Santa’s Conundrum: Surface Book or MacBook Pro?

Christmas is just around the corner, and every year, the author of this article asks himself the question: “am I getting a new Mac?”

OK, to be honest, the author never got a Mac or PC as a present, be it for Christmas or any other occasion. Beyond that, he wouldn’t necessarily choose a machine like that at all if he still had three wishes left.

But first of all, since no fairy ever came along with three wishes to give (at least not yet), and secondly, that it’s been a few years since the author last believed in Santa Claus and thirdly, that he doesn’t know anybody else who could make such wishes come true, this question is largely irrelevant.

Be that as it may: The hard disk has been making some really strange sounds for a while and the excessively loud fan noise has been getting on the author’s tender nerves for a long time by now. The laptop already has nearly five years under its belt – maybe it really is the right time to start looking for a new one?

An iPad, perhaps, or maybe even one of these hip new Macbook Pros with a touch bar? Or one of the new Microsoft Surface Books or maybe even a Surface Studio all-in-one PC would be a real eye-catcher.

The agony oxmas16_235x425pxf choice, so the saying goes. In this case, it’s also hard to balance out the pros and the cons. In spite of its somewhat higher price, the author tends a bit towards Microsoft’s classy laptop, not least because of its integrated tablet function.

One way or another, something has to be done about clattering hard disk – and quickly. An extra backup can never hurt, and if you pick the right one, you might even be able to restore your hard-earned work environment on the new hardware. If the author chooses a new laptop, then he could use his entire system on the new machine without having to change it – including all of the applications. And since the author earns his daily bread at a software company – one that specializes in data migration, backup and restoration – he naturally took precautions, and with the Paragon Hard Disk Manager, he had the right tool at hand.

If the author decides to get a new Surface or Macbook later on, he won’t have any trouble getting started. With the Hard Disk Manager for Windows or Mac, he can optimize for one operating system or the other, move his existing systems to new hardware, back up his Mac OS as well as his Windows PC, and much more. Observant readers may have already noted that the author feels at home on the Mac as well as with Windows – if not, then it’s clear now.

Switching between the two systems has become second nature to him; so much so that he doesn’t always remember which machine he created which file on. But thanks to Paragon NTFS for Mac drivers, this doesn’t matter much anymore. He can access his files from either world with the greatest of ease.

If this gets anybody to thinking: “It’s so easy to juggle between Mac and Windows? I wish I could do that!” then the Paragon Christmas bundle would be the thing to get. The double-pack offers big savings and, if any new hardware does show up under the tree, then Paragon’s time-tested solutions will be a genuine must-have.


UPDATE: Since the author, in spite of all his efforts, has started to accept that he won’t be getting a pay raise, he ended up deciding against both a Surface a MacBook and opted for a more affordable yet comparably high-performance model from another manufacturer.

UPDATE: The hard disk ended up conking out after all, but thanks to the backup and the right Paragon tools, the author made it through unscathed.

PS: The author also works with a famous Linux distributor, but that’s another story.

Better safe than sorry! Paragon Backup & Recovery 16 is out now!

Pabr16Logoragon Backup & Recovery 16 is an advanced backup and safeguarding software that enables private users to perform complex backup tasks with ease. Thanks to Backup and Recovery 16, there is absolutely no need for deep IT skills or advanced computing knowledge in order to protect files and folders, partitions, disks or even the entire system. Paragon Backup & Recovery makes PC protection child’s play.

Software wizards

Not sure which setting is most suitable? No need to worry! The powerful software wizards of Paragon Backup & Recovery 16 guide users step by step through the backup jungle – and the newly designed UI will clear the path!

Free download for a limited period!
$39,95Free download for a limited period!

Backup Job Wizard

Backup Job Wizard - Backup & Recovery 16
Backup Job Wizard – Backup & Recovery 16

The Backup Job wizard is the ultimate in automated backups. Thanks to intuitive presets, less than 8 clicks are needed to set automated backup jobs for the entire windows system, single files, folders or partitions.
However, advanced users get the full control at their hands and can refine and modify existing strategies or define custom ones.

  • Set-and-forget technology: continuous PC protection without questions
  • All backup technics: including incremental backup, file based backup, differential backup, full backup, backups of particular file types, backup to virtual hard disks…
  • Flexible scheduling: daily, hourly, weekly, monthly and even erratic schedules are possible (e.g. daily, every second week, not on Wednesdays and Fridays)
  • Powerful retention mechanism: automatically deletes older backups. Based on intuitive presets or manual definitions. Backup & Recovery automatically ensures that the most recent backup is always available.
  • Pinned backups: exclude single backups from the retention policy with a single click
  • And many more

Continue reading Better safe than sorry! Paragon Backup & Recovery 16 is out now!

