Avanquest PerfectImage Professional

Makaveli - 2007-04-09 16:54:04 in Software
Category: Software
Reviewed by: Makaveli   
Reviewed on: April 10, 2007
Avanquest
Avanquest
Price: $49.95 USD

Introduction:

    Are you willing to gamble all of the important information on your computer? No one wants to lose their priceless information to hardware malfunctions or viruses. That’s why Avanquest has come out with its new PerfectImage Professional. This new software allows the user to copy their entire PC, create real-time backups, recover their system & data, and more!

Avanquest publishes some of the best selling and award-winning small business, home office, and digital media software. The company continues to produce software to cater to the needs of home users, as well as small businesses.

Closer Look:

    The box is very eye-catching with its reflecting title and bright colors. With all of the driver support issues in Windows Vista, it’s good to know that this software works with the new operating system. On the back of the box, Avanquest displays a chart comparing some of the most popular ghosting products on the market with PerfectImage Professional. Inside, you’ll find the installation disc and a “Getting Started Guide”.

 

Installation:

    To get started, insert the installation disc into your computer and follow the instructions to install PerfectImage Professional. Once you enter your serial number and select the type of installation you want to do, you’ll be prompted to provide a location for backups to be saved. This program, included in the PerfectImage installation, is called “AutoSave”.



 


Configuration:

    Before we configure PerfectImage, we must configure the included AutoSave feature. Basically, AutoSave runs in the background and backs up the files you create or modify while it’s running. To configure it, you must define the location in which the backed up files will be stored. Once you do that, you’ll see the actions you can perform with AutoSave.

 


Since I already have files that I absolutely cannot afford to lose, I wanted to start off with the “Back up Files and Folders” option in the AutoSave menu. Once I clicked “Next”, it started to scan my primary hard drive without warning. I had to stop the scanning because it was backing up every file that I had when I only wanted to backup a select few files.

 


Next, I clicked the “Restore Files and Folders” option. For testing purposes, I selected to recover all files and restore them to their original locations. The Restore Wizard restored the files that I previously backed up but had to skip the files that were in use (AIM files in this case).

 


Alright, enough of AutoSave! Let’s get PerfectImage up and running. The first thing I notice when opening PerfectImage is how visual it is. It shows a chart of your hard drive as well as the type of partition it is and how much space is left.

 


The four other tabs on the top menu are as follows; “Volume Explorer”, “Scheduled Tasks”, “Images”, and “Help”. Volume Explorer is very helpful because it allows the user to see a map of their hard drives and all the folders within. Since I didn’t have any scheduled tasks, the page under that tab was blank.


The next tab is “Images”. Any images that you have stored, either on your hard drives or CD/DVD drives, are displayed in this section.


The last section is “Help”, which is where you can get all of your questions answered and curiosities settled. Also, if you need to change any settings, you’ll want to go to “Settings” under the “File” drop-down menu.


One of the biggest features in this software is that it allows you to schedule your backups. Let’s take a look into this feature by clicking the “Schedule” option under the “Backup/Restore Tasks” sub-section in the left hand menu. To set up a scheduled backup or restore, you first select which files that you want backed up or restored. Then, you’ll be prompted to fill in when you want this to occur, how often, and when to stop. Once you create the schedule, you can check up on the status and details under the “Scheduled Tasks” tab that I mentioned earlier.

 

Specifications:

-Copy Your Entire PC
Make a copy of your entire PC including operating system, applications, user settings and all data. Back up everything on your computer including digital music, photos, financial documents, applications, settings, operating system and more in one easy step.

-Real-Time Backup
PerfectImage creates hard drive images in real time without Windows reboot or any application’s interruption.

-System & Data Recovery
Recovers your system and data even when you can’t restart your operating system. No software reinstallations required.

-Incremental & Differential Backups
Makes incremental and differential backups to maximize space and save time.

The chart below is a comparison between Avanquest’s PerfectImage, Acronis’s TrueImage 10, and Norton Ghost 10.

COMPARE! Avanquest PerfectImage AcronisTrueImage 10 Norton Ghost 10
Preview operation before executing Y    
Update and repair master boot record Y    
Continuous Backup Y    
Differential Backup Y Y  
Incremental Backup Y Y Y
Back up to hard drive & removable media Y Y Y
Back up and restore your music, videos and photos Y Y Y
Create a protected partition Y Y  
Startup recovery manager Y Y  
Create bootable rescue media Y Y Y
Password protect archives Y Y Y
Adjustable compression level Y Y Y

Testing:

Testing System:

 

    The first thing that I’m going to do is back up my “K:” drive to an image. At the time of the backup, the drive was using 39.8GB of the allotted 75.4GB. I set the backup image to be stored on my “C:” drive.

 


The image created on the “C:” drive was 39.5GB.


I was fairly surprised that it backed up the drive at about 1GB a minute. The image below shows the format of the image that was stored on the “C:” drive.


The next thing I wanted to test was how well the “Recovery Media Builder” works. It was quick, easy, and burned what I wanted. I chose to burn the predefined recovery media image that was included with the program. The speed of this operation is determined by how fast your CD/DVD burner can burn images.

 


While I was testing this program, I came across some nice features, like being able to create a secure partition on a drive, check if images are bootable or not, and verifying image integrity. But most of all, I liked the new option of being able to create a differential partition. This means that if you create a backup and then you come back later and want to backup only the new or modified information, you can do so. It does take longer to backup because it’s looking for the different information to backup. It does save a lot of space over time and allows the user to not have to delete or overwrite old partitions. 


Cloning hard drive to hard drive wasn’t anything special and took about the same time it took to backup as an image. Cloning a partition was fairly easy as well. The cloning options used just about the same “Backup Wizard” as the backup/restore images did, so nothing was new here except that you are only cloning a specific partition.

Conclusion:

    This program really made me realize just how much priceless data I have that can be lost in a heartbeat. It’s good to know that PerfectImage Professional has all the tools you need to insure you get a complete and quality backup the first time. I was really impressed with the scheduled backups and the ability to create differential backups because I’ve never used those options in a ghosting program before. Being able to create master boot records is a very handy feature that is imperative to have in case your operating system fails.  PerfectImage Professional is a bootable CD, so you’ll be able to use the features on it even if the operating system is corrupted. The last ghosting program that I used was Norton Ghost 8; all I can say is that PerfectImage Professional completely took me by surprise at how many more features and options the user is given.  If you have information that you absolutely cannot lose, PerfectImage Professional is the ghosting program for you!


Pros:


 

Cons: