Create and Work with a Disk Image

A Disk Image is a mirror copy of your entire logical drive or physical device stored as set of files. It may be a good idea to create a Disk Image for a drive, if you have enough space on another drive.

You might ask, "Why should I create a Disk Image on a drive that holds my data?"

Here is the answer: If you do something wrong while attempting to recover the partition, you will be able to recover files and folders from the Disk Image that you have wisely created.

Disk Image (Active@ Image format) consists of configuration file (with an extension .DIM) and set of file chunks having extensions .000, .001, .002 ... By default Active@ UNERASER tries to create one file (chunk) for the whole volume/device, however, in case if target location is FAT/FAT32, it may not be possible due to file system limitations. In this particular case disk image split to several chunks and each file has a size of 2Gb. Chunks content can be RAW or RAW-Compressed, depending on settings.

To create a Disk Image:

  1. Start Active@ UNERASER and select a drive or physical device that you want to create an image for
  2. To open the Create Disk Image dialog box, do one of the following:
    • Select the item and click Create Image menu item from File menu or press Ctrl+I key combination
    • Right-click the selected item, and choose Create Image on the context menu
  3. In the Save In drop-down list, select another physical device or to another logical drive
  4. Browse to the folder where you want to save the Disk Image
  5. To give the Disk Image file a different name, type one in the File Name field
  6. Click Save

Watch the progress and wait while drive's contents are copied to the new location. You may cancel the process of image creation anytime by clicking Stop.

Disk image creation default options:

To change a default disk image storage path, compression methods, splitting to chunks and some other options, open Settings, go to Images tab and customize default disk image creation options:

Disk image creation default options

You must always create a Disk Image on a drive other than the source drive. Do not try to save a Disk Image of a drive onto itself.

To open and work with a Disk Image:

  1. Start Active@ UNERASER
  2. To invoke the Open Image dialog, do one of the following:
    • Press Ctrl+O key combination
    • In the File menu, choose Open Image...
  3. Use drop-down list box at bottom to specify disk image type: Active@ Image, Any RAW image, VMWare or VirtualPC Disk image
  4. Locate and select disk image file you want to open. Click Open
  5. Confirm Disk Image Type, Bytes per Sector and chunks, specified in configuration file:

    Disk Image dialog
  6. If there are no configuration file, you can add chunks and change their order manually, using buttons at the right side
  7. Click OK to complete configuration and read disk image structures

The opened disk image appears in the Local System Devices list.

You may treat the opened Disk Image node and its content the same way that you treat other device nodes in the list. You may follow the same steps to scan the volume and then search for files and folders to be recovered. Or you can use opened Disk Images as devices for creating RAID Virtual Arrays.

Active@ UNERASER can open:

  • RAW and RAW-Compressed disk images (Active@ Image format: *.DIM)
  • RAW disk images created by third party software (WinHex, etc...)
  • Disk Images (RAW format) composed from several chunks
  • VMWARE (*.vmdk) and VirtualPC (*.vhd) Disk Images

If you've created raw disk image using other third-party utilities (like copying sectors from WinHex) you are still able to open it! Just choose Any Raw Image disk image type in the Open File standard dialog and you will see all files on the disk. Select the required one.

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