[Review] Keriver Image

{rw_text}Giveaway of the day for September 22, 2009 is:

Keriver Image

Version reviewed:

v4.1 Build 2694403030

System Requirements:

Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/Win7

Software description as per GOTD:

Make an exact backup of your hard disk for restoration in the event of a system failure.As a backup program for disaster recovery, Keriver Image is simple and efficient. If your disk or partition is no longer accessible due to corruption of the disk’s file system or operating system, and you previously created a disk image or partition image file, you can use that image file to restore the entire disk or partition. If the disk is physically damaged, you can use the image file to restore the entire disk.

As a backup program for file recovery, Keriver Image is quick and to the point. If you lose a file which does not have a backup, your previously created disk or partition image can be used with Keriver Image Explorer to extract just the file you need from within the image file.

————————-{/rw_text} –>

{rw_good}

  • Can do full, incremental, and differential backups.
  • Has a built in scheduler to schedule automatic backups.
  • Can create backups to local computer (different partition/hard disk), network location, or external media.
  • Can split up backup images.
  • Can create bootable/recovery disk (CD/DVD).
  • Can create bootable/recovery USB/flash drive.
  • Can restore image to different hard drive (?).
  • Can mount and explore images to do selective file restore.
  • Can verify image backup integrity.
  • Does fairly good compression.

{/rw_good} –>

{rw_bad}

  • Uses up a lot of CPU while creating backup (95%+).
  • Creates backups very slowly considering how much CPU it uses.
  • No password protection feature for backup images.
  • How to restore images can be a little confusing.
  • Simplistic in terms of features when compared to rival commercial (image) backup software.

{/rw_bad} –>

{rw_score}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”9″}Fairly easy to use. The only reason I give this a 9 instead of a 10 is because restoring an image can be initially confusing considering you can’t do it from within the program – it must be from a recovery CD/USB.
{/for}
{for=”Performance” value=”6″}While compression is good, Keriver Image uses up a lot of CPU while creating backups and creates backups pretty slowly considering how much CPU it uses.
{/for}
{for=”Usefulness” value=”10″}Everyone needs to backup. Everyone should backup.
{/for}
{for=”Arbitrary Equalizer” value=”7″}This category reflects an arbitrary number that does not specifically stand for anything. Rather this number is used to reflect my overall rating/verdict of the program in which I considered all the features and free alternatives.
{/for}
{/rw_score} –>

{rw_verdict}[tup]
{/rw_verdict} –>

Keriver Image is an image backup software. If you don’t know the difference between image backup software and file backup software I suggest you read my post “Why are there so many backup programs out there? Don’t they all do the same thing? No!”.

In terms of features, Keriver Image backup falls below most rival commercial image backup software but just slightly above free image backup software; Keriver Image provides the basics: full, incremental, and differential backups, creation of bootable/recovery disks and USB, backup scheduler, selective restore of files by mounting and exploring images, and error-checking for backup image integrity. The most notable feature of Keriver Image is the native support to create bootable/recovery USB; other than that everything is pretty below par for a commercial solution.

That being said, the developer of Keriver Image has a handful of downloadable tutorial videos describing how to use Keriver Image. I uploaded them onto YouTube to make it easy for dotTechies to view:

Create Image

Explore Image (for selective file restore)

Restore Backup Image (Partition)

Restore Backup Image (Hard Drive)

Create Boot Disk

NOTE: Although the video does not show it, you can also create a bootable/recovery USB/flash drive in addition the the bootable/recovery disks and ISOs. You can access the recovery builder by going to Start Menu -> Keriver -> Recovery Media Builder.

Use Boot Disk

The only two main features the videos don’t address is the backup image file integrity check (checks to make sure the image backup has not been corrupted) and the scheduler (scheduler allows you to schedule backing up tasks) all both which are straightforward anyway.

