Minimise the hazards of trying W2K 2000

Want to try out Windows 2000, but afraid that it may render your computer unusable? PowerQuest utilities PartitionMagic and Drive Image help you experiment safely.

PartitionMagic 5.01 lets you create, move, resize, hide, and unhide partitions in relative safety. Once you've created an extra partition for Windows 2000 (or any other OS), you can move from one OS to the other without any risk.

What if you damage a partition - say, by installing a program that corrupts Windows 2000 and won't uninstall? With Drive Image 3, you can save a copy of a partition or drive as a compressed file. If you damage Windows later, you can restore the backed-up partition in minutes - from a DOS-based boot floppy, if necessary. You should use Drive Image with PartitionMagic, unless you're copying to an external drive or DOS network.

Unlike their predecessors, both programs can handle today's huge hard drives.

Both packages also support Windows 2000 (previous versions did not handle partitions in the new OS properly), but they don't actually run in the new OS.

Drive Image is a DOS program, and launching it from Windows 9x drops your PC into single-tasking DOS Compatibility mode. PartitionMagic is a Windows program, but to do much of its work it must exit Windows and enter DOS mode.

Since Windows 2000 doesn't have a DOS Compatibility mode, you must launch PartitionMagic or Drive Image from your Windows 9x partition or from a boot floppy.

Drive Image 3 introduces a spiffed-up user interface and such new features as the ability to restore partitions quickly by skipping error checking, which is especially useful if you want to test something.

Don't confuse the new Drive Image 3 with the more expensive Pro edition released last year that contains features for IT types. Get PartitionMagic to make all your operating systems readily available, and add Drive Image to gain the ability to restore that fresh install. With these two programs on your side, Windows 2000 no longer looks so scary.the bottom linePartitionMagic 5.01Busin-ess Case: PartitionMagic 5.01 lets you create, move, resize, and merge hard disk partitions with a few simple mouse clicks.

Pro:- -l Safely creates, resizes, moves, and deletes partitions, including those running Windows 2000Con:- l Requires boot floppy in Windows 2000Valu-e: Terrific if you're juggling operating systems.

Price: Price and availability on application from Web bottom lineDrive Image 3Pro:- -l Quickly backs up and restores drives or partitions, bypassing need to reinstall OSCon-: l DOS program can't be launched from Windows 2000Valu-e: Restores uncorrupted Windows in minutes.

Price: Price and availability on application from Web