Commercial Image/File Backup Programs
If you are not satisfied with the features of your bundled backup program, consider a commercial backup program. The programs in this section support file and image backup, scheduled backups, and other advanced features.
Acronis True Image 2011 Home
Acronis True Image 2011 Home includes scheduled image and file backup and restore; a Try&Decide feature that enables you to temporarily install a program, run it, and remove it without affecting your normal Windows installation; encryption; continuous data protection; USB 3.0 support; drive copying. Three levels of compression are available. It does not support Windows VSS, so it cannot back up open files. A free trial of True Image 2011 Home is available.
Purchase the optional Acronis True Image Home Plus Pack to add support for restores to dissimilar hardware, WinPE, and dynamic disks. You can also use True Image 2011 Home with Acronis Online Backup (;250GB limit, $4.95/month or $49.95/year).
For netbook users, Acronis also offers Acronis Home True Image 2011 Netbook Edition. A free trial is available.
Norton Ghost 15.0
Norton Ghost 15.0 includes scheduled and one-time image and file backups, support for Windows 7 BitLocker, image backups to an FTP server, cold imaging (imaging without installing Ghost first), Blu-ray Disc support, drive copying, and can convert an image into a virtual disc compatible with VMWare Workstation, ESX Server, Server 1; Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 and later and Hyper-V 1.0 and 2.0. Ghost offers three compression options, and it does support Microsoft VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service) to back up open files. A free trial is available.
NTI Backup Now 5.5 Advanced Edition
NTI Backup Now 5.5 Advanced Edition supports Continuous Data Protection, file backup, and image backup. It supports Microsoft VSS, and can be used to back up other PCs with the same version of Backup Now installed. It also supports backing up to a network drive, an NAS device or an FTP server. A free trial is available.