The start of a new year is always a good time to review your computing habits. If you’ve not yet done so, make sure 2014 is the year you finally implement a long overdue backup plan for your PC with the help of our current favourite backup tool, Acronis True Image 2014.
Not only does True Image contain all the tools you need for backup and recovery, you can use it to clone your hard drive when upgrading to a new model or (if you buy the Premium version) even transfer an entire Windows installation from one PC to another.
Why back up your data? First, data recovery is a hit-and-miss exercise – if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to recover some or all of your data, but that assumes it’s still recoverable and that the hard drive itself is in good working order. Second, if you can’t recover important files on your own you’ll need to invest in software or a data recovery service, which can run into hundreds of dollars.
Oh, and finally, data recovery is both time consuming and knuckle-clenching: why put yourself through all that stress when by implementing a backup plan now you can save time, hassle and money in the long run?
If you are going to take backup seriously, then Acronis True Image 2014 is a really good choice, particularly with our special offers that can see you save up to 30 per cent on the MSRP, making it even more exceptional value.
Acronis True Image 2014 combines both image-based and file-based backup within a single program. File-based backup lets you choose individual files and folders to protect, while image-based backups let you take exact copies of all your hard drives and partitions, both for fail-safe and disaster-recovery purposes.
Take a drive image for example and if your hard drive suddenly fails, or your Windows installation becomes corrupt, you can easily get things up and running again without having to go through the whole reinstall palava.
You’ll find all the tools you need under Acronis’ Backup and recovery tab. You can store your backups on a local drive or even save them securely to the cloud via Acronis’ own cloud storage platform. It’s all very simple to follow, and by default Acronis’ will start updating your backups automatically, so they don’t become outdated as time moves on.
Take the time to click the Create bootable media button – this lets you create a rescue CD, DVD or USB flash that lets you restore your backups even if you can’t boot into Windows or access the Acronis Startup Recovery Manager (press [F11] during boot time to access this rescue environment).
Also, once you’ve taken a drive image, right-click it and choose Validate to make sure the backup isn’t itself corrupt.
With these backups in place, you’re covered, but Acronis True Image 2014 lets you go further. Want to upgrade to a larger or faster hard drive? Switch to the Tools and utilities tab and click Clone disk to migrate everything across. You can let the tool automatically resize your partitions to fit the new drive or manually specify their new sizes yourself.
You’ll also find a selection of file-shredding and drive cleaning tools here, plus a clever Try&Decide mode that lets you experiment with risky operations, providing you with the means to apply or undo them should you decide the changes aren’t what you envisaged.
There’s a Synchronization tab that lets you sync data between PCs using Acronis’ cloud storage platform, and if you upgrade to the Premium edition of the software you’ll find one more handy tool.
Here’s the scenario: you’ve just purchased a new PC. Ordinarily you’d have to set everything up by hand: transfer data, reinstall programs, reapply favourite settings. However, Acronis True Image 2014 Premium boasts a feature called “Universal Restore” that lets you back up your existing setup, then restore it on your new computer.
It works like this: take a complete drive image of your computer to an external drive before switching to your new computer. Now either boot from the recovery media or install Acronis 2014 Premium on your new PC. Either way, opt to recover using “Universal Restore” (look for the tickbox) then follow the prompts to transfer across to your new PC.
Get it for less
Acronis True Image 2014 is available now as a free trial download for Windows XP or later. We’ve got time-limited special offers on two editions of the software that will expire at the end of the January.
If you want the full package – including the Universal Restore feature – then opt for Acronis True Image 2014 Premium. We’re offering this package for just $55.95 (£41.95/A$69.99), that’s a discount of 30 per cent on the MSRP.
If you don’t need the extra features, then Acronis True Image 2014 can be yours for just $34.99 (£21.95/A$39.99) instead – again, that’s a saving of 30 per cent on the MSRP. And finally, if you’re already a True Image user, then why not upgrade to the latest version for just $24.99 (£19.95/A$36.99), a saving of 17 per cent instead?
All these great deals are available through the Downloadcrew Software Store, but remember, they’re only available until the end of January, so hurry!