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COMPUTER PROBLEMS-Data Recovery and PC Protection
Monday, January 14, 2008

Data recovery and PC protection go hand in hand. Data recovery is a challenge faced by everyone using a computer. If you are reading this article I am sure you too like me have faced it sometime or the other. Now data loss can be due to a system crash that is the software crash or due to the hardware crash. Around 66% of the data loss is caused by software and user oriented problems. So this article will be deal with only the software side of problems and their probable solutions.
Let us briefly review the different types of problems and then list out the different solutions available in the market.
Now when it comes to data loss the user is the culprit to a large extent. We surf the web download lot of files and the install the shareware trial versions available freely on the net. We keep on trying new stuff on the internet to know what suits us best for a particular task. This sometimes can lead us to unintentionally install spywares malwares and other harmful files resulting in slower computer over a period of time. Most viruses now start acting only after a few days after they have got downloaded on to the system. You can say they act as a time bomb waiting to explode. Some of us do know that it might crash our system and lead to data loss still we cant resist the temptation.
I would go to the extent of saying in the present scenario we don?t even have the freedom to do what we want on the computer obviously fearing eventual system failures.
Some basic tips to protect your computer and keeping it running at optimum condition:
? Prevention is better than cure- sure you know where I am getting at. Identifying corrupt and harmful files at an early stage is a must for every computer user. You should have a good antivirus solution running on your computer. Few good options are Norton antivirus, Mcafee and there are lots of other antivirus solutions available on the net. I personally have used both Norton and Mcafee and found both to be reliable and efficient. If you are looking for a free alternative try AVG free edition. It is an excellent solution for personal computers. Regularly scan your computer. This can be automated by scheduling the scan at a particular time everyday or when you shutdown the computer. Always keep your antivirus updated.
? Also over a period of time lot of unwanted files get collected in your system. Cleaning these files will free up a lot of your memory. You can use the system defrag option of Windows operating system to optimize your hard disk. Also you will face lot of registry errors as not all programs get uninstalled completely and this can slow up your computer. There are lot of software?s which can optimize memory, remove unwanted files and fix registry errors automatically for you.
? Keep away from sharewares and free software?s as these are beta versions most of the time and are given free to find bugs and can be dangerous for your data.
? Keep away from adult websites and other sites which have popups and other activex controls running when you load the site. A pop up blocker can be good to handle this problem. I personally use the free google toolbar. Yahoo toolbar is equally good.
? Limit the use of internet though I know it is hard to do that and it does hamper our freedom.

Having talked about the basic problems and the easiest solutions let?s now get to the core of the problem
? What if my system has already crashed?
? What if my system does not boot?
? What if I am not allowed to login?
? What if my computer has already been infected with a virus?
? What if I accidentally deleted an important file?
? What if someone deleted my files on a shared computer?

