IDrive Local Backup And A Design Issue
IDrive Online Backup has been our #1 recommendation for some time now and we think for good reason. It works and users are overall happy with it, so what more can you want?
Well, there are many things we can want actually.
And before I go too far I want to point out that the more one digs into the companies in this industry the more you will find things you don’t like and probably shake your head like we do; so it’s not just IDrive.
Problem 1: Free Local Backup Option
The first problem was encountered when we wanted to test (and use) the new local backup option where you can use IDrive to backup your computer to a local drive like maybe a USB drive.
So we downloaded the bonus application, it’s not built in to the basic program. Hmmm, not ideal.
When we tried to install the local backup program it told us that our software was out of date and didn’t support it, then provided a handy link to download the compatible software. Great, we did. Rebooted and everything.
So we tried again to install the IDrive local backup program and got the SAME MESSAGE!
Bad News, Good News, Bad News
The bad news is that here is a programming design issue that forced us to contact support for an answer. The link provided obviously was not compatible software, it was just the latest version of the “Old Account Software”.
The good news is that support was quickly able to answer our question:
IDrive accounts created prior to 23rd November, 2011 works on a different underlying technology. So, the application is not compatible with the previous type of IDrive accounts.
Please setup a new IDrive account and you will be able to use your new account with the IDrive Portable software
So in other words I need to create a new IDrive account, abandon the old one – can’t transfer data over – and start a new one. With a free account, I guess that’s not the end of the world but the initial backup again will be a pain. I can access the account to search for an old file via the web interface.
With a paid account, all that “history” of old files that your keeping for me will be lost unless you make me pay again.
That’s bad news.
While I’m all for making improvements to your product offering and adding features/benefits, this seems to cross the line. You need to offer – even if you must charge for it – the service of transferring all data to a new account. They could do that in-house with a USB drive if there is really no other way.
Problem 2: Program Code Design – Again?
The second problem we came across in a user review elsewhere on the web that we now had the ideal chance to verify. This person claimed they were a Windows programmer by trade and that the way IDrive is coded they are actually subjecting their program – and every other Windows program you have installed – to the old DLL hell issue.
Without getting into boring detail, the idea behind Windows originally was to share basic code elements to conserve space, resources and improve speed. Naturally, few programmers could bring themselves to comply and insisted on duplicating these “.DLL” files with their own twist. Naturally, sometimes these files would conflict and Windows would crash.
Most programmers have learned and moved on into compliance but it appears that IDrive includes at least one of these modules independently. Moreover, when you uninstall IDrive, it does not completely uninstall.
In our case we found that to be true, but did not encounter any real issue, maybe because we use Windows 7 64bit, but we still had to reboot an extra time and delete some IDrive files manually.
The vast majority of people who install and use IDrive will find it to be an excellent cloud backup solution that will protect their data as expected.
Should you happen to have an account established before November 23, 2011, though, don’t expect to be able to take advantage of the latest and greatest features.
And should you need to uninstall IDrive, note that you will have to finish the uninstall manually. It’s not hard, but it does bring into question whether there really are any elements of the software left behind that could cause you “DLL hell” style troubles down the road.
If you already have a (new style) IDrive account, get the IDrive Portable (Local Backup) Option: