Fix broken windows

If viruses, faulty patches, or botched software installations have ever crashed your Windows PC to the point of no return, you know that the road to recovery can be as long as it is frustrating.

While Microsoft Windows’ System Restore feature backs up only Registry settings and select system files (saving them for a maximum of 90 days), FirstDefense-ISR takes a snapshot of your entire Windows XP, 2000, or Server 2003 system including your personal application settings and data, e-mail, and bookmarks, and saves up to 10 snapshots indefinitely. This requires substantially more hard disk space (my computer averaged about 5GB per snapshot versus 1.4GB for the same PC using XP’s System Restore). But the trade-off is that I can resuscitate applications, data, and settings that System Restore simply can’t revive (see here for a screenshot).

FirstDefense-ISR shouldn’t be confused with typical backup software: its snapshots cannot be stored remotely. What the program can do, however, is save your bacon the next time you run into catastrophic system problems.

Price: $71 (Workstation Edition), $549 (Server Edition) – multiple license packs also available
Distributor: iTechnology Solutions

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