Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
 Product Review 


EaseUS Todo Backup Free 6.5
by Chris Taylor

When it comes to backing up my computers, I am a fan of “image” backups. For more info, see my article Backing it up in the March, 2013 issue of the newsletter ( http://opcug.ca/public/Articles/1303.pdf)

I have been an Acronis True Image user for many years and am happy with the program and its full features. But I don’t always need full features. For example, I started using a Microsoft Surface Pro 2 for my Ottawa Public Library presentations. I don’t have any real amount of unique data on the tablet, so I don’t need a backup program with tons of features. All I really want is disaster recovery – the ability to quickly get back to a working operating system with a couple of dozen programs. A full image backup every month or two is sufficient for that.

Alan German wrote a review of the free version of Macrium Reflect (http://opcug.ca/public/Articles/1110.pdf) and I considered using it. One of the big limitations of the free version of Macrium Reflect is that it cannot do incremental images, but I don’t need that feature on my tablet.

Before I got around to installing Macrium Reflect, I happened across EaseUS Todo Backup Free. One thing that caught my eye – Todo Backup Free can do incremental images! Even though I didn’t need it for my tablet backup, I figured it was worth trying. I thought if I liked it, it might be a candidate to replace Acronis True Image on my desktop computer.

The 127MB download went smoothly. As with many free programs, during the installation, you are offered some programs from other vendors, which you can accept or decline. The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 is required. If you don’t already have it, you will be prompted to install it.

The user interface is quite clean and simple.

For a complete backup, you select the disks/partitions you want to back up, choose a destination location & file name and click on the Proceed button. My Surface has a 64GB SSD with 5 partitions. There is the C drive sized at 53GB. The remaining partitions are for recovery and … who knows? As well, I have a 32GB micro-SD card in the system.

I selected the SSD and the SD card which automatically selected all partitions. I plugged an external drive into the USB port and pointed there for the backup file. After 14 minutes, my first backup, totalling 33GB, was done. The backup file was just under 25GB.

There are lots of options for tweaking the way the program operates. You can do full or incremental backups, select from multiple levels of compression, password-protect the backup, split backup files into parts (useful if you want to store the backup files on optical media), send email notifications after backup, run commands before and after backup, schedule backup operations, and set the priority for the backup process.

Todo Backup has a Clone operation, which simply copies all files from a disk or partition to another disk. This can be useful if you are upgrading to a larger disk drive.

If you don’t want to image an entire disk or partition, you can choose File Backup and select folders, files, and libraries.

Nobody runs a backup solely to backup. What is important is the ability to perform a recovery.

A common recovery task is for individual files or folders that have been deleted or corrupted. To do this kind of recovery, click on Recovery in the main window and select File Recovery. Select the backup file you want and then browse to select the files or folders for recovery. You can choose to restore the files to the original location or a different location.

Another way of recovering files is to mount a backup file, which will assign a drive letter to the backup and then you can access the files within the backup with any file manager you want. You can also simply double-click on a backup file and it will open an Explorer window which looks just like a normal drive (but read-only). You can then just use normal file operations to copy files or folders from the backup to any location you want.

All file and folder recovery tests I ran worked flawlessly.

I need an image backup for my Surface Pro 2 tablet so I can recover the operating system and applications in the event of a disaster, rather than individual file recovery. In order to fully test a backup procedure, you really need to actually do a recovery. I am not about to try an actual recovery on my Surface tablet, but I do know I have to be prepared. Within the Tools section of Todo Backup, you can create bootable recovery media. In the event that Windows can’t boot, you use this to boot the computer and perform the recovery. As with most backup programs, Todo Backup allows you to create either Linux-based or Windows PE-based recovery media. The free versions of Todo can’t create Windows PE-based recovery media so I chose the Linux version and opted for a flash drive.

And then my problems started. Once the bootable flash drive was created, I could not get my tablet to boot from it. I tried a bootable DVD with a USB DVD drive and it didn’t work either. I found an incomplete article published by Microsoft at http://preview.tinyurl.com/pjfs2ul that provided part of the answer. In addition to the instructions there, I found I had to also disable secure boot in UEFI. But even then, I could not get the Surface Pro 2 to boot from the flash drive or DVD.

Google searches turned up others with the same problem. Some proposed solutions, quite obviously from people who never actually tried it, regurgitated the Microsoft instructions that didn’t work. Other suggestions, from people who said worked they for them, didn’t work for me.

I really don’t know if the problem I’m having stems from the Surface Pro 2, the UEFI based Secure Boot built into every Intel Core-i CPU, Windows 8, or something else. Really too bad, because I do like Todo Backup Free. It has a nice feature set and the parts I could get to work, worked well.

Make sure, whatever backup solution you choose, that it will allow you to recover. Maybe I will try Macrium Reflect Free.


Bottom Line:

Program: EaseUS Todo Backup Free
System requirements: Windows XP/Vista/7/8, 1GB RAM (2GB for Windows 8/8.1), 1GB disk space
Supported file systems: FAT12/16/32 and NTFS. Other file systems can be backed up in sector-by-sector mode. Maximum disk size supported is 4TB.
Price: Free for home use
Web site: http://www.todo-backup.com/


Click here to view the full OPCUG website with frames.

Copyright and Usage
Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street, Ottawa, ON  K2G 1S6

The opinions expressed in these reviews do not necessarily
represent the views of the OPCUG or its members.

Send comments or suggestions to the .