Platform: Windows XP, Windows Vista
Number of downloads: 3220
You don't need a degree in IT to realise that backing up your hard drive occasionally is a good thing, but still, actually getting around to doing it can be difficult. It's much easier to make excuses. And so, for instance, you couldn't possibly back up your whole system with Drive Backup because, ah, you don't have the time. And, hmm, you don't have a spare drive to hold the data, anyway. There, they sound convincing enough. Take a closer look at Paragon Drive Backup, though, and you realise such excuses aren't quite as relevant as you might think.
Although this program is designed to back up a complete hard drive or partition, for instance, it includes lots of optimisations designed to speed the process up. And so by default it'll only copy areas of your hard drive that contain data, for instance, and will additionally skip temporary operating system data like the paging file.
The backup is created as a file, too, so you don't need another empty hard drive to store it. And zip compression means it might not take as much space as you think, so you could save archives to network drives, burn them to DVD (full commercial version only), even save them locally on the drive you're backing up, if it has enough space. (Although obviously this isn't ideal, as if there's a hardware failure or corrupted partition then you'll probably lose everything.)
And if you do nothing else, then at least use the program to make a backup of the first track of your hard drive, including the master boot record (see the walkthrough).
This is a new version of Drive Backup Express that now enables you to both backup and restore your drive, as well as creating a bootable USB flash drive. You can’t do differential backups with the Express version. It’s designed as a ‘once only’ backup, so would be effective at backing up your work or media partition. You can upgrade to the full Drive Backup 9 within the Express edition for $39.95.
Note that this is the 32-bit version for Windows 2000, XP SP2 (32-bit) and Vista.