Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 158 / NOVEMBER 1993 / PAGE 132

The Norton Utilities 7.0. (file management software) (Software Review) (Evaluation)
by Clifton Karnes

The Norton Utilities 7.0 is Symantec's counterpoint to DOS 6, DoubleSpace, Stacker, and SuperStor. It's true that you'll find minor improvements in most of the 7.0 utilities, but if you're using DOS 6 and one of these compression programs, you'll have more reason to upgrade.

The best of 7.0's compression-savvy utilities is the Norton Disk Doctor (NDD). NDD is a one-stop hard disk hospital that offers everything from diagnostics to surgery--all packaged in an automated, easy-to-use shell. The new NDD has all the powerful discovery and repair tools of its predecessors, plus it's aware of compressed drives and handles them intelligently. If you ask NDD to scan a compressed drive, for example, it not only scans the compressed drive but also scans the host drive and tests the data structures on the compressed drive.

It's worth noting, however, that with Stacker, I've encountered some problems that NDD couldn't fix but Stac's Check could. Many users run NDD in their AUTOEXEC.BAT files to catch disk errors on startup, so that they can be fixed before they multiply.

Like NDD, SpeedDisk is hip to compressed drives, but you might feel safer using the defragger that comes with your compression program.

Of the other utilities, the most improved is Disk Editor. This program lets you edit your hard disk on the physical level (sides, tracks, and sectors), the organizational level (partitions, boot sectors, and FATs), and the logical level (files and directories). New in 7.0 is ARM, Advanced Recovery Mode, an automated system that makes recovering data easier. Learning to use Disk Editor may well save your bacon some day.

Arrrrrrrgh! That's the sound most of us make when we accidentally delete a file. Peter Norton made his reputation in 1982 by turning this sound into a sigh of relief with Undelete. Naturally, no edition of The Norton Utilities would be complete without undeleting tools, and this version boasts new incarnations of Undelete and SmartCan, which is the Norton equivalent of Delete Sentry in DOS 6.

To mention just a few of the remaining tools, you'll find NDOS (a powerful COMMAND.COM replacement based on COMPUTE Choice Award winner 4DOS), much improved system diagnostics, a new version of File Find, and my favorite, NCD, the Norton Change Directory. I wouldn't be caught dead at the DOS prompt without NCD.

For a set of time-tested DOS utilities, The Norton Utilities is a solid choice. And if you're using DOS 6 or a disk compression program, it's definitely worth owning.