This is a doddle to use, although you really need a dedicated external HDD to make best use of it.
Install the software and it will immediately prompt you to create a full system backup. You can carry on working while it's happening, except that Outlook must be closed.
It doesn't create a disk image in the way that Ghost and True Image do. It simply copies everything to your backup device. This means you can browse the backup on any PC - BounceBack not needed. (You do need BounceBack to restore your data though). More impressively, if you created a full system backup to an external HDD, you can boot from there and carry on running as normal while you sort out problems with your original HDD. Brilliant - a fully-functional PC even without an internal HDD. Not that you have to backup everything; if you prefer, just choose particular files and folders.
Once you have your first backup, you can run incremental backups on a scheduled basis. Alternatively, you can set it to backup continuously (Continuous Data Protection).
Downside? The main one has to be that, because the backup is just a copy, it's as big as the original HDD. I wasn't keen on the interface - it seemed designed for 3-year-olds - but it worked effectively enough.
Imaging apps like Ghost and True Image have a lot going for them. They produce compressed images that can be moved and copied with ease. They produce bootable recovery CDs too (or at least TI does - I think Ghost does too), enabling you to boot from CD and then inspect your HDD or recover an image. But what you can't do is boot directly from the external disk and be back on the air within minutes of a crash.
Tricky choice. Me? I'm using TI with my new USB disk and BounceBack with my old one!
Imagine it: you're busy on your computer when suddenly the hard disk dies. After the usual error messages, you have a dead computer. What next? Even if you have backups of all your data, you won't be able to do anything with them until you've bought and installed a new hard disk, and reinstalled the operating system and all the applications. And waited for Microsoft Update to download and install loads of patches. That's about a day wasted, and a lot of inconvenience.
But if you've been using BounceBack Professional, you reboot your computer, choose the option to start from the "Instant PC Recovery Drive", and within five minutes, you can log on and start working. On average, you'll have lost the last thirty minutes of work before your hard disk crashed.
The way it works is this. You get this software and you'll also need an unused disk drive (ideally the same type and capacity as your computer system disk). The disk drive can be a USB drive, or if you have a computer with a spare drive bay, you can install it there. When you install the BounceBack software, it asks you to nominate a disk that it can use. This disk is for BounceBack's use ONLY, and anything else on it will be automatically erased. About two hours later (depending on how much data you have), you see a "Congratulations" message, and you're done. You now have a second copy of your system disk and everything on it. If you leave the drive connected, BounceBack will update the contents with any changes at intervals, so the copy is never very far out of date. If you can only plug the external drive occasionally, BounceBack will synchronise when it can.
If your system disk fails, you need to remove it. If your recovery disk is an external USB disk, you then have two choices: (a) boot from the recovery disk where it is, or (b) install the recovery disk in place of your old system disk.
(a) If you boot from the recovery drive, you may need to press a function key (F12 on my computer) to display the boot options, and choose "Boot from USB-HDD". It works fine, but much more slowly than an internal system drive. Windows doesn't support swap files on USB devices, so if you have less than 1GB of RAM on an XP system, or less than 2GB of RAM on a Vista or Windows 7 system, the system will run out of memory, so don't use this option unless you have sufficient RAM.
(b) Alternatively, if it's the right sort of disk (size and interface, eg. 3.5" SATA) you can install it into your computer as a replacement system disk. This takes a little longer (perhaps ten minutes) and requires the use of a crosshead screwdriver (or a visit to the repair shop if you don't feel confident doing it yourself) but it is a permanent fix, and you just need to get yourself a new recovery drive, in case lightning strikes twice.
If you are already backing up to a second internal hard disk, of course, there's nothing to do - when you remove the failed disk, the remaining one should become the new boot and system disk without any action on your part (although there are some circumstances where you may need to move jumper settings or otherwise tweak things to get it working).
It's important to understand that the recovery disk contains all the partitions on your system disk, so if you have just one drive in your computer, this will be a complete copy. If your recovery disk is a bit smaller than your system disk, that's OK - as long as there's enough space for your files, BounceBack will shrink the partition sizes appropriately. It doesn't back up any additional hard disks you have by default, but there are options to back up your data separately if you wish.
Bounceback is not perfect, but it tries to make everything easy. When it was partitioning my nominated USB recovery drive, it found itself unable to format one of the partitions, but it popped up the Windows disk formatting tool and asked me to click "Start", which was about as helpful as it could have been in the circumstances. The GUI doesn't conform to Windows design guidelines, but the buttons are big and friendly. When you start the computer, it displays a boot menu for 30 seconds, either to boot from your normal disk or from the recovery disk - there is an option to remove this if you find it annoying. It's not the only backup software on the market, but it is just about the easiest to use that I've ever tried.
WARNING: When you create a recovery disk, BounceBack will repartition it, and ANY DATA ALREADY ON THAT DRIVE WILL BE LOST. It is important to have a drive that is set aside just for BounceBack's system backup.
