The Clickfree Transformer comes in a 23x4x2cm box with the lead ending in the dongle in it, there is a tiny lable attached with the three connection steps attached that’s all. The back of the box repeats these three steps and adds the system requirements of a Windows Vista, XP or 2000 computer with USB port and 100MB of free hard disc space.
I had a small 20GB USB drive doing nothing so this was formatted and called into use. If I did the same backup as before I would use around 2GB more than the space available, it told me so very quickly and I removed some Video files. If you look at My Computer you will see two new entries the first Clickfree and the second your external drive both have the green Clickfree logo.
The unit comprises a 20cm USB lead with what looks like a large memory stick on one end this accepts the lead from your hard disk. You plug the other end into a USB port on your PC and a few seconds later the front screen of Clickfree opens up. If you have not yet connected your hard disc to the dongle do so now. If you do nothing else a backup of all file types it has selected takes place. Press the options button and you can remove those you do not want and even add file types under ‘other’ if you have some extra types you want included. Exit out and the countdown continues and that’s it.
This test machine has only USB 1.1 ports but does have a very complex folder structure so I always choose it as it gives a good workout to such software. The screen has two bars the first denoting total progress and the second the current file. Some may look strange as the screen only shows the last seven letters and the extension, on small files they just flash up on the screen but large files take a while to transfer and looking at something like …ntpre07.dbx may mean little but it is saving the sentpre07.dbx file.
The first backup took 65minutes (remember it is USB1.1 on this PC) and I backed up 5652 photos, 181 music files, 73 email files (this is confusing as that is the number of folders containing multiple files), 2186 text documents, 25 artwork and drawings, 506 favourite websites and 65 other files. A total of 14780MB. The next backup eight days later took 5minutes and found a total of 80 new or changed items.
With the first review I concentrated on the backups ands space prevented me covering what is perhaps far more important the restoring of files. You will see an option to restore at the bottom of the application window and once you click on it you see a window with four tabs, Restore Summary, Browse Files, Search Files and View Photos.
The Restore Summery allows you to click a box from one of the categories to see what files in that category are available; each by default has a tick beside it. In the case of a file accidentally changed or deleted use the unselect option and then just click that one. Browse Files shows the Backup name and then the drives it has backed up, this works in the opposite way with nothing ticked you work through the folder structure and then when you get to the folder with files you may want just click those required. Search Files has three possible criteria file type, file date and file name and this then searches the whole backup for items that fit. The last option View Photos shows a good sized thumbnail of all the photos stored just tick the ones you want and then they are restored.
Above are the ways you hope you do a file restore of course the other way is a total restore the one we hope we never need as this means there has been a very nasty problem.
Both the hard disc option or the Transformer option have the same great software and surely even for the person having several PC’s it is simply the easiest and safest backup around.
Doing my Internet searches found the Clickfree Transformer at a best price of £49.99 including free delivery from the first link below.
The Clickfree Transformer is available for $39.63 including delivery from Amazon on the first link below.
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