Mini-Review HDClone 4
by Alan German
As it says
in the OPCUG Free Software Guide, If you try one of
the listed items, you are encouraged to share your
experience, good or bad, by providing a brief review of
the program for a future issue of the newsletter.
So, here's my experience with HDClone 4 Free Edition from
A friend was given an old Compaq desktop machine but
found that it ran really slowly. Could I do anything to
help? Well, I could remove all the bloatware, patch the
OS and the security applications, defrag the disk, clean
out the registry, and see what effect all of those steps
might have. But first, I wanted to make a backup of the
entire disk just in case things went south.
I wanted to use a free disk imaging program, and recalled
the listing for HDClone that appeared in Part 19 of the
OPCUG Free Software Guide (Ottawa PC News; p.6; March
2011), so I thought I would give this program a try.
One and a half hours later, I had a 38 GB disk image of
the 38 GB hard drive, that had only 8GB being used. The
free version of HDClone has a few small limitations. It
doesn't ignore empty disk sectors, it runs slower than
the paid version(s), and it will only restore the image
to a bigger hard disk. Three strikes it's out!
To be fair, the program's description indicates the major
limitation, i.e. that the program clones an entire
hard disk to another, larger medium. (Note that
this means that the free version is useless for normal
backup purposes since the image can't be restored to the
Also, the version overview indicates that the free
edition doesn't produce compressed images, doesn't have a
fast copy mode, and has the slowest copy rate of any of
the available (for purchase) versions.
It beats me why a developer would provide an obviously
crippled version of a program hoping that, after a trial
that is evidently going to be a less than stellar
experience a user would upgrade to a paid version.
So, sorry guys. There are better options in the free and
open-source software world. And, for me, it's on to the
HDClone 4 Free Edition (Freeware)
Originally published: May, 2011
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The opinions expressed in these reviews
do not necessarily represent the views of the
Ottawa PC Users' Group or its members.