What data recovery software would you suggest?

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  1. normanpritchard59

    What data recovery software would you suggest?

    I use the dell latitude E6420. I need a data recovery solution for it and seem to like Rollback Rx. Acronis True image also looks ok. What do you think?

    Lets not talk of hardware backup right now.

    1. nyanash

      Re: What data recovery software would you suggest?

      I would go for Rollback. It is fast and has saved my computer from viruses multiple times (I have been using it in my business). About Acronis True Image, is also compatible with Rollback, as long as you don't activate the Acronis Secure Zone feature.

    2. IT Manager

      Re: What data recovery software would you suggest?

      I would recommend Deep Freeze restore software by Faronics. Rather than going for any recovery software, try restore software. I'm using it for long time probably 4-5 years. Go for it.

  2. KyleBlene12


    Rollback Rx has standard 256 bit AES encryption. It even has multi access control.

  3. rkant_023

    I'll Go For Quick Recovery for Extra Advance Instead...!!

  4. Phil W

    Recovery or Backup?

    Not entirely sure which you're after here you haven't made it entirely clear, it sounds like you mean backup though.

    For backup:

    Some people say you get what you pay for. In the case of backup software there are some extremely decent free options.

    Acronis True Image isn't a bad choice, it can be made an even better choice if you have a Seagate or Western Digital hard drive in your machine, as there is a free edition available from those companies. Only works if you have one of their brand drives in your machine though.

    Comodo Backup has a free edition which is what I currently use at home, it seems to be quite decent so far. Has a good range of options including differential and incremental backups, a range of compression options including a maximum mode with deduplication. It supports networks drives, custom backup jobs and scheduling.

    If you want a completely system backup without an fancy customisation options, and you're running Windows 7, then the built in Windows Backup isn't actually too bad.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Recovery or Backup?

      >Windows 7, then the built in Windows Backup isn't actually too bad.

      It's a good idea to run a virus scan before making an image backup with Win7's built in tools, because if it finds something it doesn't like several hours into a backup, it will abort.

  5. STrRedWolf

    The question really is: Do you need something to recover a crashed laptop, a virus-loaded laptop, or do you want something to back up your laptop so you can recover easier (aka prevention)?

    For a crashed (or crashing) laptop, there is only one solution: Spinrite at grc.com. This works wonders and is worth the $90. Don't be fooled by it's tiny (3.5" floppy) size -- it's written in assembler by GRC's sole owner, Steve Gibson. Spinrite also works on SSDs (using level 1, max level 2). Get it, slap it on a CD, boot into it, scan your drive. It'll take a while but it's worth the wait and price.

    For a virus loaded laptop, pull a copy of the AVG Rescue CD, and boot into it. Scan your system. Then switch to MalwareBytes and let it clean up your system.

    If you Windows install is completely hosed, grab a Knoppix CD and use it to dig through your laptop and copy your data to an external USB drive. This is Linux for the win.

    For prevention, there's numerous ways including Carbonite or even setting up a Raspberry Pi with a large desktop HD (or even a USB based Drobo) and setting up a "Time Machine for Unix" scheme.

    1. Richy Freeway

      I'll add to the linux offering by suggesting gddrescue for proper buggered hard drive data recovery.

      Use it daily for recovering customers hard drives. Took 9 months to clone a drive with it once but I got everything back.

      1. keithpeter Silver badge

        "Took 9 months to clone a drive with it once but I got everything back."

        @ Richy Freeway

        Was it sending the data in morse code? And were you billing by the hour?

        Seriously, why so long - just many many passes?

    2. hopkinse


      OMG! I've not heard that name for abo0ut 20 years - I still have bad memories of having to nurse Kyocera 20MB dives periodically with spinrite to counter sector drift. I ran it over a weekend once on a CDC/Seagate Wren EDSI drive, that was a whole 670 odd meg, and it was still at it when I came in on on the Monday morning!

