Data Backuper is the latest software release from AOMEI, and, as the name clearly hints, its purpose is to create backup copies for sensitive or personal files.
But what you cannot infer from the name is that its actions target only entire volumes or hard disks and you won’t be able to use it with files and folders. All backup copies are saved as images, which can be mounted and browsed to your liking. AOMEI Data Backuper
is absolutely free of charge and the installation process does not pose any trouble. The procedure takes little time to complete and does not involve pushing onto the system software you don’t actually need.
The interface looks nice and it is very intuitive. Simplicity and ease of use are at the core of the application, so only essentials menus are available, making it impossible to go astray when carrying out a task.
Besides backing up data and restoring it, the application can also clone entire partitions and disks as well as mount/unmounts backup images. Additionally, it provides the possibility to verify the integrity of a stored image as well as create bootable media (CD/DVD or USB), very useful especially when trying to restore an operating system you can no longer boot into.
The backup management is done from the “Home” tab and this is also the place to run the first task. All backup jobs available are displayed as tiles, offering the possibility to restore them to initiate a new full backup or an incremental/differential one.
The advanced options for each entry allow you to delete the respective backup image completely, check its integrity, mount it in order to explore its content or provide details about it, such as comments, storage location as well as the time of its initial creation and the last update. The application can also show its target location on a disk map.
Filtering options allow you to bring to view only the backup jobs created in the past week or month, as well as during a particular time frame. This feature would come in handy if you create backup jobs on a frequent basis, which is more likely to be done to files and folders rather than entire disks and partitions.
The “Backup” menu provides three possibilities: create a backup image for an entire disk, a partition or the system drive. In all three cases, the procedure is pretty much the same and wizard-driven: select the target, define the storage location and start the job.
But this is not to say that you cannot customize the backup job. AOMEI Data Backuper provides the possibility to add a description for each image, define a compression level or protect the resulting file with a password.
Splitting the backup copy into predefined chinks is also on the list, but a more interesting option is the possibility to enable Intelligent Sector feature. This instructs the program to backup only those sectors of the drive that are actually used, the procedure leading to a smaller size of the output image and lower times to complete the job.
On the other hand, sector-by-sector backup makes an exact copy of the drive, complete with free space. This is also useful, particularly if you want to recover data from the respective drive at a later time, an operation that requires all the sectors to remain intact.
AOMEI Data Backuper can create backup copies for the active operating system, without interrupting your work. This is possible thanks to the VSS (Volume Snapshot Service), or Shadow Copy, technology available in Windows. However, you can enable this for any backup you make, lest some files are locked or in use.
Restoring the system drive requires restarting the computer and booting into a specially created AOMEI live session, which features the main functions of the program. The boot entry is created automatically the moment you attempt to restore the OS partition and all you have to do is pick it from the boot menu.
All backup images can be mounted as a virtual drive and explored. Also, since they are read-only, the information contained can be extracted to a location of your liking.
The bootable media creator included in the application allows you to make rescue media device to be used if you’re unable to boot into the system. It can be stored on a CD/DVD or a USB drive.
Most such utilities rely on Linux for this feature, but some of them also offer a Windows PE-based solution. In Data Backuper, other options are present, but during our tests only Windows PE was selectable. Despite this quirk, we were able to successfully restore backup copies using this method. The Good
The interface and carrying out the supported actions is greatly simplified so that a beginner user can complete the procedure with no trouble whatsoever.
You can create a backup copy of the operating system without having to restart the computer. Restoring such an image is also easy to carry out. All images can be mounted as virtual drives and explored. The Bad
On Windows 8, we noticed that in many cases the backups have a larger size than the amount of the original files.
We could create only Windows PE bootable media, although making a Linux-based solution is also among the options, albeit greyed out.
In some cases, the information about used space on a volume is inaccurate. The application cannot be used to make backup copies for files or folders or to schedule actions. The Truth AOMEI Data Backuper
is at an early stage of development and there are plenty of features that could be added in order to increase its functionality. We were able to successfully make backup images and restore both volumes (system partition included) as well as entire disks.