DriveClone Pro: Easy Backup, but not Trouble-Free

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In sales, DriveClone Pro has been playing second fiddle to Acronis True Image. As of this latest version, though DriveClone Pro is largely on par with its rival feature-wise. It offers both imaging and file backup, incremental backup, and a hidden automatic restore partition. Also, in my book it's also the easiest of all the imaging programs to learn and use--despite some translation errata. Alas, there were enough error messages (non-fatal) that I can't fully recommend it as of this writing.

Aside from the interface's less-than-optimal translation to English, the install complained that with 450MB of disk space available there was not enough room--despite Farstone's claimed requirement of only 250MB. I received a "communications or connectivity" error after both of my test backups. The progress bar during erasing and creating a recovery CD-RW both stalled at 99% though the operations had actually succeeded. Small as these problems may be, when I trust a program to do my backing up, I want it Bulletproof with a capital "B".

Like Norton's imaging products, the Windows version of DriveClone Pro can't run on systems with less that 512MB of memory--a bummer for IT types who need to backup older, less beefy systems. The Windows PE-based recovery disc is no help in this regard; it's restore-only.

Aside from the worrisome translation and operational glitches, DriveClone Pro works fairly well and it's easier to use than True Image. But it's also more expensive than the majority of the competition, and backing up in parallel via FTP isn't enough to warrant the extra cost--especially for a program that appears to have been pushed out the door a couple of weeks shy of readiness. It's a pity; with a little more work, DriveClone Pro might not be singing the sad song of the second fiddle.

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