There are wizards that guide you through backing up an entire drive, just important files, or making a “disaster recovery” backup in case your hard disk crashes and you can’t boot. Once you’ve defined a IT Services St. Louis “backup set” that includes which files to back up and whether you want to back up all files or just changed files (“full” backup versus “incremental” or “differential” backups), you can select a set from a drop down menu and hit one button to back up. Just two steps to a frequently-run canned backup.

For example: I have two sets, one called “Photoshop Full” and another called “Photoshop Incremental.” I run “Photoshop Full” once a month or so to back up all my digital photography hobby work. That takes about an hour to run. Every night, I run “Photoshop Incremental” to back up just the files I’ve worked on that day, which takes about 2 minutes. I just select which set I want from the drop down, load the media, and press a button. That’s it!

It supports CD-R, DVD+RW, and DVD+R. These are the formats I’ve tried; it supports many more optical formats, plus tape drives and external hard disks. Compression is supported, as is hardware compression if your device supports it. Many SCSI tape drives do. Backups can be scheduled to run at pre-determined times. You can have a backup run at 2am, for example. Do make sure you load media with sufficient space before you go to bed.

Restore is also painless: you can quickly restore the latest version of any backed up file, or you can choose which version of the file you want to back up. So, if you mess up a document beyond recovery, for example, you can restore yesterday’s or last month’s version.

On the negative side, the backup MUST be restored with this program. It doesn’t write regular files that you can just copy off the backup media back to your hard disk. And, backups can only span up to 32 pieces of media, regardless of the media capacity. That’s about 150GB for DVD+RW, or 23GB for CD-R. If you have more data than that, you cannot do “whole disk” backups; you must choose smaller file sub-sets to back up.

Disaster Recovery REQUIRES a floppy disk drive. I don’t have one. It won’t create a bootable recovery CD, as far as I can tell. The GUI could be a little more dressy too, but I’m nitpicking here. No more excuses for not backing up! Set up your most frequent backups as backup sets, then enjoy two-click or scheduled, unattended backups.