Data Centers

DriveClone Pro 3.5: The Right Tool for the Job?

Frequently, IT professionals must prepare identical hard disk images for duplication and deployment to other systems. Erik Eckel evaluates how well DriveClone Pro 3.5 gets the job done.

The Job

Frequently, IT professionals must prepare identical hard disk images for duplication and deployment to other systems. Drives may need to be cloned to simplify new equipment rollout, or such drive images may be required to assist in rescuing a failed or failing hard disk.

The Tool

FarStone Technology boasts that its DriveClone Pro software creates exact copies of hard disks to enable instant recovery following system crashes. I put the software to three real world tests. In addition to cloning a failed hard disk and copying a functioning drive, I tested the software's ability to schedule and complete backup operations, too.

DriveClone Pro 3.5

FarStone's DriveClone Pro presents users with a simple interface that is easily understood and easily navigated. From the application's main menu, users can quickly access the program's three main functions: individual file backups, full computer backups and drive cloning.

DriveClone Pro boasts several advantages:

  • The software is easy to install
  • The user interface is free of distractions and easy to navigate
  • Log files do well collecting critical information
  • Support for universal restores (independent of hardware)
  • The software is powerful (it makes cloning drives and partitions as simple as selecting checkboxes for source and destination locations) and includes a separate backup option
  • The price is right ($59.99, compared to $69.99 for Norton Ghost)

DriveClone, like many utility applications, also suffers a few minor drawbacks:

  • Backup options are limited (Full/Normal and Incremental are the only options; those technicians requiring Copy or Differential backups are out of luck)
  • Users will need to possess some fundamental disk knowledge (such as knowing the difference between a partition and a disk)

The Right Tool for the Job?

DriveClone Pro software makes cloning disk drives and partitions easy. Simply navigate the cloning application's short wizard and within minutes you have functioning cloned disks ready to deploy. Better yet, FarStone's included simple Backup functionality within DriveClone Pro. Thus, IT professionals receive not only a powerful drive imaging application, but an additional option for regularly completing data backups.

Read my comprehensive screenshot review of DriveClone Pro 3.5.

About

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

52 comments
Sporty1
Sporty1

I've had good luck with XXClone...

binghamc
binghamc

I installed the Trial Version and rebooted, then BAM..BSOD...Nothing can seem to fix the issue and I am now having to re-install windows vistas from scratch!!!! Tech support said they can not guarantee to get back to me as I do not have a registered copy! WTF???? I installed this thing as a Trial for a reason, I should not have to wait a week for a seriaous issue if they want my money!!!!!

FXEF
FXEF

There are lots of ways to clone a drive and everybody has got a favorite method. You might want to give this a try. To clone drive "hda" to drive "hdb". Boot up any Linux LiveCD, open a terminal and use this command: dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb That's it... coffee break time.

nitishramnohur
nitishramnohur

does it have support for cloning over the network, like multicasting from a server to its clients, much like Acronis does it so well ? Nitish/.

g01d4
g01d4

I've cloned for two reasons: 1) populating cluster nodes and 2) setting up machines going into environments where the disk is wiped on return. For both these instances (non-Linux) I was able to use Seagate's (free) DiscWizard .

gregzdnet
gregzdnet

I use imaging on a regular basis and drive image XML is just to slow for regular backups for me. I use about a half dozen computers for research. They are all dual boot with at least an image each partition so that is a dozen hard drive images to maintain plus usually the C: drive on DVD in case of hard drive failure so a half dozen more. Ghost 2003 is usually pretty good but limits you to 3 partitions and I usually use 4 and Ghost at least 2003 does not see some of my hard drives. Tried Ghost 10 but did not like the running processes it installed and seemed like bloat ware like most recent Symantec products. Paragon works fantastic for me it's fast a little over minute to make an image or clone and has many partitioning features as well as network imaging. I believe the use of Paragon to make partitions may have hidden the hard drive from Ghost although as far as I know it should write the MBR the same, I know third party partition utilities can write partitions that are unreadable by other partition and imaging programs but as far as I know must follow the same MBR. My drives are mostly SATA and Ghost reads some and not others so perhaps Ghost 2003 does not read some SATA HD's Paragon can be a little complex and is tough in DOS but the basic functions imaging, copying, even most partitioning and resizing functions are intuitive basic and fast. Have yet to try Acronis Or Vcom they have a 2 or 3 image and copy utilities Speaking of Farstone what ever happened to Intel system recovery tool which is Bios based as far as I know it came out on and ECS 945 board only and heard no more of it. A bios based image program would be great for someone who had only one machine and did not want to monkey with a linux, pe, or dos based copy/image program assuming it worked well. For me for now its Paragon and Ghost with Paragon getting the favor by far Seems as if Farstone may be great for simple jobs but does not have enough options can't see spending the money and then having to buy another product for more options, would far rather have comprehensive partitioning, imaging, copying, backup in one product.

trchbrr
trchbrr

Does this tool allow for SATA to PATA transfers to take place?

Softheads
Softheads

I've had good luck with (free) DriveImage XML. It allows compression and also the ability to split files CD size for burning. Quote: Easy to use and reliable program for imaging and backing up partitions and logical drives. The program allows you to: - Backup logical drives and partitions to image files - Browse these images, view and extract files - Restore these images to the same or a different drive - Copy directly from drive to drive - Schedule automatic backups with your Task Scheduler Image creation uses Microsoft's Volume Shadow Services (VSS), allowing you to create safe "hot images" even from drives currently in use.

plgc.plgc
plgc.plgc

Hey I already read thet It can CLONE the entire DRIVE, but this include the HIDE PARTITIONS like Lenovo has, for theis rescue & recovery system? If the APLICATION clone THE ETIRE (I mean the perfect copy of the hard disk nuts and screws also) I will give this TOOL 10 of 10. Best regards

TG2
TG2

DriveClone isn't a zero footprint solution though... Powerquest made Drive Copy; before it was annexed into Symantec. The last version (4.x?) could be used to clone drives by booting off a floppy, **without** ever installing a thing! (not the case for Ghost) And for Free, you can use a Knoppix cd, and use the DD program, or from another web site I was tipped off to try Digital Dolly, another "linux boot" cd that is menu driven. (google it to find it) The benefits to any of the three I've mentioned, are that you don't have to alter your drives by installing an application to make a simple clone. You don't have to build a master drive seperately from your normal boot drive.

jbeebe
jbeebe

I would have liked to see a test of the Universal Restore capability. Can the program be used effectively to upgrade to new hardware without a full system OS installation, program install, data restore?

mitzi_mitzi
mitzi_mitzi

I've compared it to the Disk Duplicator feature from BOS (www.bos.co.il) which is also free. BOS makes a beter job, even when the hard drive has a CRC error. We've been using the BOS at work for a year now and I've still not found something that surpasses it.

Editor's Picks