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                    REVIEW: DISKSALV 3 BY DAVE HAYNIE
                           By:  Jason Compton 
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DiskSalv 3 By Dave Haynie

It's pretty much inevitable that, whether or not it's your fault,
something bad will happen to your hard drive at some point in your
computing career.  Sometimes it's as simple as deleting that really cool
file that you meant to keep.  Other times it's more serious, like having
your hard drive get overly cluttered internally, slowing things down.  And
then of course there is always the possibility you'll delete an entire
directory...or accidentally format your hard drive.  And sometimes, you
want to make backups.

DiskSalv is an inexpensive and reliable method of taking care of these
problems.  And, of course, it's by Dave Haynie, who is by common assent
the holder of the title "Deity of the Amiga," at least among living
candidates.

Based on development since 1991, so the copyright message says, DiskSalv
takes some of the discomfort out of hard drive crises.

The feature you will (hopefully) find the most use for is Undelete.
DiskSalv will cruise through an entire partition checking for files it can
save from Data Limbo, then present you with a list to scroll through.  Any
combination of the files can be rescued-providing that your destination
directory can handle them.  Undeleting on top of the same partition isn't
allowed, so you'll need to use RAM: or (preferably) another HD partition.

The actual undeletion of files tends to be fairly quick, but since the
entire partition is scanned, gargantuan HD users may find themselves
making a sandwich.  My largest partition is 200 meg, and I find the wait
time acceptable.

Salvage and Repair both work if data has been lost in some fashion that
can't just be undeleted-Repair attempts to correct the directory structure
while Salvage will find just about anything, regardless of structure.
They are time-intensive operations and you hope not to have to use them
very often.

Unformat is for doing just that-provided, of course, you haven't done
something silly like a low-level format.  It is functionally very similar
to the Repair function, but grander in scope.

Check does just that: checks the structure of your files.  Basically, it
lets you know if you need to move on to repairing or salvaging.  It is a
rather time-intensive operation.

Backup allows you to do just that-back up.  It allows you to back up from
any logical file-device to any other, though-in other words, you can back
up a directory to another partition.  Interesting, although not everyone
will find it useful.  There are no special incentives offered by the
author for using Backup, and I personally prefer BackUP by Felix Jeske,
but that's a different issue.

The last function is Cleanup.  This will clear unused space on your drive,
hopefully making it more efficient.  This is the operation most likely to
cause damage if something is wrong (i.e. your drive isn't validated), so
be careful.

Aside from this suite of functions, DiskSalv offers a way to check all
active .devices for AmigaDOS partitions.

The program itself is based around a very logical GUI.  I do find that
some of the button pictures are too small to be useful, but you get used
to using them, and pressing the wrong one won't blow anything up.  The
processor demand for most actions is fairly low, so you can still do
something productive while your drive clunks away.

DiskSalv comes as little more than a floppy, packaged in a folded up piece
of paper, credited as environmental packaging.  Three cheers for lowering
unit cost, too.  The extensive AmigaGuide manual is included on the disk,
and can be linked to the program if you have V39 of AmigaGuide.  A warning
pops up if you have V34, but you can try to establish the link anyway.  On
my 3000, it means instant guru.  The manual itself is comprehensive and
easy to navigate.

As far as technical support is concerned, IAM and Dave Haynie provide
technical support-if you e-mail or fax them.

Overall, the package is worth the price of admission (about US$40).  "Who
can put a price on security?"  Well, $40 is reasonable for the level of
protection and repair DiskSalv offers.

Distributed by:
Intangible Assets Manufacturing
828 Ormond Ave.
Drexel Hill, PA  19026-2604
1-610-853-4406 voice (tech support not given over phone)
1-610-853-3733 fax
info@iam.com