The Best Windows Backup Program Money Cannot Buy
In a previous entry http://techpraxis.org/sex-lies-and-windows-8/ you are promised a how to backup Windows 8. While Microsoft deserves a round of applause for making it easier for the average person to backup their system, it came at the cost of not having the ability to have both a traditional backup method running AND a Time Machine style snapshot capability as you find as the default in Windows 8.
We have looked at a number of different options. For the average person we have narrowed down the best of breed. It just so happens that it is available to you for free. In other words for the homeowner it is the best Windows backup program money cannot buy.
The good news is if you are a small business for a very reasonable price you can use the same program with a bit more functionality. Enterprise class firms would be doing themselves a disservice if it did not make their short list. Without further ado let’s get into the details of what you must do.
Step 1. Go to: http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/
Click on Free Download. Save the program. Run it. Tell your Windows system it is okay to run the program.
It is strongly suggested that you copy first the Product Key (highlight and Ctrl C) then come back to the beginning of the install and do Ctrl V. you can repeat this operation for the Serial Number. Do not worry, the installation screen is smart enough to handle the hyphens for you.
Please examine the graphic shown above. By default the HotCore Driver is not checked. This is only approximately 56 kB additional to the 133 MB install. You are strongly encouraged to add it, so that the graphic you see above matches your screen.
The good news about both Windows 7 and Windows 8 is they do not nag you every step of the way about “are you sure you want to do this?” You may be asked several times because of the installation of both the backup program and the HotCore Driver. Do notice that the application has been signed by the publisher as seen in the graphic below.
Depending on the speed of your system, within a few moments to a few minutes you will see the Magic finish button. After you click on that the screen you see next will be revealed to you.
By default you get the Express interface, as seen above. A closer examination reveals five the vertically tabbed options. To that should be of immediate interest to you are: Tools as well as Backup & Recovery. For your first install, the Tools menu is going to be much more important. Notice how Burn Recovery Media is highlighted in the graphic above? The intention is to politely tell you: Pay Attention!
In the event of a catastrophic failure you will need a way to boot when you cannot boot. Skipping this step would be going beyond being extremely foolish. It would only lead to a false sense of security.
As you can see in our next graphic, there is an Advanced Mode.
Households that have mixed marriages (NTFS, EXT3, OSX, etc.) can live in harmony because Paragon lineage comes from enterprise class backups.
Depending on the needs you may have to buy the very reasonably priced Soho (Small Office/Home Office) addition, which at the time of this article is only USD25.
One of the beauties of Paragon is the Windows 8 ability to do a limited restore as well as 100% recovery of a major melt down of your storage system(s). And that is Not Happening unless you have run the Recovery Media Builder!
We have spoken with other folks that have had 100% success using only DVD-RW media after a total melt down. Recovery of a fraction of a Terabyte took some hours. In our testing we we’re not that patient as it took approximately 10 hours for them.
Instead our tests included using a USB 3 flash drive for Recovery Boot and backing up to a USB 2 flash drive for storage. We saw about a 50% reduction in needed backup space due compression.
Text files will compress much more, audio and video files such as.mp3 and .MP4 will see almost no reduction in size as they are already compressed files.
While it is clear to us that this free version is obviously a marketing ploy, it is an honorable and honest one. Look at it this way. If the product is good enough for enterprise use, it’s good enough to use at home, for free. Bragging about your acumen for such an astute find is certainly a very reasonable price to pay for some free CYA (Covering Your Assets).
Backups are critical. Please tell us below what you are doing (or not doing). What are your experiences with disaster recovery? Save another with your show and tell in comments!by
About the Author (Author Profile)Tcat began his digital journey in the mid 1960's with his father on a GE-225 mainframe with a 'whopping' 8 KB of RAM using the '80 card' and a 4-bit paper tape programs written with a Flexowriter. After the SE Asia 'conflict' the US Army no longer required his service as a in the 9th Signal Corps as a photographer and assigned him to 9th Finance, 9th Inf. because he could spell the word 'computer' and actually knew what it meant. Being transferred to Ft. Lewis, WA and building an Altair computer brought him to the U of WA and a few folks from Lakeside Hight School which formed a company called Micro Soft (then 2 words). Fast forward 20 years and the industry came across the idea of certification since a collage degree could not measure the speed at which things changed. Playing the game, Tim CATura-Houser earned 50+ certification titles in a few short years. Of all of them, he sees Certified Technical Trainer (1997) as his best moment of life. As a full-time author and teacher he became frustrated with being confused with Tim O'Reilly and in the year 2000 had his name legally changed to Tcat Houser. Today he is still a 'digital globe trotting warrior' writing and teaching on all things digital (and sometimes analog) electronic. When not working 'electronics', he enjoys attempting to replicate the local cuisines he has sampled around the world.
Sites That Link to this Post
- Sex, Lies, and Windows 8 | Tech Praxis | January 13, 2013