£ Free commercial download, worth £13
Platform: Windows XP
License: Time limited demo
Number of downloads: 25430
Replacing your tired old hard drive with a speedy, high-capacity model is one of the most effective PC upgrades you can make. Don't go through the tedious process of reinstalling Windows and your applications on the new drive, though: just run Drive Copy instead, and it'll clone your existing drive in the shortest possible time.
Once your new system is up and running, you can also use the program as a simple backup tool. Who wants to go to the trouble of using a file-based backup program, manually specifying files and folders, hoping (but never actually knowing for sure) that you're backing up all the information you need? Image backups are much easier by comparison, can be set up with just a few mouse clicks, and short of hard drive failure you can be sure no vital data will be lost.
There is the issue of backup time, of course. Cloning a complete hard drive will inevitably take longer then just a copying a few files. Drive Copy 8.0 Personal SE keeps this overhead to a minimum, though, by employing a combination of different techniques.
By default the program doesn't copy unused sectors, for instance. And it also skips dynamically updated Windows files that are unlikely to be necessary on the new drive, like the paging file, hibernation file, and so on. You can change both of these settings if it's essential to have an exact drive clone, but otherwise they'll both help boost overall performance.
Alternatively, if you prefer the absolute minimum of hassle, then use the program's built-in scheduler. In a minute or two you'll have it configured to automatically run unattended backups every day, week or month, providing maximum data security for the absolute minimum of effort.
Ignore the 'time limited demo' reference on this page. To obtain your serial code, you'll need to visit http://registration.paragon-software.com/dcse or follow the instructions within the installer.
Note that this full download will be removed on or around 18th of November 2006.
Once you've registered Paragon Drive Copy 8 Personal SE, you'll receive a special promotional offer from Paragon, by email. Hurray, you have 7 days to take advantage of this fantastic offer.