glaring omission. Neither Macrium Reflect nor EaseUS Backup could see our network storage device when running their recovery environments. Creating the rescue media with EaseUS was also more complicated than it needed to be, thanks to some ‘engrish’ error prompts, such as a prompt which read “The CD has been stored data”.

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