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Drive Image 2002 by PowerQuest - Product Review

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2003 12:19 am
by CowboySlim
Allow me a little background on how I got to this utility. I had been using Dantz Retrospect Express for backup, restoration and disaster recovery for over a year and was quite happy with it. It came bundled with the Yamaha CR3200EZ (24x, 12x, 24x) CD-RW that I bought last year. Several months ago, I couldn't resist the ad for a 52x, 24x, 52x Memorex ($50 AMIR) and put the Yamaha in my daughter's machine. The Retrospect still worked fine for file backups to partitions on the same or the other HDD, but it would not read or write from the Memorex drive (a not unexpected circumstance).

Of course, I succumbed again, when Fry's offered Drive Image 2002 (by the PartionMagic people) with 100% rebates. At that non-price, I dispensed with any pre-purchase research such as review user comments at CNET (where I now see they run about 75% thumbs down) and just got it. Well the comments are quite justified. It is a real "dodgy" piece of work. The documentation is real thin, the screens not particularly intuitive and if I didn't do everything in a particular and perfect sequence I got a freeze. I couldn't make it span discs when I was using CD-R media, I just got error 1805 at the end of the burn. Their support had some fixes for that, but they didn't work for me. As an alternative they advised using the capability to make a disk image in several parts each less than a CD full and use a burning utility such as Nero. Well, I couldn't read those back in simulating a disaster recovery mode, which is my main interest, with out a freeze (a green screen of death, if you will). I switched to using CD-RW media and was able to span more than one CD. Why that worked, I have no idea. Now supposedly there are two modes of booting up with this tool. When you first install it, you are suggested to make two diskettes, one Caldera DOS bootable and a second with the program to run in DOS. The other is to boot from the CDs as the same DOS files are placed on each CD in front of the back up image. Well, every attempt to boot from the CD resulted in the GSOD freeze at the same point in one of the user forms.

Eventually, persistence paid off. I made it work and now I like it better than Retrospect for disaster recovery and complete restoration of a boot partition. I resorted to booting from the diskettes and finally got it to do a complete restoration of the bootable partition (Windows XP Home). Once again, any mistake along the way resulted in a GSOD.

It has one drawback, or lack of feature, with respect to other BU products in that you can't do incremental backups. However, it does have an explorer type screen that allows partial restorations or copies when run from the HDD. Notice, however, that is of no use when making a complete restoration as part of disaster recovery.

Well, it's getting late now, past 9PM PDT, and I'll forego my rationale for liking it better than Retrospect. If anyone expresses an interest, I'll make this a two parter and post tomorrow.

Reviewingly yours,
Who stopped by CompUSA today and picked up SystemSuite 4.0 by V-COM (formerly an Ontrack product) at 100% MIR.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2003 2:02 am
by tazdevl
FYI, the 2003 version, 7.0 is out today. Might want to pick it up. Much better support for devices both internal and external, support for multiple file systems and you can run everything via windows to boot.

Windows Backup is more than sufficient if you're going to be doing incrementals DI is targeted more for catastrophic and archiving activities. New version might have incremental though, haven't looked at it in depth yet.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2003 11:05 am
by CowboySlim
FYI, the 2003 version, 7.0 is out today.

Aha, that is why it was $0.00 AMIR.


PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 9:28 pm
by tazdevl
Cancelled my order for the time being. PowerQuest is pissing me off, trying to charge me sales tax on my purchase even though they are in UT and I'm in AZ. Legally they can't do that unless they have operations in this state and last time I checked, Congress and the House passed a moratorium on Internet Sales Tax.