DiskSalv 4

Dave Haynie's time-honored solution for when your Amiga's disks are a bit under the weather

Oh no! Not that "disk error!"

Augh!! You put HOURS into that report, and now your Amiga can't seem to read the disk! Or that animation that took weeks to render has kicked the big bit bucket! What are you to do?!

Well, first you soundly reprimand yourself for not backing up your data (tsk tsk tsk!); but since all that won't bring back your work, and you really do want it back, there is an answer. And that answer bears the name DiskSalv.

Dave Haynie's legacy in the Amiga community stretches far and wide, but certainly one for which many of us users have thanked him over the years is his wonderful disk utilities program, DiskSalv. It has seen a number of versions, and the latest comes to us with a fully graphical interface (nicely style guide-compliant). It is now offered as a true commercial program from IAM (Intangible Assets Manufacturing) for about $35 U.S.

So what can it do?

Although generally considered a "disk recovery program," DiskSalv has a number of capabilities. In all, it includes 7 modes:


...and then the results.

What Else?

Aside from repairing disks, DiskSalv can also provide a wealth of information about your devices.

Wondering about your filesystem? DiskSalv probably supports it: OFS, FFS, DC, International, You Name It. Also featured is AFS for all fans of alternative (filesystems). It is also capable of making a "Best Guess" if you aren't sure, if the disk is in really bad shape, or if you enjoy making software do really interesting things.

I mentioned that this version of DiskSalv includes a GUI. Well, it's more than just a couple of 3D gadgets. The program has various small pictures to illustrate your current mode, and there is a whole array of 3D image button gadgets. On running, the program displays a nice opening graphic, and the About... menu item does as well. I might also point out that what few bugs I've found seem to be associated simply with rendering the graphic imagery in various screenmodes...nothing major. I would also point out that the apparently homemade 3D image gadgets invert using some of the lower colors of the palette, resulting in a somewhat odd effect in screens with more than 4 colors. Nothing major, though.

Oh, and I might also point out that DiskSalv features a very comprehensive context-sensitive online AmigaGuide help system. That's always a BIG plus in my book. The help file doubles as the program's documentation, so you can browse through a whole assortment of descriptions, ideas, texts, and other various information on a wide variety of subjects, including why DiskDoctor never really made it, if you remember those days. I must have spent about half an hour reading through the help file when I first got the program. If you're into Amiga history or information, it's good reading.

In Conclusion...

I will recommend outright that anybody with an Amiga should have this program. It has many great capabilities, and I know from experience that there are many times when I wish I had had it. It would have saved a greate deal of trouble. In the future, though, it will be here in times of disk-trouble. If the magnetic bits of data once again scatter themselves a-sprawl and asunder through my Amiga's file system, I'll be sure to entrust the grand DOS-Covenant to DiskSalv Version 4. Unless a new version comes out before then.

In all seriousness, though...it's a big pain when data gets garbled, and it's good to have something that will endeavor tirelessly to save it for you. And then it will allow you to back it up in the future so such things no longer occur...

I might also propose that future versions of Amiga OS include DiskSalv or a version thereof (?). A good OS is one that helps the user.

One final note: the program comes in a small package, wrapped in a paper covering, since the documentation is disk-based. And there is a short, but very telling message on the packaging. I'm sure all Amiga users of today can identify with it. Let's just say it exemplifies the immense frustration and consternation one can experience in trying to figure out just who owns the Amiga, did own it, and shall own it, and what they intend to do with it. It's easy to get confused. 'Tis a bittersweet world.

DiskSalv Version 4

AmigaDOS disk utilities/backup/disk repair software

Dave Haynie

Intangible Assets Manufacturing
828 Ormond Avenue
Drexel Hill, PA 19026-2604 USA
Installation:97%uses Installer program; very simple procedure
Ease of use:94%Style Guide-compliant GUI; online help
Compatibility:98%OS-compliant, handles many filesystems, can handle some far-gone files
Performance:96%Seems to run quite well
Features:95%offers many features, options, and facilities for handling various filesystem-management tasks
Interaction with company:95%ordering was generally easy and pleasant

Overall Score:


a very useful utility for both routine disk maintenance, and emergency disk repair


An Amiga, Amiga OS 2.0 or greater

-By Michael Webb
Write to him at email address 103165.3700@compuserve.com