Acronis True Image 2009 review

£40
Price when reviewed

To mark the move to an annual naming structure, Acronis True Image 2009 comes with a complete overhaul of the ageing user interface.

Gone are the old blue menus and slightly old-fashioned layout of True Image 11, in favour of a clean, clear and well organised Vista-style front end. Acronis has always had the features, but this could be the version that finally marries them with novice-friendly ease of use.

Before you even get to that interface, though, True Image attempts to head you off straight after installation with an option to backup your entire system volume and master boot record. Once done it’s automatically set to repeat at an interval of your choosing – if that’s enough for your needs you don’t have to go any further.

But you’d be mad not to, as True Image has so many tweaks to ease your progress, from the usual AES protection on archives, to the choice of incremental or differential backups. Once you have a few on the go, Acronis can automatically consolidate the parts into one full archive again, ready to start over.

Archives can be split automatically when they grow too large, and system priority can be set to avoid obstructing your daily routine.

There are some new additions, too. Archives are no longer a closed labyrinth of files: if you use either Windows’ or Google’s Desktop Search utilities, Acronis can install a plug-in which enables their use in text searches of .TIB archives.

Whether it’s just to see in which archive a given file resides, or to actually open, edit or move a particular file, it’s a useful addition that further extends True Image’s post-backup flexibility.

Other additions include the ability to choose between traditional TIB archives and the more popular ZIP format, potentially making it easier to make use of backups on other systems.

Backups can now wait to run if the destination drive is not ready, rather than merely failing; archives can be created on any external media as well as FTP servers and network drives.

it_photo_6196Despite this, it’s hard to see Acronis True Image 2009 as a completely new product; it’s really the same old backup tool under a superior interface. That interface is enough to justify its recommendation and keep it on the A List for those who haven’t yet shelled out. But those who are already in the Acronis camp won’t lose out much by sticking with what they already have.

Details

Software subcategory Backup software

Requirements

Processor requirement 1GHz Pentium

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes
Operating system Linux supported? no
Operating system Mac OS X supported? no
Other operating system support None

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