MiniTool ShadowMaker Review: The Next Generation Backup System

MiniTool ShadowMaker

Nowadays, we can’t predict the life of the hard drive integrated with your PC or laptop. Sometimes, the hard drive works well for a long time but there are cases where the drive fails to work properly. What happens if your laptop crashes all of a sudden? Have you ever wondered about the files, emails, and documents you lost? The time you spent to create documents are all lost unless you have a reliable backup solution in place. Even though you can copy all the files to an external hard drive, you can perform the backup related tasks simply by using popular tools such as MiniTool ShadowMaker Free. We have been using the product for the past several days. In this review, we will share the features included with MiniTool ShadowMaker with special reference to the working and usage. Towards the end of this article, we will examine whether MiniTool ShadowMaker Free can be trusted or not.

MiniTool ShadowMaker Free Features

The MiniTool ShadowMaker provides an ability to backup operating system, files, folders, disks including partitions. The latest version includes support for file synchronization alongside improvement of overall backup efficiency. You can add Network to backup destination path and also resolved an issue associated with restoration of the file. It is possible to synchronize the file to other locations, which will help you to retrieve the content easily. The tool also restores the system to the previous state when there is a requirement. With the help of the WinPE Bootable Media Builder, you can create a bootable media and restore the operating system to the previous state effortlessly. The scheduling functionality helps you to perform backup of the file contents regularly without any manual intervention. The addition of incremental backup is of great help since the module will delete the previously created backup images and retain the latest version.

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Installation

The installation of MiniTool ShadowMaker is simple. You just need to download the installer, which gives you access to 30 days trial version. You should provide the license key if you have purchased the software tool. The software will automatically display the user interface after the competition of the installation.

MiniTool ShadowMaker Free Working

To work with MiniTool ShadowMaker, you should double click the desktop icon named “MiniTool ShadowMaker”. If you view permissions dialog box, you should select Yes to proceed. The tool will prompt you to pick a location for the management of backups.

MiniTool ShadowMaker

You can either select your local system or provide the IP address of a remote server. After selection, click the “Connect” button to proceed further. You will view a user interface with several options as shown below

MiniTool ShadowMaker

You can start the backup creation by selecting “SET UP BACKUP” button. The dashboard displays source and destination. The source panel displays disk and partition with a total capacity in GB. You can either select Disk option or Folders option depending upon the requirements. If you select Disk option, you will view a dialog with the details of your hard drive. The folders and Files option will display a dialog box and you have to manually select a folder for backup. This option will be useful if you would like to back up select folders inside your hard drive. We selected the relevant folders and clocked the OK button. The Source section will display the total capacity of the selected folders along with the folder names.

MiniTool ShadowMaker

The Destination Folder should be selected to enable MiniTool ShadowMaker to create backups. We manually created the folder and selected it for the purpose of our review.

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The dashboard will display options below the dashboard. The “Schedule” button will enable you to configure scheduling information, which is Off by default. You should slide the radio button to activate the option. You have to select either daily, weekly or monthly options. If you select Daily option, you can either set the time or let the tool perform the backup once in every one hour.

MiniTool ShadowMaker

The Scheme option helps you to configure backup scheme and will be useful for advanced users. The Options module enables you to set image creation mode, file size, compression, comment, email including password-related information.

MiniTool ShadowMaker

After setting all the option, you should select Back up Now button to proceed further. The tool will prompt you to confirm the backup operation. The MiniTool ShadowMaker will display the progress along with an option to stop the backup process.

MiniTool ShadowMaker

We are amazed to see the speed with which the tool performs the backup. If you navigate to the destination folder, you will view the backup file and it will be in an unrecognizable format. You can restore the backup file only using MiniTool ShadowMaker. The tool also provides an ability to shut down the computer after the completion of the backup process. You can create additional backups by selecting “Add Backup” button.

If you would like to Restore a backup file, you just need to click Restore option from the navigation panel and the dashboard will display the relevant backups. You can select a row which you need to restore. You should make sure to copy the backup file on your pen drive or portable hard drive for safety purposes. In case your PC malfunctions, you will be able to restore the lost files with a few simple clicks.

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MiniTool ShadowMaker

The Manage section displays the relevant backup images with several options. The Logs panel helps you to know the kind of actions you have done with the MiniTool ShadowMaker. The Tools page enables you to work with media builder, boot menu including mounting and dismounting of files. You can also clone disk and launch PXE client. You should work with these options only after gaining experience with the usage of the tool.

Conclusion

If you are working with a PC or laptop, you should capture regular backups to avoid data loss. Hence, you should make use of the products such as MiniTool ShadowMaker, which helps you to easily capture backups using simple clicks. The user interface looks minimalist and beginners can easily work with the tool. You have the freedom to capture backups of either disks or individual folders depending upon the requirements. We worked with the tool for several days without any problem. The company provides excellent support via email and also pushes regular updates to the software. If you haven’t performed any backups, it’s high time that you proceed further and invest for a simple tool like MiniTool ShadowMaker for a comfortable sleep without any worry about data loss.

MiniTool ShadowMaker

MiniTool ShadowMaker
99.285714285714

Installation

10/10

    Working

    10/10

      User Interface

      10/10

        Usability

        10/10

          Speed

          10/10

            Documentation

            10/10

              Price

              10/10

                Pros

                • Easy to install
                • Simple user interface
                • Lightweight
                • Minimal Learning Curve
                • Easy to perform backup
                • Quick restoration
                • Ability to schedule

                Cons

                • Lack of cloud support

                Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and currently part of MVP Reconnect program. He is also part of the prestigious ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at admin@netans.com