NovaBACKUP Professional Review (updated for version 16)

NovaBACKUP Professional is a line of backup software from NovaStor, a privately held company with offices in the U.S., Germany, and Switzerland.  It can do full disk image backups of PCs and laptops, in addition to backing up files and folders.

This is my fifth review of NovaBACKUP.  In my last review, I noted how most bugs in the software had been fixed.  How does the latest version stack up?

NovaBACKUP main screen

Editor's Rating:
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate It Now
User Rating:
Rating: 2.6/5 (158 votes cast)


  • Full disk imaging capabilities
  • Supports database backups
  • Can backup to many locations including local drives and Amazon S3
  • Built-in virus scanner


  • Slow differential backups
  • Errors encountered during: boot media creation, backup job modification

The Bottom Line

NovaBACKUP Professional offers a lot of great features, particularly for business users (and home power users) looking for a disaster recovery solution.  However, I encountered a couple bugs during my testing of the software.

NovaBACKUP Features

NovaBACKUP supports various features, which can be disabled or enabled during installation:

  • NovaBACKUP Anti-Virus to scan for viruses when backing up and restoring files
  • NovaBACKUP Disaster Recovery to create disk images
  • NovaBACKUP Devices to backup to online destinations (Amazon S3, FTP, etc.)
  • NovaBACKUP Plugins to backup live databases and virtual machines (SQL, Exchange, VMWare, etc.)
  • Agent Service to connect to the management server

Free email support is included during the trial.

Backing up with NovaBACKUP

The Express Wizard lets you create a new backup job, restore data, or edit a previously created job.  Types of backups supported are:

  • Local Backup
  • Disaster Recovery (disk image)
  • Cloud Backup
  • Copy files/folders
NovaBACKUP select drive to backup

Backing up my C: drive.

I backed up my 100 GB C: drive to an external hard drive in 2 hours.  Oddly, it took more time to run subsequent backups – which were differential (only backup changes since the last full backup).  Those took 3 1/2 hours, on average.

Why is NovaBACKUP taking 3 1/2 hours to backup 1GB of changes on my hard drive?  I have no idea.

I was also unable to modify a backup job from the Schedule tab, which appears to be a bug.  When I clicked on “Modify Job,” nothing happened.

Boot Media Creation

NovaBACKUP includes a tool to create boot media, so you can recover data outside of Windows.

There are two boot media types: Simple and Advanced.  The software states Simple boot media is easier to create, but might require your operating system disc to complete.  The Advanced media option creates a Window PE boot disc, which requires downloading additional files.

I attempted to create boot media with the “Simple” option, and was told there was an error creating the boot image.  There was no error code, or anything else I could use to diagnose the issue.

Overall, boot media creation is not as easy in NovaBACKUP as other disk imaging software.  I was unable to resolve the error I encountered, although I created a WinPE boot disc without problems.

Restoring Data

To perform a full system recovery, you first need to create boot media as I previously mentioned.

Once you boot into the recovery DVD, you’ll see the Disaster Recovery screen.  From here, you can access the Tools menu which provides several useful features:

  • Mount backup image to a drive letter
  • Mount ISO file
  • Convert backup image to VHD (Microsoft’s virtual drive format)

NovaBACKUP was able to restore my entire system in just over an hour.

One thing I liked about the recovery process is that the target device is selected automatically.  It makes recovering the hard drive easy, since there’s no need to select partitions.

Other Features

Cloud Backup

There are two default cloud backup providers: one in the U.S., and one in Germany.  The U.S.-based charges a whopping $90/month for 100GB of space.  This is much more expensive than competing online backup services.  On the plus side, they’re HIPAA compliant for use by healthcare providers.  A user also informs me they support data deduplication, which would be useful when backing up multiple machines. pricing

Cloud backup is way too expensive.

NovaBACKUP can also backup to Amazon S3, FTP, and xSP accounts.

Copy and Mirror files

NovaBACKUP includes a tool to copy and mirror files.  It’s very easy to use, and it can be set on a schedule.  There’s also a “bi-directional” copy type which will copy files in both directions on the source and destination.

NovaBACKUP Anti-Virus

This will scan files you backup files for viruses.  If you already have anti-virus software, you can disable this to speed up your backup jobs.

Time Slider

View your backups by time rather than files, so you can select a single point in time to restore.

Machine independent restore

NovaBACKUP can also restore to a computer with different hardware, such as a new motherboard.


Overall, I found NovaStor to be very helpful and thorough in my support tickets.  I was responded to promptly within one business day.  NovaStor offers “NovaCare” phone and email support with their software, for a price of $30 per year.

You can also use their support forums, knowledgebase, documentation, and tutorial videos to get answers to questions.


