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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2011
Backup software is the bête noir of utility applications. Over the years I have purchased and used a variety of mainstream backup applications for the PC. Once installed, all of them have turned out to have some sort of hidden "gotcha" nonsense buried in the details, so I was prepared to give Acronis a certain degree of latitude. Unfortunately, even with reasonably low expectations going in, I rate Acronis Home Backup as 'very poor'.

I have one really simple task to accomplish: Make an image of the drive, and perform incremental data backups over thirty days, then have the system make a new image and start the process over. After keying in a 64 character security code and loading the software I worked my way through the first level interface to set an immediate image backup as a starting point. This was easily done and with the compression set at normal, 350GB of data backed up through a USB-2 port in a couple of hours. I then attempted to setup the "Non-Stop Backup feature and ran into a brick wall.

The problem here is that I did not understand that there are two distinct operating modes of the software. 1. Disk image which is a static snapshot of the disk at a given moment. 2. Non-stop backup which is the incremental backup of the data files. Understanding the difference between the two modes of operation and realizing that to be fully backed BOTH must be running is critical to the initial setup of the application. Unfortunately the "dumbed down" interface of the program is no help in figuring this out.

Referring to the manual you'll find it to be poorly organized without a single clear `how to' scenario mapped out. Instead it's a complete walkthrough of all the screens telling you what each switch and widget does. There's even a section in there that says essentially "We know information in this manual is hard to find, so for the common things, go to these pages", ha ha. In frustration, I emailed tech support with a REALLY simple question and got back a bunch of pre-formatted gibberish about "How we are certainly supportive of your issue, and will try to help you'" but after an hour of back and forth, nothing of any technical substance.

I bought this software based on the recommendation of my computer consultant. Ultimately I took my system into the shop and had them configure and test the application, another $50, but it appears to be working as advertised. They also warned me not to use any of the Acronis disk utilities as "Bad things have happened that can't be fixed." Good to know.

In summary, I think if you are an IT Jedi Master you would love this application with its plethora of bells and whistles, however, for the rest of us, not so much. The software is overly complex for the average user, the written documentation is poor and factory support is a sad joke.

+Very complete application for full image and incremental data file backup.
+Lots of controls to configure the application to your exact needs-assuming you know exactly what those needs are.
+Good compression routine, fast backup.
+Very detailed backup log with snapshots of starting points.

-Clumsy interface.
-Simple process made overly complicated by Bloatware bells and whistles.
-Very poorly organized documentation-167 pages no less.
-Tech support rates a "D-"
-Application very slow to respond when searching the backup file tree or other common tasks.
-Crashes frequently-poor error handling
-Common operations require frequent searching of the manual to understand
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on December 21, 2013
This product is o.k. I used it but as a technician I found it to be not as user friendly even to some one with the field experience as I have, there are free programs on the internet that is much user friendly and much easier to use and takes a fraction of the time to complete the task, I would advise to always check on line first equivalent free programs before shelling out hard earned cash. There are excellent free programs that do jobs even better than their commercial counterparts.
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