By Terry Currier
The NTI 4 Backup Now! 4 Deluxe Suite from Newtech Infosystems is actually two programs, DriveBackup! and Backup Now!.
DriveBackup! bypasses the file system and copies all data directly from the hard drive. It creates an image of your drive. Since it essentially takes a snapshot of the drive you can not choose individual files to backup, or restore. It is a all or nothing backup / restore program. You can use their Image Explorer utility to be selective in what to restore from an backup image. However, in the five backups I made of my C primary drive DriveBackup said the backups were successful and it could read them for restoring. In fact the files were even verified during the backup. Yet, Image Explorer always would say they were a “Invalid Drive Image backup file.” It worked fine for the backup of my other drives. There is always some errors for the primary drive since some files are always in use and can not be backed up. This happens in other backup programs also. For those that only have a C drive they should do both an image and file backup, or they will not be able to recover individual files.
DriveBackup is what you need for disaster recovery when your hard drive crashes and you have to restore everything. You can also use it to copy all of your files from an old hard drive to a new one. For a new PC you are better off installing Windows to it rather than transferring. Then restore the data with Backup Now.
Backing up can be to CD-R/RW, DVD-R/-RW/-RAM, DVD+R/+RW, internal/external/network hard drives, FTP servers, MO, Zip, Jaz, and USB pen drives. It will also let me backup to two CD/DVD drives if I wanted to. That way I would not have to sit there waiting for it to fill and change disc right away. I used an external USB connected hard drive, a network drive, and DVD drive. I had no problems using the external drive or DVD drive.
NTI says it works with a network drive. However, I could not at first get it to work. Looking in their manual and help files was…no help. Theres no is reference to network drives (other than you can do it, huh?). Going to their website and looking at the FAQs, I found I had to map the drive first to make that option work. After doing that, I had no problems.
If one drive becomes full you can span it across to another drive. If you want to secure the backup you can password protect it. I used compression for the backup, it took the 16.1GB and compressed it to 11.4GB.
Backup Now! is the file level part of the suite. You can backup up selectedfiles and folders from local and mapped drives. It has a Windows Explorer like interface so it is easy to navigate and choose files to backup. Under Options you can include, or exclude certain files you want or not, such as .doc files. Start out with DriveBackup, but continue (at least weekly) with Backup Now. With it you can backup All, or New and changed files only. The new and changed files backup breakdown into:
I set up Backup Now to backup my important data files. Total of a little about 1.3GB, which took about 16 minutes to backup and verify. After that I set up a scheduled Incremental backup. This backups only new or changed files each night and it only takes a few minutes.
Doing a restore was no problem. Backup Now gave me the choice of:
That way you make sure you don’t overwrite files you need. I could also restore the files to the original location or an alternative one (just in case.)
If there ever is an interruption while backing up, the Intra Backup Restart feature automatically restarts the backup process. I proved that when my grid got the power cut off right in the middle of a backup. I have one computer on a UPS, I think I’m going to buy another one for my second computer.
Also Backup Now helps you to create a bootable CD or DVD disc to recover your primary drive or partition with a backup copy. With both modules you can verify the files, just be aware it will more than double the amount of time for the job. Under the Tools option you can click to check if there are any updates for the program.
The NTI 4 Backup Now! 4 Deluxe Suite is easy to use with step-by-step guides to walk you through backup and restore tasks. I do wish the documentation was more detailed. The Scheduler makes it easy to keep your backups up to date. I personally would like to see them combined into one program. The price is good. Remember it is not if your hard drive will crash, it’s when.
Cost $70 NTI http://www.ntius.com/
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