Version 16 of NovaBACKUP is more buggy than the previous version, at least using my test environment.  I was unable to create a recovery DVD using the default settings, and I couldn’t modify existing jobs.  Differential backups were also extremely slow.

More Screenshots

Product Name NovaBACKUP Professional
Version 16.1
License Shareware
Price $49.95
Operating Systems Window
Backup Types
Files and Folders yes
Full Disk Image yes
Incremental yes
Differential yes
Backup Destinations
Hard Drive yes
Removable Media yes
Network Shares yes
Blu-ray yes
CD/DVD yes
FTP yes
Online Storage yes
Compression yes
Encryption yes
Email Notifications yes
Error Handling yes
File Versioning yes
Priority Setting no
Scheduling yes
Speed Limiting no
Synchronization no

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund is the founder and editor-in-chief of He enjoys attending music festivals, whitewater kayaking on the American River, and board game nights in his free time.

Geoff Akerlund


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@FabacusSuite Just noticed your tweet! I’m not aware of any cloud storage needs specific to manufacturing. I’m open to insight/suggestions. – 2 years ago

  • I actually know Bugamoe via email and asked him to post his review – I assure you he’s a real customer. Thank you for sharing your experience! I know for a fact NovaStor is reading these reviews.

    • John H.

      NovaStor reads these reviews? Great. May they’ll resolve my problem with trying to create a Boot Disc. Worked for six hours on this today without success. Did everything with the Windows 7 AIK ISO file and nothing works yet. No responses yet from NovaStor to any of my Help requests. 7/28/2014. So the jury is out until tomorrow on this product.

      • Hi John. That does sound very frustrating. Let me know how it works out.

  • bruin_bruin

    Good luck with recovery. I spent 3k on the software for multiple servers. We are getting our backups, however whenever I have had to restore…. It takes FOREVER to find a file, I almost always end up using previous versions or another method before I can even find the file on NovaStor, so is it useful? I still don’t know. It’s bad enough that I seeked out a message board this am while waiting, very unhappy with my purchase.
    In the past we used BESR, while it had it’s issues as well, the restore process was actually useable. I am VERY disappointed with the file level restore feature using both the Wizard and the traditional method. I have yet to try a whole system restore. Probably good if you are doing small backups. Ours are 600-700k files within 20-30k folders and NovaStor has a lot of issues with it’s database speed when trying to find a file to restor. If they fix this, it might be better. I am using the latest v15

  • PeteCress

    “*Somewhat* confusing interface ?????

    I would call it a hopelessly-confusing interface.

    To wit:

    – You give a backup a name in Backup | Backup Name, but that name never gets shown anywhere else – like in the schedule

    – Backup | (click “Settings”) | Advanced Settings | Custom Commands | Command(s) to Run Before Backup only allows a single command, not multiple commands as implied by the name “Command(s)” and the navigation menu defaults to .exe every time… which is a PITA to say the least.

    – On the “Backup” tab, there is no “Save” button.

    – Schedule | Scheduled Jobs shows the same name for every job – and it’s different from the name assigned by the user in Backup | Backup Name

    I have been writing applications for 30 years, so it’s not like I’m easily confused – but NovaBackup has me in a state of bewilderment. It just *cannot* be this bad… so I am hoping that I am missing something.

    • sgarcata

      I couldn’t agree more… and there are many more examples. They clearly don’t have a GUI expert on their staff or even anyone who walks through typical Use Cases from the perspective of a user. The DR component appears to have been coded by an entirely different development crew and is even more awkward than that for file backups… for instance, it doesn’t appear possible to set up an image backup job without running it and then it doesn’t show up in the selection list when you want to create a schedule for it… to say nothing of the naming of various components… sometimes “media” sometimes job name… different labels for the same entity on different screens… the only reason I am seriously considering sticking with it is the backup speed which is phenomenal and the quick and knowledgeable support. I also have 30+ years in s/w development and workflow and I am appalled at the user interface design on this product.

  • sgarcata

    I’m amazed that even a very small business has only 2Gb of data to backup. That is less than what my iPhone stores. My email file alone is 4Gb and my data is 100Gb…. so I can’t agree that online storage is not expensive. I am using the latest version: 16.5.1106 and find some bugs, but mostly the user interface is amazingly inconsistent and confusing.

  • gomer0

    My novastor server version 15 stopped backing up a networked NAS harddrive saying incorrect login when the files are completely accessible by the novastor software before the backup.The whole point of buying this software is to backup on the network. WILL NOT BUY AGAIN.

    • Thanks for the comment gomer0. I haven’t tried the server edition (or to backup NAS drives), so that is good to know!

      • gomer0

        Hi. I will rescind this review. I figured out that the windows user name credentials must match the user name of the login credentials for the NAS harddrive. It never needed to be the same before but after a couple months of doing different things, I have resolved this issue. The software is again doing the backups.

        • Thanks for the update. I’m glad you got it resolved.

  • Smurfsof War

    Hands down the WORST piece of backup software we have ever tried. Spent thousands on it to deploy across multiple servers both on and offsite and it has never functioned properly. Service randomly crashes, typically “loses” LTO5 drives, plugins are problematic, and support is brutal. In all, it has cost me money, time and data. If you are looking for a reliable solution, look at something else.

  • Win

    As of 8/2015 (NovaBackup Ver. 17.1) may I second the comments about the difficult user interface?

    It wasn’t too hard to tease out how the menus and pages are organized but what is unforgivable is all the generic error messages.

    For example, it can take two sets of IDs & Passwords (one for the source and one for the backup destination) so a generic “Credentials Failed” message really doesn’t help define the problem.

    We tripped over countless oddities when we tested on two freshly loaded Windows 10 machines and a smoothly running XP machine. The backup target was a 2TB hardwired local freeNAS server.

    After three or four email iterations with a notably competent and responsive NovaStore technical support we realized that the sheer volume of problems would tie up too much time. We were already into our second week and there was no end in sight.

    In that light, we’re in the process of exercising the “30-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked.” option. That too turns out to be a marvelously convoluted process. So far we’ve had to thrash through a form requesting countless bits of minutia including the precise hour and minute when the software was purchased!

    Finally we received a notice saying that our refund is not authorized but depending on NovaStore’s work load we could look forward to the final word in 3-5 days — so much for “no Questions Asked”.

    What drove home the point that NovaBackup isn’t ready yet, was when a colleague installed EaseUS ToDo Backup. Within a day we’d done bare bones restores on all three machines and never had to contact support. [Neither I nor my colleagues have any ties to either vendor mentioned here and it would not be offensive should the moderator decided to delete this paragraph since it implies a recommendation.]

    • No problem at all with users recommending software. Thanks for the comment!

  • gene golub

    Folks, i tried to evaluate novastore backup. Boot cd creation did not work.
    Help screen declared this issue being resolved in a previous version.
    Telephone call to tech support did not go through for 25 min.
    in 2 days tech. recommended to use CD-R, not DWR.
    It did not work either.
    At that point, i lost any trust to the package.

    Does it work or will it work when disaster strikes?
    Who give highest rating to this package and based on what?
    Does company have QA department?

    I was always using symantec backup, ghost – both discontinued.

    Great telephone support 24hr; restored pc 20 – 30 times – not 1 time a problem.

  • Alexander VonDiablo

    My novastor back up caused me a major issue!!!! I made a back up of my storage drives to do some maintenance on them. Those drives had my lifetime work on it, personal documentations, important taxes documents, receipts… basically very important things. After I created a back up file, I double checked the size and double checked if it opens and runs. Did maintenance on my drives, reinstalled windows. Came to restoring the file and boom, it won’t work!!!! It runs for about 30 seconds as it’s recovering and then it just stops and either freezes or just never stops and runs like that forever or just give me a report “Error e001000b: The specified media could not be found. – Job processing failure”. I’ve contacted the support and apparently the company is in Germany and they only have one guy here in US who never got in contact back with me. The support from Germany never resolved anything, but forced me to buy an update on the program and after an update, support just said “Oh well, if file is corrupt, we can’t help you, you should always have an extra back up for youfself”. It’s not even a joke, this program is advertised as #1 rated back up system and its not just that program doesn’t work properly, they also charge you for it and miss-advertise so called “Support team” that doesn’t exist and doesn’t do anything to resolve the problem. I like how they say they will perform teamviewer session to take care of the problem. No matter how many times I requested for it, I never got an actual session. I do have all the emails for the proof if no one believes me!!! This messed me up so badly for my work, personal documents, it’s beyond explanation on how bad this is.

    • Thanks for the comment Alexander. It sounds like their software has really gone downhill lately.

      • Alexander VonDiablo

        I don’t know if it ever was good, but another thing I noticed is that it freezes but not where your window frizes, but the actual process. Example would be is when you add lots of files to back up and it starts the job, it would get stuck in mid way and still show lapsing time but it wouldn’t really move anywhere in progress. You can leave it like this for days and it won’t really do anything. But then you try it over and over again with the same files and sometimes it does similar thing or would back up under 3 mins, backup file will show up as entire weight of the files but when you try to restore it, it won’t restore because it corrupt. I think that’s what happened to my other back up causing me to loose so many important files.

  • Charlie

    This Backup software is absolutely the worst and let’s you down when you most need it. Don’t waste your money as you will need to reload your system and experience data loss. -10 stars if there was a rating that low. Forget the “refund policy”. You won’t get that either.