I hate moaning about software, because generally its not helpful, but in this case I don't have a choice. Nero BackItUp & Burn just will not execute on my XP SP3 box. It installs fine, but crashes when I try to open it. My machine is only recently formatted so there's nothing to corrupt the install. I've also downloaded the 100Mb update from Nero's web site, and that won't run either.
On top of this, as a commercial package it is shameful to see the option to install the Ask toolbar into your browser as part of this product's installation, when it is neither related nor helpful. If I want crapwear on my PC I'll go get it myself thanks Nero.
Also, the actual 'Burn' part of the software is simply Nero Express. Very basic stuff that comes with most CD burners, although useful as a freebie.
If you need backup software, get the free Microsoft SyncToy 2.0 tool and use that instead. It works well and can be scheduled using the Windows Scheduler. Nero is a huge disappointment in this case, especially from such a well recognized name in the industry.
on 3 August 2009
I've been using another company's backup software for a year or so and got used to its peculiarities. Which were manifold.
This offering is substantially better than anything I've tried before.
Starting with installation-on my system, the software wanted to download a couple of patches before loading, which was fine and took around 3 minutes. From then on in, installation took around 5 minutes and required minimal user input. The process did hang once, but a quick random mouse click woke it up again and all went well.
I backup to a USB external hard drive. I also use that drive for other stuff. If you do this too, be aware that Nero will reformat the entire drive before starting to back up onto it. It does warn you before doing it, but I'd suggest copying anything valuable onto another device first and copying back to the external drive when Nero's done its thing.
Initially, the software just copies everything, a process which took around 45 minutes on my fairly new PC. After that, it backs up at 2 hour and end of day intervals. I found that a bit disconcerting, being used to on-the-fly back up. You can fiddle with the backup regime to an extent, but I've not found a way of getting the instant backup I was used to.
The structure of the backed-up files is, unusually, a mirror of the file structure on the source PC. Many backup utilities screw around with file structures; making finding individual files a lengthy and frustrating experience. Not so with this product.
Being a Nero product, there is a burn-to-cd/dvd facility as well. This works well, but I rarely backup to that sort of media, and I'm not sure it is of great value.
Using the product is fairly intuitive, which is just as well, because the help files are not very good. Screen layout makes sense after a few minutes' perusal and there are actually few controls needed for routine use.
I tried a restore from the remote device and all worked just fine, and very speedily.
So, if you are in the market for a backup product, this is worth considering. The lack of backup-on-the-fly is a limitation [for me at any rate] as is the limited amount of user influence over what the program is up to. Maybe those concerns will lessen with time and experience. There are many other backup products out there, but, for the price, this is a good, if over simplified product.
I really like Nero's user interface: it's attractive, seems intuitive and keeps geek-speak to the minimum. I was given this product shortly after I'd bought Acronis True Image to back up my system to an external drive - well peeved, thinking I could have saved my money, I installed Nero on my Mum's computer (Windows XP) to see how it performs.
My hopes of an easy, friendly backup facility were instantly dashed! The installation is a nuisance - why should I have to install a new installer, reboot, and then find the program's added unwanted browser 'helpers', which have nothing to do with backing up? After kicking the cat in annoyance (only joking - but I did need a cup of calming tea), I returned to Mum's machine to check out the utility.
It was rubbish! I'm so disappointed - but very glad I chose Acronis for my own backups. As far as I can see (and I did try!), this software simply doesn't do what it promises. It can't create a complete, bootable system clone. By recording an image, and then making a full C:\ backup, I did manage to approximate it. Then I scheduled incremental backups (or so I thought), to update backups of any changed files every night. The program hung while I was doing this.
Having finally been told by Nero that the nightly update was scheduled, I returned the next day - to find Mum's computer in a state of shock. It was so frozen, I had to reboot it using the power button. The restart was interesting, as it turned out, because I was not offered the option to boot from F:\ (my own machine has had this option since the day I installed Acronis). So, if her internal drive had crashed, I would not have been able to revive it from the external copy.
Nero did, however, say it had done the increments. I asked it to restore some files from the F:\ drive. It said there were no files there - although I was looking at them!
Nero BackItUp was so bad during my test, I thought I must have done something wrong. A trawl through industry reviews, however, suggests it's even worse than I thought. I gave it 2 stars for the ordinary burning utilities, which Nero does well.
