CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Norton Save & Restore review: Norton Save & Restore

Norton Save & Restore

Robert Vamosi Former Editor
As CNET's former resident security expert, Robert Vamosi has been interviewed on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and other outlets to share his knowledge about the latest online threats and to offer advice on personal and corporate security.
Robert Vamosi
3 min read
Norton Save & Restore is the new, consumer-friendly backup edition of Norton Ghost 10, which duplicates your hard disk's contents on another drive and is better suited for a fast recovery after a disk crash. Norton Save & Restore includes all the drive image functionality of Ghost 10 but adds the ability to back up and restore individual files and several helpful wizards--without costing you a penny more. Even though Norton Save & Restore looks and feels like a simplified yet enhanced version of Ghost, Symantec intends to keep Norton Ghost a separate product on the market. Confused? Think of Norton Save & Restore as what you'd give your grandmother to back up her PC, and Norton Ghost as what you'd use yourself to recover from a hard drive crash. Better yet, stick with our recommendation of Uniblue Systems WinBackup 2 Professional as the best backup choice for you and your grandma.
Installation is similar across all Symantec products. However, this time there is a pause during the installation when a dialog box asks you to validate your hardware in use against the database of drivers stored on the Symantec recovery disc. This good because should you ever need to boot directly from the Save & Restore disc, you'll know that afterward your monitor, mice, and other peripherals will work properly.
This product also has the same look and feel as Symantec's Norton Internet Security line of products, so you'll see a link to the Norton Protection Center above the Save & Restore button. The Norton Protection Center will be confusing for some. For example, Norton had big red Xs over antivirus and firewall protection, yet our test machine was protected--with products from other vendors. Clicking any of the red Xs for "more information" simply delivers you to the Symantec online store and a description of the appropriate Norton solution (Norton AntiVirus, Norton SystemWorks, and so on). While advertising one's own product line is legit, advertising under the guise of "protection" is misleading when adequate protection already exists.
As previously stated, Norton Save & Restore offers all the functionality of Norton Ghost, plus additional features we'd like to have seen in the last version. Like Ghost, Norton Save & Restore lets you create and restore a compressed image of all your data on your hard drive or any other storage media such as CD, DVD, or USB flash drive. What you get with Save & Restore that you don't with Ghost 10 is the capability to select individual files for either backup or restoration.
Another improvement is the addition of helpful wizards. Say you've never backed up your data before. A wizard within Norton Save & Restore automatically suggests a simple and straightforward weekly schedule, which you can alter to suite your work habits. Click the suggested time, the types of file formats to back up, and the location of the backup, and in a short while you'll have a customized backup schedule. Another wizard helpfully suggests drives available to store your backup and various compression options. We were able to start backing up our 11GB hard drive within a minute; our complete initial backup required 30 minutes.
Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, online FAQ support is virtually nonexistent for Norton Save & Restore, although there are free options for online chat and e-mail. Calling Symantec's technical support remains outrageously pricey. Live technician service is available 24/7, however Symantec will charge you a flat $29.95 per incident.

Norton Save & Restore

Score Breakdown

Setup 7Features 8Support 4