Paragon Hard Disk Manager 16 Basic review

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 30, 2017

Paragon Hard Disk Manager 16 Basic is a free program for Windows by the German software company Paragon Software that combines several of the company's single-purpose tools in a single interface.

Paragon discontinued the free editions of Partition Manager, Backup & Recovery, and Rescue Kit Free, but instead of just shutting down the products, the company created Hard Disk Manager 16 Basic which includes the functionality.

The software program has a size of about 150 Megabytes, and can be downloaded as a 32-bit and 64-bit version for Microsoft Windows systems.

The basic edition of the program is free, but you are required to activate it in the first five days after installation. Activation requires that you create a Paragon account. The process is not as straightforward as entering account data in the application though. While you can start the sign up process in Hard Disk Manager 16 Basic, you are required to verify the email address you enter, and set a password on the Paragon website to complete it.

Tip: It is recommended that you create Recovery Media before you start using other tools of the program. Hard Disk Manager 16 Basic displays a prompt to create recovery media on first start, and you may do so under Home > Recovery Media Builder as well.

Paragon Hard Disk Manager 16 Basic

paragon hard disk manager 16 basic

The free edition of Hard Disk Manager 16 supports the following core operations: basic partitioning, backup and restore, and recovery media builder.

The commercial version of the application adds advanced partitioning, disk cleanup and migration, and backup automation to the feature set.

The program displays its functionality in tabs in its interface. It loads the backup & recovery tab by default, and you may switch to the disk partitioning, disk wiping or copying tab instead if you need to use those tools. The last two, disk wiper and disk copy, are not available in the basic version however.

Paragon indicates this with a red lock symbol. A click on a locked icon opens a "enter serial or buy" prompt.

Backup & Recovery Free comes with options to create single backups or backup jobs, to restore backups, and to transfer files (from one location to another).

The application walks users through the steps of creating backups with a wizard. It supports creating backups of the system partition, select disks or partitions, file types, or files and folders. Backups can be stored on external devices, local volumes, network shares, or burned to optical media.

The backup tool supports a handful of additional features; you need to enable advanced settings for that, and may change the compression level, backup file size limits, and password protection then.


The partitioning module of Paragon Hard Disk Manager 16 supports basic partitioning operations only. While you can use it to create, format, or convert partitions, or set the status of partitions to hide, active or other statuses, you cannot make use of advanced functionality such as merging partitions, changing the cluster size or converting partition tables.

disk partition

A click on a drive displays the available options for it. Some may be locked -- indicated with the red lock symbol. You can run all basic operations right from that menu however.

Volumes can be deleted and formatted, you may resize partitions, change volume labels, and run some other operations as well using that menu.

The operations are sufficient for basic tasks; for instance when you get a new hard drive and want to format or partition it.

Expert View

expert view

You can switch the interface to Expert View instead which lists all available tools on a single page. You may run any of the available wizard when expert view is open, or click on a drive or partition to run tools from there directly.

Closing Words

Paragon Hard Disk Manager 16 Basic is a backup and partitioning tool for Windows. You may use it to create backups of drives or partitions, restore those backups, and to run basic partition operations. Some advanced features are reserved to the paid version of the application. Specialized programs that are free as well, Veeam Endpoint Backup for instance when it comes to backup tasks, offer better functionality usually.

Now You: Which program do you use for backup and partitioning tasks?

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Hard Disk Manager 16 Basic
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  1. IT Manager said on August 17, 2018 at 11:22 am

    version 16 advanced is UNuseable
    They took a perfectly good professional interface and replaced it with a windows10, Fischer-Price, retarded-child interface.
    Seriously WTF ??????
    There are almost no serious controls, no advanced options, its worse than a lot of free software.

    I hope whoever made this decision dies a horrible death.

  2. carlejlu said on March 25, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    The end of a story is coming up for Paragon HDM 16
    Marketing Segmentation = Scenario Partition magic
    Who knows a good tool of management of recent hard disk?

  3. Mick said on November 1, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    I use Aomei, does everything well, integrates with PE invironment, never let me down so far.

  4. Matt said on November 1, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    I came over to Paragon about 5 years ago from Acronis. Acronis kept labeling my archives bad when I went to check them. How could I trust it? Nope I couldn’t. In the last 5 years using Paragon I have made many backups and backup modules and everyone has always checked out ok no matter how old it was. I have made at least a 100 hard drive images with Hard Disk Manager. When it came time to restore a hard drive every one “I SAID EVERY ONE” saved my butt and restored perfectly. I really put the Images to the test when I make one I restore it immediately to test it. I have 100% faith when using my Hard Disk Manager for making Images.

    I admit i don’t use to much of the other stuff but for backing up hard drives I don’t break a sweat.

    I didn’t like the fact that to try this 16 it made me uninstall my 15 first and i don’t like the looks of this new one. i don’t know maybe the lines need to be bolder it looks light and airy and pastel. Like something a woman would have in their purse. LOL

    1. Alan Woodruff said on December 12, 2018 at 7:24 pm

      Hard Disk Manager worked beautifully for me. HDM16 is worse than awful, and for support, they refuse to help without paying them even more (as in up to $395!). Also, they refuse to give out a phone number so to contact any sort of corporate office. Yes, absolutely refuse!

  5. Lookmann said on October 31, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Aomei Partition Assistant [free version ] is OK for me .

  6. maxa said on October 31, 2017 at 4:26 am

    ohhh and IIRC this company will be Russian w office in German !
    May be they sell own buisness or migrate to …..

  7. maxa said on October 31, 2017 at 4:22 am

    How about bugged low/high driver level filters ?!
    IIRC have big problem after uninstall products !
    and all time when i used this all time have incorrect sizing/allocate spaces …
    but it be many years ago )))

  8. Clairvaux said on October 31, 2017 at 1:35 am

    This is disappointing. I understand the need for Paragon to tier up their customers so as to generate revenue, but the first, free tier for partition is Windows. The whole point of using something else than Windows Disk Management is to access the functions that are missing from it.

    For instance, can Hard Disk Manager Free move a partition ? Or just move rightwards its left limit ? That, Windows 7 cannot do, and the Paragon comparison table does not say. It does not get into that level of detail.

    Paragon Partition Manager 14 Free was able to shave off some free space from a partition and add it to a non-contiguous partition. Can Hard Disk Manager Free do that ? The comparison table does not say. It certainly looks like the bar for free features has been lowered with the merge into Hard Disk Manager.

    Furthermore, the paid-for version of Hard Disk Manager is horrendously expensive, at 80 €. This, for a product aimed at home users. We don’t even know if this extortionate price allows the program to be used by several people, or to be installed on several computers. The licencing details may be hidden somewhere, but I did not find them.

    However, it seems that Paragon Partition Manager 15 Home is still available, at a more reasonable price of 40 € :

    Also, I hate free software that dangle under your nose, in big red letters, features you’re not allowed to access. Either offer it for free, or keep it to yourself. Do offer an upgrade path if you must, but do it in a more classy, subtle way. If you insist on reminding me, each time I use your program, how rotten and devoid of features it is, I might opt for something else to begin with.

    Finally, the activation system is worryingly intrusive. Will it reject disposable email addresses ? Will Paragon use it for privacy-defeating behaviour ? We don’t know. A partition program typically needs administrative rights. That, plus asking for an “account”, is not a good combination.

    On an unrelated note, I was pleased to learn that Paragon is German. It has that typical German feel : tacky, but thorough and well-explained.

  9. mikef90000 said on October 31, 2017 at 12:37 am

    Partition Magic ROFLMAO! Seriously, it was a good product until the owners sold it to Symantec who killed it.

    Besides the free MiniTool PWHE bootable CD, I’ve had good experiences with the free gparted (included with almost every Linux distro). You can copy partitions freely between drives of your choice.

    OTOH I’ve tried many, many free Windows based partitioners and most suck bigtime because they lack functionality or can’t run on a modern, non-DOS based bootable CD image (by M$FT design).

    Besides backups, is there something PHDM 16 Basic can do that gparted cannot? Backups in a proprietary format are perilous. TIA!

  10. tzoumaz said on October 30, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    Mini Tool Partition Wizard for Partition Operations und for Backup Veeam for Windows 2.0 Free

  11. jupe said on October 30, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    I hate apps that make you sign up in this way, and 150mb that seems a bit excessive, I think they could cull that size a bit, I hate apps that aren’t made efficiently like 200mb text editors etc….

  12. Bedfford said on October 30, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Partition Magic booting from two floppy disk!! XD

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