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Joe Drunk

      Re: Macrium Reflect

      That's what I've heard and that has kept me from upgrading from True Image 2011. I heard that they started to go downhill at around the time they fired all their internal support in favor of outsourcing.

      For me, a long-time Ghost user since DOS it wasn't easy to make the change but True Image 2011 has become the only drive imaging software I've ever needed for years. I have used it to backup and restore XP/7 and Ubuntu 12.04 partitions successfully. Being able to reliably backup to and restore from FTP is my favorite feature although I'm sure other imaging products have the feature as well.

      Drive Image XML is free for personal use - does anyone have firsthand experience with it?

      1. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

        Re: Macrium Reflect

        Re Drive image,

        I call it Drivel Mage because I hate capital letters in the middle of words.

        But I do find it useful for restoring Windows systems with all the device drivers and office software that I use. There is a version of it on the Hirens CD, so I can reinstate my Windows system on a bare machine.

        Choice of compression: none, quick but useful, or strong but takes time to save an image. Restore is reasonably quick.

        1. Don Jefe

          Re: Macrium Reflect

          How are companies going to register common vocabulary words as trademarks without the capitalized letter(s) in the middle?

    2. Mike Bell

      Re: Macrium Reflect

      I can also give a big thumbs-up to Macrium Reflect. It's unobtrusive, simple and gets the job done. Also, even older versions are well supported with periodic updates. It's also got a neat drive clone facility – I used that recently to swap out an old 150GB C: drive for a new 1TB one. The whole job was done in about an hour, and for most of that I was carrying on using my PC as normal.

    3. jglathe

      Macrium Reflect does the job without much fuss.

      I can only second the recommendations for Macrium Reflect. It's a strange UI (but which UI isn't nowadays), but it does the job of backing up and restoring (or search/copy parts in images) without much fuss und very reliably.

    4. Bsquared

      Re: Macrium Reflect

      Another vote for Macrium Reflect. Acronis True Image has got significantly worse over the last couple of years, and the USB boot disk doesn't even bloody work at all on my Asus Zenbook.

      Free version of Reflect works fine.

  7. Jumble

    Been happily using Acronis True Image 2009 since ummm 2009. I do keep the system and data on different partitions and backup data to a Qnix NAS daily and a clean system to the same place monthly.

    For a quick and dirty file copier, I use Karen's Replicator. It's schedulable and network aware but doesn't verify.

    1. Joe Drunk

      Hey I started with True Image 2009 and was happy with it - until I found it wouldn't work with SATA. I upgraded to 2011 but then found that it was incompatible with images created with 2009!


      Back to Ghost I go then - only to find that it too was incompatible with image files created by previous versions.

      double facepalm!

  8. Pen-y-gors

    True Image good

    Been using it for years, with backups going to a NAS drive in a different building (paranoid? moi?). I do weekly drive image and daily data directory differential backups, so have daily snapshots of data and weekly of drive doing back for some months. As any backup can be mounted as a normal drive it's very useful for those "Oh shit I wish I hadn't deleted/updated that file yesterday" moments.

    The NAS drive is important. For damaged drives then there's no problem backing up onto a different drive in the same box or another box next to it on the desk. But when a burglar nicks anything electronic? Or the flames start licking throught he room? What use is your backup then? If your data is your livelihood then paranoia is really, really good. Make sure that at least some of your backups are going off-site.

    Anti-virus cleanup? I suggest multiple solutions. Had to clean a friends win8 box recently that had nasties crawling everywhere. McAfee (installed on box) wasn't spotting much. Ran Kaspersky Rescue CD that found and deleted 80 nasties, McAfee then said it was clean. Then manually deleted a couple more! Then ran AVG rescue disk that found another 9 nasties. Then disabled one last startup thingie and it seems to all be okay now. If he'd had incremental/differential data backup it would have been a lot easier jut to go back a few days.

