Free O&O DiskImage 5 Professional Edition! [24-hours only]

Software Description

The following is a description of O&O DiskImage 5, as per the developer:

Prevent data loss easily and securely! With O&O DiskImage 5 you can
create images of your entire computer or individual partitions during
operation. If data loss occurs, your imaged data (files, folders, partitions)
will be available to you in no time with just a few clicks – even if
Windows cannot be started anymore!

Highlights

  • Express view with main functions
  • Simplified view of the Startpage
  • Adaptable size of target drive
  • One-click imaging
  • M.I.R. Restoration onto different hardware
  • E-mail notification of activities
  • Additional information bar
  • TrayIcon to provide information on service and job status
  • Also creates system partition images during operation
  • 1:1 copies of drives (cloning)
  • Advanced burning functions to CD/DVD/Blu-ray/HD-DVD
  • Works with Microsoft Virtual PC Disks (VHD)
  • Start CD with base operating system and system rescue tools
  • and much more…

Advantages of taking an Image
Sure, there are virus scanners, system restore points and you no doubt
have your private data saved onto an external hard disk. So why make an
Image with O&O DiskImage? Well, an Image takes up much less space
than a simple copy. You can also set up regular images of just the latest
changes to your system, as opposed to copying everything over again.
An Image means that when trouble strikes, in the form of a crash or software
virus for example, you are perfectly equipped to simply boot up your
system from the Start CD, restore the image of your system, and your old
computer is back as if nothing had ever happened!

Simple user-guidance
The new One-click imaging is the quickest and easiest way to make an
entire image of your data and settings, including the system partition. It is
particularly useful when using O&O DiskImage for the first time or when
you have yet to make an image of your system. The advanced information
bar leads you step-by-step through the process, and provides you with
important information on actions carried out.

Exclusive methods for data backup
Besides the time control, O&O DiskImage offers different imaging methods.
With the complete imaging option, you can choose between a
space-saving used sector image and an all-encompassing forensic image
for the purposes of a data recovery – for example when using products
from the award-winning O&O RescueBox. You save space with an Image
of the changes (incremental or differential image): Only data sectors which
have changed will be imaged.

Quick and convenient restoration
Our BareMetal technology enables you to immediately resurrect a system
using O&O DiskImage without you having to previously install it. The
included and bootable CD is based on Microsoft Windows and contains
all standard drivers of Windows, so that most of the systems do not need
to include own drivers. In addition, more drivers can be installed with the
help of a Wizard whether for Controller or network cards. The Start CD
also includes various system rescue tools. The new function M.I.R. (Machine
Independent Restoration) enables restoration or duplication of system
partitions onto machines with different hardware setups.

Restore individual files
Both full and incremental images can be mounted as virtual drives. This
enables you to directly access individual files or folders, without having to
restore the whole image. The virtually imaged drive behaves like a real one
but is protected and cannot be overwritten.

Made in Germany. Made in Berlin.
O&O DiskImage is available in three versions: The professional version is
meant for private users, the Workstation and the Server Edition for Administrators.
All O&O products are developed and maintained in Berlin.
O&O is one of the few companies that offer phone support without incurring
additional costs due to service charges of hotlines! More information
can be found in on our Homepage www.oo-software.com.

dotTech Advice

O&O DiskImage 5 Pro is a system-level image backup utility (not file-level). It allows users to create full or differential/incremental backups of hard drives/partitions; and has the ability to clone hard drives/partitions. Backups can be encrypted/password protected with AES 256/192/128 and compressed; backup images can be automatically split based on size; and there are multiple imaging methods available. O&O DiskImage 5 Pro has the ability to apply filters that allow users to exclude specific files, folders, or file types from being included in a backup. A similar filter allows users to exclude files, folders, or file types from being compressed in a backup. Backups are created in O&O DiskImage’s proprietary OMG format but it gives users the ability to convert backups into non-proprietary VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) format. (When converting OMG backups to VHD, both the OMG backup image and VHD are kept — the OMG backup image is used to restore with O&O DiskImage while the VHD file is for other programs.)

Backups can be run as one time affairs or backup jobs can be created. Once a backup job is created, it can be scheduled to automatically happen X times a week (you decide how many times a week you want to run it — you can run it once per day). A backup job also allows users to tell O&O DiskImage to run specific commands before and/or after the job.

