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Windows 7: B&R software comparison


17 Nov 2011   #1

Windows 7 x64 home premium
 
 
B&R software comparison

Reading Gizmo's list of free drive imaging programs, and a little nosing around here and a few other places, I'm a little confused as to how effective some of these programs are.

Having suffered my share of OS HD failures, I am finally looking at ways to minimize the pain of doing a fresh install to replace a failed HD. The OS install is no big deal, but installing and tweaking the programs as I prefer takes an enormous amount of time.

I have a number of different scenarios to cover:
1) Vista/32 bit HP computer
2) XP.pro.sp3 computer
3) Win 7 x64 HP computer with an SSD (80GB) for the OS and programs (150GB Raptor available for recovery)
4) Win 7 x64 HP computer with an SSD (64GB) caching a mechanical drive (via Intel's IRST feature)

I've read that some of these programs won't scale to different size drives for recovery. Not having used any of them, I have no clue as to their pros/cons for my intended applications.

Anyone here care to offer any suggestions? It seems that Macrium has a good following here, but Gizmo says it has issues that haven't been fixed. I watched a Youtube video of someone demonstrating Paragon and that certainly seemed straightforward. Gizmo seems to like Easeus.

I'd appreciate a little guidance from some with some experience in this area.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Nov 2011   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Either Paragon or Macrium, but if it is that important to you I would spring for Acronis.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2011   #3

Windows 7 x64 home premium
 
 

Thanks. I really need the freebie software. Knowing what little I do, I am still the family software geek. So I get the job of fixing everyone's computers when they have issues. So I figure having a tool to quickly recover a failed HD would be nice to have in my pocket. I should have addressed this area a long time ago.

I think my two main concerns are this:
1) not being limited to replacing the failed HD with the same size (I imagine there are partitioning tools to make use of additional space the recovery doesn't use or prepare for)
2) if there are any restrictions involved when doing a B&R on a SSD cached drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Nov 2011   #4

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by speedlever View Post
Thanks. I really need the freebie software. Knowing what little I do, I am still the family software geek. So I get the job of fixing everyone's computers when they have issues. So I figure having a tool to quickly recover a failed HD would be nice to have in my pocket. I should have addressed this area a long time ago.

I think my two main concerns are this:
1) not being limited to replacing the failed HD with the same size (I imagine there are partitioning tools to make use of additional space the recovery doesn't use or prepare for)
2) if there are any restrictions involved when doing a B&R on a SSD cached drive.
One of the limitations of Macrium Reflect free is that it won't restore to a smaller partition than originally imaged but will to one larger than original. I am happy with Macrium, have used it successfully to restore to the same partition and perhaps I am fortunate as I have never had a HDD go bad on me. Apart from the used one I bought and I won't be making that mistake again.

I too like to customise my software and do various tweaks so reinstalling the OS from scratch and reloading software is out of the question.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2011   #5

Windows 7 x64 home premium
 
 

It seems that HDs just get bigger and cheaper, so recovery to a smaller drive is not really a concern for me. But I'm sure I'll discover the "gotchas" when I actually have to go through a recovery process.

However, if replacing a failed mechanical drive with an SSD, the recovery process could be compromised as the SSD will likely be smaller than the HD being replaced. Plus, I don't know if a HD cached by an SSD is another potential problem either. I would guess that it's not a problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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