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Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2010 Suite review


A broad collection of useful utilities that would be an asset to any techie's toolbox

Review Date: 9 Mar 2010

Reviewed By: Darien Graham-Smith

Price when reviewed: £26 (£30 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Ease of Use
5 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

The name’s a little vague, but that reflects the breadth of Hard Disk Manager 2010 Suite’s abilities. It offers disk imaging, partition management and resizing, boot repair and configuration, secure deletion and even on-demand backup — all for a comparatively low price.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a good buy if the tools themselves were rubbish, but happily the main features are up to par. Cloning disks is the work of a couple of clicks, and when it comes to imaging you get plenty of options such as encryption, file splitting, and – nicely – filters to include and exclude certain files. New in this version, there’s also support for “hot processing”, using either the Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service or Paragon’s own technology, so you can image a drive that’s in use.

And crucially, when you come to restore an image, partitions and drives can be resized on the fly to suit the destination — a feature typically missing from freeware imaging software.

The main Hard Disk Manager 2010 Suite interface exposes a broad range of functions.

As with Norton Ghost, images don’t have to be of entire disks or partitions: you can create a backup image that contains only specific files and folders. These can be saved to a local or network drive, or, as with previous Paragon products, stored in a hidden partition dubbed the “backup capsule”. It lacks the versatility of a dedicated backup service, but for what it is it works well.

The supporting tools are well-conceived too. Plug in a hard disk containing a Windows installation from a different machine and the “Adjust OS” utility will update the drivers so the drive can be booted on the host PC. If the OS still won’t start up, the boot corrector can fix problems with the MBR, partition table or BCD.

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