I have many years experience using partition management software. I have four MCTS qualifications, am an MCITP and an A+Certified IT Technician.

I frequently have clients who want disk partitions copied, extended, etc.

I have used Paragon software before with good results. Or at least, without major disasters.

I recently upgraded to the latest version of Paragon Hard Disk Manager. The disasters began immediately.

Moving partitions is always risky. I always save or image user data before any partition operations. About one out every four times the operation will fail, because of file errors, or a full moon, or the day of the week having a ‘y’ in it, or whatever. It is never a problem, because I always make a complete back up of target disks beforehand.

The first time I used the new Paragon Hard Disk Manager the operation failed. No problem, I thought. A minor inconvenience at most.

Until I tried to restart my computer. I got a message saying there were interrupted operations, and I should insert my recovery CD.

Paragon Hard Disk Manager had no business making any changes to my C: drive at all – that was not one of the drives I was operating on – let alone making changes to critical boot files or records.

No recovery CD would let me restart Windows, nor could the repair utility on the Windows CD get the system working.

Now I had a problem, because the user’s data was no longer accessible from his drive, and my C: drive, where I had saved his disk image, was also inaccessible.

I recovered my and my user’s data from the disk, reinstalled Windows, and tried again. Same problem – the partition operation failed. Windows would not start. Same error message.

I had just upgraded to Windows 7, and thought perhaps there might be an incompatibility, though there was nothing to suggest this on Paragon’s website.

I wiped the disk, went back to Vista Business, and tried again, ths time with a different partition operation on a different disk. Exactly the same result. The operation failed, and Windows would not restart, even though there was no reason for Partition Manager to have made any changes to my primary drive at all.

This is a dog’s breakfast of a programme. There is no excuse for releasing to market a piece of software that repeatedly causes such disastrous disk and sytem errors.

Until Paragon fix this, anyone who uses Hard Disk Manager is at serious risk, not only of wasting several hours of time, as I did, but of losing any or all information from their hard disks.