Hard disk management and a backup tool in one package
Partitioning is seldom required in these days of huge hard disks but it can still be useful.
Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2011 Professional includes tools for computer backup, partitioning and more.
Although it is quite a technically advanced program, users don't have to get too involved to use it effectively. There are several wizards that guide the user through the more popular tasks step by step.
So, for instance, to create a backup, the wizard asks what it should back up (the whole disk, or selected emails, media files or documents) then it asks where it should save the backup and finally, whether you want to set up a schedule to repeat the backup automatically. Backups can be stored on separate hard disks or a disk connected to your home network.
The major functions of this kind of program are to do with partitions: the program can create, resize, move, merge and delete them. The only action missing is to split one partition in two. In fact, it can do this, but in a rather messy, two-stage way. The size of the partition is first reduced, which creates free space on the disk to be turned into a second partition.
The program can also be used to move your Windows installation from one hard disk to another, but only on the same PC. The new version can do the same from hard disk to SSD.
We were surprised how often the program had to restart the computer and load its own dedicated Linux-based operating system to gain exclusive use of the computer, when rival products manage to do more from within Windows. It tried to estimate the time to complete each task, but these times were often way off track and fluctuated wildly along the way.
This Professional version handles virtualisation (to run two operating systems on one PC) as well as dynamic disks, which can span a single partition across multiple disks.
However, for home users those are the only advantages of this edition over the Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2011 Suite we reviewed a few months ago (click here to read our review of Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2011 Suite).
Read more reviews
A comprehensive disk manager, but doesn't add much over its cheaper ‘Suite' sibling
Combined disk management and backup; backup includes scheduler; easy-to-use wizards
Enacts most tasks outside Windows; messy partition splitting; poor task-time estimation; doesn't add much for home users over ‘Suite' edition
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