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Main Area and Open Discussion > General Software Discussion compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools

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+1w/mouser on reliability. If you don't have confidence in them in that regard, everything else becomes moot.
-40hz (March 18, 2014, 05:50 AM)
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That's why I don't find this kind of superficial comparison very useful.  Saving a couple of minutes up front doesn't do you much good if you can't restore something when you need it.

I have used imaging as my main backup strategy going back to MS-DOS days, starting with the original Ghost (before it was acquired by Norton).  I also image and restore frequently, particularly when installing software, and keep selected images going back several years in case I need to retrieve stuff that has been deleted or lost.  I always verify images immediately after creating them.

I used Acronis for many years but gave up on it some 5 years ago because of reliability problems, and I know from postings on various forums (including DC) that others had similar experiences.  Problems I personally encountered were corruption in images made from a running Windows system (as opposed to cold booting from an external device) and problems mounting images as drives under Windows.  Acronis may have gotten their act together since then, but I'm not interested in spending my time testing it.

I now rely exclusively on Paragon, which I had previously been using for disk management, for backup imaging.  In literally hundreds of restores, I have never had a failure with their products.  

Note that Paragon has a wide variety of program versions at different price ranges (including free) with different combinations of features, but the underlying technology is the same.  I personally use Hard Disk Manager Pro because it gives me everything I might need in a single package, including P2V and V2P. 

It would have been interesting if GPT support was noted on the chart.  As drive sizes increase I think MBR is going to fade away fast.  Seems as I get new systems there's always some factor that limits my choices.

On XP Paragon Drive Backup Personal seemed great.  But it messed up my partition table in Vista.  I moved to Macrium Reflect.  I got another PC with a software raid controller.  Macrium didn't like it.  Moved to EaseUS ToDo Backup.  EaseUS also had USB 3.0 support with the Linux rescue CD. No need to use WinPE.  Now I'm on a Windows 8.0 Laptop with GPT partitions and secure boot.  It seems at the moment Macrium Reflect is the way to go as the free version includes WinPE and GPT/secure boot support.

I guess the way to have more software to choose from is to stay with something like Windows Seven MBR systems?

Steven Avery:

Macrium also has a solid forum and Facebook page.  This (imaging and also partition) is an area where companies tend to be shy, not wanting the public to see the possible "you trashed my system, I have no backup" type of post that can arise. So they tend to want to have details done privately.

I'm considering their Professional, noting the possibility of using the Redeploy option.

And remember, nothing wrong with having images from more than one software. And doing a special data only partition with file-by-file backup.

Speed is my least-important factor in backing up.  Reliability and redundancy are the key.


And remember, nothing wrong with having images from more than one software. And doing a special data only partition with file-by-file backup.
-Steven Avery (March 20, 2014, 02:29 AM)
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Good points and I would also add the occasional offline backup to bypass the complications of a running system. Fortunately that's the one thing the last version of Acronis True Image I bought does reliably - besides completely b0rking Windows Backup and failing to uninstall properly anyway. I use the Bart's PE plugin for semi-regular offline backups to my server. It's the only reason I decided to decline the refund they offered me.

I've been using TerabyteUnlimited's tools for years, and highly recommend them. Been creating and restoring images with Image for DOS hundreds of times, never had a problem. I especially like that you can make byte-for-byte compare both when creating and restoring an image, haven't seen this in any other image programs.

Their BootIt Bare Metal which is a great tool for managing partitions include a copy of Image for DOS btw.


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