  9. Stifler

    Acronis 2014: major fail

    I have found that Acronis 2014 was a bad choice for me: had many problems with recovery from a backup--so I had to uninstall it. Also, the Try & Decide feature corrupted the hard drive.

    Older versions of Acronis were excellent--2014 don't recommend.

    For my complete review and others--read the 1 star reviews on Amazon: Acronis True Image 2014 (DVD).

  10. Longboard

    Recovery options

    Agree with Phil: you want backup or recovery: clone or imaging: snapshots options or not ??

    File recovery, external or network storage

    You got W7 or W8, UEFI or GPT ??

    You want bootable snapshots for testing and rollback or just back up images ??

    All important considerations

    Avoid Rollback Rx like the plague it's a snapshot tool, not a proper imaging tool, messes with MBR, messes with MFT, not even sure it works with UEFI and GPT

    Looks great on paper but ....

    Can make all data unrecoverable. Not compatible with many other tools: just dont.

    Google RollbackRx problems

    Acronis has good rep and as noted lots of free options and many configurations: can be a massive pain to uninstall

    Some HDD manufacturers have free tools for backup

    I have tested and used all these:

    The Best snapshot option: Raxco ISR: need disc space for snapshots, intuitive, easy very reliable great support http://www.raxco.com/business/products/instantrecovery

    A great back up option: Storagecraft Shadow Protect

    Macrium Reflect is a great free tool. Easy defaults Extra options with paid

    AOEMI Backupper: funny name great free tool: solid: preconfigured defaults, easy

    Paragon tools very good options: http://www.wilderssecurity.com/categories/official-paragon-support-forum.107/

    The absolutely, ABSOLUTELY best software is Terabyte Unlimited Bundle: http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/index.htm

    Has a slight learning curve but phenomenal tools and support like nothing you have experienced

    You want a little end user experiences and guidance: good forum here:


    There are plenty of other tools..choose wisely :)

    1. Eddy Ito

      One more

      Let me join the "it depends" camp. For typical unfancy cross-platform backups I'm running fwbackups. I've also recently used GParted Live, Redo Backup & Recovery, Clonezilla, Amanda and rsync depending on who needs, and is comfortable with, what. All have their advantages, disadvantages, focus and strengths. As you may have guessed, I tend toward the oss solutions but that's mostly because I've been bitten the arse more than once when a proprietary package decides to change formats for no good reason.

    2. Ian 55

      Yes, what is it that you want to do?

      It sounds like backup, rather than 'Oh £$%&, I need to recover data off a borked system'.

      Backup is a case where OSS is safer than proprietary. If there is a popular closed source backup program that has not, at some point, changed its file formats to something incompatible with previous versions, I have not discovered it. Typically, old versions are only supported on old OSes or for one more version of the program. As a result, I - and probably most other people - have some old backups you can't easily read.

      Do you want to restore to a different machine or an identical laptop? (Many image programs will leave you with a backup that won't run on the new one.) Do you want to access the backup from anywhere on the planet with an internet connection? How much data, and how often do you want to back it up, and what's it worth?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or in future consider using a Mac with TimeMachine (free / included with the OS).

    1. Gareth Gouldstone
      Thumb Up

      Carbon Copy Cloner...

      is better than Time Machine for creating bootable images of your Mac. Not free, but a lifesaver on many occasions.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Carbon Copy Cloner...

        I find Backuplist+ is a more flexible tool.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Any love for EASUS?

    I'm another long term user of GHOST but I lost interest when it started being expensive and shiny and snapshot based rather than simple and effective and DOS based.

    After that I did briefly try Acronis (several years ago) but various issues (which I forget) made it unappealing.

    With the recent arrival of Windows 7 and SATA in the house, I've needed to move on. This week I have been mostly using EASUS. I fail to understand the difference between its "disk" and "partition" backups (whereas with GHOST it was clear) but it's done the job so far.

    I did look at Macrium before trying EASUS. Can't remember why it didn't win.

