Paragon Hard Disk Manager gets better each year. So, it’s no surprise when it keeps getting our Editor’s Choice award as the best disk management utility available year after year. Since all we really require from disk management utilities are industry-standard features and reliability at all time, software like this brings these in a fast and convenient way. At just $99.95, Paragon Hard Disk Manager 15 will be use to manage all your hard disks with a minimum of anxiety and fuss compared to its competitors which sometimes leave you with inaccessible data.
Basic and Advanced Features
Paragon’s basic features include basic partitioning and all that come along like resizing a partition or copying a one hard drive to another, coping disks to “virtual disks” or manage Windows-Server-style Hyper-V virtual machines and through disk-wiping functions that use high-security erasing methods. As for complex operation with potentially high data lost risk, these are properly handled through well-designed wizards that anticipate your likely choices but give you the ability to configure the app’s functions.
Creating a windows or based bootable USB or CD drive for emergency use as well as copying or managing your system disk is done with a Recovery Media Builder feature. With this you will be able to manage your system disk in ways that can’t be done when you’ve booted into your usual system. I recommend you take time to build and test the recovery drive directly after installation to get a clue of this amazing feature.
Extracting files from physical or virtual disk is especially useful when you can’t boot to your usual system but you can use the emergency drive to copy files you need, all these are provided through a Volume Explorer. Plus, you get a well-designed wizard to copy an existing physical system to a virtual “guest” system for use either with Hyper-V (2008 or 2012 versions), Oracle VirtualBox, Microsoft Virtual PC, or VMware Workstation or Fusion on the “host” system.
Microsoft’s Hyper-V and VMware provide similar services, but I think Paragon’s wizard is easier to use and has a wider range of options.
Primarily, this app saves virtual-disk backup images to Paragon’s virtual disk format, but you could also decide to save as a Hyper-V, VirtualBox, or VMware formats. The latest version provide the option to back up only media files, mail messages, or other documents to virtual-disk format for easy read-only access when ever needed. Backing up to Paragon’s format was done with ease. As for the disk image backups, it is preferable to go with the long-proven reliability of StorageCraft’s ShadowProtect Desktop which is our Editors’ Choice in disk-imaging software.
Proprietary features provided such as an optional boot manager that supports up to sixteen different OSes should probably be used only in special situations. Windows users will prefer Windows’ elegant built-in boot manager, and Linux users will prefer the low-frills GRUB 2 manager (which can also manage mixed Linux-Windows systems), but Paragon’s alternative seems (in my very limited testing) reliable and efficient.
I personally used the software to copy a drive to one of the SSDs with some free space. The operation was successful even when I did a similar one on desktop. The expected time value kept changing from left to right like crazy but that was not an issue since I am use to not believing those forecast when using disk utilities.
I did some partition resizing on my desktop system. The app did most of the job after my PC’s reboot and the results were flawless.
The latest version of Paragon has a lot of improvements as compared to the earlier versions. The interface looks more Windows 8-like with flatter icons and toolbars. In terms of feature, advanced users will love the virtual-disk export wizard that converts virtual disks from one format to another i.e. converting from Microsoft Virtual PC format to VMware or Hyper-V. Another new feature wipes solid-state disks with a new algorithm designed specifically for SSDs. The latest version also has an option to create a recovery disk that doesn’t try to connect all the time which is way less annoying that the previous where you had to click no endlessly.
Over the years, I have tried lots of disk-management software from other vendors like Acronis and much more. I must say I’ve never had a serious problem with Paragon Hard Disk Manager Professional. Now, with the new Version 15 out! I think it is the best Windows hard disk management utility out there.