Documentation on easy drive- and partition tool.

This documentation is in question-answer format, to keep the subjects short.


Features

* Low-level access to your harddisk and other block devices

* Backup and restore entire partitions or drives

* Hex viewer, hex editor

* MD5 sum / SHA1 sum

* Operations also allowed on file

* Graphical display allows visualizing and locating ascii data, binary data and empty space

* Search for ascii or hex strings.

* Native windows application, no need to boot or reboot.

* Displays partition table

* Save as .zip

* Extract and write floppy images

* Extract read-only media

* Backup/restore entire drives or partitions


What can this tool do for a non-nerd

* Backup your mp3-player. Make collections of your 'playlist' which can instantly transferred as fast as your usb key can. No filesystem overhead. No lots of files.

* Transfer bootable images to your usb key or external harddisk. great for rescue systems etc. Huge advantage of usb key above cd image can be that the filesystem is natively writable. (The same may also be disadvantage, for exmaple, when examinig boot sector viruses. However, booting from cd is extensively discussed)

* Benchmarking


What can this tool do for a nerd

* Partition your harddrive, backup and restore your partitions

* raw disk editing using hex editor.

* Hex search for ascii or hex

* Amateur forensics: find (restants of) files.

* Locate areas containing ascii, click


What can this tool do for a fool

Destroy all data. According to murphy probably the most relevant.


What is the difference with the freeware and the commercial version.

Although the freeware version is somewhat restricted, it still is a valuable tool. We choosen the size so, that is is usable on common removable devices, typical some sort of flash memory. Reading is supported in all cases, writing may be disabled on hard disk devices or large images. Important exception is the hexeditor, this works in all cases, access issues excluded.


Why still freeware

As small software house, with a tradition of freeware, we want to combine best of two worlds. Your support is essential for continuation, we still like to deliver freeware. Although the freeware version is of course of promotional use, we dislike 'promo' and 'demo' software. We think freeware should be functional and usable. We will give full support to all versions, including the freeware, as usual with our freeware applications. Also, if you like our applications or libraries, consider supporting us by buying an application.



Which platforms.

Currently, it is windows only.A linux version may come in the future, but linux already has got a lot of free and very functional tools, so we focus on windows.

windows 2000: fully tested

NT4: unknown

XP: testing


What is the secret of good usage

In fact, windows is relatively capable of deciding if you can open a device for exclusive writing. If any other application has some file opened, it will fail. However, you can have devices attached and mounted, while still accessing raw data. You can overwrite a fat partition, browse to it with explorer and windows won't complain. But, this same explorer can keep the system from granting native raw write access. So, just be sure no applications are opened and perform other activities that involve the data you are working with. And take good care of what you are doing, especially when writing. Just double-check everything.


Do close all applications, unmount drive letters.

If you are writing or reading partitions, it is a very good idea to 'unmount' it first, by removing the assigned drive letter. Read the tutorial.


It does not work.

You need administrative rights. Or your device cannot be exclusively opened.


Is it safe.

No, not at all. You can destroy your data within a few mouse clicks. You may even destroy data on your current system disk.


Will it warn me before overwriting data?

Yes it will. It will explicitely ask your permission before taking any possibly destructive action.


A direct copy failed

You may be copying to/from the same or overlapping location, for example: from a logical volume to a defined partition. It will not match volumes against appropiate partitions to try protect you from errors.


It reports 'Failed to open device'

The device is already (exclusively) opened. This can be by another application, like windows explorer. Or by another window from this application, like you are doing an md5 sum and want to use hex view on the same logical device.


It fails to write.

The device you are writing to may be your booting or system device. Windows will protect it from writing.


What is it.

This application can dump and restore raw data from your drives. Those include disk drives, usb keys, compact flash, and - read only- cd and dvd drives.


Why was it written

I needed a convenient tool to backup and restore usb-keys. The logic hereafter is identical to other types of media, so those were automatically supported. After that, i extended functionality, added some tools, and made the application interafce suitable for general usage.



What is the safest way to move a partition.

The safest is simply not to. The least risky way of doing it, if you have the space, is to dump your partition as file. Then, with some partition management tool, move, or delete and create new, with identical size, the partition on the desired location. Then write back the contents you have in file to this partition. At least, this minimizes consequences of a power outage. But now without risk.


What is with the partition mover.

I'm thinking on it.


What is with a partition table editor

coming. probably together with partition mover.


I open a cd-rom using hexviewer and it only contains zero's.

Thats perfectly normal for a cd, the first few sectors are generally blank. The filesystem (CDFS) starts at sector


I know there are sectors to read on my harddisk beyond my last partition. How do i access them?

