Article, February 2003
Drive Image 2002
A Review by Thornton Jacobs
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Drive Image 2002 is the latest in the Powerquest Drive Image Series and is really Version 6. I reviewed Drive Image 4 in some detail in the November 2000 newsletter and Pat Kennedy wrote an excellent review of DI 5 in February 2002. Since I never used version 5, I am not acquainted with the changes from version 4 to 5 or version 5 to 2002. Only once have I needed Drive Image to restore a drive and DI 4 came through admirably. Since it was my 'C' drive, It saved me from having a really bad hair day. I became a believer at that time. Drive Image 2002 can be run on Windows 9x, Windows NT 4.0, Windows ME, Windows 2000 Professional, and Windows XP Home and Professional. This version of DI is not supported for use with servers. This evaluation was made on a PC running Windows 98SE, a Pentium III 866 processor and a Plextor Plexwriter 40/12/40A CD-R/RW drive. Drive Image creates an image of a partition or hard drive and has the capability of restoring the image of a partition or entire hard drive. It can also restore single or multiple files or folders. Restoration of single files or folders must be done using the supplied ImageExplorer program and not Drive Image itself. DI can also be used to copy drives although Powerquest Drive Copy and other third party utilities are specifically designed for that task. There are several caveats regarding some hardware so it is important to read the manual and Readme.txt file.
New features in DI 2002 are:
- The capability of running in Windows if it can lock each partition (no files open on the partition(s) involved in the task to be performed.) If it cannot, DI will reboot to Dos and run.
- Limited partitioning capability to create and maintain a backup location on the hard drive.
- CD-R and CD-RW support without third party software or drivers. If DI cannot burn the CD in Windows, it will reboot to Dos.
- Network support.
- Four new Wizards. There is a Setup Wizard and a Wizard to create a new partition on your hard drive to store your backup. There is also a Wizard to redistribute free space. And if you remove the backup partition from the hard drive there is also a Wizard to put the space back into other partitions.
- Support for USB and Firewire drives.
Installation was routine and ran from the CD Autorun. It was necessary to enter the serial number that is found on the back of the CD envelope. At one point you are asked if you want to create Rescue disks. Naturally I did this. There are two disks. One is a boot disk and the other is the program disk. You are asked what drivers you want to put on the disk. This can include drivers for SCSI, MO, Jazz, and Zip drives, etc.
Before running Drive Image I backed up the registry and also ran Norton Disk Doctor (w/o surface test) to check file integrity. Scandisk will accomplish the same thing. You can also tell Drive Image to check for system file errors before it runs. If it finds any, it will gripe at you so I check before I run DI. Drive Image 2002 runs basically the same as previous versions with few exceptions so I won't go into great detail. When you open the program you can use the Setup Wizard or run the setup manually. You must indicate the partition to be backed up and the location of that partition. Then you must set the location where the image file will be stored. This cannot be on the same partition as the one that is being imaged. For example, you cannot store an image of drive 'C' on drive 'C'. It must be on another hard drive letter or CD. You must also accept the default image file name or supply your own. The image file name must conform to the Dos eight three rule meaning eight characters maximum before the suffix. The file suffix is 'PQI'. After selecting the drive or partition to be imaged and the destination drive you may select 'Options' or accept the Option's defaults. This screen allows you to select any of several options. These include designating the degree of compression from none to high and whether to split the image file into segments that can be copied to CD. This could be 640 MB. Also size selections are available for Zip and Jazz drives. However, remember that if you are writing directly to a CD-R/RW, Drive Image will span the CD disks automatically. You may also set up password protection. You may also have Drive Image check for file system errors, verify disk writes and verify image contents. You can also set up the scheduler to schedule backups.
The first backup that I made was to create an image of drive 'E' and saving it on drive 'D'. After setting the parameters, Drive Image rebooted to Dos and ran. Progress bars show the status and percent done of the backup along with other information such as elapsed and remaining time throughput, etc. After successfully concluding the operation it rebooted to Windows without any problems. Next I had DI backup directly to my CD-R which is drive 'G'. This required four disks but could have been done on three if I had chosen high compression' instead of low. High compression is somewhat slower and the file size is only marginally smaller. But, if space is a consideration, use high. The operation was successful and the computer rebooted to Windows.
My next task was to verify that I could restore one file. To do this I changed the name of a file on the 'E' drive. (I don't recommend doing this with system files.) :-) Then I opened ImageExplorer. In the left pane of the window, you must choose the drive and folder which contains the folder and/or file to be restored. I then selected and opened the folder on the 'D' drive which contained the proper file. The filename then appeared in the right pane. I then clicked 'Restore'. You are given a choice of restoring to the original location or a different location. I chose 'original location'. You are also given an option to resize the partition, check for file system errors, skip bad sector checks, verify disk writes, hide drive after restore and keep original primary/logical drive designations. When I checked Windows Explorer, the file had been restored and ran properly. I repeated this test with the image on the CD-R disks. That operation was also successful. Next I restored the 'E' partition using the image stored on drive 'D'. Since Drive Image can only restore partitions or drives to free space it must destroy the contents of any partition before it can perform the restore. Here again, you have a choice of restoring to the original location or to a different location. I chose 'Original Location'. Progress bars keep you apprised of the operation's status. The next restore was from the CD drive. This ran directly from Windows without rebooting to Dos. It took just over thirteen minutes to restore 1.99 GB. The time included shuffling four CD's. The operation was again successful. The last tests were to restore using the Rescue Disks. The first restore was from the drive 'E' image stored on the drive 'D' and the last was to restore from CD. The screen appearance and choices are similar to those in previous versions of Drive Image and, again, the operations were performed flawlessly. The last operation performed was successfully backing up the 'C' drive from the Rescue Disks. Again the interface screen and operation was similar to those in previous versions of DI so I won't go into detail. Some features of Drive Image 2002 were not tested. These include creating, resizing and deleting partitions, scheduling backups, redistributing free space, hiding and unhiding partitions, and using Boot Disk Builder.
Drive Image 2002 appears to do what it says it will do in all aspects that I covered. It has an excellent user interface and keeps you apprised of the progress of each task. It appears to be a dependable backup option. I suspect that even Yogi Berra might be happy with this insurance.Click here to return to top
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