Software

Review: Portable disk management with Drive-Thru

Drive-Thru is a portable disk management app that allows you to configure different disk management options that might otherwise be a challenge to locate.

Although I realize it's most often seen as a four-letter word, there are times when you need to micro-manage a machine's storage drives. You might need to hide drives from an operating system, you might want lock drives, or even disallow auto-run from a CD/DVD drive. There are numerous reasons why you might need to manage a drive in non-standard way, and fortunately there's a tool for that.

Drive-Thru is a portable disk management application that allows you to configure different disk management options that might otherwise be a challenge to locate on a machine. And, since it's portable, you can take it from machine to machine to better control your company's desktops (or servers).

Specifications

Who's it for?

Drive-Thru is for any administrator who needs a portable disk management tool that will allow far more configuration options (and/or faster access to certain options) than the standard OS will allow. Drive-Thru is handy to have when you need to quickly make changes to machines without having to dig through registry settings or install a third-party application (as Drive-Thru requires no installation).

What problem does it solve?

Drive-Thru actually solves a number of problems. From this single, portable application you can enable/disable write protect, hide/unhide drives, disable auto-run, convert FAT to NTFS, change the drive letter/icon, and more. And, since Drive-Thru doesn't require installation, it can be placed on a flash drive and used as a portable drive administration tool.

Key features

  • Portable
  • Convert FAT to NTFS
  • Hide and unhide drives
  • Disable auto-run on drives
  • Lock and unlock specific drives
  • Enable or disable write protect on drives

What's wrong

There is one feature that would really be nice to have, and although it is listed as a feature, I have yet to see it work (at least on a Windows 7 machine). That feature is the Drive Monitoring feature. This feature should allow you to monitor drive and/or partition changes as they happen in real time, however, it does not seem to work (at least not on either Windows 7 32- or 64-bit). When you try to use this feature you will find yourself in a loop and will have to kill the application to get out of it. Another issue is the lack of documentation. This isn't really a problem until you decide to use the Drive Substitution feature.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

There are times when you need to be able to quickly handle some tasks with regards to various drives. Sometimes those tasks are quick and painless, but other times those tasks require the hunting down of instructions or registry editing...which is time consuming at best. Drive-Thru takes away that inconvenience and places it into an easy to use, portable, application. This handy tool should be a real boon to administrators that have to manage multiple drives, on multiple machines, for multiple users.

User rating

Have you encountered or used the Drive-Thru disk management application? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

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