Personal Backup X4 Does Not Impress

X4 LogoLet me get this off my chess before I go on: don’t waste your money on this program: it is essentially a copy program that pretends to be a backup utility. Now, with that out of the way, I would like to introduce a little background. I have been looking for a backup application to safeguard my iMovies, iTunes, and iDVD collections in addition to other important data. I made a mistake not to try Intego’s Personal Backup X4 (PBX4) before buying it. Instead, I jumped right in and purchase the software based on the reviews that I have read. What a mistake.

Now, this is not a review per se, but just a reflection of my experience using the program. After installing the program, I briefly read some documentation and decided to jump ahead to backup my home folder, which should take about 5 DVD-R’s. I must say that the interface is very easy to learn: I just drop the home folder to the “source” well, then insert a blank DVD and select CD-R/DVD-R for the target. At this point, all I had to do is to click the “Play” (the triangle) button started the backup process–easy enough. The trouble came when PBX4 finished verifying the first disc: it complained that there was some system error and ejected the disc. At this point, I told myself to go on, just to see what would come next. I then inserted another blank DVD-R disc and PBX4 picked up from there, continued with the backup process. When it reached disc number 4, PBX4 choked when filling the disc around 80% and ejected it. Dutifully, I inserted disc number five, PBX4 also ejected at around 80%, so was disc number six. At this point, I aborted the whole process altogether.

Instead of giving up, I thought I could try again, this time with something smaller in size: my 6GB Pictures folder. As with before, PBX4 complained about a system error after verifying disc number one and ejected it. Midway through disc number two (at which time, the source has be exhausted), PBX4 complained about the system error and ejected disc number two. I thought it was odd since we are supposed to finished at this point, but the program patiently waited for disc number three. So I insert the third blank disc and waited to see. To my dismay, PBX4 ejected disc number three halfway through and waited for disc number four. Obviously, backing up 6GB of day only requires two 4.3GB discs, so something was terribly wrong. At this point, I aborted the process one more time.

How about something that fits in one disc? This time, I tried my 200MB Document folder and one DVD-R (I forgot to do the math: a CD-R would provide more than enough space for this purpose). Backup went through without a hitch. To verify the backup, I simulated deleting a couple of files by moving them off the Document folder. Next, I fired up PBX4 and choose restore. At this point, I discover another problem with PBX4: it does not allow selective restore. I could either restore all the files, or none. This is why I claimed PBX4 was just a copy shell instead of a backup utility. That means if I want to restore only a handful of files, I still have to restore everything, which could mean tens of gigabytes, if not hundreds. The good news is PBX4 does not overwrite newer file with an older copy.

Another shortcoming of PBX4 deals with its inability to backup more than one folder at a time. For example, if I want to backup my music, pictures, and movies folders, I have to make three different backups. That is copy, not backup in my book.

In summary, while the program is easy to use, it is just a dumb copy shell and does not worth the $69.95 price tag.

3 thoughts on “Personal Backup X4 Does Not Impress

  1. Pingback: Hai’s Blog

  2. Pingback: Personal Backup X4’s Synchronization Features Disappointed « Hai’s Blog

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