Inquiry regarding imaging applications, such as, Acronis & Shadow Protect

Good morning everyone,

I have been reviewing a couple of imaging applications, specifically, Acronis & Shadow Protect. They both appear to do essentially the same things. The only major difference I see is in the cost. Acronis costs $49.99 (without any add-ons) & Shadow Protect is something like $89.99.

I'm solely interested in being able to create a bootable USB flash drive & image backup of my operating system, in the event this XP Pro becomes unbootable (due to old age, like me, or possibly a malware infection). Also, I'd like the application to be as simple-to-use & user friendly as possible. (I'm certainly no technical genius). Don't need a lot of bells & whistles.

My question(s):1. Are these programs easy to use?
2. Is there any significant difference between Acronis & Shadow Protect...other than the price?

Thank you for your time and any info! :smile:

Mak 2.0

Staff member
Well you would have to ask people that use such products to know if they are easy to use. I highly doubt anyone on this site has personally used these products to be able to answer your questions. We use alternatives to what you suggest.

Things like CloneZilla and FOG do the same thing but are completely free to use. Add into that the option EasyBCD has to make a USB Flash Drive bootable and we have spent no money to do exactly what you want for a cost.

Since you are looking for specific information on a specific set of products, you will best be served going to Acrnois' website and checking their forums. We are not associated with them in anyway and as already said, we dont use their products often. We cant answer what we dont know.
I appreciate the feedback, Mak 2.0!


Super Moderator
Staff member
I've used Acronis. Its a solid product. The disc you get is bootable or you can create a bootable disc if you download it. Its also got a version you install in Windows to do backups in the background. You can password protect the backup images, compress, do incremental and differential, add notes if you do a lot of backups to keep track of them, image (copy) an entire disk or just a few folders, etc. If you dual boot with Linux I would recommend looking at the other alternatives listed above. Acronis can backup a Linux partition, but it can only make a raw image meaning it copies every sector including the ones not in use. Some other cons on the product is sometimes it gets stuck on file permission errors while copying and it can be rather slow depending on what you are backing up. Backup images can get corrupted due to this however there is an option if you don't mind waiting longer that you can select to have Acronis verify the image after it is created. With the alternatives above you won't be able to install a version that runs in the background and bootable version doesn't have a nice GUI to work in so its good to compare each of them to see what will fit your needs.
I appreciate the detailed information, Justin!