Author Topic: O&O DiskImage 14 Professional  (Read 100 times)

Offline jasonX

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O&O DiskImage 14 Professional
« on: January 05, 2019, 08:41:02 pm »


O&O DiskImage 14 Professional is the latest of O&O Software's product line for disk imaging/backup. O&O DiskImage is the reliable and affordable solution for protecting your private or professional data. O&O DiskImage provides you with everything you'll need to protect your data just like an IT specialist: it lets you image and restore entire Server systems as well as individual files.

O&O DiskImage enables convenient and efficient duplication (or archiving) of entire systems and individual disks. O&O DiskImage allows back-up of entire computers, single drives and files even during running operations. There is also an integrated disk burner available so as the user can also burn image files to disc. Along this line O&O DiskImage can effectively restore those backed-up (entire) computers (via bootable medium under Windows PE or its new DiskImage To Go), entire disks (whether it be restoration of entire storage volume, or restoration as MBR/GPT or dynamic disk), individual drives (whether it be -- single drives (partitions/volumes), primary, extended and logical partitions, simple, spanned, mirrored volumes, system areas, Master Boot Record or any combination of the above mentioned objects), and files/folders to their normal/familiar working environment back in less amount of time, whether it be onto the original computer or to dissimilar hardware (--have changed a motherboard on the target machine or have bought a brand new PC through its M.I.R. -- Machine Independent Restoring). It also supports SSD drives and the latest UEFI System.









Backup Image / Imaging
We create backups of our data, whether it be the whole computer system, drive, partitions etc. so we will not experience loss of data when something untoward happens such as drive failure. If we often create backup images any untoward incidences are remedied with just a few mouse clicks for restoration.

A backup image or backup imaging is a "mirror" of your drive (partitions as well as file and folders -- data in the drive). When you create an image backup this is termed as a “copy” which contains all information taken from the source drive (partition, folders/files). An "image" format is compressed through this way it will not use much space as compared to the original (source).

O&O DiskImage allows for the creation of reliable images of entire systems, individual drives, and files or folders. The integrated "snapshot" has its own buffer memory integration which will ensure that the imaged data is remains exactly the same as it was when the image was started to be created. Any changes to the data caused by usage or if the user is working on the computer while the imaging do not affect the image while it's being created.  O&O DiskImage ensures consistent images of systems without any interruptions.

O&O DiskImage uses the file extension (*.omg) for the image files it creates when imaging your entire computer or single drives. A drive image stores or backs-up all used sectors or all sectors (whether it be used/unused). This can be used for further activities such as restoration, validation or conversion.

File/Folder backups uses the file extension (*.obk). Files are backed-up directly in the form of data. This type of image includes only file information, no drive information is imaged.


Different imaging methods
Different imaging methods allow a created image to be adjusted for different purposes. You get a space saving image if you select the setting "Only used sectors". If you want to rescue data from a damaged hard disk, we recommend a forensic image - all sectors are imaged exactly according to their structure.



  • Image the used sectors of drives (partitions/volumes)

    Where only unencrypted data is included in the image you create. This method gives you less space needed for a created image. You image "only the used sectors" of the drive.

  • Complete image of all sectors of the object to be imaged (forensic image)

    Where both encrypted and unencrypted data is included in the image you create. You image "all the sectors" of the drive (whether used or not).

  • Direct forensic image

    Where encrypted and unencrypted data is included in the image you create. You image "all the sectors" of the drive (whether used or not). It must be noted that "direct forensic" is intended for imaging encrypted disks using encrypted data (encrypted hard disks using encrypted software) whereby the data you image from the "encrypted disk" remains encrypted even after the image is restored.
After a base imaging (image that serves as "basis" for any changes to that same image), you can create subsequent images as incremental or differential for storing only the changes:

  • Incremental image

    Changes saved between previous images and the current disk (save the changes made since the last base image). Incremental image does not require a complete image as base image. The last incremental (or differential image) is enough for doing this. To restore an incremental image, you need the last complete image as well as all the following images recording any changes.

  • Differential image

    Changes save between the very first image and the current status of the disk (compare present data with the last complete image and store only the changes). The first "successive" image after the complete image is always a differential image. To restore a differential image, you will need both the complete image and the differential image.


