NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
DriveCopy 2.0 from PowerQuest
A Review by John Hunt, September 98
(click to email author)

DriveCopy, like its competitor DiskClone reviewed earlier this year, is a simple and inexpensive program designed to provide a major simplification and automation of the task of moving the installed software base from an existing hard drive to a newly purchased and presumably larger hard drive.

With the incredible improvement in size and performance of modern hard drives, combined with equally amazing reduction in cost, updating hard drive capacity is becoming commonplace, even with users who seldom remove the cover of their computer case. The desirability of drive upgrading is further enhanced by the very large drive space requirements of most newer programs. The economics of inexpensive hard drive space and RAM space have freed software designers from parsimonious programming techniques of the past, but at the expense of requiring modest hardware investments by the user.

DriveCopy comes on a CD. This CD is run under Windows in a simple installation procedure similar to the familiar process for installing new Windows software. The installation process creates a 3.5 inch floppy which is bootable and contains all of the software which is used when the program is run for its intended purpose of drive replication. No software is actually installed on the existing hard drive.

To use the program the system is booted from the DriveCopy boot floppy whose creation was described above. The program runs under the Windows DOS version in use during the floppy creation process; no hard drive reference or assistance is required, as the floppy is entirely self contained.

The new drive needs no preparation other than master/secondary jumper setting for the various IDE variants. SCSI drives need no jumper settings other than the drive address number and selection of termination on or off. For IDE family drives it is also necessary to reset the jumpers to identify the fact that the existing drive is now the master of a two drive master/secondary chain. Position of the drives along the length of the IDE cable has no significance.

After the above procedures are completed, the system is booted from the DriveCopy boot floppy. The DriveCopy software will start automatically and will offer three options for the copy process. These are:

Entire Disk to Disk Copy
Selective Partition Copy
Display Drive Information

The third selection gives a quick overview of the characteristics of the two drives on the system; its use is optional but reassuring. In any conventional usage of DriveCopy the new drive (identified as Drive 2) will be larger than the old drive. Most users will simply select the first option, Entire Disk to Disk Copy. The program then presents the user with three choices regarding the usage of the increased space available on the new drive. One obvious possibility is to simply increase the size of each partition in proportion to the relative sizes of the old and new drive. A second choice permits actual specification of the size to be assigned to each partition on the new drive. A third simply replicates the size of the partitions on the old drive, leaving a substantial field of unused space at the end of the last partition. This unused space can later be assigned by Fdisk to create new logical partitions (i.e., Drive Letters).

While the above availability of choices may seem unduly complex to the comparative neophyte, it is obvious that assignment of usage of the newly enlarged disk space must be made flexible to accommodate three perfectly reasonable objectives of the user.

After selection of the space usage option the process is then started. It runs rapidly, since all transfers are from disk to disk. For each partition there is a noticeable delay before the numerically annotated transfer actually begins. Presumably this is the time required for Fdisk partition creation and partition formatting prior to actual file transfer. The process is totally automated and transparent to the user.

DriveCopy is capable of supporting FAT32 partitions, as well as HPFS and NTFS partitions.

In the unlikely event that you are copying files to a drive which is smaller than the original a number of options are provided to accommodate this somewhat uncommon requirement, which of course arises from the lack of sufficient space on the new smaller drive to hold the total partition assignment space of the old drive. The reviewer encountered this problem since he understandably doesn't keep an inventory of unused drives larger than the drive installed on his system.

The manual for DriveCopy is unusually clear and well prepared, rivaling that of its irreplaceable stable mate DriveImage. The program is easy to use and clear in its interface instructions and options.

PowerQuest Corporation
P.O. Box 1911 Orem UT 84059-1911
Telephone 1-800-437-8900
Sales 1-800-379-2566
Fax 1-800-226-8941
E-mail drivecopy@powerquest.com
Internet http://www.powerquest.com

DriveCopy is available from a wide variety of dealers in the $25 price range.

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