But, if you want a backup of your computer in case of disaster - get a grown-up program like Acronis.
Why does so much new software have to be buggy? I had to uninstall my copy of Nero 6 and download and install a 100MB update from the Nero website in order to get this program to run without erroring - and the backup scheduling application still occasionally closes untidily and asks if it can send an error report to Microsoft.
Which is a shame, because Nero BackItUp and Burn is a return to what Nero has traditionally done well. It's software to take backups, synchronise files and burn CDs and DVDs. It doesn't have any video editing, sound editing, label design or other multimedia capabilities - for that, you need Nero 9 (PC CD), or alternatively Roxio Easy Media Creator 2009 (PC).
There are two separate applications launchers in BackItUp and Burn, one called BackItUp, and the other called Nero Express. They really are quite separate applications - one is for making backups, the other is for creating optical media (CDs and DVDs).
BackItUp allows you to create one-off or scheduled backups of files or whole disks, to a variety of destinations. "Online" backup on Nero's own servers is available as an optional and separately chargeable extra. "Scheduled" means either on a time interval - eg. daily, weekly, monthly - or on various events, such as when the system starts up or has been idle for a specified number of minutes. You can specify full, incremental, differential or update backups, so you could for example, back up your main drive once per month and only back up the changes in between times. There are options to compress the backups, and to encrypt them with AES, which is strong encryption. The restore options are pleasantly easy to use, consisting of the usual directory tree with tickable boxes to select the files, directories or drives to restore. You can also create bootable CDs and DVDs, to allow for disaster recovery if your hard disk crashes completely - this is one part of the functionality I haven't tested.
BackItUp also has a "Sync" application, which allows bi-directional synchronisation between two data-stores. For example, you may want to transfer some files to a memory stick so you can edit them on another computer. If you use the sync tool, whenever you put the memory stick back into your computer, sync will decide which files were updated most recently, and copy them from disk to memory stick or vice versa as appropriate. There are lots of options to let you choose which copy gets priority, and whether to propagate file deletions.
Finally, BackItUp has a "Rescue Agent", which recovers files that were accidentally deleted, or where the media has been damaged. I was able to restore several hundred deleted image files from my camera's SD card.
The BackItUp application window can be resized by dragging the bottom right corner (like on an Apple Mac). Once it's big enough to see the words, it's a well-designed interface, let down by occasional annoying features - for example, I wasn't able to change a Sync job schedule because the "OK" button remained greyed out.
The backup scheduler lives in the system tray. It occasionally pops up little messages in the corner of the screen when backups start or finish.
The other application launcher is called Nero Express. "Express" in Nero-parlance means wizard-driven. It lets you create data CDs and DVDs using drag-and-drop from Windows Explorer. It's a completely straightforward and painless process - I can't fault it. There is an option to make an audio CD, which can automatically convert MP3s and WMAs (but not my iTunes music) into audio CD format, so it's dead easy to turn my Amazon MP3s into CDs I can listen to in the car. You can also burn Video DVDs, but only if you already have the video files prepared in DVD format - this package cannot convert video for DVDs, so this option is of limited use. Finally, Nero Express allows you to copy (unprotected) CDs and DVDs, either directly or from disk images on your hard drive. Note: some of the options - including the option to copy a CD or DVD to an image on your hard disk - are hidden. You need to click an arrow half-way down the left edge of the window to see them.
After the installation problems, Nero BackItUp and Burn is actually quite a handy pair of applications. I prefer Nero's data DVD writing capabilities to Roxio's, mainly because the Nero Express interface is better designed, and the application appears more robust. It's a good choice if you don't need video, sound or photograph editing tools - and if you're prepared to put up with a couple of frustrating hours getting it installed!
As an information security professional, I frequently remind people of the need for good backups. With this product I had hoped that it would be a simple job to manage my own backups, in a secure and reliable manner, on my own desktop computer home.
In order to make a fair comparison, I have looked at this product on a WD 320 Gbyte hard drive Western Digital My Passport Essential 320GB USB Portable External Hard Drive which I recently bought from Amazon.(I haven't written a review on this drive as so many others have and they seem to think is it as good buy - I concur; the WD 320 Gbyte hard drive is excellent.)