Doing a quick test, I noticed O&O DiskImage creates backups fairly quickly. Running it at default settings (no encryption and default level of compression), DiskImage was able to create a 7.02 GB backup image of 12.2 GB data in about six minutes; it took another six minutes to create a VHD of that backup image. During the backup DiskImage used about 20% CPU on average and during the conversion it used about 10% CPU on average; none of these values are too bad although it must be noted I’m on a quad-core laptop so you may experience different CPU usage if you are on a dual or single core.

Up until now all the features mentioned of O&O DiskImage have been pretty ordinary. They are the features we expect to be in a system-level backup program. The one feature that potentially makes O&O DiskImage stand out above the crowd is the WinPE recovery disc: O&O DiskImage 5 Pro comes with the ability to build a WinPE recovery disc. I didn’t test the recovery disk but it is important to note this is WinPE not Linux-based. Many other system-level backup offer Linux-based recovery discs only.

What surprised me the most about O&O DiskImage is there appears to be no way to pause backups. This means not only are you unable to manually pause backups but it also means O&O DiskImage isn’t a very good choice for automatic backups because it won’t automatically pause itself if system load is too high, such as what Ocster Backup Pro 7 does.

To conclude, O&O DiskImage 5 Pro is good. It has all the features – aside from the ability to pause – that one expects to have in a system-level backup utility. However, O&O DiskImage 5 Pro is not great. It doesn’t have anything that makes me say “wow drop what you are using right now and get this”. The only potentially attractive feature of O&O DiskImage 5 Pro is the WinPE recovery disc; but is that worth dropping what you use right now for O&O DiskImage 5 Pro? I don’t think so, but you may disagree.

Freebie Details

O&O DiskImage 5 Pro is being given away in a promotion by DownloadCrew. The giveaway is live for 24-hours only (ends December 31, 2011 11:59 PM Central European Time [6:59 PM Eastern Standard Time]). There is no information on if you are install/reinstall at a later date or not.

To get O&O DiskImage 5 Pro for free, do the following:

Version being given out for free: v5.5 Build 126

Free updates: Unknown

Free technical support: Unknown

Supported OS: Windows 2000 Pro/XP/Vista/Win7

Download size: 116-117 MB

  • To take advantage of this giveaway you need to have an account with DownloadCrew. If you already have an account with them, skip to the next bullet point below. If you don’t have an account with them, visit the registration page and register (registration is free):

After you fill out the form and hit CREATE ACCOUNT, if you do it properly you will be shown the following message:

Now check the inbox of the e-mail address you registered with. Look for an e-mail from noreply@giveaway.downloadcrew.com with subject of giveaway.downloadcrew.com – New Account. In the e-mail is a link you need to follow:

Click on the link or copy + paste it in your browser. Once the page loads your account has been confirmed (there is no success message) and you can use it.

  • If you are not already logged in (you may already be logged in if you just created a new account) visit the login page and log into your DownloadCrew account :

  • Visit the promotion page and scroll down about half way and click on the GET SERIAL CODE button:

  • Copy the serial code that appears:

  • Scroll up and click the DOWNLOAD button to begin downloading O&O DiskImage 5 Pro:

  • After the download finishes, install O&O DiskImage 5 Pro. Take note the O&O DiskImage 5 Pro download is of a ZIP file. Inside that ZIP file are two installers — OODiskImage5ProfessionalEnu.exe (or OODiskImage5Professional64Enu.exe if you download the 64-bit version) and OOPE_OODI_5.6.18_X64_ENU.exe. OODiskImage5ProfessionalEnu.exe is the installer for O&O DiskImage 5 Pro — the other file is the installer for the WinPE recovery disc.
  • At the end of installation you will be asked to restart your computer. Restart your computer.
    • Note: Before you restart your computer save your serial key somewhere safe like a Notepad file so you can use it after restart. If you choose not to save it, don’t worry — you can grab it again from DownloadCrew as long as the giveaway is live.
  • After restart, run O&O DiskImage 5 Pro; you will be promoted to register it. The following screenshots show exactly how to register O&O DiskImage 5 Pro — follow the red arrows and boxes:

  • Enjoy!

If you have trouble getting O&O DiskImage 5 Pro for free, post below and other dotTechies or I will try to help.

[via Techno360]

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28 comments

  1. Giovanni

    Hi Ashraf !!

    Thanks for your great unbiased review.

    Just a question for you: you said that this SW is good but does not have anything stand out above the crowd. .

    So could you pls tell me what FREE DiskImaging Software of your knowledge is better and more complete than this?? Macrium Reflect??

    Happy New Year to you and your family!!

  2. Rob (Down Under)

    @Anne De:
    If your PC’s motherboard has a Sata connector, then you can purchase, for a couple of dollars, a cable with Sata on one end, and eSata on the other end.
    There are two types -
    - One has a metal strip(plate) so that it can be placed into the hole where a PCI card would normally reside.
    - The othe type has the eSata socket, but it is not mounted onto a metal PCI type plate
    Either type is fine.
    You can buy those cables from china via eBay.
    I assume that in the US, they would exist, and probably pretty cheap.

    Now at the external drive end, if you have an enclosed external drive, they rarely have eSata socket.
    I don’t like enclosed external drives, particularly for important images, as I reckon they get too hot.
    The Docks (I have a few) that I use, only cost $25 to $35 dollars, possibly cheaper in US.
    Make sure that the one you get has eSata socket.
    The 3.5″ drive sits vertically into a slot, and 70 % of it is visible, and cools in the open air.
    In the past, Debra or Dark Angel (or both) have joined me in singing the praises of these Docks. (They are a couple of experts on an XP forum at itToolbox)

  3. Anne De

    @ Rob (Down Under)

    Being a simpleton, no eSATA capabilities here.
    Did export the O&O image to a Seagate external, though.

    When there’s time, I’ll try your suggestion. Appreciate the input!

  4. Rob (Down Under)

    @Anne De:
    Would you like a smaller image, and a much faster creation time ?

    Try the free Seagate DiscWizard.
    As long as it sees a Maxtor or Seagate drive, then the software is free to use.
    All my PC’s are 2004 (except a Dell I was given recently)
    One of my PC’s OS is 70GB
    That reduces to a 40 GB image.
    It takes a bit over an hour to create the image, and one hour to verify that image.

    I use an external dock with a 3.5″ 500GB Seagate drive shoved vertically into it.
    That dock has both USB and eSata connectors.
    USB can take nearly 3 hours to create an image.
    eSata is much faster, and more reliable.
    I had many images fail, when using a USB connector.
    I strongly believe that USB was flaky back in the early 2000′s, because MS insisted on being the only supplier of the USB drivers (for XP).

  5. Anne De

    Happy New Year to all, and great thanks to Ashraft for the phenomenal insights provided!

    Grabbed this offer, produced a full backup and a rescue disk for a 2004-vintage machine. Took 36 hours to complete both image and disk with verification. While not tested, Diskimage 5 seems to have produced as described. Image was identical size as full system using default settings.

    Much obliged!

  6. Rob (Down Under)

    Thanks Ashraf for the bootable CD info.
    I found a PCWorld review on the Indian PCWorld web site.
    I will post the link separate in case it gets delayed with moderation.
    You all, can Google for the following words, and you will get similar(Indian one is best) reviews on PCWorlds (many countries) web site -
    Two things separate the men from the boys when it comes to imaging programs

    I am going to give it a miss, for these reasons -
    - It hides the details and options from you, and just creates an image.
    (I like the details and options that you Get with Acronis True Image, or it’s free Seagate DiscWizard program)
    - The bootable CD may not recognize everything
    - The bootable CD refused to boot on 2 of the 3 PC’s they tried it.

    But thanks for ‘heads up’ Ashraf.

    PS I found this on one of PCWorld’s reviews of ver 6 -
    Microsoft recently made the WinPE technology available for free
    So presumably more programs will now offer WinPE discs

  7. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Lex: Ummm, I don’t think you should need anything else. Win7′s native backing up features are good for basic, easy-to-restore back ups.

    Happy New Year!

    @teo: Yes, I believe so but I didn’t check when I registered it.

    You are welcome and Happy New Year!

    @rebel: I have no idea. Only way to find out is updating it. For what it is worth, the giveaway was extended by 24-hours so you still have time to update and revert back if it doesn’t work.

    @Rob (Down Under): Yes, bootable CD is what I am talking about. Yes, this program does allow you to do that. Don’t know the Seagate program off the top of my head so I can’t say – sorry!

    @Titanium: You are welcome — Happy New Year!

    @Elaine: Do you “need” it? No. But the big deal is it provides full program functionality from outside Windows where as Linux-based discs typically only allow restoration. You are welcome!

    @WildCat: You are welcome! Off the top of my head I can’t tell you what programs offer differential and which don’t — sorry! Happy New Year!

    @Emrys: It depends on the size of the bootable disc (I haven’t created it myself so I don’t know how large it is). For this particular one I believe WildCat is right — you can use CD-R/CD-RW.

    And it depends on the specs of your WinXP machine. I loaded Win7 on a WinXP desktop (single core 3 Ghz, 2 GB memory) and it works just fine.

    @WildCat: I disagree on being unable to go from XP -> Win7. I have done it and it works fine — it just depends on what hardware.

    @jipy: You are welcome! Happy New Year!

    @Emrys: It should only take one.

    @albert otojunk: No idea. Did you try it?

    @Iouri: Thanks! Happy New Year!

  8. WildCat

    @Emrys

    1) A blank CD-R or CD-RW (re-writable) is what you would use to make your recovery/rescue disk. Be sure to mark it as such and store it in a safe place.

    2) Simple answer: No. Reason being is your “old XP machine” is a different PC, has different hardware, than your Windows 7 PC. As such all of the motherboard and system drivers are going to be different on the Win7 PC vs your XP PC. So your Win7 backup would be “incompatible” with your XP PC. There might be ways around this, or “tricks” to make it work, but I honestly don’t know of any.

    I do know of one tip for older XP PC’s in case your motherboard is going bad, you’re needing to install a new one, and you don’t want to reinstall & update XP. BEFORE you change the OLD motherboard go into device manager and change the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers to “Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller”. You do this by going to update driver and then selecting “Don’t Search. I will choose the driver to install.” Then select the “Standard Controller.”

    After you have changed the controller, shut down your PC and install your new motherboard. You should now be able to boot without the dreaded “Blue Screen”. Once booted, load your new motherboard’s drivers, including the new IDE controller driver. This can be useful for people who use removable drives or for people who need to upgrade their motherboard on an older PC. ( Side Note: I haven’t done this in awhile/years. So I don’t know how it would work, if it would work, with SATA??? )

  9. WildCat

    As NickK has already said, thank you for your upfront & honest reviews, plus everything else you do on dotTech. From looking at past articles, am I correct in saying that O&O, Paragon, & Ocster are the only free backup progs that offer differential backups? I’ve been using Macrium Reflect for years now, but having a free prog that did differential/incremental backups would be nice, as it seems it would save me some, take less, time. Maybe another “comparison review” like you did here: http://dottech.org/featured/11628/paragon-backup-restore-free-vs-macrium-reflect-free-vs-easeus-todo-backup-vs-driveimage-xml-vs-acronis-true-image-home-which-one-should-you-use/ is in the works???

    As always, thanks for all your hard work and honest opinions. I wish you a very happy, safe and prosperous New Year!

  10. Emrys

    @ Ashraf or anyone else…In an effort to display my ignorance I ask two questions…#1…what kind of CD do I need to make a recovery disk? #2…Can I then load Win7 on my old XP machine? Go ahead and laugh…I know I am a silly twit. I yam what I yam.

  11. Rob (Down Under)

    Hi Ashraf,
    You mention ‘Recovery Disc’.
    That may or may not be the thing I am about to ask about ?
    I never create images from a running Windows. I always boot into a bootable CD version of my imaging program, and create images from there.
    Does this program allow me to create a bootable CD, and I can do my imaging from that CD ?
    Thanks,
    Rob
    PS Any advantages over my free Seagate Disc wizard program ?

  12. teo

    Does it requires an internet connection during installation/activation?
    Right now I’m not ready for install..
    No problem with registration on the site, have my serial code.
    Thanks Ashraf
    and Happy New Year!

  13. Lex

    Hi Ashraf,

    Thank you for your great reviews. I have one question. I’m using Windows 7 built-in Backup and Recovery so is this program worth installing just for simple monthly backups?

    Happy New Year!

  14. NickK

    Hi Ashraf,

    Thank you for your honest and upfront reviews throughout the year. Unlike so many magazine sites, who tend to write favourable reviews on almost anything, your reviews are completely unbiased as they should be, which provides so much value to all us readers.

    You Rock. I look forward to reading and keeping myself up-to-date with your reviews in the new year.

    Many thanks and Have a Happy New Year.