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Download a 30-day trial demo of the full version to test-drive the various features of this backup software; then you can buy the full version from NovaStor. NovaBackup is composed of three separate programs: NovaDisk+, NovaBack SCSI/EIDE, and NovaBack QIC. You choose which app you need, depending on which tape drive or SCSI/EIDE device you're using. See NovaStor's complete listing of removable media supported by NovaBackup.
The program download doesn't include a manual, which you must download separately. The downloadable documentation, a 47-page Adobe Acrobat PDF file, is not quite as extensive as Retrospect's manual.
Backup process made easy
The overall backup procedure in NovaBackup is easier than Retrospect's. From the main screen, click the Select Files button. From the resulting directory tree, just choose the drives, folders, and files you want to back up. Optional choices, such as incremental or Registry backups and the like, are handled from an Options dialog box.
You can customize your backup procedures with NovaBackup. For example, if you need to back up only one important work file each day, Nova lets you memorize the process for later use with the My Backup feature, so you don't have to repeat the selection steps.
NovaBackup expands that folder and file tree to let you pick all or some of the folders and files you want to restore. You can copy the restored files to a different location if you want--important if you suspect a virus or other file corruption and need to compare a backed-up file with the current version.
While testing, we discovered that NovaDisk+ doesn't play nicely with encrypted files on a Windows 2000 computer. Some long-forgotten encrypted files were included in our backup selection, and when NovaDisk+ found those, the computer locked up. Although the mouse and keyboard were still responsive, the Windows Task Manager couldn't kill off the programs. That left a sluggish computer that we had to reboot.
Unique features; unique problems
NovaBackup includes the optional capability of scanning your files for viruses during the backup process. None of the other backup products we reviewed offers this feature. Unfortunately, the extra antivirus protection may not be worth the effort; unless you back up multiple times a day, you still need regular antivirus software to scan files received by e-mail or over a network. This means that you must keep two sets of antivirus signatures current. Also, scanning for viruses during backup makes the entire process take a little longer.
Scheduling backups is easy with NovaBackup. An icon in your system tray lets you schedule backups for a convenient time, say, in the middle of the night when you don't need your PC. NovaBackup also comes with a set of handy utilities for tape drives. What it doesn't include, unfortunately, is a disaster-recovery tool; that's available as a separate product called InstantRecovery. Similar to Norton Ghost, InstantRecovery makes a complete image of the hard drive--perfect for recovering after a crash or when migrating to another computer.