O&O has made a name for itself with its disk-based tools, so it's no surprise that there's a drive-imaging utility among its rapidly expanding array of products. O&O DiskImage 2 has plenty of neat features bundled up in its uncluttered, pleasing interface.

Like all good drive-imaging tools you can back up to hard drives, CD/DVD, flash drives and network shares, and you can mount saved images as virtual drives in Windows for quick and easy access to selected files on your backup.

Elsewhere, there's a disk-cloning tool for migrating between hard drives and you can encrypt your backups for greater security. You can even take incremental drive images, enabling you to update your backup without wasting drive space.

Unique features

None of this is unique to DiskImage, but it's all part and parcel of being a good imaging tool. In terms of performance, it's competent - slower than Paragon's Drive Backup for example, but better at compressing data.

However, it does have unique features that set it apart from the competition. For example, the installation CD doubles up as a boot disc, saving you the bother of remembering to create your own rescue media.

But what really sets DiskImage apart is its "forensic imaging". This enables you to take an image of a corrupt drive and mount it in Windows so you can attempt to recover data without damaging the original drive. You can also roll back your system using the incremental images, or combine them with the original image to form a new "base" image.

But it's not all good news. Although you can burn image files to CD and DVD within the program, you have to save the image to your hard drive first and then burn it. And there's only two compression choices (default or none), for example. If you can live with these niggles, however, it's well worth taking a closer look.