  13. Conor Turton

    Windows comes with its own back up software that can take both incremental and full backups, producing restorable image files.

    1. Hans 1

      >Windows comes with its own back up software that can take both incremental and full backups, producing restorable image files.

      Maybe, but restore does not work.

      So, I have a laptop, hard drive died ... kids, moving around ... hd is dead. I order SSD and think, Windows 7 backup is all nice and cool, I intentionally took a system image, have over 250Gb of data backed up, sounds like quite a lot for 12 months (disk was 320Gb, contained about 150Gb when it died).

      I reinstall Windows 7 and attempt to restore from the network drive, windows 7 installer insists to reinstall again (I could not navigate to the share), go to backup and recovery in the control panel and wish to recover from the network drive ... no valid backup signature found on the specific folder, or something like that. WTF, my rsync backups from my macs/linux boxen are easily accessible.

      Am I the only one in this case ? Has anybody managed to restore Windows backup from a share ? Backup worked fine, there are a bunch of snapshot folders on there .... Yes, I could go through the shapshts, unzip, copy files .... but that is not really the point of backup .... on my rsync folders I do

      $ cp /media/backup/myhost/<tab><tab> (to get list of backup dates)

      $ cp /media/backup/myhost/20140920/sarah/Documents/blahblah.txt Documents/

      If I want to restore the lot, a for loop with 20130610, 20130620 [....] 20140920 calling rsync on folder ... only changes are in the individual date folders.

      Time machine does not like my NAS - and I have 6TB, so space enough for duplicate homework - I do not backup game installation, just saved games (/home/sarah on UNIX, [c:]/Users/sarah on Mac/Windows). I guess there might be quite a few videos there, though ... looking at the size.

      Thought, anyone ?

  14. stuw

    Full HDD backups

    I have a 256GB SSD which is encrypted with bitlocker. I bought a 320GB magnetic drive from my local computer store and a hardware cloner / forensic imager from an auction website.

    Once per week I do a full bit level backup of my SSD to the magnetic drive. This has two useful benefits: First, if a customer doesn't want their data leaving their site then I can leave my encrypted ssd with them and get them to wipe it and return it once satisfied or I can invoice them for a new one. Second, if anything breaks I have a full copy of my system from earlier that week and don't need to waste a day rebuilding it (I have local admin on a non-domain machine so my situation may be unusual).The magnetic drive is stored seperately from the laptop and doing a full backup takes 30-45mins or so

    I guess if I was more paranoid about viruses than present I would buy multiple magnetic drives and rotate through them...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Avoid Acronis

    Used Acronis true image for a while, found it very buggy and at one point my backups suddenly corrupted themselves and it was not possible to access the archive until a few months later a new release of the product suddenly solved the problem. Spent an age trying to solve the problem with their support team located god knows where but they clearly had no idea how to or real interest in actually investigating the issue. After similar problems over a couple of years and regular random crashes I removed the software, installed storagecraft shadow protect, great product.

  16. David 14

    Crashplan Free

    Your question mentioned specific products but not your recovery goals.

    I use Crashplan's free edition for my family and friends computers. We all have home fiberoptic internet without caps (50Mb/s upload connections minimum) so speed is not an issue for us.

    The concept is that you back up your machine's important files to a friend or family members' machine at another location, and they do the same. If you get a large group, you can simple pitch in for a USB HDD to place at a couple of locations and all use them. The data is fully secured and encrypted, so only you can read your own data.

    This deals with 2 potential situations: (1) the inevitable dead HDD, and (2) a disaster like a fire or flood destroying your machine (and backup drives in many cases!).

    Has worked well for me for about a year, though I am not sure about the "free" longevity... buy there are never guarantees!

    My $0.02

    1. Fonant

      Re: Crashplan Free

      Crashplan here too, for off-site backups. Family back up to my machine, I back up to Crashplan's servers with a paid-for account. Takes a while to back up initially (I have a well-used 1TB disk) but once the initial backup is done it works very nicely.

