Online backup service IDrive recently added disk imaging support, and now lets users create disk images on local media. For those who don’t know, disk images let you restore your entire hard drive to the state it was in when the backup was made.
I wanted to put this new feature to the test, so here’s my hands-on experience with it.
Creating a Disk Image Backup
After opening the desktop client, I noticed there’s a new Disk Image Backup button. Clicking this brings up a list of connected hard drives. I chose to create a disk image of my C: drive and store it on my external USB drive.
IDrive created a disk image of my hard drive in about 4 hours. This was over USB 2.0, so it may have been faster had I used USB 3.0. When it’s done, you’ll get the message “IDrive Disk Image Backup is Complete.”
Overall, creating disk images in IDrive is easy. You just select the drive you want to create an image of, and where to store it. I really like IDrive’s simple approach here. There aren’t any complicated settings, and disk images can be created with just a few clicks.
You can restore a disk image from the Restore Disk Image Backup tab. Select the location of the disk image file, select a location to restore it to, then click Restore Now. You’ll get a warning about overwriting the contents of the drive. Click Yes to continue and the disk image will be restored.
The biggest drawback is that you can’t restore a disk image of a boot drive onto a currently running system. There’s no option to create a boot disk, which would let you restore the backup outside of Windows. This is a standard feature on other disk imaging software, and it feels noticeably absent in this case.
I would have liked to see the ability to schedule disk image backups. Currently, you have to create them manually.
You also can’t create disk images on network drives. If you plan to create disk images on a NAS device or other networked media, you’ll want to be aware of this.
IDrive’s Disk Image Backups – Yay or Nay?
IDrive‘s disk image backup feature is a step in the right direction. Disk images are a great way for businesses to minimize downtime in a disaster recovery scenario. However, IDrive’s implementation still needs work, due to the limited options when restoring a boot drive.