Three other things I would like to point out:

  1. How to restore an image backup is a little confusing. You cannot restore image backups from within Keriver Image itself. You must use the bootable/recovery disk or USB/flash drive to restore an image backup. I was thinking about labeling this a “con” considering you shouldn’t need to boot out of Windows to restore a side partition (of course for your main partition you would need to boot out of Windows for any program) but decided restoring backups from outside of Windows is best anyway so what the heck. Following that same train of thought please do not worry about “Keriver Image is a commercial backup software so if my computer crashes or I uninstall Keriver Image I won’t be able to restore my backup”. You will be able to restore your backup as long as you keep your bootable/recovery disk or USB/flash drive safe. You can also always download the 15 day free and fully functional trial to recreated the bootable/recovery disk or USB/flash drive if need be.
  2. Not only does Keriver Image allow you to create bootable/recovery CD/DVD but it also has native support to create a bootable/recovery USB. This is really nice, and a feature that all image backup software should have, considering netbooks are continually gaining popularity and many netbooks don’t have a CD drive (i.e. so they need to use a USB). Of course with other image backup software, many of them allow you to create ISOs of their bootable/recovery disk and you can google how to turn that ISO into a bootable/recovery USB, so it is not like Keriver Image is the only software you can create a bootable/recovery USB for. However having native support for it is great.
  3. Although the developer does not specifically state this, reading the description of the software on the developers website (“If the disk is physically damaged, you can use the image file to restore the entire disk or any backed-up partition to a working hard disk.“) I believe Keriver Image can restore backups to hard drives which the backup was not originally created for.

That being said, since the videos pretty much cover my usual run down of the software and I discussed what I thought the video missed, I will go onto to discuss performance and give my comments.

The performance of Keriver Image is a mixed bag. It took me 3 minutes and 58 seconds to backup a 4.88 GB (4.74 GB used) partition; I set it to maximum compression. The end image file was 4.20 GB in size. Keriver Image used 95%+ CPU and ~192 MB of RAM while it was performing the backup. Now using 95%+ CPU itself is a con considering EASEUS Todo Backup and Macrium Reflect Free did the same backups using around 10-20% CPU; what makes it worse is even with that high CPU usage it still takes almost 4 minutes to create the backup (EASEUS Todo Backup and Macrium Reflect Free took 4 minutes 9 seconds and 5 minutes 2 seconds respectively). In my opinion, since it IS a backup software, it was doing good compression, and it is best if you don’t use your computer while creating a backup (although not necessary), the high CPU usage is forgivable. However if Keriver Image is going to use that much CPU, it should at least work faster; 3 minutes 58 seconds is too long for a program that locks up my computer by using up all the CPU.

On the bright side, the Keriver Image has fairly good compression (so all that CPU usage is not a complete waste). The partition I backed up included lots of text and image files, so a backup image file which is .54 GB less than the partition it backed up is pretty nice. To make it even better the compression was better than EASEUS Todo Backup (4.74 GB) and Macrium Reflect Free (4.34 GB) both (I set EASEUS Todo Backup and Macrium Reflect Free both to maximum compression also).

Furthermore, as I already mentioned, Keriver Image is very simplistic in terms of features when compared to other rival commercial image backup software. Compare Keriver Image (normal price of $29.90) to Acronis True Image Home Edition 2009 ($29.99 from Newegg) and you will know what I mean. Granted others are more expensive, but compare it to others to get a better idea of what I mean, such as Acronis True Image Home Edition 2010 ($49.99) or Paragon Hard Drive Backup Personal ($39.95) or [insert other software here].

Overall, however, I think Keriver Image deserves a thumbs up. Considering it is a commercial image backup software, the developer should really look at some of the things I mentioned but in general it does what it claims so I give it a thumbs up.

This review was conducted on a laptop running Windows 7 Professional 32-bit. The specs of the laptop are as follows: 3GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 2600 512MB graphics card, and an Intel T8300 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

{rw_freea}

EASEUS Todo Backup

Macrium Reflect Free

Seagate DiscWizard

Acronis True Image WD Edition

DriveImage XML

Clonezilla

{/rw_freea} –>

{rw_verdict2}Keriver Image is good for what it does so I give it a thumbs up. However it has definite concerns the developer needs to address mainly in the area of features and CPU usage considering it is a commercial application. That being said my recommendation for today is as follows. If you own a Seagate or Western Digital hard drive, consider getting Seagate DiscWizard or Acronis True Image WD Edition. When deciding if you should get them or not keep in mind they are the only free alternatives mentioned above which are easy to use and offer full, incremental, and differential backup but at the same time they are only meant for the specific brand of hard drives so you may or may not be able to restore the images to other branded hard drive if your hard drive crashes (I never tested it so I don’t know). For everyone else, and those Seagate and WD users who don’t want to get the Acronis apps, my recommendation is Macrium Reflect Free or EASEUS Todo Backup – both are excellent programs and very easy to use. In a head to head, I recommend Macirum Reflect Free over EASEUS Todo Backup because it is a more mature program (EASEUS Todo Backup is fairly new) but as of right now Macrium Reflect Free does not have the ability to restore images to other hard drives (hard drives the images were not created for) while EASEUS Todo Backup does. So weigh your options, think about if you need that extra feature of restoring to other hard drives right now or if you can wait, then make your pick. I personally use Macrium Reflect Free (even though I can get Seagate DiscWizard I feel Macrium Reflect Free is superior bar the lack of incremental and differential backups) and am waiting for the restoring to other hard drives feature to come (it comes in v5).
{/rw_verdict2} –>