I tested BounceBack using Windows7 Home Premium. After a few restarts with different disk configurations, Windows started prompting me to revalidate my copy of Windows. This shouldn't be a problem if you just swap one hard disk around once in a while. I also had to load my Windows 7 system restore DVD to repair the installation on one occasion - no big deal if you're used to it, but a little daunting otherwise.
If used properly, BounceBack will get you up and running almost immediately after a disk failure. If the CPU, the memory or the motherboard fail, you'll need to get them repaired, and that may take a little longer. Even so, it's a nice feeling to know you have everything on your system disk backed up safely in case the worst happens.
on 8 April 2010
This backup software is fantastic, and has worked great
for me, with no problems whatsoever.
I have two internal hard drives which have multiple
partitions on my main PC which is windows XP professional.
These are the steps I went through in setting up my backup:
First I connected a usb hard drive with 160 gb.
Next I ran the BounceBack software, which created a system
backup of drive C. This took 1 hour and 30 minutes.
I wanted to backup some additional files from one of the
partitions on my secondary drive, these are the steps I
in the BounceBack control center click -- add new backup --
A page comes up which has four steps.
(step 1) I clicked on all the items I wanted to backup
(there's no need to select drive C as this is already
backed up). --
(step 2) I right clicked on the external USB which already
has the system backup of drive C on it,
and added a new folder, I clicked on this new folder
(after renaming it). --
(step 3) I chose the backup type I wanted, you have a choice
of data / versioned / encrypted / or synchronized. --
(step 4) you can create a schedule and/or you can select
continuous data protection etc. -- When you are done click OK.
Now click on the backup tab, select the backup set you have
just created, and within a few minutes all of the data from
the partition is added to the USB hard drive along with the
drive C backup.
You have the option to backup to multiple destinations,
you can backup to a partition on the same drive, you have
I am really happy with this Backup utility, and if you don't
already have an external USB hard drive, (as many have
complained about) they are a great investment, and are
not too costly nowadays.
This software is very simple to navigate once you have
accustomed yourself to it.
I highly recommend it.
Little did I know that so soon after receiving this product from Amazon for review, that I would need to use it in earnest.
My home desktop XP system (about five years old) had become corrupted. (For the technically minded, something was repeated corrupting the ntuser.dat file - I know not what.)
The only solution was to do a complete rebuild. However, I knew that I did have all the original installation disks and that I had previously had problems on similar systems whereby I could load up the drivers for the network interface. Without a network interface, I couldn't download new drivers - Catch 22....
So Bounceback came into its own.
I created a completely bootable system on an external USB drive. Apart from the couple of hours it took the actual copy, everything went according to plan. I rebooted off the external USB without problem and, apart from a reassuring wallpaper reminding me that I had booted Bounceback rather than the original system disk, everything was identical to the old system disk.
With this level of confidence, I then felt happy to reformat the original C: drive and do a complete reinstall of XP. (As a security professional, I did also make two complete backups of my vital data just in case - I would always advice anyone to do this as a matter of course).
The XP install went ahead without too many problems and, yes, the network interface did refuse to work, but I had the driver available :-)
The bottom line is that I had complete confidence that, at the very least, I could have re-created the original system disk and been no worse off than when I started.
The software worked a treat and would heartily recommend it based on my personal experience just.
Why then, four stars and not five stars? It would have been nice to be able to control the partitions on the backup drive myself to allow me make best use of the external USB drive, but apart from, no issues.
I have now deinstalled the software from the XP server and loaded it up where I really wanted it, as a rock-solid solution in case I have a problem with my netbook. I've tested the boot from the external USB drive and everything works exactly as expected.
I'll now use it as my monthly backup of my netbook in addition to the weekly data backups that I already do over the home network onto my local server.
A first class solution for a netbook where you might not have the opportunity to load up software easily from an external CD drive...
I had hoped that this software package would allow me to use spare space on an external drive that I already use for other purposes, but this is not to be.
For this software to work you need to have a dedicated external drive (so look to fork out another £35 as a minimum) as, during the installation, it will format the external drive for you.
Now I already have a really natty Western Digital drive (Western Digital - Ultra Portable - My Passport Essential 320GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive - Black) which includes good backup software (I use this backup software from Dmailer which is included on this drive as it also encrypts the information). However, I am pretty sure that I will lose this when the drive is formatted (even if I copy off and then back on again, the software detects a new installation and, hence, a new license is required).
So, until I buy a dedicated drive, I am unable to use this software.
I will update this review once I have bought a suitable drive and let you know how I get on.
So, in order to be fair, I have given this product a neutral 3 star rating for the time being.
After playing around with this backup and disaster recovery tool, I must say i am pleasantly surprised.
Bounceback Ultimate major strength is the ability to backup you PC and then the ability to boot up from the backup like a normal PC or laptop. This comes in handy if your on the road and use a laptop. I have a portable USB drive and backed up my laptop, then I trashed my laptop by deleting key files. I then booted up the laptop using the portable drive all worked functionally with no issues. I can then restore the laptop or just carry on as per normal albeit I have a portable drive sitting next to my laptop.