DRIVE OPERATION

One-click imaging
The one-click imaging is the fastest and easiest way to create a complete image of your computer including all data and settings. One-click imaging is especially useful if you are using O&O DiskImage for the first time, or have not yet created an image of your computer.




Imaging complete disks
You can create an image of one or more disks, e.g. hard disks. When this happens, all drives found on these disks will be automatically imaged. You are not only able to image entire hard disks, but also individual drives. This incorporates the hard disk layout.

Image of the changes
To create an image of the changes, you need to have created at least one complete image of the drives or folders involved. "Image of the changes" will allow you to create an image that saves only those changes that have occurred since the last base image. While creating an image of the changes, O&O DiskImage compares each sector of the existing image with the corresponding sector of the disk (source) being imaged. This might require more time than a complete image. An image of the changes, however, takes up much less space than a complete image.

Note:
If you want to create an image of the changes, you must have created at least one complete image of each drive that can then serve as a base image. Afterwards, the image of the changes you've created can also serve as a new base image.


Differential/incremental imaging
As a base image you can use either the complete image created using the “Used sector imaging”, “Forensic imaging” or “Direct forensic imaging”, or by using a previously created incremental image/differential image. See also "Different imaging methods" above.

Imaging options

  • Used sector imaging

    Using this imaging method will limit the imaging process to only used sectors on a drive. This method will let you save time, computer performance, and disk space. Used sector imaging is set in the program by default.

  • Image of the changes

    (See "Image of the changes" in DRIVE OPERATIONS)

  • Forensic imaging

    This imaging method is especially useful when creating images of non-supported file systems or when, for example, you would like to recover deleted data from a source drive using special data recovery software. With this method, an exact sector-level copy of the source drive is made. By saving all sectors of a partition or drive, the unoccupied and deleted portions of file systems can be imaged in their entirety.

  • Direct forensic

    Direct forensic imaging is a special case. The difference, however, lies in data being read over deep system interfaces. As with regular forensic imaging, a complete copy of a source drive will be created. This makes it possible to, among other things, image an encrypted hard disk using encryption software. Please note that direct forensic imaging is intended for imaging encrypted disks using encrypted data. This data remains encrypted even after the image is restored. If the source drive being used is an encrypted drive, only sector-based restoration is possible. The file-based restoration or browsing of such an image is not possible. In addition, spanned volumes (stripped/spanned) are also excluded from this, since the logical link here between the regions is taken over by the operating system. Direct forensic imaging makes no sense if the drives are not encrypted.

    Note: Please note that direct forensic imaging of an active operating system is only possible if our snapshot driver is installed.


  • Split image into smaller files with fixed sizes

    An image can be split into multiple image files. If a disk doesn't have enough space to contain a full image of your selected drives, you will automatically be requested to enter another target location. It is also possible to manually set the maximum size of an image file before creating the image. If the image being created is larger than the entered file size, additional image files will be created. This function is especially useful when you plan to burn your image onto a CD/DVD at a later time. Sometimes a CD/DVD is not large enough to contain the entire image file. We recommend your limiting image files to the size of the blank CD/DVD onto which you will be writing your images.

  • Encryption

    Your data can be securely encrypted using the recognized AES method. This permits O&O DiskImage to provide your image with an extremely high level of security with a key length of up to 256 bits.

    Note: A belated encryption of the image is possible under Convert image file.


  • Compress image file to save storage space

    Under Drive operation/Imaging options/Image file you find the settings Compress image file to save storage space. You can choose from the LZNT1 Standard or theBZIP2 process.

    • LZNT1: This is a compression type based on the Lempel-Ziv algorithm, which is laid out on a real time application. Speed is preferred over the rate of data compression.

    • BZIP2: is a block type compression process. Compression rate is preferred over velocity.
    Note: Compression increases the time required to create an image file


  • Advanced >Exclude files from an image

    When using the imaging method “Used Sector Imaging” you have the option of excluding data from the image or compression. Let it be noted that several minutes may be needed for excluding files, depending on the amount of data on the hard disk.

  • Advanced > Exclude data from compression

    Data that is already compressed, e.g. *.rar or *.zip files, will not be compressed any further during the imaging process and so may be excluded from compression. To exclude data from compression, please follow the procedure laid down in Exclude files from an image.