Enabling Hardware Independent Data Security Policy

Paragon Software has a new article available on the popular Disaster Recovery Journal that was written by Sergey Solomatin.

Today, IT specialists have a wide range of options available to make the data security policy more composite and comprehensive. There are many tools and instruments presented for any level of demand on the IT market. Some of them are intended to be simple and convenient, others have to fit well into the larger enterprise infrastructures.

In this article, two important aspects of all-encompassing data security and management plan are described in more detail. First, I would like to discuss a hardware independent system recovery (HIR) and migration to virtual environments options. Even if you decide HIR is not your solution and do not attach much importance to it, HIR enables you to significantly increase a number of possible recovery, data migration and copying scenarios. In the light of the progress of modern virtualization technologies, HIR gets another great value – smooth system transfer between physical and virtual platforms.

Data Imaging and Virtualization

Creation of images is still the best way to get the maximum level of security for any computer data. It is the oldest and the most popular method of data backup. Despite the fact the technology principles are rather classical; the sector imaging continues its progress.

Nowadays, sector images are commonly used to protect important data and system as a whole. They make possible to store full software environments and system copies in one or several files. With the introduction of high-capacity storages in SOHO segment, imaging technologies break the limit of large enterprises sector and are now affordable to any PC user.

Sector imaging evolution yielded such methods and instruments as incremental and differential images, CDP, granular recovery, hot processing and much more. Another important technology is hardware independent restore that is one of this article’s topics.

Data imaging and virtualization intersect in many IT segments. Both of them come from the enterprise market and are now available everywhere, on any platform. Both of them operate by large containers with data. Recent developments have introduced a merging of the two technologies there more and more data management solutions support data imaging and data management in both physical and virtual realms.

Read the entire article on

Tekzilla Talks about NTFS for OS X

When working with media files or documents in Mac, you need access to the high performance of your system regardless if the files are located on the Mac’s HFS+ formatted volume, or in Window’s NT File System. Paragon NTFS for Mac® OS X 8.0 is the only NTFS driver on the market that provides full read/write access to NTFS with the same high speed as native HFS+ files. The built-in “HFS+ for Windows” completes an effective two-way communication channel between Mac® OS X and Windows.

As always, thank you Tekzilla, Patrick Norton and Veronica Belmont for showing our products to your viewers!

How to Perform a Bare-Metal Backup and Recovery (video)

Thanks to the group over at Windows 7 Forums for putting together a great video tutorial on Drive Backup. Windows 7 Forums uses Paragon Backup & Recovery 10 to demonstrate why it is always better to perform a bare-metal backup, as opposed to a live backup using Windows Backup or other products. This demo explains how to perform a bare-metal backup and restore in a two part series.



It’s very exciting for us to see fans creating videos of our products. If you have created a video let us know in the comments section and we may highlight it in a new post or in our Facebook page.

The Top Five Problems of Virtual Server Migrations.

The top five troubles of migration to virtual environments. How to avoid or successfully solve them.

Migration to virtual environments is not always an easy operation. It includes many implicit issues, manipulations and processes, any of them can be incorrect or cause a failure for the entire server. Moreover the whole operation’s success relies on the initial scenario of the system migration.

Evaluations of virtual systems also demands several new approaches as it is significantly different from working with traditional physical machines. The top five issues you may face before, during and after a system migration are
described in this post. Each of them has a solution, but only Paragon Virtualization Manager unites them all.

#1 Changing target virtualization environment

Today you have a wide range of virtualization software (VS) to choose from. Some of them are free and a little reliable; others carry a price tag but have also been tested in large enterprises. It is always better to determine what functionality, security and support level you want from your virtualization vendor before its implementation. One wrong decision may cause significant expenses of both time and money.

But what if you really decided to change your virtualization software vendor? For example you have been disappointed in Microsoft Virtual PC and bought VMware Workstation. What will you do in this case? Or you

have bought a brand new Windows 7 OS alongside with its embedded virtualization environment and want to transfer all data from your Parallels virtual machines? The answers may be several, let’s describe some of them. The first way is most obvious: you just reinstall OS and software from a scratch. Then copy all data by any means. Of course this is the most time consuming solution. The benefit is that you do not need to use any additional utilities. But this scenario can be initially doomed If you do not have software distributives anymore.