The software that I have used for comparison is that which is pre-installed on the WD drive. This is the WDSynch software by Dmailer. Similar software is also found on LaCie drives.
Now the comparison:
The first test was a backup of my hard drive. I am, naturally, concerned that a failure of my hard drive would cause me no end of pain, so I wanted a bootable image (which is provided by the Nero software - it comes up as a small Linux system) from which I could re-create my hard drive. To backup the hard drive (using 128 bit AES encryption - as provided in the Nero software) took over 5 hours for about 70 Gbytes. During the whole of this time, the software claimed that I had about 90 minutes left to run. Eventually, the backup was complete. I booted from the DVD bootable disk that I had made, but couldn't get it find the external hard drive where I had created my backup. Maybe there is something wrong with my configuration, but I don't usually have problems.
Not a good start.
The second test was a backup of just the data; the kind of thing that we all know that we should do on a regular basis. The WDSynch first:
The software is on the external hard drive and is run from there. No problem with installation of software or licenses as it is licensed to the drive rather than the CPU. The original backup of my data took about 90 minutes using the, default, 128 bit AES encryption. (You might have gathered that I would only use encrypted media due to the risks involved if you lose it - this may or may not be an issue for you). Subsequent backups, where it replaces files that have been modified, typically take only 5 - 10 minutes. I normally set them off when I go to make a coffee.
Restoring is simple. Plug the drive into any machine (no software to load); run the WDSynch from the external drive; do the restore - which is very, very fast.
Now the Nero software. After close on three hours, the backup of the hard drive claimed it was finished. On closer inspection, many of the files were missing. So I decided to delete and start again. Guess what? The backup was still running in the background. If I had believed the on-screen status, I would have thought that I had a good backup but, in practice, I hadn't.
This was the last straw. I have now happily deleted the Nero software (at least the automated de-install was good), and am unlikely to re-load it.
I will continue with the software that came on the WD hard drive. It is far faster; more reliable; and easily moved between machines.
I cannot recommend this Nero product.
Nero BackItUp & Burn is comprised of three different, complimentary programs.
The most familiar is Nero Express, which many people will recognise as it is often bundled "free" with new PCs or hard drives. Express is simple, reliable, but fairly basic, CD/DVD burning software, great for novices, but, due to minimal configuration options, not for expert users. I won't dwell on Express since I expect most people have likely seen it before.
Next up is Nero RescueAgent, useful for those "Oh no! What did I just do!?" moments, where you know you just permanently deleted something by mistake. RescueAgent scans your hard drive or memory card and shows you a list of files, hopefully including the ones you accidentally deleted. The list can be long, but various filters help you to track down your missing data. The files must be restored to a different drive (since any writes to the original could damage the files being recovered), so you may need an external hard drive in the eventuality that you're recovering something large.
Does it work? I tried a (very optimistic) recovery of a large video file on a drive that had been in action for a little while after the file was deleted. ResqueAgent failed to recover the file, which I had half expected, but also failed to realise that the recovery had not succeeded, which I was surprised by. I thought at least it would detect a problem and inform me that the file was potentially corrupt somewhere, but it only came back telling me the recovery was successful, not even a warning. Next I gave it an easy job by deleting the photos from an SD card then attempted a recovery. In this case not only were the files restored completely, but RescueAgent even found photos dating back a few months. Obviously file recovery is more dependent on the file system you are recovering from than the recovery software - the more active the media, the less likely you are going to be successful. It is far better to have up-to-date backups.
Which brings us onto the real meat of BackItUp & Burn, the program BackItUp itself. There are lots of backup programs out there (some of them free). If you've bought an external hard drive then you've probably got one already. In Nero's favour, BackItUp's user interface is attractive and intuitive and makes the whole task very simple to set up, even for a complete novice. There are a lot of options for configuring your backups, with several backup policies and encryption types available, the more complex of which are hidden in an "Advanced" window for non-techies to ignore and not feel daunted by.
Then there is, for me, the cherry on the cake and the reason I picked up a copy of BackItUp - full drive backups! You've probably noticed that over time your PC/Windows just gets slower and slower. If you re-install Windows on your PC you'll be amazed that suddenly everything is so much quicker. But re-installing everything from scratch is a real pain, in my case taking at least two days.
