Paragon Technologies has released Paragon Rescue Kit 14, its free-for-personal-use disaster recovery environment.
The program creates bootable recovery media based on Windows PE, or, new to this version, SuSE 12.3. The second adds support for migrating a Windows system to a different hardware platform, including 64-bit setups using UEFI.
Boot from the WinPE version and you’ll find a revamped Windows 8-style interface. It’s not what we’d call imaginative, but the system does look good and is easy to use.
The headline new feature is support for backing up to virtual disks. You’re now able to back up your system to Paragon’s optimised pVHD format, and restore the backup later. Or if you prefer something more standard, there’s also support for VMDK, VHD and VHDX files.
The other tools remain much as before. Undelete Partition recovers accidentally deleted partitions; Boot Corrector fixes common boot problems with the MBR, partition table, boot files and EFI boot entries, while Password Cleaner resets a forgotten password.
Registry Editor is particularly useful, enabling you to tweak corrupted settings which might be causing your problems.
While the Rescue Kit is free, you must register it to receive your product key and serial number. There’s nothing unusual here – just hand over your email address – but the media builder does ask you to enter the license details every time you run it, which might be a little annoying.
Another small complication is that the Windows and Linux environments vary a little in their functionality: Windows has wider hardware support, but Linux has more features. Check out the manual (1.87MB PDF) for more.
Despite this, Paragon Rescue Kit 14 is a very capable collection of troubleshooting tools. Go grab a copy, build your own recovery environment, and you’ll be ready for (almost) anything.