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Paragon Hard Disk Manager 14 Professional (64-bit)

Partitioning, defrag, backup, copy, clone, disaster recovery - Hard Disk Manager does it all

by Mike Williams

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Based on 2 ratings
License: Trial Software
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Vista (64 bit)
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: $79.96 (Windows)
Date Updated: 25 November 2013
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 10396
Developer: Paragon Software
RSS News Feed: http://www.paragon-software.com/rss.xml
Twitter Feed: http://twitter.com/paragonsoftware
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Paragon-Software-Group/
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Paragon Hard Disk Manager 14 Professional  (64-bit)
Partioning, defrag, backup, clone, copy - and more

Paragon Hard Disk Manager 14 Professional is a comprehensive suite of tools that comes ready to handle all your hard drive management needs.

The package includes everything you get in Hard Disk Manager 14 Suite. You can create, format, merge, split, delete or undelete partitions. You're able to back up anything from emails, to your documents folder, individual partitions or an entire hard drive. And there are tools to copy drives, fix boot problems, save drives to virtual disk formats, convert drives between file systems (no formatting required), wipe disks to destroy confidential data, and more.

Paragon Hard Disk Manager 14 Professional takes this further with Bitlocker and dynamic volume support. Low-level optimisations - change cluster size, defragment/ compact the MFT - ensure the maximum possible performance. You get more backup and virtualisation options; a GPT Loader allows Windows XP systems to access modern high-capacity drives; and powerful scripting tools mean you can automate all of these operations, without any browsing through the GUI.

New features to both suites (Suite and Professonal) include the pVHD format, a special VHD file which comes optimised for backups. You can save partitions or entire disks - real or virtual - to pVHDs, then mount and restore them from Windows, WinPE or Linux.

There's full uEFI support, including the ability to create a bootable GPT/uEFI-compatible backup capsule for your 64-bit Windows installation, making it easy to repair any problems.

A new, simpler Recovery Media Builder can build bootable WinPE or Linux-based recovery environments itself, with no need to install further Windows development tools (ADK, WAIK).

There's better compatibility everywhere, with new and enhanced support for Windows 8.1, Apple HFS+, Windows Storage Spaces, and all the latest virtualisation software (MS Virtual PC, VMware Workstation 10.0, VMware Fusion, and Oracle VirtualBox 4).

And this is all presented in a new interface. The "quick launcher" has a very "Windows 8" look; if that doesn't appeal, don't worry, the main program hasn't changed quite so much. Essentially it's replaced the menus with a new ribbon, but is otherwise fairly similar to before.

If you're a regular home user, just looking for straightforward partitioning, copy and backup tools, then this is probably overkill. Take a look at the Suite version as an alternative.

Paragon Hard Disk Manager 14 does provide an array of reliable and effective hard drive tools, though, most powered by helpful wizards so they're extremely easy to use. If you need a solid all-in-one package, crammed with business-oriented extras, then it's definitely worth a try.

Please note, the trial version doesn't include Paragon's Recovery Media Builder, and some of its operations are available in virtual mode only.

Verdict:

We're still not overly impressed by the backup tools, but the one-stop, do-everything Paragon Hard Disk Manager 14 Professional delivers elsewhere with a stack of effective and reliable features.

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Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

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