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Ron Ridley Auto Care Mall

 
  Drive Image
This is a program that I put up on the shelf when I received it for review since I really didn’t know what it was for. The manual didn’t explain it clearly and I only gave it a cursory glance. Boy did I miss out.

When I got into my problems with crashing in Windows 95 and 98, I did a tape restore of my previously working C: partition. It took over 6 hours for a complete restore. I just couldn’t keep messing around with my registry, deleting programs etc. without knowing I would have to do another "complete restore". I glanced at this program’s box and it seemed to be what I wanted. I had nothing to loose. I tried reading the manual again and again it didn’t make all that much sense but what the heck- lets go for it.

I installed the program from it’s CD. It required that I make two floppy disks as it installed. I looked at them later and one was a boot disk (you can use the Windows 98-safety disk) and the second was the program disk.

I then started the program from within Windows 98 (95 works as well). It gave me the simple menu – see photo. I selected create image file. It asked me what partition I wanted to back up and the level of compression- none, low (40%) and high (50%). I selected 40% and away it went. 5 minutes later I had a compressed file that was supposed to be able to restore to my hard drive. Oh yea!!

What did I have to loose? I booted from a floppy. Inserted the second floppy and typed "PQDI" and prayed. Up came the menu. I selected restore and then it came up with a warning – saying it would destroy all the data on the selected partition. HELP – but I had to go on. I crossed my fingers and toes and hit enter. I watched this program run and it reminded me of the only other program that I gave a MUST HAVE to – Drive Copy. It ran automatically and then said you must reboot. Here goes ----.

Up came a complete running version of Windows 98. Wow!!. Ok I will really test it – I went into the registry and deleted important sections. I removed folders and renamed others. Ok here we go again – reboot with floppy – insert second disk – type PQDI – reinstall. Reboot – again a complete reinstall – exactly the same as when I saved the image file. I tried it with my Windows 95 hard drive – over 1.2 gig. It worked just as well.

From then on I played around trying to find out why Word 97 wouldn’t work with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I could take chances and recover within 10 minutes. Later I found the video driver problem and now it works. If I didn’t have a problem like this I probably wouldn’t have FULLY tested this program. It is now my second YOU MUST HAVE recommendation.

You probably wont run into such a problem but you can back up your drive without tape or a zip drive etc. If you have one of these you can save the file on them. I took a basic Windows 98 install and made a image file of it then recorded it to a CD. It restored in less than 10 minutes.

If you work with a network, you can save the image file on another computer for a "safe" backup.

The program comes on a CD and takes very little space on your hard drive. The program has a manual that is extensive and once you know what you are reading, is very helpful.

The only negative is that you must have a location other than the partition you wish to backup that is at least 40% the size of the partition you wish to back up. Shouldn’t be a problem with all the new gigantic hard drives. It is cheaper and easier to use than a tape backup. You can backup your dive before you install a new program, if it doesn’t work, restore it to original.

A free update to Drive Image 2.01 is now available at PowerQuest’s home page. Many enhancements are included:

Selective file restore -- Users may now selectively restore an individual file from compressed and/or spanned image files.

Shrink on the fly for the Disk-to-Disk Option -- Users may now copy from a larger to a smaller hard drive, and resize the partitions on the fly using the Disk-to-Disk option.

New command line switches -- Drive Image 2.01 contains more command line switches, the most noteworthy is /?. This switch will display a list of all available command line switches.

New Tools Menu Option -- There is a new Drive Information Option under the Tools menu. This option will display a graphical representation of the partitions on the drive before or after the image process.

Improved Image File Editor -- The Image File Editor will now preserve long filenames.

Improved Browse Dialog -- Simplifies the process of browsing the directory tree for your desired path and/or filename.

PowerQuest’s advertising picture showing the demolition of a building then an instant restore is an accurate analogy.

Review ID Number: 341
  Product Details
Powerquest
Review Date: 2001-04-20
Reviewer: John Mitchell
Rating: 9 out of 10
 
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