With a full drive backup, you make an image of your PC's system in its freshly installed state and then just re-install everything in one go, removing a LOT of hassle. BackItUp let's you do this in one of two ways; the first is directly from within Windows, which is not ideal since the drive you are backing up is in use. Alternatively you can create a bootable CD/DVD copy of BackItUp which runs under Linux. Reboot your PC from this CD and your system HD can be backed up or restored much more effectively. In fact you can use most of BackItUp's functions from here, which I think is great. It took me 90 minutes to back up my system partition, including the time to verify the discs.
Some people have had issues with the software, but I'm running Windows XP SP3 and I've had no problems.
All-in-all I'm pretty satisfied with this software and would happily recommend it in the right circumstances. BackItUp is not really exceptional and I rate it highly simply because one of the features is something I really wanted. The rest is competent, not exceptional, though I think novice users would find a lot to like in the simple presentation. Given the name and price of the software I had expected a more fully fledged burning package than just Express, which leaves you feeling a little short changed, especially if, like me, you're already sitting on a few copies. This is my biggest reservation regarding BackItUp & Burn, but if it is not a problem for you I have nothing to say against you buying this.
Firstly a note regarding the installation, I have a decent spec system but it took approx 15-20 mins to install, it took longer than a new install of Vista. Once the program was installed I was impressed, Nero has a very crisp easy to use interface, everything is easy to find and placed in logical locations throughout the menu.
I noticed that Nero has a data recovery option so I attached my digital camera which had been formatted this morning, just to see if it could recover any photo's, it worked like a charm and I was able to recover these pictures with ease, very impressed.
As many will know, Nero have been around for a long time and have a lot of experience with disc burning etc so I was expecting that to work without fault (which it did)
The drive backup also works very well, I was easily able to make an image of my newly installed vista partition, I have not used this yet but I presume this will work just fine when called.
Now a negative, the online backup, you get a free trial once you register but if you decide to use it after the trial be warned, it is damn expensive.
If you are using this to backup to external storage attached direct to your computer, this is well worth a purchase, I can see myself getting good use out of this.
This is excellent, a breeze to load and set up, very user friendly. It takes off your shoulders all of the pressure about remembering to back up your files, you can set frequency and target store sooo easily. I made an external hard drive my target and it speedily and easily backs up my precious stuff. If like me you have been too lazy to do a proper back up and seen your MP3 files; photos etc dissapear into a big black hole of a PC/Laptop meltdown then this is for you...simple; effective; easy to do; and the added bonus for me was that I could create an 'emergency boot up' disc using this software. I can highly recommend this, plus it comes from a 'household' name...one that is going to be around for long time...so there will be many years of support etc available. I cannot fault this. No complicated manual to wade through, no fussy interface, no jargon, the person who created this is on your side. I also use the 'burn' facility a lot......it is like the rest of the programme....straightforward and does exactly what it says on the box. Another Nero 'charmer'....10/10
This does do exactly what it says but isn't the best i've tried - The initial installation was fine although a little messy with extra installations needed and a restart so the whole process actually took me around 20 minutes!! When it was eventually installed the initial back-up took place which lasted for just over an hour which was better than i was expecting as it's a very full system i was using it on - once it's backed up everything it checks in intervals and backs up any further new items - though not as regularly as other programs i have used that have backed up anything new detected immediately not just when it is programed to and although you can edit the settings slightly - i cannot change it how i'd ideally like it. It also makes it very easy to burn your back-ups to disc with the larger Blu-Ray option but I opt for using an external hard-drive instead.
It's a good program and does the job, there are probably more effective versions on the market but I've always respected the Nero brand it is good quality.
on 25 July 2009
Although I have used Nero software before I tried this, it was mostly for burning CDs and data. Anyone familiar with Nero products will know that they are easy enough to use and I have to say that Nero BackItUp and Burn is no different; intuitive and user friendly interface will allow you to back up your work, photos, music and video in no time without as much as even bothering to read the instructions (unless, of course, you've never used a computer before).
Installation was problem free and very quick. After that, I managed to back up the entire content of my hard drive in less than 20 minutes and there is quite a lot of stuff there. For test purposes only, I tried saving the backup file on my C Drive and got a message that said they don't recommend I save my backup file on the drive that contains my operating system, which I thought was very helpful for non-technical people.
Absolutely brilliant! Would recommend it to anyone and will definitely be doing backups more regularly now! Excellent product!