NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
DriveCopy 3.0 From PowerQuest
by Pat Kennedy, October 2000
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Powerquest's DriveCopy 3.0 is a program that copies an entire hard drive (operating system, applications, and data) to another hard drive or can be used to copy only selected partitions. It supports most common partition types. DriveCopy can be used to upgrade to another hard drive or to add a second hard drive but should not be used to set up a hard drive that will be used in another computer.

DriveCopy installs from the CD on two diskettes, one bootable, and the second containing the program. It is not installed on your hard drive.

Since I already had two hard drives installed on my computer, I decided to test DriveCopy's "Selective Partition Copy" by using it to make a backup of my WIN98 Operating System from my primary hard drive to my second hard drive. It was not necessary to format the destination partition or to partition free space on the second hard drive before copying the partition since DriveCopy automatically performs those tasks.

I created my diskettes from the DriveCopy 3.0 CD program and checked my second hard drive to be sure I had enough free space to make a backup copy of my OS.

I inserted the first floppy into the drive and rebooted the computer. It instructed me to insert Diskette 2, the DriveCopy program diskette. At the DriveCopy main screen, I chose Selective Partition Copy. The Select Source Drive screen appeared. I selected Disk 1, where my OS to be copied is located. On the next screen I selected my WIN98 partition from a table and clicked next again and then selected the destination drive, Disk 2, which included unallocated space where I want the backup to be located. If you select an existing partition as the destination, a prompt will appear reminding you that the existing partition will be deleted before copying.

DriveCopy does not actually delete the partition until you click Finish on the Ready To Copy Disk To Disk screen. Also you may choose Back at any time prior to actually copying partitions, to change your settings. On the next screen, Select Copy Type, I selected Backup. Select Replace if you are adding a hard disk to your system and using DriveCopy to copy information from your old drive to the new drive or if you are restoring from a previously backed-up partition. If you select Replace, DriveCopy will hide source partitions after copying them. If you select Backup, DriveCopy will hide destination partitions after copying them. (By hiding either the source or destination partitions, DriveCopy ensures that your drive letters will not change when you reboot your computer. Hiding partitions can also avoid problems that result when two identical operating system partitions are visible when you reboot. The DriveCopy manual warns that if you are upgrading to a new hard drive, before you reboot your computer, ensure that you do not have two identical operating system partitions visible. You must remove the old hard disk from the computer or hide the operating system partition before rebooting. If there are two identical operating system partitions on the computer when you reboot, your operating system could be compromised. However, if you are confident that having both your source and destination partitions visible will not make your computer unbootable or cause problems because of drive letter changes, you can click Advanced Options at the Ready to Copy Disk to Disk screen and change DriveCopy's default Settings.)

The next screen is the Select Disk Write Mode screen. I chose Fast Mode to copy data as quickly as possible without integrity checks. Choosing Safe Mode at this point performs integrity checks and incresese the time necessary to copy data. If you choose Safe Mode, you can choose to check the hard disk for bad sectors and verify disk writes. Checking for bad sectors is a good idea if your destination disk is an older model or if you are not sure it is in good condition. If you choose to verify disk writes, DriveCopy will check the data after it is copied to make sure it is readable. Verifying disk writes greatly increases the time required to copy data and is generally not necessary.

I clicked Next and DriveCopy displayed all the information entered to this point. I looked carefully to be sure I had checked the correct Source and Destination locations for the OS I wanted to copy.

I clicked Finish to begin copying the selected partition. The Copying Disk To Disk dialog tracked the progress, and a message prompted me when the process was complete. I clicked OK to return to the DriveCopy main screen, where I exited, removed the floppy disk and rebooted my system. Everything had gone smoothly and I now had an exact copy of my OS which could be restored if necessary.

The DriveCopy manual was easy to read and follow and on the PowerQuest website I found a treasure-trove of detailed information about partitions and using various PowerQuest products. Go to the website and look under support.

PowerQuest has a free monthly electronic newsletter that is dedicated to official announcements, tips, and techniques for PowerQuest products. You can view the newsletter online at www.powerquest.com/newsletter.

PowerQuest can be reached at:
Voice: 801-437-8900
Fax: 801-226-8941
Web site: www.powerquest.com
E-mail: help@powerquest.com

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