      Chose Crashplan for the unlimited backup size, and the ability to keep some revisions "for ever".

  17. Anonymous Coward


    FBackup 5. Mirror backup everything onto an external hard drive. Grab the drive and go - instant on the road access to all your files from any system. Fast and free.

  18. Cliff

    Different tack

    How about using one of the many 'cloud' sync/backup options? You probably don't need to back up as much as you imagine, certainly not whole disk image of the OS, protean files, etc. If you use (for instance) Google Drive, it keeps previous versions of files under its watch too, so you can get the benefit of file-level version restores if you need to, out just allow the client software to sync and restore a copy of your files to reformatted/rebuilt hardware. For me, it makes sense anyway, as I duck and weave between devices and if I lose one, there's another ready to go with no real interruption.

  19. Dr Trevor Marshall

    Image for Windows

    Terabyte Unlimited's "Image for Windows" also works with Linux. Boots from HiRen's recovery USB or floppy, or CD. Creates an image file(s) which can be booted. Best for System disks/partitions but will do a complete drive, if you wish.

    I have never needed any other solution. I run an automatic backup every night with it. Saved my bacon several times.

    Also good for porting operating systems intact to a new hard disk.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Image for Windows

      You missed one of the most important advantages of purchasing this cheap tool. You get free lifetime upgrade. I bought a copy of Image for Linux about five years ago and sometime last year needed an imaging software and was just able to log into my account and download the current version.

    2. Nightkiller

      Re: Image for Windows

      ..and unlike Windows Backup, it allows you to archive discrete differential backups.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I use rsnapshot, which runs on a Raspberry Pi I have in my loft. It also runs OpenVPN and my laptop connects in whenever it can. Rsnapshot grabs files from the server, rather than there being a client which sends data. It uses rsync to copy the files and keeps hourly, daily and weekly snapshots. I've got it set up to back everything up when I'm at home and only the most important stuff when I'm out and about.

    A totally DIY solution, I know, and it won't work for everyone. It works for me though, and I know that as long as I have my OpenVPN keys and an SSH key I can get my data wherever I am in the world, even if my laptop dies or is pinched.

    Works for me.

  21. ecofeco Silver badge

    Data recovery? Testdisk

    I've been using Testdisk for years. It works on all but the most extreme HDD wipe/crash such as Ghostery set to multiple pass wipes before imaging or R/W heads no longer working or disk won't actually spin.


    Very old school and somewhat quirky, but recovers things you would not believe. If you can get the system to boot to the simplest command line in any way possible, you're good to go.

    NOTE: This is ONLY for recovering files and not the OS.

    (free huh? I remember I paid $175 for this a decade ago)

    1. pPPPP

      Re: Data recovery? Testdisk

      Yep, Testdisk is great. As is Photorec. A friend of mine's wife managed to format their camera's SD card while they were on holiday. Photorec recovered the lot.

  22. HKmk23

    Proof of the pudding...

    I have successfully used Active Disk Image software from LSoft Technologies. What I like is that you can either restore the whole disk image or selectively restore single files from the image! What more could you want? I use a laptop with an SSD drive as drive C: this backs up the current image to another SSD in the DVD bay as drive E: for speed and each evening drive E: is backed up to a USB3 750GB WD Black 2.5" caddy drive. All saved data is stored on separate NAS drives. Drive C: only contains todays data clips and notes until sorted. 55GB from C: takes 7minutes to save and 12 minutes to restore, the USB has the oldest image deleted after 7 days. Once you have lost all your data and files you too can be as paranoid as me about backups!. Good luck.

  23. xyro

    In terms of actual data recovery software, I've got nothing but good things to say about GNU ddrescue, and you certainly can't beat the price.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    data recovery

    Recover My Files

    I have used this product with much success many times on hard drives, memory cards, even my Samsung phone's built-in storage. Easy to use, also.

