Paragon Drive Backup Personal Edition (32-bit version)
At a Glance
While Paragon makes selecting individual files and folders for backup easy, selecting them for restore is more difficult. When you browse, instead of seeing a separate window with the files listed, you have to navigate a tree in the same browser you used to select the archive. If you're restoring from a long-path network location, this approach becomes unwieldy. The other, more serious problem is that you can only restore a file to its original location. This is a pain when you want to recover an older version of a file without overwriting the newer one.
The other major new feature in this version is the rescue media builder's ability to write its recovery image to a thumb drive as well as CD. Flash USB drives boot much faster (on newer PCs whose BIOS supports booting from a USB device) and they're easier to carry around. Also, as always, if you own the company's Partition Manager the abilities of that program are added automatically to the recovery media. That makes for a very nice all-around emergency toolkit/boot disc.
The other changes to Drive Backup 9.0 Personal are minor: bug fixes, more drivers, and better support for various operating systems, including Apple's dual-boot Boot Camp for both Mac and PC support. In the end, for straight disk imaging, DB9 is as good as it gets. But the company needs to make restoring individual files and folder easier and in light of NovaBackup 10, which has imaging as well as a host of other backup features, lower the price.
Note: This download takes you to the developer's site.
--Jon L. Jacobi