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 Review, Stomp BackUp MyPC
By: Robert Kropiewnicki, January 30, 2003  Print this article



I realize some of you may have blinked, if not stared in shock, when I mentioned that I would be using a USB CD writer for the purposes of this review. Why on earth would I use such a slow device (it burns CD-R's at a whopping 4x) when much faster devices are available. My reasoning was pretty simple, actually. Despite the fact that CD-R drives have really come down in price, I can't assume that everyone has a high end unit. Some of you out there probably have a first generation CD-R drive that you never saw a reason to upgrade and are probably curious if this is a viable solution for you. As for the rest of you, well, your backup and restore speeds should only improve upon what you see here.

To test the backup, I selected 50 MB worth of files from my C: drive to copy to a CD-R. It was during the selection process that I had two minor complaints with the software.

The first complaint is that it does not show you a running total of file numbers and sizes as you select the files and directories to backup. That information is available from the View pull down menu under Selection Information but should that really be necessary? I consider it something that should be remedied in a future version.

My second complaint has to do with the file selection window. As I had mentioned earlier, I think part of the ease of use of an application is at least partially determined by how much clicking a person has to do to complete a task in said application. Thus I was not thrilled to find that, at least when installed on Windows 2000 SP2, the My Documents folder does not appear as available when looking through things on the desktop to select for backup. To backup My Documents, I had to go through the file menu to find the appropriate directory. Considering this is the default location to which many apps save their files, I would have thought the ability to locate My Documents by selecting Desktop would be a no-brainer. I don't know if this holds true for Windows 9x/ME so your mileage may vary.

That said, I was happy with the speed at which Backup MyPC backed up my files given the hardware it used. It took 3 minutes for Backup MyPC to backup and verify 48 files of varying sizes totalling 53 MB. Assuming for a moment that the backup time would increase in a relatively linear fashion with the total backup size, it comes out to about an hour to backup 1 GB of data. That's not too shabby for a CD-R writer copying at 4x.

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