So now that I have released the Direct USB mode, there is not much else I am planning on adding to HDDSuperClone. So maybe now it is time for some marketing, and a stab at DeepSpar DDI4. So I am putting the following on the website for the Pro version. The content on the website may change in the future, but this initial post should be good for the forum.
The Pro version of HDDSuperClone has many abilities of a hardware imager, such as DeepSpar DDI4. Let’s take a look at it can do.
Just a reminder, HDDSuperClone is a Linux only tool, there is not any Windows version, nor will there ever be.
Hardware imagers can work with unstable SATA (and PATA) drives by being able to perform soft/hard resets on drives using timeouts. HDDSuperClone Pro can also do this using only the computer hardware itself.
Hardware imagers can also perform power cycles on the drive when it becomes unresponsive. HDDSuperClone Pro can also do this, although you need to follow the instructions on the website for what relay to purchase and how to wire it.
Hardware imagers can image by head on supported drives. This is done by using vendor specific commands to map the data to the heads. But if the drive is not supported, the hardware imager cannot map the heads. HDDSuperClone takes a different approach. It does not map heads directly, but instead uses a self learning head skipping algorithm to skip around the bad head and bad areas of the drive. This has proven to be very effective at getting data from the good heads/areas first, and without the need of any special commands, so it is capable of working on any drive. This ability is actually part of the free version, the Pro version only lets this be accelerated.
Some hardware imagers have the ability to work with USB drives (such as the USB Add-on for DeepSpar), with read timeouts and power cycles, similar to the features when working with SATA drives. The new Pro feature Direct USB mode also allows this (again, for power cycles you need to purchase the proper relay, and wire it according to the website instructions).
A good hardware imager will also have a way to perform data extraction, without having to clone/image the entire drive. HDDSuperClone can also do this with the Virtual Driver mode. This presents the live recovery as a virtual disk to the Linux system. A recovery tool such as R-Studio can then read from the virtual disk, which invokes reading through HDDSuperClone, to access the filesystem and target and recover files and folders.
The really good hardware imagers also perform firmware repairs. That is something that HDDSuperClone cannot do. HDDSuperTool can perform the WD slow fix on some drives, but that is it. If you are looking for firmware fixes, then you would need to look at other firmware repair tools. HDDSuperClone is for cloning/imaging, not fixing.
So as you can see, HDDSuperClone Pro is capable of many of the features of a hardware imager. But it is only a fraction of the cost. I do have to admit that it may be a bit more complicated in some ways, but if you read the user manual carefully, and you are technically capable of understanding how to use a hardware imager properly, you should be able to make it perform just like a hardware imager in the ways described.
HDDSuperClone Pro is basically a poor man’s DeepSpar DDI4. There may be some advantages to the DeepSpar, but they would come at a big price for what they are. HDDSuperClone Pro can do many of the things that the hardware imagers claim a “software only tool” can’t do.