About The Rest of the Disaster?
So far we’ve only talked about restoring your important files –
what about the rest of the system? Again, if the requirements are modest (<10
Mb) for a full system backup – go for it with BackUp My PC. If you’re
with the rest of us, who only see using it to back up our work files, read
I like the idea of an immediate recovery from a horrible disaster –
enough that I devote a large portion of my hard drive to it, keeping images
of my C: drive stored on a FAT32 partition so if my system gets hosed for
any reason other than disk failure, I can be up and running again in a hurry.
In the case of disk failure,
copies of these images also reside on a network share, so that they can be
copied to a new hard drive and restored from there. These image files could
also be spanned across several CD-Rs, and in the case of Windows 98 or ME,
I might recommend using the ‘save system state’ option of Backup
My PC to create a similar arrangement.
Furthermore, I am about
to install a second hard drive in a removable rack that is a clone of my working
drive. Should the main drive fail, I can simply swap in the clone. With the
recent dive in hard disk prices, I’m considering adding a third drive
into rotation, storing one of them in a fire-safe in the garage. (I’m
not betting on the fire protection or security of the box, it’s just
a neat, inexpensive and reasonably secure container for such use. It can be
further secured by cable lock to something immovable.)
Should these methods fail,
I’m back to square one, installing Windows 2000 from scratch on a freshly
formatted hard disk, then all of my programs, then applying all of my tweaks.
An hour or two spent downloading Windows updates is also part of the equation.
This program is also included on the installation CD. What it amounts
to is a nag screen that lets you know how much data is unprotected on your
system at any given time. It provides a detailed status report of what's protected
and what's not -- but beyond that its overall value is questionable -- unless
you need nagging.
I tested BackUp My PC’s functions in a variety of ways. I monitored
and backed up folders to CD-R, to a local partition, and to a network share.
I successfully located and restored data from each media, as advertised.
Aside from a system error
that came to light the first time I ran the program (no fault of BackUp My
PC) the program ran flawlessly. It is as easier to use and more intuitive
in operation than many competing products, and has the reputation of Veritas
behind it. Veritas has a long-standing and fine reputation in IT departments
around the world, and I consider that a major plus in the positive column
for BackUp My PC.
That said, I would also
like to point out that many independent functions of BackUp My PC may be replicated
by a careful selection and configuration of freeware products. But for most
people, the support and knowledge of a reputable company standing behind the
product is well worth the reasonable price of $79.95. After all, protecting
your data is no place to pinch pennies, and the $20 per incident charge for
support after 30 days will seem like a bargain when your data is at risk.
If I have one criticism
of the package, it would be simply that Stomp could offer more comprehensive
technical support online. I would like to see a searchable knowledge base,
and a much more comprehensive faq, including many of the topics I’ve
touched on in this review.
In all, BackUp My PC is
a fine product. In my evaluation, I’d have no trouble recommending it
to anyone who asked. That said, I'd still like to see a company offer a backup
package that includes including disk-imaging and cloning to address the various
and options and methods that exist for a comprehensive Disaster Recovery plan.
I gave BackUp My PC 9 out of 10 points in light of the questionable value
of the Disaster Recovery features, particularly for Windows 2000 users.