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NTI Backup Now! 3
Page 4 - DriveBackup Usage and Conclusion
Author: Dan Podhola (WebMasterP)
Date: August 08, 2004
Category: Software
Options: Printable Version 12 pt Times New Roman 10 pt Times New Roman 12 pt Tahoma 10 pt Tahoma

DriveBackup Usage
DriveBackup differs from BN!3 in that backs up the entire disk as an image rather than just the individual files. For backup, the user is presented with two options: creating an emergency recover disk set and creating a drive image backup. The restore option is to restore from a drive image created by the later option of the backup options.

The "Create Emergency Recover CD/DVD" button opens up a dialog the guides you the process of creating a set of CD/DVDs that are bootable and can recover a drive without having to boot into an operating system. The software holds your hand through the creation of the disk, which is only a few steps (excluding disk swapping). To be curt, it goes like this: media selection, recovery device type (IDE or SCSI), partition to backup, backup name/options, and then burning.

DriveBackup Options
DriveBackup Options
Emergency Disk Step 1
Emergency Disk Step 1

Emergency recovery CDs are not for everyone. If you have a large hard drive and a regular CD-R/CD-RW drive, this will use an enormous amount of CDs if you hard drive is even half filled. On my main machine it estimated that it would require 63 blank CD-R media to complete the drive image backup. A DVD burner would be a better option, but is still going to require a considerable amount of DVDs. I would really only recommend this type of backup every once in a while unless you have your Windows install on a separate partition from your data parition. If you've separated out your Windows install on a separate parition, it is possible to make an emergency restore disk on one or two bootable DVDs and restore a severe Windows crash in no time at all.

The other function set available, Create/Restore Drive Image Backup, does not offer anyway to restore a Windows system partition. However, unlike the emergency recovery CD, a user can backup the image to any media type, like a removable hard drive or a mapped network drive. Clicking the "Create Drive Image Backup" button launches a step by step dialog of how to create your backup. Briefly, the drive image backup process flows like this: select backup source and options (selecting a large drive makes the system appear to hang, but its going very slow), select backup destination and options, and then perform the drive imaging. If an attempt is made to do a drive image backup of an active partition (e.g. the Windows system partition) the user will receive a warning suggesting the emergency recovery disc feature is utilized instead. However, you are able to continue and try to image the live drive anyway.

Both of the recovery methods (bootable CD and DriveBackup recovery) worked as expected. There were no unexpected problems with either method.

It is hard to summarize a package like BackupNow! 3 Deluxe Suite because it contains two separate programs. I must say that if you plan on purchasing the deluxe suite, make sure you can utilize the drive imaging software. If you do not have a use for it, save yourself $10 and buy the regular edition of BackupNow! 3.

NTI's BackupNow! 3 is not noticably better than other backup software I have reviewed prior; it is definitely not of lesser quality either. In fact, I would say weighing the pros and cons of the software, it is just slighty better than average backup package. The step based user interface will be great for inexperienced users, and the other software packages I tested didn't have this. The lack of out of the seemless out-of-the-box functionality was a disappointment. It would have also been nice if the software provided a direct link to software update page, not just the optical drive support updates (which are nice).

The DriveBackup software is flexible and provides a few different options to meet different needs. The software is simple and is matched with a sparse user interface that provides access to is functions. It creates bootable backups that work and drive images that restore properly. Overall, DriveBackup! 3 is a reliable package and worth considering for those of you considering drive imaging as a backup solution.

Final Score

4 out of 5 Weird Blue Faces

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