Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
 Product Review 


Drive Image v.5.0
by
Harald Freise

One of the things that one always has to think about when making a decision is “Do I really need to do this?” Drive Image is one of those things that falls into this category. There are lots of utilities that can
make an image of a hard drive. Some of them are free. Why would you want to do that?

First let me ask… when was the last time that you backed up your hard disk? Do you trust applications loading on your machine after you’ve finally tweaked it enough to be stable? How long would it take you to be up and running again if your machine took a software dive into the big blue screen?

Drive Image has been around for a while and can make your life a lot easier. Generally regarded as one of the better disaster, backup and upgrade utilities this new version adds upgrades to the previous version.

QuickImage – simplifies the process of backing up and restoring images by being able to schedule them  automatically from within windows. Set the parameters and let the utility back up or restore any drive. CD-R and CD-RW support is great as a backup medium. The cost of CD-R has plummeted to about 50 cents each and is a great way of backing up and restoring IDE, SCSI and PCMCIA drives. PowerQuest claims improved speed in version 5 but I really can’t confirm that but it does handle
drives up to 80GB.

Drive Image File Editor has been renamed to ImageExplorer complete with an enhanced interface that is great for extracting individual files and copying image partitions to another PQI DriveImage file.
You can boot directly from the CD-ROM providing that your BIOS supports that feature. It will handle FAT, FAT32, NTFS, HPFS Linux EXT2 and Linux swap file systems. It supports UNIX and NetWare by sector by sector support. Using PartitionMagic’s SmartSector imaging technology unfortunately does not make a complete duplicate image as it does not bother to image unallocated disk space. Drive image still works in DOS if all else should fail and supports installation from Windows 9x through to Windows XP. Rescue diskettes can be created under Win95 or newer. The first rescue disk is actually a Caldera DOS boot disk and the second disk includes the Drive Image Program. The usual caveats apply about Caldera DOS not recognizing any disk or partition beyond 1024 cylinders. A work around for this is by using a Win95/98 standard boot disk in place of the one created by Drive Image.

When was the last time that you backed up your hard disk?

Do you trust applications loading on your machine
after you’ve finally tweaked it enough to be stable?

How long would it take you to be up and running again if
your machine took a software dive into the big blue screen?

One of the more interesting new add-ins is VF Editor. This utility lets one edit the files included on the virtual disk to create a customized boot disk. Too bad that this only works with the Caldera DOS boot
disk as it really limits it’s usefulness on larger hard drives. If you are using FAT, FAT32 or NTFS then the included backup utility Datakeeper might be a backup solution for you. It provides you with a secure automated backup of your hard disk, a partition that has an assigned drive letter r a network drive. You can back up any files or folders on to any other drive or external media such as a LS-120, Jazz, ZIP or external drive assigned a drive letter to any other recordable drive available. It supports file compression to save disk space and password protection. What makes it even more useful is that you can even restore a single file, by date if you wish, from a compressed backup volume catalogue. Restoring files or backup is very intuitive as it follows the windows explorer type interface.

Drive Image and the included utilities are easy to use and quite intuitive with well placed descriptions and explanations. The manual is easy to follow and well organized. There is a quick reference sheet for
those that hate to RTFM (Read The Fine Manual) .

As always, PowerQuest has a special price available for user group members. While the list price for V 5.0 is US$69.95 (upgrade US$49.95), you can order it on-line at http://www.ugr.com/order for US$35. You will need to use the order code UGEVAL00. Given that they tack on a US$10 shipping charge, you may be able to find it cheaper around town. 


Bottom Line:

Drive Image v.5.0
US$69.95 - US$35 from urg.com
from PowerQuest Corporation
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.