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17 comments

  1. Richard

    Hi Ashraf,

    I successfully created backed up my c:/ drive onto an external USB drive and validated the integrity of the 17 *.ego files that were generated.

    But when I went to create DVD bootup disk I couldn’t change directories to show where these *.ego files are located. I guess what I get is just a bootup disk without any of the real content of c drive.

    Am I now supposed to burn these 17 ego images to DVD disks, one by one (each image is just slightly over 4 gb, so will fit easily on DVD’s), and if I ever had to restore, just feed them in, sequentially, 1-17, after I use the bootup disk?

    The help files don’t make that absolutely clear.

    Thanks Ashraf, BTW, I really appreciate your reviews!

    Richard

  2. Sunny

    @KnowItAll:

    Well now, you’ve named yourself most appropriately. Full of assumptions and presumptions as are all Knowitalls.

    Ashraf is a source of ongoing help to others and his efforts are appreciated by many.

    Stop interviewing your typewriter and get your facts straight before tossing around venomous misperceptions about someone you know nothing about.

    No wonder GOTD won’t have a bar of you. They recognise you for what you are.

    Get a life, and grow up.

  3. KnowItAll

    @Ashraf: I expected you to avoid the question…and you did!

    I acknowledge that what you are doing may be legal, in that there is no Law saying you cannot…However, there are more honest ways to make some quick cash!

    Instead of simply Copy-Paste from other web sites, why don’t you try writing an actual review? Is it because you expect people to click on your Google ads and give you “get rich quick” income for doing nothing?

    Why is it that GOTD avoids answering questions about your “business” relationship? and Why is it that you suggest your actions are justified by offering an off the cuff (and hollow) gesture of a charity donation?

    Maybe if you got out of bed with GOTD and GOTD stopped the blantant favoritism, you might avoid the hard and valid questions!

  4. KnowItAll

    I have asked GOTD…But they are to gutless to answer or post my question…

    Do you pay GOTD to promote your get-rich-quick scam site? Or is it just out of the kindness of thier hearts that they allow you to?

  5. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Everyone: You are welcome.

    @Dinker Rao: There is only one download for both. That one download contains 32-bit and 64-bit versions:

    Note: This installation file contains the 32 and 64 bit versions of Macrium Reflect. The correct version will be automatically installed.

  6. Keyur

    Hi Ashraf. I don’t know about this program but Macrium reflect works perfect. I tested Macrium reflect on my vista 64 bit system and it worked fine. Created backup image without any error and then using it’s linux based rescue disc I successfully restored that image. So I trust Macrium and may be don’t need any other image backup program. I appreciate your effort of testing softwares and publishing about it. your reviews are always useful.
    Thank you.

  7. Scott Davis

    Ashraf, I’d like to use this lull in your usually overactive postings to comment on your efforts. Professional, thorough, eminently useful, and often entertaining. Your completeness and fair-mindedness are to be admired in the review world. I suspect you are good-looking and have a great tenor barbershop voice as well. Thank you, sir. Your efforts are appreciated far more than you can know.

  8. howard

    Hi,

    First, thanks for all of your reviews. They are very important to me.

    Then, here is a suggestion:

    When you list the free alternatives for backup, could you indicate if the listed software is image or file based? (Maybe in parentheses.)

    Again, thanks for all your reviews!

    hw

  9. PeterB

    Hi Ashraf.
    Thanks for the nice video’s and review :)

    Im letting this go, because i think it is strange that you have to use a recoverydcd to recover a nonbooting hd.
    but most of all, because you can’t back up the bootsector and MBR directly. I noticed in your restore video that you had the opportunity to “make this partition bootable”. It sounds like it just write a new one.
    My pc dualboots from different HD’s, so I aint going to wait and see if this works. i’ll stick to my paragon drive backup.

    PeterB