The second way is to somehow store your virtualized system into an image and then restore it inside of another virtual machine (virtual machine). Deployment of the whole system with software and data is much faster than the previous scenario, but you have to use an imaging utility. If you chose this way you will need to adapt the recovered system for the new virtual machine environment because different virtualization software emulate different hardware.  Concerning Windows family OS this issue can be crucial as these systems are very hardware-sensitive.

The better choice would be using one solution, which supports reading data from both source and target virtualization software. It also should be system adaptation aware, that is it should automatically tune OS for the new virtual machine hardware.

Paragon Virtualization Manager
has all the needed functionality to accomplish this.

The solution of the problem with Paragon Virtualization Manager is the following:

  • Create the target virtual machine with an empty virtual drive.
  • Attach both source and target virtual disk files to Paragon
    Virtualization Manager with the ConnectVD tool. Paragon Virtualization
    Manager supports VMware Workstation, Microsoft Virtual PC and Sun VirtualBox
    virtual disk formats.
  • Copy all partitions from the source virtual disk to the target one. Thus you will get  the exact clone of your environment in the target virtual machine.
  • Perform target OS adaptation for different hardware with the P2P Adjust tool.

Finally you will get the needed virtual machine with all your software and data.

#2 Repartitioning of a virtualized system

The volumes configuration of your actual physical system before migration may not be appropriate for the virtual environment (VE). For example you may decide to reallocate space between partitions or distribute data to volumes on several virtual disks. Of course you cannot perform all these actions with the source environment itself,  repartitioning should be done inside of virtual machine.

You have several options here, the first one is to install a partitioning utility on the system inside virtual machine and use it for repartitioning. This approach is literally the same as for the physical system with two important moments:
You will have to acquire another license for the program installation (and usage) and set it up on the system, which is not the best choice since this solution is one-time use and will be redundant.

The second approach is to use a bootable media and run the virtual machine from it. You can leverage the utility without its installation but you will be constrained to the limits of the virtual machine. You will not be able to exchange data between disk files of different virtual machines or transfer data directly to the physical one.

Paragon Virtualization Manager is a much more comprehensive solution that is able to perform different repartitioning tasks, and copying and migration scenarios. If you have access to virtual disk files or snapshots you do not need to install the solution or boot the special environment. All you have to do is attach the virtual machine containers (virtual disk files, snapshots) and perform the needed operations. Paragon Virtualization Manager is able to treat data on virtual disks of running virtual machine, but in the read-only mode.

Just attach the needed virtual machine container (or several) with the ConnectVD tool of Paragon Virtualization Manager and you will be able to perform:

  • Create, format, delete volumes;
  • Move/resize partitions;
  • Convert file system;
  • Change cluster size;
  • Change partition ID and other parameters;
  • Merge partitions, redistribute free space;
  • Defragment file system;
  • Copy volumes;
  • Undelete partitions and much more;

Any data operations are easy to perform with Paragon Virtualization Manager. Its broad functional covers nearly all possible data management scenarios and it is all concentrated inside of one handy solution.

#3 Reviving outdated environments as virtual machines

Computer hardware is improving very fast; a high-end computer bought in the past year is a middle-class machine today and become outdated in the next year. So everybody makes upgrades or purchase brand-new systems. But if
you have a well-configured and tuned system with your favorite software you will naturally want to use it after computer upgrade. Unfortunately sometimes differences in the previous hardware and new one make this scenario

The better option is to conserve your old environment inside of virtual machine. And again as in the first scenario you will have to deal with manual or utility-assistant migration process. However you probably have some archives
of your system, thus you become able to make virtual machine directly from such archive copy even if you do not have a physical machine anymore.

You may also have some old images of your system which you want to transfer into virtual environments for future use. virtual machine can be a handy substitute for any archived image as it can be run at any time. Combining all these sources as virtual machine is another task for Paragon Virtualization Manager that it successfully solves.

Paragon Virtualization Manager enables you to revive old environments with Windows OS (versions since Win2K) in a virtual machine with the help of the P2V Adjust tool. You can restore the old archive in a virtual machine by any means and then perform OS adaptation.

Moreover if you previously used other Paragon solutions for system imaging, you can simply convert or .PBF archives into virtual disks of the needed format. Just run the P2V Restore tool and Paragon Virtualization Manager will create
the virtual disk with all your software and data.

#4 Transferring data between virtual machines

Exchange of large amounts of data between several types of virtual environments can be a hard labor. You will have to use some kind of media to connect many virtual machines, which could be rather slow, unreliable and inconvenient. Also you probably will not want to download or install a particular tool to perform a single data transfer between your virtual machine and one you got from a remote source.

For example you need to quickly transfer data from a virtual machine to a brand new virtualized system. You may use a network connection, a flash thumb drive or any other mean, but only if both virtual machine can work with these things.

