NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
Drive Image 5.0
A Review by Pat Kennedy, February 2002
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Drive Image 5.0 by PowerQuest is a hard drive and partition-imaging program. It can be used to create and restore image files of an entire hard drive or of selected partitions. It also provides the ability to selectively restore individual files. The image can be stored on another hard drive, another partition of the same drive or on removable media including Jazz, Zip, MO, or CD.

Some of the exciting new features of Drive Image 5 include:

  • Support for Windows XP.

  • QuickImage Windows interface allows you to set up and execute imaging sessions in Windows. The QuickImage scheduler also lets you schedule automatic backups of an entire hard drive or individual partitions from within Windows.

  • Improved performance allows you to create and restore images faster than ever.

  • Support for a greater number of CD-RW drives, including IDE, SCSI and PCMCIA drives.

  • The ability to image directly to and from CD or CD-RW media.

  • Virtual Floppy technology and VF Editor(TM) - Drive Image 5.0 includes Virtual Floppy technology, which eliminates the need for boot floppies, and the PowerQuest utility, VF Editor allows users to custom-build Virtual Floppy files.

  • Supports hard drives as large as 80GB.

  • Bootable CD - The Drive Image 5.0 program CD is bootable for emergency situations.

  • An enhanced ImageExplorer replaces the old Drive Image File Editor.
  • I had no problems installing Drive Image 5.0 to my Windows XP Operating System and making the program and boot floppies, but when I first tried to create a backup image I could not get the program to work correctly on my system. It would boot up into DOS and then hang up the system before it could bring up the screen showing the drives and partitions on my system. I went through the manual and tried all of the troubleshooting suggestions. I checked the PowerQuest web site but could not find a reference to my problem or a program patch. I consulted Bill Shook. I believe he tried every way possible to find a software or BIOS conflict in my system. Then we started checking for hardware conflicts. I had about given up on resolving the problem by the time we pulled the NEC CD-ROM and Plextor CD-RW drives. Suddenly the program worked. In fact just disconnecting the CD-ROM drive would let the program work.

    I set the project aside for awhile, wondering if it would be worth it to have to disconnect the CD-ROM drive every time I used Drive Image. Then I decided to check again at the PowerQuest site. They had posted a patch for Drive Image. I didn't have much hope that it would fix my problem but I downloaded and installed it anyway and suddenly everything worked!

    I was eager to try the new QuickImage Windows interface. I also wanted to test making a backup using CD's because I had not used a program before that would backup directly to CD's and also span CD's. Before creating a disk image PowerQuest suggests running ScanDisk (called Check Disk in Windows XP). I did that, then opened Drive Image 5.0's QuickImage feature. I clicked on the New button. In the ensuing Image Filename field, you must type in the OS filename and path of the CD drive, as you cannot browse to it. The file name must be in 8.3 format such as MYIMAGE.pqi. You can put a longer description in the Description Entry field.

    When I was finished I hit enter and the Destination Image window came up. I selected the CD-RW drive. At the bottom of the window I clicked the Select Partition button. The second partition of disk 1 is where my Windows ME partition is located. I wanted to backup this partition so I selected it and clicked OK. Clicking Advanced Options allows you to set the compression level and whether to check for file system errors, etc. I selected High. I had already checked for errors.

    You may save your selections by clicking on the Save button. In fact you can setup and save several backup configurations before you begin the actual backups if you wish. (These configurations can be saved for future use and do not need to be reconfigured each time the program is used.) Click on the Schedule Task button if you wish to schedule the backup for a later time.

    If you are ready to create the image now, click on Create Image and Drive Image will shut down your programs and computer and reboot to DOS mode to perform the actual imaging operations.

    In DOS the Associate Drive window comes up. I Select the CD-RW drive and insert my first CD in the drive. A Drive Image window comes up showing the percentage progress of creating the image file. The CD burner light shows it is writing to the CD. I am using slow 4x CD-RW media. The transfer rate is about 60 MB/Min. It puts 1179.7 MB before compression of data on the first CD. I used a second CD and a small part of a third CD to finish backing up the partition. Altogether this takes about 50 minutes to complete. Using 16x or higher media would speed up the process considerably.

    Backing up to CD's or other removable media may seem tedious especially if one is backing up enough data to require several media. One must keep inserting and removing media plus careful numbering of media is an absolute must. However the safety of being able to store your backup away from the computer or even offsite makes it seem worth the time and effort. I think that ideally one might run frequent backups to another hard drive or hard drive partition for easy accessibility and infrequent backups to CD or removable media for truly safe backups.

    I now used ImageExplorer (which allows one to view and restore individual program and data files from an image) to examine the backup I had just made to verify that the files and folders were all there.

    Now I was ready for "the proof of the pudding", that is to see if I could restore the image I had made of my Windows ME partition and get it to boot up successfully. This time I decided to boot into DOS using the boot floppy I had made and run DriveImage from the program floppy. I inserted the first CD of the image set. I located the image file name and double clicked it. Drive Image instructed me to insert the last media of the set. I selected unallocated space on my hard drive as the Destination Drive. I chose safe mode. Under Advanced Options checking for file system errors was the default so I left it alone. I checked the screen to be sure I was copying the backup where I intended, and let it start restoring the backup. It took about 14 minutes.

    With the help of Powerquest's BootMagic I was able to boot into the newly restored Operating System and verify that it appeared to be identical to the still existing partition that it had been imaged from. Now that I have successfully created and restored an image, I will feel confident that I can backup and restore my other partitions as needed.

    While PowerQuest's products are generally straightforward and fairly easy to use, as they add more features they naturally become more complex and require more study before they can be used with confidence. A quick- reference folder and an excellent user manual are included with Drive Image 5.0. The documentation will guide you step-by-step as you use Drive Image's features. Also you can still run the program in DOS from the floppy rescue diskettes if you prefer.

    Drive Image 5.0 also includes PowerQuest's DataKeeper program that will perform automated backups of files and folders for quick easy recovery.

    User group members may purchase Drive Image v5 at a special price of $35 by ordering from the secure web site at http://www.ugr.com/order/. Indicate the special price code of UGEVAL01 on your order. Order forms will also be available at the meeting.

    PowerQuest has a Storage Manager Newsletter that can be subscribed to or viewed online at http://www.PowerQuest.com/newsletter.

    Product support is available both by phone and at PowerQuest's website http://www.powerquest.com/support/.

    PowerQuest can be reached at:
    Voice: (801) 226-6834
    Web site: http://www.PowerQuest.com
    E-mail: support@PowerQuest.com

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