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Software Review

Hard Drive Mechanic by Mike Sazma

Hard Drive Mechanic is another recovery system used after a crash or other hard drive problem. This program has a new twist  - it will WARN of impending trouble.

COST: $49.95  Y2K COMPLIANT - Yes

REQUIREMENTS:

WIN 3.1 or higher /MS-DOS 6.0 or higher / 486 DX or higher / 8 MB of RAM / VGA Monitor

*WIN95 OSR2 (WIN 95-b)

It is important to note this program will not run on the ORIGINAL version of WIN 95 or the first revision OSR1 (WIN 95-a) of this operating system. You can determine your version of WIN 95 by (a) Right click "My Computer" icon, then select "Properties" from the shortcut menu. Left click the "General" Tab. It should say: Microsoft Windows 95 4.00.950.b OR 4.00.950.1111

You can also determine your WIN95 version through DOS by typing VER at the DOS prompt. If it's OSR2 it says: Windows 95

[version 4.00.950.1111].

THE PROGRAM:

This program comes with a 36 page User's Manual which is straight forward enough to understand without problems. Actually it is rather detailed in nature. Support for this program is handled thru a web site < www.uglyware.com > Phone:(727)550-0729 - Fax: (770)963-4714 - You can also e-mail at [bretthead@mindspring.com] Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00am to 7:00pm EST.

Introduction:

"Crash" is the one word all of us fear in the Computer Age and can be caused by several factors.

All computers are made up of several fundamental parts. These components are dependent on each other and must work together

flawlessly in order to maintain data integrity. One of the most essential components of a modern computer is the hard drive; when compromised it can cause serious problems.

The hard drive is a device in your computer where all games, word processors, spreadsheets, browsers, network configurations and all the data that runs your computer is stored. If the hard drive is corrupted, your computer is corrupted and all your valuable data is in jeopardy. THIS IS WHERE "HARD DRIVE MECHANIC" COMES IN!

Hard Drive Mechanic disk, type HDMDELUX, and press ENTER. The main menu of the program appears then follow screen/user's manual directions.

After the program loads and the main menu comes up, the first step is to make what is called a "Rescue Disk". This "rescue disk" requires three (3) 1.44mb floppies and it used as a type of "insurance". It creates a copy of your file system (FAT, partition, root directory and boot sector) so that you can reverse any action performed by Hard Drive Mechanic in the event HDM cannot repair your PC. The manual goes into great detail in describing how to make this "rescue disk"

After you have created the Rescue Disk. Hard Drive Mechanic needs to check the circuitry of your hard drive to ensure it is working properly. To do this you just follow the manual instructions. Very easy.

Once the initial two steps have been carried out (rescue disk plus checking your hard drive) Hard Drive Mechanic can address many problems outlined in the user's manual.

Crashes don't discriminate, don't destroy for thrills and show no mercy. Anything not backed up on floppy disks or add-on storage drives can be lost forever.

Considering the panic most feel when a hard drive goes on the blink and the fact that few people (including me I must admit) back up their files with the kind of drvotion needed to salvage everything after a devastating crash, a utility that accomplishes what "Hard Drive Mechanic" does, as quickly and easily as it does, is amazing.

"Hard Drive Mechanic" can bring considerable peace of mind for fairly modest price and could be priceless to many average PC users to busy surfing the Web, crunching numbers, chatting on line or playing games to back up files.

If you must crash, at least do it with a safety net!