The latest version of Paragon Hard Disk Manager includes updated driver support and a slew of new features. Two of the additions - the ability to back up individual files and folders, and diverse hardware restore - are particularly useful.
File-level backup means you can avoid imaging an entire partition if you simply want to back up My Documents, for instance. Previously you could use Hard Disk Manager only to create an image of your hard drive. The addition of file backup makes Hard Disk Manager a more well-rounded offering that can better compete with dedicated backup programs.
With diverse hardware restore, if your old PC dies, you can restore a backup image from it to your new PC without worrying about hardware driver conflicts that can prevent Windows from booting. The hardware-independent restore also makes it easier for IT types to roll out a standard image across a range of different PC models.
One of Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2009 Suite's enduring selling points is that it houses core disk chores within a single program. Whereas competitors such as Acronis force you to switch back and forth between separately purchased applications for partitioning and imaging chores, Hard Disk Manager 2009 Suite puts both under one easy-to-learn-and-navigate roof.
That all-in-one appeal extends to the Linux/Windows Preinstallation Environment recovery CDs provided with the program. The boot CDs are based on the latest OS builds, which now support more devices than previous versions and hence will boot on more computers. Although we're Linux fans, we had better luck with the Windows PE version (which you can download from Paragon Software's site after you purchase the program), as it allows you to load drivers post-boot - a priceless feature when you're dealing with oddball storage controllers.