  25. Dimitri

    I've busted my head for ages to work out which are the most reliable trouble free solutions for this on windows. Depending on your needs I recommend:

    For backups: Cobian Backup Free - does full and incremental backups and is fully configurable despite being a free solution.

    For drive imaging: clonezilla: it has a learning curve but does everything you could possibly need and has an infinite number of options

    For data recovery e.g from a crashing disk, destroyed partition table or just accidentally deleted:

    Zero Assumption Recovery ( ZAR): does everything and has a remarkable success rate due to utilizing multiple methods to recover data, under any scenario. Remarkably reliable and inexpensive.

  26. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Belt and braces

    On my laptop I have a partition for backups, made by Cobian, which I routinely copy to an external USB HD. Really important stuff is also copied to the family PC, across the network.

    On the family computer with all the important stuff I have two HDD internally. One has a backup partition, big enough for an image (Macrium) and a per file backup. (Cobian) and the rest is stuff that I can afford to lose. Most of the data is on the other.

    And an external USB HD dedicated to backups,

    I also have the most important folders from these backed up to cloud services- free versions of Onedrive/Box/Dropbox./Googledrive. Some automatically (Cobian again). That's just in case I lose access to all the machines, as an off-site store. (150mb cable internet help).

    I have encrypted partitions on the USB drives in case I need to store anything sensitive.

    So I should be able to access most of my data safely, come what may.

    But then I have an in-built tendency to assume that something nasty is always bound to happen when you least expect it.

  27. Aoyagi Aichou

    For most disk-related issues, I recommend Rutime's software (from runtime.org), GetDataBack is quite well known, I think.

  28. DrTeeth

    Terabyte Unlimited

    Image for Windows and the companion programs Image for DOS and Image for Linux. The last two are bootable on UFDs and CDs and the first works under windows.

    If you think what you are using now is robust, you HAVE to try these. I am an ex-Macrium user. That backup solution is very good. but I needed to change for reasons that are not relevant here.

    The Terabyte software is a genuine undiscovered gem. Gets frequent updates and enhancements and one only has to pay for major version jumps - the last one was some years ago.

    Sorry if I sound like an advert - just a satisfied customer.

  29. Andyroid5

    Another vote for testdisk...recovers everything available.. so be warned ;)

  30. Zmodem

    file rescue pro recovers files easy recovery etc cant recover, unless its been wiped with bcwipe most file wipers dont wipe the MFT

  31. Craig "Spuddleziz" Smith

    Personally I use anything thats on Hirens in an emergency - it's pretty good if the NTFS/FAT file system is intact.

    If you have a properly fecked drive PhotoRec and its bigger badder brother TestDisk will pull almost anything off of anything. SpinRite also works wonders for repairing corrupted spinning rust.

    If you have access to a linux system and KVM or some other virtualisation system I usually dd the drive to an image, mount that in KVM and do the recovery from there its not as fast but it means you can keep the drive there for posterity.

  32. Fink-Nottle

    Hard Copy

    Backup & Recovery is a good read on the subject - as is the author's website.

  33. Morten Bjoernsvik


    You can use the clonezilla linux live image, just boot it from a usb-stick.

    It was able to clone my win7 biltlocker SSD and boot it on another machine

    (You need the 48bit bitlocker recovery ID).

    1. Mikel

      Re: clonezilla

      This is what I was going to say. Of course for file backups an online service like Backblaze is nice.

  34. Ant Evans


    Drive imaging is in some ways an answer to a question that needn't exist any more. As a few others have said, you need to distinguish between recovery and backup, that is, between system and data. Putting them both on the same volume/partition is not something a sophisticated user wants to do.

    Separated, they present different problems.

    Your options are limited on a factory built laptop, but you can create a new partition after shrinking the existing one. Under Windows, you may need to delete the swap file and System Restore data first.

