What do you do when System Restore fails? While System Restore typically works as advertised, tech forums are filled with instances where restoration was not possible. InstantRecovery offers a better solution for restoring systems, applications and data as fast as it takes to reboot — and it does quite a few things System Restore can’t do.
InstantRecovery vs. Windows System Restore
InstantRecovery has several distinct advantages over using Windows System Restore on desktops, laptops and servers:
Advantage #1: Protection Against Software Corruption
System Restore requires a partial system load in order to provide the recovery process; the raw bootstrap files are not protected. InstantRecovery doesn’t need any of the system files for recovery. If you have software corruption that renders the system usable you can still reboot into InstantRecovery’s snapshot.
Advantage #2: Snapshot Availability
Recovery with System Restore is only as good as the snapshot availability. If you are defragmenting the disk with the Windows defragmenter or any other defrag tool without VSS compatibility it is possible to purge Restore Points off the system. This is noted in MS Knowledgebase article 312067. When System Restore was introduced we encountered this problem with our PerfectDisk defragmentation product. Today PerfectDisk has a VSS Compatibility Mode that prevents purging. So, if the user is doing any defrag with the Windows defragger or a product that doesn’t have VSS compatibility it is possible their Restore Point might not be there when they need it. InstantRecovery is not subject to purging and our snapshot resides in a hidden and protected location on the disk.
Advantage #3: Entire System Protection
System Restore monitors and creates backup files for critical operating system and third-party drivers, but applications and data are not protected. InstantRecovery protects the entire system (OS, applications and data).
Advantage #4: Separate Snapshots and Freeze Option
System Restore is based on the current operating system as a baseline. All Restore Points are built upon the current OS. There is no way to create a base image that you can go back to every time. InstantRecovery maintains separate snapshots. You can snapshot your system for a point in time and revert back to that image every time. InstantRecovery also has a “Freeze” option* that returns the system to a trusted state on every reboot (*available in the Business and Server Editions only). This is a great option for schools with systems that have student access and for kiosk-based systems.
Advantage #5: Snapshots Never Have to Expire
System Restore maintains a “rollback stack” of changes based on point-in-time differences. This stack has a finite size based on a user-defined percentage of the disk (typically 3-5%). When the stack is full, the oldest changes are purged and the user will not be able to recover to any time prior to the oldest in the stack. Depending on system activity, this could be 2 weeks or 2 months. InstantRecovery can maintain a snapshot forever. The only limitation is available disk space. This is related to the defrag description above but in this instance user activity causes the purging.
Advantage #6: Immediate Recovery (as Fast as a Reboot)
With System Restore, rebuild time is needed as it links all the incremental changes and rebuilds the damaged files, which only takes a few minutes – assuming nothing has been purged. InstantRecovery restores a full, bootable snapshot of the full system in a pristine state, including anchored data and applications. Recovery time is simply the time it takes to reboot the system.
When System Restore Fails
InstantRecovery‘s approach is based on the availability of one or more complete system snapshots that are secure and bootable. With InstantRecovery, the current system you are booted into is the Primary and we automatically create a Secondary snapshot upon installation. If the Primary gets corrupted you reboot into the Secondary and you’re instantly up and running again. At this point you instruct InstantRecovery to copy the Secondary to the Primary, restoring the corrupted system to a trusted state. The next time you need to recover you have a valid snapshot at your fingertips.
InstantRecovery has a command line and it is scriptable making it easy to use in a corporate environment. In the event of a virus or malware incident, a company would run a script that would reboot every system back to a pristine state isolating the malware.