  • Advanced > Lock a drive

    You can lock the drive you wish to image during the imaging process. This prevents any changes being made to the drive while the image is being created. The drive will no longer be displayed in Explorer and all applications will be closed. The drive is not locked by default.


Drive Restoration / Restoration Options

Restoring your data (data recovery) is easy as creating an image. If you want to restore data drives, you only need to start O&O DiskImage under Windows. O&O DiskImage can bring a system back to life immediately and with no installation required. This is provided by the "Bootable Medium" (USB Stick or CD/DVD) which is based on the currently installed Windows system (or from the Windows AIK/ADK) and which contains all the standard drivers required. (See TOOLS > Bootable Medium / WinPE Disc).







Restoring entire disks
O&O DiskImage (through the built-in wizard) assists you when installing/configuring new acquired computers. After configuring your computer, create an image of your entire system and do this for "all" your computer systems. O&O DiskImage allows for the:

  • Restoration of an entire storage volume
  • Restoration to or as MBR disks
  • Restoration to or as GPT disks
  • Restoration to or as dynamic disks
  • Restoring individual drives

O&O DiskImage enables you to restore individual drives from existing images no matter how many drives were included in one image. The following drive types can be restored from a backup image:

  • Single drives (Partitions/volumes)
  • Primary, extended and logical partitions
  • Simple, spanned, mirrored volumes
  • System areas
  • Master boot record (MBR)
  • Create system partitions (e.g. Microsoft reserved partition)
  • Exclusive restoration of the Master boot records (MBR)
  • Restore a combination of the above mentioned objects (various hard disks, partitions, volumes or similar) in one image


Machine Independent Restoration (M.I.R.)
Machine Independent Restoration technology (M.I.R.) renders the option of restoring an image that contains a system partition onto a computer with a different hardware (dissimilar hardware). Thus with O&O DiskImage a restoration of a system image (or clone) can be done not only on devices with previously identical hardware, but also on instances when hardware (e.g. motherboard or processor) has been replaced.

Adapt size of the target drive for restoration and cloning
If the target   for restoration or cloning is an empty area, the user can adapt the size of the target drive to the actual data volume of the source drive. When, for example, the drive being imaged has 5 GB but the data on it is only taking up half its space, a smaller drive of maybe 3 GB can be entered as a target during restoration.





You are also able to clone single drives. This incorporates the hard disk layout. O&O DiskImage supports the following cloning options:

  • Cloning single partitions/volumes
  • Cloning of primary, extended, and logical partitions
  • Cloning simple, spanned, mirrored volumes
  • Cloning the system areas
  • Cloning the Master boot records (MBR)
  • Exclusive cloning of the Master boot records (MBR)
  • Storing of a combination from the above mentioned objects.

Modifications for cloning
You can make various adaptations for cloning. Some of these are configured automatically or you can set them yourself. The following adaptations can be set:

  • Buffer the original data before a change (Snapshot)
  • Automatic conversion of the free areas to an extended partition (if the areas are larger than the partition being cloned and no extended partition exists).
  • M.I.R (Machine Independent Restoration), adjust to the different hardware (dissimilar hardware) of the clone.
FILE OPERATION

File backup

O&O DiskImage makes it possible to backup and restore single files and folders. O&O DiskImage creates an image file of the selected (source) folders and files during a file backup.


File Backup of the changes

A complete image or a previously created image of the changes can be used as base image. Before proceeding you must make sure that the drive containing the base image is connected to your computer. Go to Quick Start > Start File > File backup of the changes. Select your base image in the explorer window and click "Open". Select the recommended target (destination) folder where to save the image (or enter a new target path). Click "Start" to begin imaging.



File Backup Options

  • File backup method

    Under File operation/File backup options/File backup /File backup method you can specify which method should be preset for every file backup. The options are:

    • Complete
    • Image of the changes

    For normal use, we recommend the “Complete” method which is already set by default. If you've already made one or more back-ups of a folder or individual files, you can select the method Image of the changes. Only changes made since the last base image will be saved. When creating an image of the changes, O&O DiskImage compares the data of the existing image with corresponding data from the current folder. That's why this backup method might require more time than the creation of a complete image. On the other hand, an image of the changes normally requires much less disk space than a complete image.