Select your logical device, then click on the box that displays the size of the selection. You can edit this value, and then use tools to access it.


What more about maximum size.

All tools are supposed to respect the maximum set size. Reading beyond the end off a device may result in odd errors.

* Harddisks generally just report an error, although oldies may actually try to position their heads to this position.

* Usb sticks sometimes keep delivering random/blank data, or sometimes (mp3 players) their internal rom. Also, they may just crash.

* Floppy's i wouldn't know, i have no floppy drive.


Does it have anti-virus support, like libclamav.

Licensing issues prevent me from including it. Clamav an clamav for windows are licensed under GPL instead of GPL. The GPL states that in order to link GPL code to a property application, you should ask the author for permission.

"10. If you wish to incorporate parts of the Program into other free programs whose distribution conditions are different, write to the author to ask for permission. "

So, you can ask the authors for permission, and then apply the libpclamav.dl, which is a deriviate of libclamav for windows.

So, i expect it is quite a hassle to get permission from both authors. In the future i might write a seperate tool. Meanwhile, clamav plugin is missing until i cleared those things up.


May i use it for any purpose.

No. You may only use the software for legal purposes. We are not responable for copyright violations, or other law violations.


Can i use it to dump 'protected' dvd's?

Generally no. Also, read law issue above. Media containing bad sectors will not be read correctly, the software may abort at the first unreadable sectors.

Some users have reported being able to extract copy-righted material that general cd authoring software, like nero, refuses to copy. In my country, this is only legal for personal use (i.e. personal; backup).

However, we must note there is no content or media check at all, all logical devices on your system are treated equally. If we encounter legal issues due to (portions of) the software being abused, we may remove such functionality from freeware editions. So we urge to follow the common 'good practice' rules. Also, the license, also the freeware license, prohibits illegal usage. Keep in mind that abuse may stop us from delivering freeware editions.



Dubaron going commercial

With the introduction of DiskImage, we started our first commercial product. This does not affect already released applications. All stuff released as freeware will remain freeware.

Dubaron has a long history of freeware. The main programmer, rene, is also involved in various open-source projects. We do strongly believe in open source, but we must start generating an income with software products to continue what we are doing: delivering nice tools. We will continue delivering freeware and maintaining or contributing to open source projects. Next to that, we will focus on a couple of commercial products.


Which products are planned for releasing

Applications:

* DiskImage

Server:

* HTTP server

Components

* Cam2Web Active-X component


DiskImage as combined commercial and freeware tool.

DiskImage is funcional-limited freeware. The limits you have are that you cannot write (restore) partitions on fixed disks, and partitions on removable devices > 128Mb. So, you can use it with your USB stick up to 512Mb. So, the freeware version supports reading from all devices, and all available functions, and writing data on removable devices, like usb keys and external drives. One exception on this is the hex editor. The hex editor will work, both read and write, with any supported device.



Dubaron Commercial License


General conditions (apply to all licenses)

Licenses are person or company based. You are only licensed to use the software for legal purposes. Under no circumstances are we responsible data loss, software or hardware failure, or any other damage that the software may cause. The user is reponsible for making backups, prior of using our software. This also counts for software malfunctioning, issues to result in easy abuse or malfunctioning, bugs, unresolved but known issues, untested or tested functionality, security issues et cetera. The software is provided as-is.


License versions

One or more of those may be available for your application.


Freeware edition

You may use the application for personal non-commercial use and for commercial evaluation purposes. Some functionality may be restricted. Most of our commercial applications are dual-licensed, you can upgrade your freeware application to a registered version by purchasing a key.


Personal license

This is a single user license. With single user we talk about a single person: the person that owns the license key. It may be installed on a reasonable amount of pc's, as long as only one user operate those.


Commercial license

You need this license if you use the application for commercial purposes. For example, you are system administrator or retailer.


Site license

You may install this application on several pc's in your company. Every workplace counts. You need a site license for every 100 work places. If the tool is solely used by several administrators, you generally only need a single site license. The amount of disk images or pc's does not matter. For example: 3 system administrators may hold a license to use the tool. As long as only one of those 3 persons operates the tool, it may be executed on any workstation.


Refund

You should test with the freeware version if the application is functional on your system. Because we hand out a license key, we can not give a refund, since no guarantuee can be made the license would no further be used. Once purchased, you use it or loose it. You must accept this condition prior to purchasing, please keep in mind we have friendly prices and will provide support in case the application is not functioning. Also, we will do reasonable effort to fix bugs, issues and incompatabilities, within the scope of the application.


Upgrade

Within a major revision, purchasers are entitled for free updates. Exisiting users upgrading for next revision will be offered a strongly reduced price.