DAYU Disk Master Free is an image and file-based backup tool with a lot of bonus features.
The imaging side of the program works as you'd expect. Select a target drive, a destination, choose a few options (compression, splitting, priority, speed) and you can run a backup at a click (although there's no scheduler). Restoration is possible from the program or a rescue disk, and there's a disk clone feature thrown in.
The extras start with a "Pre-OS" feature, a bootable recovery environment created on your system drive. Turn this on (Tools > Enable Pre-OS) and "DAYU Disk Master" appears on your boot menu; if Windows won't start then you can launch this and restore a backup. There's also a "command prompt" option which allows you to access your system drive, and perhaps fix any boot problems.
If you prefer file-based backups then the starting interface is familiar (browse an Explorer-type tree, check boxes for the files and folders to protect). But again, there are a lot of options, and you're able to add comments, set up compression, split the archive file into fixed-sized files, run programs before or after the backup, and more.
Disk Master also displays SMART data for every compatible drive, a useful check on your hardware's health.
There's support for creating a RAM disk. This can be a neat way to improve your system performance and privacy (save your browser history there and it disappears when you reboot), and the program will by default set your system temp folders to that drive.
Disk Master can even create Virtual Disks, files which can be mounted as virtual drives on demand.
Upgrading to a commercial build (from $29) extends the program with partition move/ resize tools, deduplication, image encryption, file sync, zip, backup scheduling and more, and it's licensed for business use.
Version 2.5 changes:
- Add file backup and recovery.
- Add file zip (not in free version)
- Add file sync (not in free version)
- Fix WinPE problem.
- Fix VSS problems.
- Fix scheduled problems.
- Fix some other problems.