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O&O DiskImage 6 Professional review

David McKinnon
25 Nov 2011
DiskImage 6
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
29
inc VAT

Competent if limited disk imaging tool that is starting to look long in the tooth

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While other backup applications scramble to find a way to distinguish themselves from the crowd, O&O DiskImage 6 Professional sticks to the bread and butter: creating and managing images of your hard disks. A one-click image function allows you to jump straight in and create an image of your entire computer.

While this is fine for some, most people will want to exert a little more control over their backup procedures. Better to use DiskImage’s main imaging screen, which provides a useful overview of the partitions on your disk and allows you to easily select a drive or partition and initiate image creation. Disk imaging settings, and indeed settings for all the other tools in DiskImage 6, are applied universally rather than per backup. While this means that you are bombarded with fewer options when initiating an imaging job, it feels a little clunky in use and we’d much prefer all of the manual customisations to be on hand when we need them.

DiskImage 6

The backup options allow you to set exclusions both for the backup itself and the subsequent compression, password protect your backups, split the backup image into chunks suitable for burning to different capacity optical disks and define the imaging method. The latter lets you specify whether the backup should be a complete image of a disk or partition or a differential or incremental update. You can also instruct DiskImage to create a complete forensic backup, which makes an exact sector for sector copy of a disk including free space. As with most backup applications, you can also define backup schedules, but only for a weekly or daily basis, and DiskImage does not let you set a backup routine to run automatically after user actions like logon or shutdown.

While DiskImage can create incremental backups, you have to initiate the process manually after having first created a full disk image. The inability to simply set a backup to run incrementally from the off is a surprising omission from a modern backup application. DiskImage also lacks automatic backup management of the type found in other applications like Acronis True Image home 2012. While having to merge and consolidate incremental backups manually does mean that you retain control over your backups, it also drags the user into a job that most would gladly delegate to an automatic procedure. DiskImage can, however, clone dynamic disks, a task which other backup applications tend to save for premium versions.

You can restore individual partitions or entire drives from a drive image and, as the restore environment, which can boot from an optical disk or USB drive, is based on Windows PE, it’s easy to get around. Alternatively, you can mount a drive or partition within Windows to access the contents of your backup. You can also convert backup images to Windows Virtual Disks so they can be mounted in virtual machines running within Windows.

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