The nice thing is that the bounceback doesn't create an image like other back tools, but instead creates the structure as you see on your laptop. This also enables me to then just take whatever files I have on the external drive and plonk it on another laptop. In theory I can buy a new PC/laptop and just copy what i require. How many times do you buy a PC or laptop and you have another PC sitting there with important files, which you comeback to and later find that it stopped working for whatever reason. With other backup solutions you have to restore the whole image and then copy what you need. With Bounceback you don't need to as you can access it from any PC(which has bounceback installed).
As per anything only caveat is that you will need to have a dedicated external storage, but if your data is precious you probably do. Another thing is you can't copy from your external HDD to another, this is due to the encryption (I guess). But, external drives are pretty cheap nowadays 250gb one for £30 or less.
You have peace of mind you are guaranteed you will be able to boot off the external drive.
It's not cheap but there again nor are online solutions or anyother backup/disaster recovery software. This one has the added ability of easy use and ability to access all your content off the backup drive(what more could you ask for). Also, it doesn't use up much resources while doing the initial or incremental backup.
Also, I must point out that the interface is very good and simple even a novice at computers can use this tool.
I would recommend this software for people who need access to there data pronto. A solid performer in my view. Only knocked off a star as it has no online option, which would be pretty damn good if it did.
Business users should consider using this if they constantly visit client sites for presentations and so forth as it may just save your bacon.
I have tried several different kinds of backup before this one and this is easily the best.
It installs without the slightest problem, not always the case with software as we are all aware.
You are then given the option to backup your pc to a USB device. For that I selected my excellent Toshiba hard drive Toshiba PA4153E-1HE0 500GB 2.5" External Black Steel Hard drive which had plenty of space. The program also warns you that it will reformat the drive so I copied some data I wanted to make sure I didn't lose back onto my pc's hard disk. Then I set it loose and went and did something else for the seven hours it took to do the copying.
Now that was done, I opened up the software to look at the options menu. Everything was laid out absolutely clearly and particularly easy was selecting new data (e.g. music) to copy. Easy too to setup regular backups of new files only and complete backups. Further, if your system does completely crash, you can restore it from your USB device by selecting an option from the DOS startup screen which seems pretty easy, though I have to confess I haven't actually tried it yet.
Experts, of course, advise using more than one destination hard drive in case anything happens to the existing one. I'm sure they are correct in which case I'll get another copy of the Toshiba mentioned above.
Anyway, highly recommended, especially for the novice to backups or idiots like me who need things kept as simple as possible.
on 15 April 2010
If you are going to buy this, then the first thing you need to know is that you need another disk drive that the program uses to back up the data with. This can be an internal drive that fits inside your computer, or an external USB drive. The spare drive must be of a sufficient size to store what is on your main drive, so I would suggest that you use a spare drive of at least equivalent size. The software is easy to set up and to use. It backs up your system (that is operating system and data) when the backup drive is connected and it is easy to just restore single files rather than the whole lot. Luckily I have not had to restore everything yet, but when (if!) I do I am certain from my experiences so far that there will be no problems. I am rating this a 4 as if you are a complete computer novice you may not be comfortable buying extra hard drives to get the product functioning, but for anyone with a basic knowledge this product will be a great help.
Being a bit of a novice I unfortunately persumed this was inclusive of everything you needed but of course had to purchase an external hard-drive!! Which for the price I have seen there are lower priced similar more well known programs and having not used anything like this before I can't compare.
It does exactly what it says, it was painfully slow on my system but then it is an older computer so that more than likely contributed to it, but once it was finally completed it is perfect for backing up and if disaster struck I'm happy knowing I have everything duplicated. Though it doesnt compress the files at all, i feel a lot of space could've been saved.
A fair product, I'd like to try another to compare on the speed and efficiency, but does do the job!
This is a great little product which I am using to automatically backup my office PC. I always forget to backup and even though I bought a USB stick to backup too I found myself only doing it every month or two just because life gets in the way.
Anyway with this new software it basically does it all for you! I configured it up in under 5 minutes and told it to backup every 4 days to my USB stick and sure enough it does it for me!
I haven't had to use (and hope I don't) the disaster recovery of the product but if it works as well at the auto backup then I am sure I will be fine.
An inexpensive product that could just save your important work and cannot recommend enough.
Go for it !
This does exactly what it says on the tin, it provides a mirror image of your hard drive on an external (or internal if needed) USB drive, allowing you to boot from that drive if your boot drive is corrupted. Then you can copy that back across and carry on.
Its fairly straight forward to use, however I didnt like the fact it completely formats your external USB drive, so you will lose anything on there. I would have hoped it created an image file with some level of compression, not wasting all of the extra space on your drive. Unfortunately it takes the easy lazy way out and just creates a mirror.
So if you have a spare empty drive then it will do the job fine.