Hard Disk Management: Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2009 Suite

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hdm-2009-suite_eng-boxThe internal hard drive of a computer is the average users sole place for storing files and as such should be maintained in tip top condition to avoid problems later on in the PC's life.  Not only that, but the data on hard drives should be backed up on a regular basis to avoid data loss if or when the drive finally fails.

Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2009 Suite is more than capable of undertaking these tasks and, in contrast to some backup software, has an easy to use interface so that the complete beginner can take full control over there hard disk.  Features include wizard-based Backup and Restore facilities that allow specific files to be backed up or entire system/partition backups. The disk defragmentation tool groups related files closer to each other on the hard drive to allow faster access and the hard drive migration tool allows for migration of the existing system and files from an existing hard drive to another whilst maintaining the file system, avoiding the reinstallation of the operating system, programs etc.

The program suite also provides the ability to burn a rescue kit to CD, or create a bootable flash drive with the same attributes, that will allow booting of the system when the main boot system has failed (e.g. hard disk error or corrupt files).  Booting using this system allows acces to all files, and provides network and burning facilities in order that files can still be recovered. More advanced features of the suite also allow wiping of hard drives (files are unrecoverable in contrast to standard deletion or formatting) to completely remove any sensitive information.


In addition to all these features, the suite includes a full partitioning and hard disk management interface for more advanced users that allows for all of the above tasks and more complex tasks, such as partition merging, schedule backups and creation of a "backup capsule".  The backup capsule is a hidden partition on the hard drive that is used solely for the backups created through Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2009 and therefore is inaccessible and safe from users of the system.  In the event of a system failure, the backups remain accessible and can be retrieved to recover the system.  (A similar system is used by many manufacturers to allow for restoration of the system to original factory settings).  The advanced interface to Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2009 is reminiscent of the Acronis set of data recovery solutions which tend to be much more expensive and do not come as a single complete package.

Each wizard and the more advance interface of the suite comes with a full set of help files and usage of each is very easy to understand, even for less advanced users.  We were impressed with the range of features and this simplicity of use and with this in mind we would highly recommend Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2009 Suite for both home users and small business users who need the security for their files.  We would however also recommend the use of secondary hard drive such as an external hard drive as a secondary backup device so as to better secure data redundancy.