  • Advanced > Lock drive while imaging

    While processing a file backup, you can lock the drive where the folders/files being backed up are located. This prevents any changes from being made to the drive while the backup is being created. The drive will no longer be displayed in Explorer and all applications will be closed. The drive is not locked by default. If the drive is not locked, changes will be buffered either in the snapshot cache (if installed) or over the volume shadow copy service of Windows so that these changed won't influence the backup.

  • Advanced > Use check sums to administer unchanged data (for incremental file backup)

    Unchanged data is saved by default using checksums by the method Image of the changes. The file is slightly larger. It's therefore enough if you enter an existing image of the changes as source image for the next Image of the changes (with checksums). This function is enabled by default. If you save all images in a single folder, you can also disable this function. Your images will then take up less space on the disk.

  • Advanced > Encrypt file backup

    Your data can be securely encrypted using the recognized AES method. This permits
    O&O DiskImage to support extremely high security levels with a key length of up to 256 bits.
File Restoration
To restore individual files and folders you must first locate the image file to be restored (*.obk) then go to File Menu > File Operation > File restoration. Select the image you want to restore, say, "Image20181214.obk" and then at the top select the "Select target" (ribbon). Specify the target destination for the restore operation and click "Start file restoration".

Restore single files from an image via "mount drives from images as virtual drives"
Mounting drives is a quick and easy way to restore single files from an image. (Mount drives from images as virtual drives). This will allow you to copy preferred files and folders from the (mounted) image onto existing drives (target/destination).












TOOLS

Mount drives from images
Mount drives from images serves as "virtual drives". This will allow you to copy preferred files and folders from the (mounted) image onto existing drives (target/destination). Take note that making changes to the image, however, e.g. deleting or adding files, is not possible.



Validate Image File
This function checks the structural integrity of an image file. This will examine whether the required logical structure is intact or undamaged. In addition, encrypted and/or compressed images will be checked to determine if decryption or decompression is possible without error.


Image Information
Displays detailed information about an image file such as the imaging method, date of creation and image contents displayed.





Burn image file(s) on CD/DVD/Blu-ray
To save your image to CD/DVD/Blu-ray, you need to first create an image and save it on an internal or external drive*. Only then will it be possible to burn your image files (*.omg) or your virtual hard disk (*.vhd) to CD/DVD. It is not possible to store an image or a virtual drive directly, i.e. without buffering it, on CD/DVD/Blu-ray.



Note: It must be note that the size of the image files should be limited to the size of your blank CD/DVD/Blu-ray under Drive imaging/Imaging options/Image file/File size. The image file will then be divided into several parts during the imaging process.

Convert image file
The tool “Convert image file” allows you to change the properties and content of existing images (OMG) or a virtual hard disk (VHD/VHDX). It creates a copy of the image file (OMG) or virtual hard disk (VHD/VHDX), so that the original image remains intact. Further settings like compression, encryption or splitting images into several image files with a certain size are possible. Please note the restrictions that apply to “Handling virtual hard disks” (VHD/VHDX).



Merge incremental images
If you have already created several incremental images, you can combine them to form a new base image. The newly created base image is now a "complete" image. Older images that contained only changes can be deleted once the combining has been completed.

Note: Only consecutive image files (Image of the changes) with the same base image may be merged.

Check drive
Check drive for errors runs an intensive analysis of the file system and data storage interface to protect you against any possible loss of data. The "Wizard" (CheckDisk -- like the nrmal checkdisk in cmd.exe) will guide you step by step through the process of checking your drives. Simply follow the instructions in the dialog window and select your drive. In the next stage the analysis is carried out. You can monitor progress by means of the progress bar where all the program status messages are listed.


Bootable Medium / WinPE Disc
The bootable disk is created based on the operating system you are using. This means that if you have a 64-bit system, a 64-bit boot disk will be created. Using a 64-bit boot disk you’ll be able, among other things, to restore images of GPT hard disks under UEFI/EFI systems. Creating a bootable disk with O&O DiskImage is possible by going to the menu item Tools -> Create bootable disk, switch to previous view. This feature detects those options available for creating a bootable disk within the system. It will then copy all the files that are required for doing this. The program will create a bootable disk using:

  • Windows® recovery environment.
  • Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK)
  • Windows Assessment Kit (AIK)
  • Windows® installation disk


Individual driver integration when creating a boot medium
You can specify a driver directory so that every driver accepted by the operating system for the boot device is included in the boot media and run automatically when you boot from it. You can integrate drivers into the boot medium for all types of devices, even ones not PnP compatible.

Individual driver integration when using a boot medium
You can specify a driver directory so that every driver accepted by the offline operating system is included in the operating system and run automatically when you boot up. You can integrate drivers into the boot medium for all types of devices, even ones not PnP compatible, for example graphics cards or network cards. 

The next step will involve using the data detected to create a bootable disk. You have the option to burn the CD image onto a CD/DVD or copy it onto a USB stick. Select the CD/DVD burner or USB drive you want. You also have the option of saving the CD image as an ISO file for later use. This will require your entering a file name as well as a path. To complete creation, click "Create".







New in O&O DiskImage Professional Edition version 14
 
NEW: DiskImage To  Go
The new DiskImage To Go function automatically turns an external hard drive that you select to store an image on (or USB flash drive with enough storage space) into an O&O DiskImage boot medium, and marks this disk as the preferred storage medium for future system backups. As soon as you connect this external USB hard disk to your computer, O&O DiskImage automatically creates an image of all internal drives and the data partition onto it. This makes it easy to create a recent backup. And, if something really happens to your computer or you want to transfer your system and all your data to a new computer, then with the O&O DiskImage boot medium you can restore the image stored on it with just one touch of a button, without the hassle of searching for the boot medium and the external hard drive with the backup.





NEW: Support for VHDX (Virtual Hard Disk Format)
O&O DiskImage 14 adds support for VHDX (Virtual Hard Disk Format) to further enhance the options for virtual environments. The main advantage of VHDX is its increased storage capacity of 64 TB (terabytes), instead of VHD's standard storage limit of 2TB atop VHDX's file corruption protection.





OBSERVATIONS

Installation and Activation
O&O DiskImage Pro v14 installation and activation went on smoothly without a hitch and is pretty straight forward. The activation process is also the same and if a license is NFR (not for resale) you can activate it even without an internet connection. O&O Software advocates that the user register online with the assurance that they will be able to better serve you. This is optional though and can be opted out after you have activated O&O DiskImage Professional offline. Depending on your purchase (or how you have obtained your license) minor updates for a version purchased item is included. Major updates entails an "upgrade" and such can be availed for a price. But O&O Software offers a special discount rate for a license owner.

Quote
Online registration gives you the benefit of having your customer data kept safely in our files, which means we can provide you with even better service. If, for example, you accidentally lose your license key, we can quickly resend it to you without any problem. The license key is needed for using the full version of a program, getting updates, and for reinstalling the program when you make a new setup of your computer.

The trial for O&O DiskImage is 30 days free of charge and with no obligation. The remaining trial period will be displayed each time you start the program. After the trial period the user will need to purchase a license to continue using the program.

One thing to be pointed out is that O&O Software instructs that there should be no other backup/imaging software installed on your computer when installing/working with O&O DiskImage as doing so might lead to complications with the filter driver, especially when different software is working simultaneously on multiple drives. I have other backup/imaging software installed on this test partition but I did not removed them prior installation of O&O DiskImage Pro. Up until this test/review I made there is no untoward issue that I have experienced so far with O&O DiskImage Pro as with the other backup/imaging software installed.

   


Backup and Restore
To compare with 2 of the alternative backup/imaging software I have I made a rough/short comparison test to gauge O&O DiskImage Pro v14 performance. The alternatives chosen where Acronis True Image 2016 Build 6595 and Macrium Reflect Home v7.2.3906. I used a blank partition I have (162 gb in size) and added some files/folders to it (just 4.2 gb of data). Data to be backed up will only be the "used sectors" and after each backup validation is set to be done. Backup/Restore was done within Windows (Win 10 1803 Build 17134.137). No test was made using WinPE bootable media.

Drive/Partition Backup and Restore
O&O DiskImage Pro v14 successfully backed-up PW8WN partition in 4 minutes with a size of 4, 188, 083 KB with no errors. Macrium Reflect's backup time was 4.46 minutes (the slowest) and the backup size is 4, 252, 340 KB (also the largest). Acronis True Image 2016's backup time is also 4 minutes but the backup size is the smallest of the three at 4, 150, 896 KB. There were no errors also for both Acronis and Macrium. The comparison will shows that there isn't much in terms of the backup time (which includes validation of the backup file) and to the size of the backup it is, well, tolerable within the 4g b size of the source partition.

Drive/Partition restoration is a bit more difference between the three backup/imaging applications. Let it be noted that for every restore done the target/destination partition has been formatted using Aomei Partition Assistant Pro v7.5.1 so as the restore/recovery is a full/clean one. Macrium Reflect even though it made the largest of the backup size (at 4,252,340 KB) made a full/clean restore to the target partition at only 2.19 minutes. Take note that this is without Rapid Delta Restore. Acronis True Image 2016 came in second with 4 minutes restore time. O&O DiskImage came in last with 6 minutes! I repeated the whole process (destination partition formatted via Aomei Partition Assistant Pro v7.5.1) but the result was the same. Please see comparison table below.








File/Folder Backup and Restore
File/Folder backup and restore also has been done within Windows (Win 10 1803 Build 17134.137). Same alternatives chosen (Acronis True Image 2016 Build 6595 and Macrium Reflect Home v7.2.3906). Folders selected are (1) 02_Music_Video which is 2 gb in size, and (2) ON1 Photo RAW 2018 folder at only 692 mb in size which is mostly images/pictures. Data to be backed up will only be the "used sectors" and after each backup validation is set to be done. After each restore/recovery, both recovered folders will be deleted in explorer so as to permit clean restoration using the alternative backup/imaging programs.

O&O DiskImage Pro v14 successfully backed-up selected source folders (02_Music_Video – 2 gb in size, and ON1 Photo RAW 2018 folder -- 692 mb in size) in 4 minutes (including validation) with a size of 5, 400, 418 KB with no errors. Macrium Reflect backed-up the same folder in 3.02 minutes (including validation) with 2, 709, 003 KB (no errors). Acronis True Image 2016 in <1minute (including validation) with 2, 695, 191 KB (no errors). This the fastest and the smallest in size as compared to O&O DiskImage and Macrium Reflect (without Rapid Delta Restore). O&O DiskImage is the biggest in size, greater than the total size of the source folders and perhaps because of that it took 4 minutes to backup and 3 minutes to restore. See image comparison below.




Interface and ease-of-use
O&O DiskImage Pro v14 interface has not changed from O&O DiskImage Pro v12. The only glaring difference I see is the addition of the new feature "DiskImage To Go" in the Quick Start interface. When using it you will get the feeling that you are using v12 still (but that's just me). The interface is still easy-to-use with all the features that you need there in front of you as you go on clicking each menu (whether you are in the Application Menu, Main Menu or the Quick Start Menu). That’s a good thing for those that prefer to see all that they need (like me). One thing that irks me when using an application is that I have to find what I need. Here with O&O DiskImage Pro it's all there though some also will state that it's a bit cluttered with all the functions shown (or at least tried to be shown) so the  user will not have difficulty finding what he wants/needs. Now there will be some who are into the "minimalist view" and prefers that they only see what they need or prefers that the interface is small. O&O DiskImage has an "Express View" which can suffice for that. O&O DiskImage's interface kind of reminds me of Acronis True Image 2014 or say, MS Word (or ACAD 2010 for that matter) with all the ribbons and menu combinations. Again this is a good thing for those who want to see (most) of what that they need (the intermediate user per se but not for the minimalist individual or advanced user). This is especially necessary for any "new" user as he does not have any experience using this and will need to tinker/grope with it at first. 

For me this is a bit good as compared to the interface of Acronis True Image 2016 with minimalist in the left corner but shows a large window of the source/destination drive on the right. To top that the ATI 2016 does not have a log file which you can check for data with regards to what you did. But this was corrected in the new Acronis True Image 2019 version complete with log files and pertinent data of all the operations you do (although that big sized image of the source/destination drive is still there. In my opinion -- and being a part of the crew that beta tested ATI 2019 it needs to be toned down to a smaller one and with that reduction in size you can squeeze in the log files as well there at the bottom of the source/destination drive boxes). Macrium Reflect ver7.2 interface looks like ver6 and there isn't much improvement in the big interface either. It also could use a bit of color as its all white there. Most of the Macrium users have either just took it upon themselves to accept that there is no interface changes (or they either don't mind) as long as they have the programs efficient performance.

Anyway will play a significant part in ease-of-use for any user. If you can't find what you need then you lose that needed minutes of your time. Of course you do not need to see "all" functions and features and the user often just use 40-60% of it thus it is a burden that all developers would strive to strike a balance with -- functionality and ease-of-use via an effective interface.



IMAGES OF O&O DISKIMAGE PRO VER12





IMAGES OF O&O DISKIMAGE PRO VER14








Bootable Medium creation
O&O DiskImage gives you a variety of choices for the creation of the WinPE bootable medium and they are all working! If there's one thing I do not like is when I have already the Windows 10 ADK installed in my system and then when you want to create the WinPE bootable disk the applications does not accept it and even tells you to go online t download either their "kit" or the AIK/ADK from Microsoft servers. That is really annoying to me. Here with O&O DiskImage all actually worked either with the Windows RE, Windows ADK, WAIK and the Windows installation media. That for me is very good! No hassle to the user. No extra download issue to the user. There are other backup/imaging applications that has the creation of the WinPE bootable media with them and but does not stop there because they also offer the bootable media ISO download from their servers as extra service for any paid customer/user. O&O Software does not offer that but if their O&O DiskImage does the WinPE bootable media creation with no hassle and issue then there is indeed no need for it at this time.



Additional features
This 2018 I have seen some additional trends/improvements in terms of additional protection of backup files specifically ransomware protection. Acronis 2019 (Active Protection) and Macrium v7.2 (Image Guardian) has their own ransomware protection included (and improved) in their latest versions. I do not see any here with O&O DiskImage. There are only two significant addition in this version 14 which is the inclusion of DiskImage To Go and Support for VHDX (Virtual Hard Disk Format). Acronis 2019 and Macrium (I think -- have to check it out with Macrium support) seems to have both but not like O&O Software exactly there. Although that it is my belief that ransomware protection should be the main duty of the user's main security application (or layered protection) it would not hurt any software developer to give this as a new feature. It is always a welcome addition to any software that is significant to a user. I hope that in the future this may be considered (and added) by O&O Software.



PERTINENT LINKS


O&O DiskImage 14 Professional Product Site HERE

O&O DiskImage 14 Professional Edition User Guide

O&O DiskImage 14 Professional x64 Download HERE

O&O DiskImage 14 Professional x32 Download HERE

Contact O&O Software HERE






SOME ALTERNATIVES

Acronis True Image

Macrium Reflect Home

Aomei Backupper Professional

EaseUS Todo Backup Home

Backup4all Professional


FINAL WORD


O&O DiskImage 14 Professional offers more than a lot of features that are good and efficient enough to the user’s backup/imaging needs. Most features and functions are straight forward enough for anyone to understand and if there are any questions encountered during usage O&O Software offers access to the offline user guide in PDF as reference (in absence of a standalone help file). For a beginner this software application may tend to be overwhelming with a lot of features and function that he may have not seen/used before because the interface shows most of it via menu/ribbon. In retrospect the intermediate and more advanced may find it a bit cluttered and may prefer a more minimalist view. In any case all features/functions when used are also pretty straight forward and pretty soon (as with constant usage) any beginner or intermediate will be relaxed using it. Backup/imaging performance is efficient and at par with other alternatives. The difference in size and time spent is (to me) small/manageable enough depending on the situation at hand. There has been some observations (even with version 12) that restoration of a backup seems to take time within Windows (and even more when using the WinPE bootable medium) as compared to alternatives but then again as I have observed with the alternatives the speed when using the WinPE bootable media (backup/restore) is definitely slower than when you are inside Windows. This should be a point that O&O Software needs to check and improve on as most of the time (especially during emergencies) the user needs to recover/restore something fast and there is no extra time that must be wasted. Let it be noted that this is only with the WinPE bootable medium but within Windows I can say that recovery is manageable also again depending on the situation and conditions at hand. This basis is "only" for this limited test/short spin and not to be taken as a long-time user experience.

The trend these days is that backup/imaging applications are now offering additional protection for their backup images as well as program files itself. I hope that O&O Software will consider to add a security feature that will augment protection of its backup images (and if possible its program application files as well). Such addition in the future is always welcome to the user. There are still the popular brands out in the market like the Acronis and Macrium Reflect but DiskImage 14 Professional with a bit more development and additional features can be considered as true alternative to the brands.