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Norton 360 - backup does not work
on 25 March 2010
I have been using Norton anti-virus and utilities for around 7 years and always found them easy to use and the software automatically updated itself and kept my PC free of viruses and other nasties. It also backed up my PC automatically....or so I thought.
When the motherboard on my 4 year old PC died and I bought a new PC and thought it would be easy to restore all my backed up files onto it using Norton 360. How wrong I was! Having connected up the external hard-drive with the backup on it, firstly, Norton would not recognise the hard drive or the backup files and kept telling me it could not backup backed up files. I eventually copied the backup files across to my new computer manually. When I tried to restore these files, Norton just copied over 70Gb of bitmap files with loads of letters and numbers in the names from one drive to the other. There was no way I could identify or even open them. I went to Norton's technical support who spent over 8 hours online, at one time I stayed up till 1.00 in the morning, accessing my PC and looking through it and all the files and folders. They restored, backed up, opened and closed files,folders and programs. They could not open any of the backup files or know how to restore them. I soon came to the conclusion they had little idea what to do. Often, nothing would happen for 10 or 15 minutes until I prompted them to confirm they were still there, whereupon the cursor would move and some dialogue start. Had they been away for a coffee, gone to sleep, had a chat with a colleague? I had no idea and watching someone else move the cursor on your screen for 2.5 hours is not my idea of fun.
Eventually I gave up with them, switched my PC off and physically removed the old hard drive from my old PC and installed it in my new one and ...hey presto!...the files were all there.
Now I could have done this at the outset by various means (hindsight is a wonderful thing), but Norton should have provided a complete restoration of these files in a matter of clicks. It did not and if my old hard drive had gone wrong or the files been deleted, they would have been lost for good; 7 years of family photos, my entire mp3 music library, my wife's work folders, all our address labels, my son's GCSE coursework and a whole load of other important stuff.
My conclusion is that Norton make good anti-virus software, although there are alternatives, but their backup is useless. I will never use it again and I'm not sure how much I would trust Norton in future. Anyone tried Clickfree?