DriveImage XML v2.60

A Full Review of DriveImage XML, a Free Backup Software Program

DriveImage XML is free backup software that can backup an entire hard drive to an image file.

You can also use DriveImage XML to backup, or clone, one hard drive directly to another as well as schedule a backup of the system partition.

This review is of DriveImage XML v2.60. Please let me know if there's a newer version I need to review.

DriveImage XML: Methods, Sources, & Destinations

DriveImage XML backup progress

The types of backup supported, as well as what on your computer can be selected for backup and where it can be backed up to, are the most important aspects to consider when choosing a backup software program. Here's that information for DriveImage XML:

Supported Backup Methods:

DriveImage XML only supports full backup.

Supported Backup Sources:

Full hard drives can be backed up with DriveImage XML.

Supported Backup Destinations:

A backup image made with DriveImage XML can be stored on a local hard drive, network folder, or external hard drive.

More About DriveImage XML

  • DriveImage XML can be used on Windows 10 through Windows XP, as well as with Windows Server 2003
  • Backup one hard drive to another without creating an image file
  • Create a backup of the system partition
  • Backups create a single XML file and DAT file
  • Automatic backups can be scheduled using the Windows Task Scheduler utility
  • Can choose split a backup into files that are less than 4 GB each
  • Option to compress a backup
  • A Live CD can be downloaded to restore the system partition
  • Optionally backup unused space in addition to used space for a full, exact copy of the source
  • Can lock a volume from being accessed by other processes so a backup can be built
  • DriveImage XML can use Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) if locking a volume fails
  • Requires you to confirm a volume restore by typing out the drive and partition name
  • Can browse through a backup using DriveImage XML to search and extract out specific data

My Thoughts on DriveImage XML

DriveImage XML isn't full of features like similar backup software, but it's useful for what it is able to do.

What I Like:

Although scheduling isn't the easiest task to perform in DriveImage XML, it's great that you can schedule a backup of any hard drive, including the one with Windows installed.

I also like that there aren't tons of settings. Sometimes a lack of settings is good to keep things clear and concise, and DriveImage XML does that fairly well.

What I Don't Like:

A major problem I have with DriveImage XML is that it's unable to restore a backup image to a hard drive if it's smaller than the original source drive. This means even if the data itself is able to fit on the destination drive, but the destination drive isn't identical or larger in size, DriveImage XML will not let the data be restored.

Also, when walking through the backup wizard, DriveImage XML doesn't show any confirmation screens or warnings that a backup will begin when you click on. It seems as if you start a backup without actually confirming it, which can be frustrating.

The backup process begins after clicking Next on the second screen titled Backup.

The compression settings aren't very specific in regards to how well the backup will be compressed. Fast compression works quicker but does less at actually compressing the data, while good compression does the best at saving on storage usage.

DriveImage XML also can not password protect a backup, which is an important feature that most backup programs allow.