Has anyone heard of or tried Farstone DriveClone Pro, currently at v.7.0? I was skeptical at first about a commercial product that seemed relatively obscure at its 7th incarnation, but was pleasantly surprised after trying it. Almost paid for it. Still might do.
A little background first: Since Win 7 I have been using a combination of Image for Linux (IFL)/Bootit NG (both from TeraByte Unlimited
) and Rollback Rx
v9.1 as my system recovery solution. The way I go about it is to install my system in stages, and at the end of each stage I image the system partition with IFL. After I've set up the system the way I want, I install Rollback Rx for everyday protection, for it's much quicker at taking system snapshots, and restores in seconds (not counting time to reboot the system), similar to Windows' system restore but much more reliable.
In general I like Rollback Rx. There're some nagging issues with its current version, however. Given my low expectation on their service
, I decided to try something different when I had to restore my desktop to a stage before Rollback Rx was installed two days ago.
I was tempted by the Shadowprotect discount, given the high regard it gets here and elsewhere (Wilders Security
, e.g.). Another disk imaging tool was nevertheless not really what I was after, and it's still pricey for me even after the discount.
When scouting for alternatives I ran into Farstone DriveClone Pro 7. As I said I was skeptical. It seemed to offer everything Shadowprotect had to offer, including hardware independent restore, plus file backups, plus what really attracted me -- "snapshot recovery".
The snapshot recovery feature uses similar technology as Windows System Restore (saving system changes to a hidden place), but it's just as reliable as Rollback Rx, without the issues I have with the latter. I also tried its disk imaging function, and it's fast, with reasonably good compression, and the restoration was smooth (I tried just one restoration, though). It has a pre-OS environment, so unless the system disk is damaged beyond repair, you don't need a bootable rescue disk to restore. (Can't create the boot disk in trial version.) Didn't have spare hardware to test the hardware-independent restore feature.
One disappointment, though. While it's a total package, the disk images it creates doesn't contain the hidden virtual partition which hosts the snapshots. So after restoring from a disk image would loose all the snapshots. (It's the same with Rollback Rx, so it's not really a point against DriveClone, but I expected more from an integrated solution.)
I haven't decided to purchase it because:
1. I've only recently paid for Rollback Rx; and
2. Rollback Rx gives me more flexibility in going back and forth among snapshots. With DriveClone, you loose later snapshots after going back to an earlier one.
If Rollback Rx keeps giving me issues, however, I'll definitely reconsider. With its asking price ($47.77), it seems a bargain for a total file backup/disk imaging/snapshot recovery solution, if everything works as advertised. BTW, they now also sells the snapshot recovery part independently, for $10 less.