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What 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 on.

System Recovery
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.

Scott Salveson




Web Target PC


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