Hard Disk Manager 2009 Special Edition is a software program for the Windows operating system to manage hard drives. This includes options to back up, partition, clone, wipe and defrag hard drives, plus system management and system recovery options.
The special edition seems to offer the same features that the Hard Disk Manager 2009 Suite offers except for the missing WinPE Recovery CD feature, upgrades and technical support.
The suite is offered for a price of $49.95 which includes a free upgrade to Hard Disk Manager 2010 once it is released.
Update: Please note that new versions of Hard Disk Manager have been released since the review was written. The newest at the time of updating is Hard Disk Manager 15. The new version does away with some of the criticism, it supports remote servers for instance that you can store backups on.
Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2009 Special Edition starts up with a wizard that makes it more comfortable to find and access the specific functions of the program.
The wizard divides the functions on a left sidebar divided in to the buttons Backup and Restore, Maintenance, Rescue and Recovery, Wiping and Advanced Options.
The right side of the window displays the options that are provided by the selected category.
Backup and Restore
Backup and restore is one of the main features of Hard Disk Manager 2009. The program can be used to backup and restore partitions, hard drives, or files and folders. A backup wizard is displayed automatically after selecting one of the backup options.
One interesting option is the ability to backup the master boot record of hard drives. The wizard displays the size of the selected objects and the estimated archive size automatically. The backup module compresses the data to save disk space.
Advanced users can access backup settings where they may modify many aspects of the backup job. This includes the compression level, splitting backup images, password protection, enabling hard drive or partition raw processing which will perform a sector to sector copy, enabling hot processing and excluding files and folders from the backup.
The backup can be saved to a local or network drive, or burned to CD or DVD. There is unfortunately no option to add servers as an option. Remote server backups are therefore only possible indirectly by saving the backups to a local hard drive first and then transferring those backups to the remote server.
Hard Disk Manager 2009 Special Edition lacks several tools that one would expect from a hard disk manager. This includes for instance support for S.M.A.R.T., displaying hard drive temperatures and health levels or checking a hard drive's performance. Even the professional version of Hard Disk Manager 2009 does not support this.
The features that are offered by the software program can aid a user although most can be substituted with free software as well.
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