PROS / This is an all-around winner when it comes to file imaging, backup, recovery and virtualization, with many customizable settings and great configuration compatibility.
CONS / The software has a lot of great features, but they can be complicated to use if you’re not familiar with advanced data imaging functions. It may take some time and frustration to learn how to best use this software.
VERDICT / Paragon Hard Disk Manager 15 Professional goes the extra mile by bundling a powerful set of tools into a friendly user interface that can manage data on large hard drives and complex operating systems.
Paragon Hard Disk Manager 15 Professional earns our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award. This disk imaging software uses the proprietary pVHD (Paragon Virtual Hard Drive) format, which allows for optimized data storage. Your image files can be as much as four times smaller than the original with pVHD, making it perfect for imaging virtual machines and physical data without taking up too much space.
Imaging & Storage
When you’re upgrading your system’s configuration, Hard Disk Manager goes the extra mile by verifying your existing file system against the performance of your new operating system and checking against errors and conflicts. Its sector-by-sector mode can image other file systems as well.
The various partition management wizards help you create, manage, split, merge and format partitions as needed. Advanced features facilitate the installation of a new operating system for dual-boot machines.
Its support for hard-drive interfaces extends to your attached media devices, including SATA, iSCSI, USB flash and external hard drives. It supports all conventional hard-drive types: HDD, AFD and SSD. You can save your files in a basic ISO format, allowing them to be read by other imaging programs on other machines, or they can be encrypted so you can keep your sensitive information private.
Restoration & Mounting
You have plenty of recovery options, beginning with boot-time media. Paragon’s disk cloning software can help you create CD-ROM, DVD or Blu-ray start discs, as well as a bootable USB flash drive, so you can restore your whole system if it crashes. It can automatically modify recovered images during restoration, defragmenting the disk image as it’s being unpacked. You can also redistribute your image across unused portions of other partitions or free up partition space to fit your imaged file by borrowing unused space in partitions next to your destination drive.
If you need to use virtual machines or drives, the software can help you create them and mount your images to them. It even provides you with the ability to adjust the amount of memory your virtual machine can use on your physical machine along with how much of your internal hard drive it can have access to while in use.
The software has a modern and clean design, making it easy to navigate. There are built-in wizards for a handful of tasks, which ensure that you set up an action exactly to your specifications and needs. However, beyond its great visual design and the helpful wizards, the software is still somewhat daunting for novice or intermediate users, and definitely feels like it’s aimed at experienced or advanced users.
The software’s task scheduler lets you tell it when to run a one-time task, or even multiple recurring tasks. This helps ensure that all of your important data is regularly backed up and ready to restore in case your computer decides to stop working. Advanced users can enjoy further automation and customization with the software’s command line integration, which allows you to run a variety of task scripts. You can also view log reports for your task history as needed so you’re always in the know about your data. These features are easy to set up and customize.
Help & Support
If you have a specific question or issue regarding the software, Paragon has a myriad of direct and indirect informational resources you can turn to. If you want to speak with a technical support representative, you can easily do so via email or phone. However, there is no live chat option. There’s plenty of documentation and user guides you can sift through, along with an active user community where you can interact with other users to discuss the software, ask questions or simply get to know them. The company also has an extensive knowledgebase and an FAQs section if you have a question about the product or simply want to learn a little more about it.
The hard drive cloning software works with all of the most common computer operating systems, including Windows XP, 7, 8 and 10, as well as Mac OS X versions and Linux, keeping in on par with all the best disk imaging software packages. With its ability to support operating systems back to Windows XP SP2, the software enables you to migrate your data to newer Windows setups.
Paragon Hard Disk Manager 15 Professional lives up to its promise of being massively powerful and comprehensive disk imaging software, giving you all the disk management tools you need in one program. The software is one of the best tools for addressing your imaging needs today, and also can help you manage your backup, recovery and migration issues for years to come.