    Now back up your data. Robocopy and rsync are quite cheap, but it's 2014 so I'd add something like Carbonite. After nearly ten years I still don't know of anything offering better value for a single workstation. For hundreds of thousands of files, it's a bit of a hog. There's a small business version; never tried it.

    As for the OS, consider concentrating on being able to rebuild it, not necessarily restore it. Highly customized OS instances make less and less sense the more of them you regularly use. Instead they should be generic and dispensable. To that end, where feasible, I install only VirtualBox on the metal and use VMs day to day. The underlying OS is less likely to get mangled, and if a VM gets mangled, roll back or restore.


    On the metal: bare OS, backup solutions, hypervisor. System recovery, plus install disks (and licences where applicable).

    On a fast partition: VMs. Tweaks possible depending on architecture.

    In your VMs: user customizations and apps. Local disk to disk backup.

    On a slow partition: user data. Disk to disk plus cloud backup.

  35. DerekCurrie

    Data Recovery On Macs

    Data Rescue 3 is the current standard application for hardcore data recovery for mangled drives.

    TechToolPro has a couple features you can set up to preemptively prepare for your drive to crash and burn, allowing fast recovery.

    SpinRite will go Mac compatible one of these years, promises its developer. Meanwhile, you can repair any Mac drive via SpinRite if you connect it to a running PC.

    I'll skip the various repair tools and backup options as they are not directly relevant to the question.

    But I will point out that the #1 Rule Of Computing is: MAKE A BACKUP. Obviously, restoring from your backups is the single easiest way to recover your drive. I am adamant enough about backups to cruelly say that: If you don't make a backup, you get what you deserve. It's that critical to every computer user. Read up on the net about the best backup plans and software.

  36. Epobirs

    If you mean data recovery as opposed to a backup system, I've gotten a lot of use from R-Studio.


    I use it with a USB 3.0 / eSATA docking station for 2.5" and 3.5" drives. Very worthwhile investment if you do this sort of thing regularly.

  37. Jess--

    for quick / hassle free (and cost free) drive imagine have a look at SelfImage

  38. Alistair

    F/OSS Recovery/Restore software:

    Just because I use it and find that 99% of the time it does the job quite well:


    It is linux based. but it works. and it has a functional restore point shell that will let you fix hardware driver issues before the reboot.

    Apparently someone was working on a windows version. You need *lots* of room somewhere that you can get to - but its effectively platespin for linux without the need for a reboot, root access from a remote host and other agents. WFM

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about a good file sync program?

    The thing with imaging programs is they keep backing up the same files that have already been backed up. Incremental backups with Acronis can be almost as large as the original.

    Imaging is great for boot drives. But painfully slow for backing up selected folders or partitions with changing data. File syncing programs fit the bill for keeping files backed up while only dealing with changed, added or deleted files. The best program I found for this purpose is GoodSync. So far it has been bulletproof on keeping my internal 2tb drive mirrored to an external drive.

    On important files, I archive them with in RAR compression with recovery records. None of the image backups programs offer a way to repair or recover from broken backups. With Acronis I use QuickPar to generate recovery files on all my backups as I have found out that storing files on DVD isn't guaranteed to be 100% reliable 100% of the time. By combining RAR and Par2 recovery, I haven't lost anything yet.

  40. Eion MacDonald

    Paragon software Hard Disk Manager

    Foks, I have used Paragon software for both back up of system Image and data files for some years now and find it very good. It has saved me on two occassions since the 1990s.( Also almost monthly back in XP days, easier to restore last image than screw about with XP faults).,It allows an image so metal to meta recovery , and separate if wanted MBR back up (useful if you screw up grub and Manufacturers Windows MBR) system files only , or back up data.

    They also do a free edition. Essentially it is a Linux image back up and many file transfer and other itesm including make a VM image. I find it reasonable and run it on all my Windows systesm (from XP , Vista Windows 7). Restore Linux program is available to make on CD or USB memory

  41. josefo

    I'll Go For Cimaware , I always use these tools for recovery my löst data in Office.

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