Carson, June 2006
(or equivalent) or higher processor, 256MB RAM, 400MB
free hard drive space, Windows 2000 and XP 32-bit operating
systems; software supports RAID 0 and 1
Pro 7 is a utility which automatically backs up all
files on a Windows PC specifically for the purpose
of allowing you to restore the system or recover
individual files in the event of damage caused by
a virus, hack attack, faulty program installation,
registry problem, a destructive operating system
crash, or a DUE*. RestoreIT Pro is a core system
utility which means that when you boot your computer,
RestoreIt loads before Windows and most of the related
drivers, background programs and services.
of you may be saying to yourselves, "Why do
I need this? I've already got Windows Restore Points
built into XP. I also own a copy of Lifeboat.
Is RestoreIT Pro really necessary?" The short
answer is, yes. The long answer depends entirely
on how well Windows Restore Points have served you
in the past, the fundamental stability of the PCs
you use, and whether or not you frequently do things
which have the potential to compromise your PCs.
If the answer to any of the foregoing is yes, RestoreIT
Pro is something you may want to consider.
the record, I don't trust Windows Restore Points.
Maybe it's because I frequently see software that
tends to battle with Windows and corrupt it on a
regular basis. That sort of software doesn't see
the light of day on Kickstartnews because we just
don't publish reviews of products which we can't
recommend. In those situations, Windows has let me
down on more than one occasion because of corrupt
restore points which prevented me from easily restoring
a messed up system to a previously stable state.
reviewing RestoreIT Pro I was accosted by a friend and
associate who took me to task over this category of software.
His concern was that too many people gradually accumulate
a raftload of system backup, repair and restore utilities
without ever actually developing a consistent, habitual
process for regularly protecting their home and business
PCs. Of course he was/is right. So your first concern about
RestoreIT Pro and all of the other utilities on the market
right now is that you have to pick an appropriate selection
and stick with them, consistently scheduling backups, the
creation of restore points, and regularly updating your
emergency boot CDs or DVDs. If you don't have a PC usage
plan which includes (at least) weekly backups, daily restore
points and monthly boot CD/DVD updates, you're cruisin'
for a bruisin'. Windows will fail (though admittedly far
less often than during those scary days of Windows 95 and
Windows Me), hard drives will fail, registries will become
corrupt, a software installation will render your PC unbootable,
and a virus will devastate your system. If it hasn't happened
yet, it will. This is the law of Windows, Mac and Linux
computing. Years ago it was the law of DOS and Atari and
Amiga computing. All that has happened is that the years
have gone by and the old operating systems and hardware
have disappeared. The problems remain. Smart PC users hope
for the best, but plan for the worst. Make a PC backup
and safety plan, purchase the software and hardware needed
to implement the plan, and stick with it.
RestoreIT Pro is multistep process. Make it go smoothly
by first defragmenting your hard drive. If you don't,
the RestoreIT installer may complain. On one of the five
PCs on which we tried the software, the installer simply
wouldn't work ostensibly because Windows was not installed
in the usual "C:" drive location, an admittedly
rare situation. Once we manually altered the installation
path for RestoreIT, everything went smoothly. We first
looked at RestoreIT 7 during December 2005/2006 and we're
delighted to find that the program installer has been
Pro creates its own, secure, so-called real mode partition
on your hard drive. This hidden partition is where the
boot, restore and backup data is stored for the program's
Real Mode interface which will appear every time you
boot or reboot your computer. After the first part of
the installation, the system shuts down Windows, automatically
runs Windows CheckDisk, then reboots to complete the
installation. The procedure is complicated for the installer
software, but requires very little input from you unless
you choose to do a custom installation.
RestoreIT Pro after installation is simple and efficient.
Launch the program from the desktop and set up automatic
creation of restore points, update emergency and restore
CDs and DVDs, restore individual files or the entire
system and access all of the configuration controls for
the software. If you find yourself with an unstable system
that's still up and running, and you've determined that
you need to roll back the system to a previously stable
date, all you have to do is launch RestoreIT Pro and
choose one of the restore points. On the other hand,
if your system is unbootable or only partially bootable,
restart it and then use the Real Mode interface to access
the same list of restore points. If Windows won't boot
at all, use the RestoreIT Pro rescue disks to boot the
computer and fix the problem.
RestoreIT Pro 7 feature is the automatic system restore
function. Just as you can use the built-in scheduler to
set up the creation of regular restore points, you can
also set up a schedule to automatically restore the system.
For busy small offices which run software from and store
data on servers, you can completely defeat all of the secretly
installed poker software, dumb games, porn sites, malware
and spyware on the local hard drive by scheduling the system
to be fully restored to a clean state every morning for
example. It's not going to prevent some people from doing
things they shouldn't with your computers, but it's an
easy and efficient way to ensure greater stability and
productivity. The best way to change bad habits is to overawe
them with good habits.
Cons: Unlike Recovery
Manager, RestoreIt Pro does not add a snap-in to
the Windows XP management console (MMC), so keep in mind
that RestoreIT Pro really is a personal and SOHO/small
office product rather than a business IS/IT product.
The default timeout for the RestoreIT Pro boot time utility
is really short (5 or 10 seconds). That's not enough
time, initially, for some people to hit the spacebar
in order to access the RestoreIt configuration options
to change the timeout.
Professional 7 is reliable and works as advertised. The
user interface is fresh, clean, and easy to use. Features,
functions and actions are clearly explained within the
user interface. The software operates efficiently and more
important, seems to be a more reliable solution than Windows
Restore Points built into Windows XP. I tried the software
on a variety of computers using a variety of CD and DVD
drives and did not have any problems creating emergency
and system restore discs. The automatic system restore
feature is a great idea that can be used by offices, people
with busy home PCs used by more than one family member,
and even software and hardware product testing environments
which usually require an identical and clean state on all
PCs at the beginning of each product testing cycle. RestoreIT
Pro 7 is a great choice for individuals, SOHOs and small
businesses that are putting together a reliable and secure
PC backup, security and data protection plan. Recommended.
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