Testing Out Genie Backup Manager 8
Genie Backup Manager Pro 8.0 is a robust piece of software for backing up and restoring your files, and it is packed with features I never even thought of.
Genie Backup Manager will back up what you want, where you want it, as often as you want. If you want your data compressed or password protected, it will do that, too. It will also restore what you want (and only what you want,) wherever you want, whenever you decide to restore it. (Even if you can’t boot your computer!)
As much as I love automatic, online backup, I’ll admit that going online isn’t always the perfect solution. There are times when you would just rather create backups and hold them in your hand (on DVD-R, for example) or maybe you want to create a bootable disk from which to restore later – it’s simply easier with a piece of software.
And as rare as it would be in this day and age, you might have a dial-up internet connection or no internet connection at all, rendering your online backups useless. So today we’ll look at some backup software for this purpose…
How to Use Genie Backup Manager Pro Software
So let’s start the test by downloading the software and opening it up. Downloading was pretty simple, but it’s a 150 MB file (when you include the disaster recovery option,) so it could take a while depending on your connection speed. Installation was extremely easy. You just click “Next” a few times and agree to their terms.
Upon opening the program, you are presented with a welcome screen to get started. It links to a couple included video tutorials to get you started and provides a few getting started tips.
I decided to start by watching the video tutorials, and I was very impressed. Each tutorial is a screen capture video that takes you through the entire process of the backup and restore functions. I watched each one once, and after that I felt confident enough to jump right in.
This is a screenshot of the backup tutorial: (Note the informative pop-up bubble guiding you along.)
I highly suggest you start with those tutorials. They are very short and concise, so they don’t waste your time, but they’re also very thorough.
After that you’ll hit the main menu:
The menu is very simple, with three main buttons for you to choose from. But that is “normal mode.” As if that wasn’t simple enough, you can switch to “easy mode” with the click of a button, which hides any extraneous information and makes thing simpler.
Here’s a screenshot of easy mode:
As you can see, that removes any extraneous menus and leaves you with two simple options – backup or restore.
Let’s go ahead and create a backup. To start, just click the large “Backup” button.
Next, you will choose “New Backup Job” and name it whatever you would like.
Then, select the location for the backup. This is where the backup will be stored, and you have various options including another folder on your hard drive, a network drive, an external hard drive or USB thumb drive, online backup, or CD or DVD-R.
Note: Automatic media spanning is included! That means your backup will automatically be split onto multiple CDs or DVDs if necessary, with no effort on your behalf. (This feature is not available on the home version though.)
Then you can choose what files and folders to backup. This section is split across three screens, one for your user settings, one for files, and a third for your actual installed programs. It seemed odd at first, but then I realized it was quite easy to find the right files this way.
Note: Genie Backup plugins are included to backup common programs such as Windows Media Player, with more plugins available for free download from the Genie Backup website.
Now choose settings for your backup. These include compression, encryption, password protection, and more.
Finally, do the backup. You can complete the backup now or schedule to run whenever you want (which could be on a daily basis if you want.)
That was simple, right? Really, if you can burn a CD, you can create an extensive backup with Genie Backup Manager!
Also, you have the option to create “self restorable” backups. With these, you can just click the file or load the CD and viola, the backup restores itself.
But let’s say you choose to do regular backups, and disaster strikes! Then it is time to open up Genie Backup Manager and restore from backups.
On the main menu, click “Restore.” On the first screen, select a backup job that you want to restore. All your backups will be listed, organized by date, so it’s easy to find the one you want.
Then you can choose which items from the backup you would like to restore. You can choose to restore all the files, but having the option to select just one file is very convenient. For example, let’s say you need to restore one photo, but your backup contained about 10 GB of files. Why spend the time restoring 10 GB of files when you just want one small file?
After selecting the files, you can set a restore location. You can restore the files to their original location, or you can keep your backup all in one place by restoring to a new folder.
Then just confirm the restore and watch the progress bar. It will alert you when it is finished.
Your final option, aside from backup and restore, is disaster recovery. This is to be used in preparation for serious situations where Windows won’t even start, leaving you with just one way to do a restore… with a bootable recovery disc.
With Genie Backup’s Disaster Recovery, you basically create a large image of your entire computer and put it onto a bootable disc (usually one or more DVD-Rs.) If disaster strikes, you can then boot your computer from this disk and it will restore everything. This sounds much, much easier than doing a format and reinstall of Windows, and it even negates the laborious process of reinstalling your programs and changing the computer’s settings.[Editor’s note: the disaster recovery function has not been fully tested, but we’ll add in more details once we can fully test it.]
Overall, the backup and restore functions worked well and I did not experience any problems. The included tutorials made it super easy to get started, the intuitive interface kept things moving swiftly, and the numerous included features should keep even the most demanding users happy.
If I’m correct, you could even backup and restore your entire computer onto a new machine, via the Disaster Recovery function. That would be great if you’re getting a new hard drive or computer.
One final concern is customer support. Aside from an online FAQ, they provide a help desk system with support tickets. They are also available for chat on MSN Messenger and ICQ. There does not seem to be any phone support, but I have all but given up on phone support in general anyway (with most companies outsourcing support to a call center where operators read you answers off the FAQ, it’s not the most efficient use of time.)
As for the price, it’s $69.95 for the Pro version (tested here) and $49.95 for a Home version. The Pro version is worth the extra $20, and I’d even consider it a bargain based on the features. (The media spanning option alone is worth the extra $20.)
Final Decision on Genie Backup Manager
What I liked about Genie Backup Manager:
The software worked.
What I did not like about Genie Backup Manager:
Limited customer support options.
Genie Backup Manager Review Wrap-Up:
Overall rating: out of 5 stars
Reviewed by: Paul Ryan
Date of original review: July 18, 2007
Date last updated: July 18, 2007
To buy or not to buy? Here’s the simple answer – if you want to backup your computer easily, get this. You can start with a 30-day free trial, where no credit card is required for the download. This should allow you to check to make sure things work properly with your system. Also, there is a 21-day money back guarantee after you buy the full version, just in case it’s not what you expected.
To get started with your 30 day free trial of Genie Backup Manager Pro, click here!
To skip the trial and buy now, click here.
Official website: www.genie-soft.com