Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
 Product Review 


DriveCopy 4.0
by
Harald Freise

What is there to say? It works! Hard drive too small? Tired of trying to free up disk space? Don’t want to take the time required to find and back up all your data, install one of those inexpensive huge hard drives, re-install all your applications and restore your files on the new drive? How much your time is worth? DriveCopy from PowerQuest can save you some. 

DriveCopy is a well-known product from PowerQuest that got better over time. In 10 easy to understand “follow the 10 steps” directions you can be up and running in a fraction of the time required to manually add and configure a new hard drive.
 
Before starting, check out the machine for a required extra free power and data cable connector for the additional drive. If there isn’t a spare power connector there are “y” cables available as a remedy. If your CD-ROM is a slave on the only IDE cable in the machine, then it would be a good time to place and configure the CD-ROM drive on the second IDE port and purchase an additional IDE cable with 3 IDE connectors for the hard drives. Follow the hard drive manufactures’ directions on changing the master and slave jumpers on both drives as detailed by the instructions and connect the drives to the IDE port. Configuring the systems BIOS to correctly recognize the two drives isn’t onerous as it sounds since most BIOS’s have been Auto Detect for quite a few years.

Before starting, check out the machine for a required extra free power and data cable connector for the additional drive. If there isn’t a spare power connector there are “y” cables available as a remedy. If your CD-ROM is a slave on the only IDE cable in the machine, then it would be a good time to place and configure the CD-ROM drive on the second IDE port and purchase an additional IDE cable with 3 IDE connectors for the hard drives. Follow the hard drive manufactures’ directions on changing the master and slave jumpers on both drives as detailed by the instructions and connect the drives to the IDE port. Configuring the systems BIOS to correctly recognize the two drives isn’t onerous as it sounds since most BIOS’s have been Auto Detect for quite a few years.

SCSI drives controllers must support Int 13 devices for DriveCopy to be used. If FDISK can see and partition the SCSI drives, DriveCopy can be used to transfer the disk data.

What’s new in version 4.0 is the use of “virtual floppy technology” that does away with the previous minimal task of making a DOS boot disk. DriveCopy 4.0 now has support for hard drives up to 80GB and DOS, Windows 3.1, Windows 9x, ME, NT, Win2K and OS/2. Good transfer speed is still found from their SmartSector copy technology. If a sector is empty, they don’t bother copying it to the new drive. The usual scenario is that the original drive is smaller than the new drive.

The smaller partition is then expanded to fill the remaining available disk space. The reverse situation wasn’t as straight forward. What was requested was to upgrade a large slow drive with a much faster smaller drive. After doing the requisite reading of the manual, DriveCopy apparently does not resize partitions. After running scan disk and defragging the hard drive (a stellar idea in any event), PoweQuest’s PartitionMagic was used to resize the original drive so that it would fit on the new drive. After that it was a straightforward DiskCopy according to the fine manual.

One annoying thing found was that after entering the serial number demanded on the install, DriveCopy returned an error message that stated bluntly “Incorrect serial number — proceed anyway?” It was enough to make us start over, just in case the utility would hold the data ransom or would in any way compromise the data on either drive. After pulling the plug (the manual says DriveCopy is “power-fail safe”) another attempt was made. The serial number is case sensitive. It was later discovered that the drive copy process goes through even if the incorrect number is used.

Recommended minimum requirements (or better) Intel 486, 32MB memory and 5MB free disk space.  Imagine, if you will, effortless installation of your OS, all applications and data from one drive to the other. It’s true. On another rather negative note: if your computer didn’t work well before adding another drive and using DriveCopy; it won’t work any better after.


Bottom Line:

DriveCopy 4.0
$US 49.95
from PowerQuest
Web site: http://www.powerquest.com


Copyright and Usage
Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street, Ottawa, ON  K2G 1S6

The opinions expressed in these reviews may not necessarily
represent the views of the OPCUG or its members.