Paragon Virtualization Manager is the best choice for fast data transfer of large amounts of data between different virtual machines and physical computers. Its ConnectVD tool is able to attach as many virtual disks as you want, then you may do whatever you want with data on them.

Connection of snapshots is another great opportunity as you become able to rapidly copy some data from an old snapshot to the actual virtual machine you work with. Even if you make wrong actions or delete some files – you may simply copy them from the previously created snapshot or the archived image.

#5 Returning back to the physical machine

Deployments to a physical machine from a virtual one is even more difficult than initial migration to virtual (P2V). This is caused by a lack of appropriate solutions for this task on the market as there are only several typical virtual machine hardware configurations for each virtual vendor and the endless number of physical hardware configurations that the software will have to adjust to.

Despite that the issues of deploying to physical machines is not related with migration to virtual environments directly, this is kind of a backward process. You can face it if you made a mistake when chose the virtual vendor or decided to give up virtual implementations. It is also possible that you run a development server in virtual space and then need to transfer the data to a physical server.

The solution depends on what you exactly need to do with the data. It is not very difficult to copy some data from virtual machines to your computer, but a whole environment deployment is a rather complicated task.

As in the first scenario you can reinstall all from a scratch and copy data. The limitations are the same: absence of distributives and time expenses. As in the first scenario you can restore an image of the system, but you will face hardware incompatibility issues and get a non-functional system.

Paragon Virtualization Manager can significantly speed up the whole deployment process. Its tools can help you copy all data from the source virtual machine to a physical HDD and tune up the system.

The solution with Paragon Virtualization Manager is the following:

  • Boot the physical machine with Paragon Virtualization Manager WinPE media. Thus you will be able to use Paragon Virtualization Manager without any actual system installed on the computer.
  • Mount a network share or get access to the source virtual disk drive by any other way.
  • Attach the source virtual disk drive to Paragon Virtualization Manager with the ConnectVD function.
  • Copy all partitions from the virtual disk to physical one.
  • Perform target OS adaptation for the different hardware with P2P Adjust tool.

In the end you will get the physical machine with the needed software environment and data. Process speed depends on the amount of data that needs to be copied.

Paragon Virtualization Manager is able to help you successfully solve many tasks related to migration into virtual environments and virtualized data management. The key opportunity of Paragon Virtualization Manager is that it has comprehensive and diverse functionality inside of one application. Thus you do not need to search and buy different utilities to perform any task.

A Tale About Adaptive Restore

For several years the company has been constantly improving the Adaptive Restore Technology which is intended to solve all issues with dissimilar hardware restore and migration. Its goal is to help you make an operating system functional again after any complex hardware replacement like installing a new motherboard or RAID controller.

The first version of Adaptive Restore supported only Vista and Windows 2008 operating systems due to use of a very simple adaptation algorithm. In short: because of the fact that these OS’s have many hardware drivers on board but in the inactive state the program just only activated them during adaptation assuming that it will make an OS bootable. There was not any possibility to add third-party drivers. The lack of this approach was obvious: some important drivers may not be found or adaptation should affect deep system layers. So the next version of Adaptive Restore was able to change OS core settings and install any additional drivers.

After several revisions Adaptive Restore become what it is now, a complicated technology with many background manipulations.

What makes Adaptive Restore Tick

Basically there are two main operations. First of all the program adjusts the OS kernel including proper HAL selection. Secondly the program installs any additional drivers. Now Adaptive Restore supports modern Vista, Windows 2008, Windows 7 operating systems alongside with deprecated Windows 2000 and going out of date Windows XP/Windows 2003.

Adaptive Restore is intended to be both simple and comprehensive. It usually doesn’t demand special attention or manual actions during the operation set up, but informs you about any hardware without properly installed drivers. Inexperienced users can completely rely on the internal Adaptive Restore algorithm during the operation when others, who feels themselves skilled enough, are able to change Adaptive Restore behavior.

If you choose a simple scenario you will need only to pass a path to the drivers’ repository in the program. There is no limit to amount of these repositories; the program will scan them all while searching for appropriate drivers. If the program fails it will ask you to provide a path to another repository. The lack of this scenario is that you cannot control which driver will be actually installed.

A long but detailed and interesting way to bring your system back on rails is to use the advanced Adaptive Restore scenario. In this case the program will provide you with additional Adaptive Restore parameters and tuning. First of all in this scenario you can see all the information about the hardware which drivers have to be installed for in an easy to understand manner with device names. Continue reading A Tale About Adaptive Restore

Partition Manager 11 – A Data Center’s Best Friend

Paragon is about to release the latest version of Partition Manager and has built in technologies that have again made this product the leader in server optimization. Any server environment can use a tool like Partition Manager. The real power of the software can be seen when used in a data center. Partition Manager’s ability to redistribute free space across a large storage environment is a cost saving beast. Just ask RackSpace.

With this new release we are also introducing a virtual edition of the product that is ideal for companies using virtual machines to run applications and virtual storage space. We are going to be holding a webinar on Partition Manager 11. Register at the bottom of this post.

10 licenses of Partition Manager 11 Server will be given away to some lucky attendees.

Maximize performance of physical Windows® Server!

Partition Manager 11 Server includes all the functionality to maximize the use of storage while minimizing downtime and the required technical applications used when optimizing and administering a physical Windows Server.
· Partition alignment to boost performance of storage
· Drive re-partitioning and system optimization
· Comprehensive bootable environments
· Backup and disaster recovery options
· Disk Editor and Boot Corrector…

PM for Virtual Server
Manage hosts running virtual Windows® environments!

Partition Manager for Virtual Server bundles Partition Manager Server and Virtualization Manager to provide a cost-effective storage management for virtual machines that run on a single physical host

* License per physical system hosting up to 99 virtual machines
* Management of virtual machines
* Partition alignment to boost performance of storage
* P2V, V2V, V2P, and P2P migration for Windows OS
* Exclusive system reconfiguration and disaster recovery tools…

Continue reading Partition Manager 11 – A Data Center’s Best Friend

Adaptive Restore Week

About two weeks ago I had a computer crash. Not just a bad virus or other corruption but my PC gave me the dreaded blue screen of death and nothing I seemed to do was going to bring my PC back from the dead. I had a recent backup image of my computer. I was using Drive Backup scheduled for an image on a weekly basis but that alone wasn’t going to help since I was going to need a completely new computer to replace the one that was fried. Granted it was time to buy a new computer, the one that died was on it’s last leg and was over 3 years old.

I ordered a new PC online and when it was delivered I wanted all of my old data to be on the new machine. I was sure that our product had functionality to do this but wasn’t exactly sure how it worked or how difficult it would be since I was now using a completely new set of hardware. I asked my favorite Tech Support rep how hard it would be to restore my computer on the new hardware and he just about  laughed at me. He explained that with Paragons Adaptive Restore, I could restore my backup image onto ANY computer and it would be just as easy as running a regular restore with one minor adjustment. Adaptive Restore would do the rest automatically. Continue reading Adaptive Restore Week

How to Search your iPod for Music and Video with Paragon HFS+ for Windows

Search your iPod for Music and Video with Paragon HFS+ for Windows.

If you have an iPod you may probably know that it contains all your music inside some sly hidden folders. And when you attach your iPod (excluding Touch models) to the system it can be seen as a simply Removable Flash Drive. It’s not a secret.

In case you use iPod with iTunes under Windows, its internal volume is FAT32 formatted. This file system is native for any Windows OS. So you can simply check it contents for special folders and music and do whatever you want with them. There is no any special issue.

But things are getting worse if your iPod was configured and synchronized with iTunes under Mac. In this case in Windows you’ll see just another RAW volume, which contents you cannot access.

Paragon HFS+ for Windows driver can solve this problem. Let’s see how it can help you.

After driver installation it becomes deeply embedded to the operating system. If there were any HFS+ volumes on internal hard drives, they become visible and accessible also. Any newly attached media with HFS+ partitions will be mounted automatically. So there are no special actions from your side.

As a Mac configured iPod contains the HFS+ volume with the help of the driver you become able to manage all data inside your player: music, video, files. As if it was synchronized under Windows.

Just plug your iPod in. Reject iTunes formatting proposal.

And manage all your files inside player storage, no matter where it was synchronized. You don’t need to bother what exactly file system it has. And don’t forget to safely unplug your player.

Moreover there are benefits from using your iPod with HFS+ internal file system even if you don’t have a Mac. HFS+ has several advantages over default FAT32. For example HFS+ isn’t affected by file fragmentation, which is a curse of FAT32. If you frequently modify your media library in your player with FAT32, write and change files, after some time your iPod will suffer a performance loss because of a large file fragmentation. HFS+ stores files differently and do not yield file fragments.

Also HFS+ is faster than FAT32 if you need to access to single files inside your player. So you will get a speed boost during file copying and synchronization.

The one limitation for using an iPod with HFS+ is that you cannot use the traditional iTunes player for music and video synchronization and playback. However this issue is solved very simply as there are many third-party players in the Internet.