Norton Save and Restore

If you’ve ever had one of those days when nothing you do on your PC seems to go right – install a bugged program or download a cranky file - then you’ll know how vital rollback or even restoring software can be. As it can effectively turn back the clock and put your PC back at a point when it was working.

Essentially, this is a collection of tools allowing you to backup your hard drive(s) or simply restore your system should it crash, or even worse, should Windows fail to boot at all. At its heart is Norton Ghost, which is an image creating package we’ve been happily using for ages with no complaints. Ghost is a great tool as it allows you to backup your drive’s image and then make incremental backups, so you’re not constantly saving files that haven’t changed.

However, this repackaging brings with it a simple wizard driven interface that even if you haven’t used such software before, will have you making an image of your system within minutes. The default setting is to create this image on a different drive or partition, even an external drive. However, when we tried to create the same image onto a DVD, the program wouldn’t allow it. This is an odd oversight and hampers the usability.

Once the image is created, you can either elect to update it manually, or you can schedule the program to do it automatically. These can vary, from part of a daily or weekly routine, to being run whenever new software has been installed. It’s all quite intuitive.

There are some nice features, such as being able to specify specific files and have the program backup that file type only - great if you want to create a backup of your video or music files separate from the main stick, for instance. You can even choose to encrypt files and folders, for extra security.

On the downside, when you install the program, you’ll also find the Norton Protection Console is installed, which is supposed to be the central monitor for all Norton products. However, if you don’t have Norton’s other tools, such as anti-spyware and firewall, installed you’ll find the system popping messages up saying you’re unprotected. This is a problem, until you switch the pop-ups off and is an obvious flaw in the package.

Verdict

Putting together a package that allows you to backup your data, create an image as well as a boot-disk should be an essential tool in anyone’s software collection but we get the feeling this package has been pushed through a little too quickly.

It’s not that it doesn’t work; it just assumes too much and delivers too little.

Until these problems are sorted, you’re better off sticking with a version of Norton Ghost, which does the job far more effectively.


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