The answer to the above questions is to have a PC protection and Data recovery solution on your computer. I have emphasized the use of ?Prevention is better than cure? and will stick to the same here.
Over the years, a variety of products have been developed and marketed to address PC problems. Some are partial solutions. Some are slow solutions. Some are more problems than solutions. Here, I have listed almost all major products in the market in four categories, each representing a scope of solutions in fixing or trying to fix PC problems.
At the lowest end of the PC maintenance software spectrum are Partial Solutions. Due to the low technology requirements and the nature of its purpose, there are many products in this category. Products assigned to this category are designed to address a specific computer problem such as tools like ?UNDELETE?. It allows users to recover deleted or lost files in Windows. However, in a case of a Windows crash, these programs become helpless and useless. That is why they are considered partial solutions to common and/or simple problems.
SCSS is a big step forward from Partial Solutions. There are significantly less products in the category available on the market. First of all, they are complete system solutions. Software products in this category allow users to backup the entire system into an image file and later restore the system to the image in a disaster recovery. However, due to the tremendous disk space and time required to create a system image file, the image cannot be created frequently. Users can only statically create images once in a while. In a case of recovery, the system will be set back to months or even years ago. All the applications and data created since the image are lost. SCSS generally requires much higher technology than Partial Solutions.
DCSS is a break through from traditional PS and SCSS. Due to the very high technology requirements, there are only very few products in this category. This group of software generally employs a patented technology, such as Roxio Goback?. It allows users to create a system recovery point in seconds, and it helps users to restore system to that recovery point in minutes. DCSS sounds almost like prefect solutions if the users are just easily satisfied. Even though DCSS allows users to dynamically and easily create new system restore points, there is still a fundamental problem in the differences in time. Once you restore a system to an earlier restore point, all the data created after that point is lost or inaccessible. Such a condition is a big problem for users who put emphasis on data.
Can we really redefine the law of physics? Allowing users to restore the system back to the past and still have access to the data from the future in a Hollywood?s ?Back to Future? type of fiction. The fiction is now reality and is found in EAZ-FIX?. Based on a patent pending approach, EAZ-FIX? allows users to restore the complete system back to a healthy condition and retain all the data created beyond that point. EAZ-FIX? is the most advance PC maintenance software to have ever been developed. It is the pinnacle of PC system and data recovery and there is no other competitor that can match what EAZ-FIX? brings to the table. And because of its extremely intricate and state of the art technology, we don?t expect any competitor emerging in this category any time soon.
Formally known as Norton Ghost, Symantec Ghost? is the most popular computer system backup and imaging software. It allows users to make a copy of the entire system to an image file. The file can then be stored on CDs or network servers. In a case of disaster recovery, users can restore the image back onto the computer. The solution offered by Symantec Ghost is a slow solution, it takes several minutes or longer in most cases to create or restore the image file. The Ghost solution is a costly solution, the image file might be as large as the system itself or half of the system size in compressed format; however, compression takes a big toll on restore time. The Ghost solution is also a partial solution. Due to the amount of time and space required to create image files, it is impossible for users to create frequent backup image files. Therefore, in a case of disaster recovery, users are most likely to restore back to the date of initial P.C. setup condition. All the programs, files and data created afterwards are permanently lost.
Rapid Restore is the latest system recovery solution provided by IBM with their new PCs in attempt to replace the OEM recovery CDs. The software reserves a portion of the hard disk space to store a complete factory release image of the system. The reserved disk space is programmed as a hidden partition, inaccessible to most common users; however, an experienced user can remove the hidden partition easily. And thereby, leave the system unrecoverable. As a system imaging software, Rapid Restore shares the same deadly weakness with Symantec Ghost; it is only a partial solution. In a case of disaster recovery, users are set back to the initial factory release condition. All the programs, files and data created afterwards are permanently lost. Rapid Restore is also not rapid; it takes many minutes to restore a system.
Deep Freeze? is quick and easy baseline software. Once it is installed, it prevents any ?save? operation to the hard disk. All the programs, files and data users created are kept in a temporary buffer. Once the system is restarted, all that information is thrown away, and the system is reset back to when the software was installed. When compared to the aforementioned imaging solutions, Ghost and Rapid Restore, Deep Freeze is a quantum leap in term of space and time. It does not require creating and restoring a system image. Therefore, it doesn?t need extra disk space to store the system image and it only takes a restart to reset the system. This makes Deep Freeze a good option for some school or publicly shared PCs. However, Deep Freeze is not a viable solution outside classrooms because, it does not allow any changes to the system, it literally makes a PC ?read only?. Such limitations offer very little to professional PC users.
Recovery Genius? takes Deep Freeze?s concept one step further. Based on a hard disk sector filtering technique, Recovery Genius reserves a portion of the hard disk space for redirecting the disk I/O commands. It allows users to keep the information in the protected space during restarts. It takes significantly less amount of space than the conventional imaging approach. Therefore, the time to restore is much less than Ghost or Rapid Restore. Everything seems ideal so far, until you run the Recovery Genius for the first time! It does not allow you to restore individual files from the backup storage, so it is all or nothing. Unfortunately, you can only get data you HAD and loose data you HAVE when you select a restore. This significant weakness is driving Recovery Genius away from common and corporate users. At this time, Recovery Genius is mainly valued as an improved Deep Freeze in publicly shared PC markets.
Formerly known as Roxio Goback, Adaptec Goback as well as other names, Goback has been sold and transferred frequently from one company to another. We can only assume it has not been pleasing its vendors. Based on a file level monitoring and logging technique, the idea has merit, but the reality does not. It needs to consume a big chunk of the hard disk space to create a change history file. The monitoring system is picking up every little bit of file changes regardless of whether or not, it is worth to know or see. A simple system restart will generate 100s of file changes to log. It really makes one wonder if more truly is better; in Goback?s case, more is definitely not better. The details file change history logging consumes the hard disk space quickly and easily, not to mention, the tremendous pressure it puts on system resources.
EAZ-FIX? is an industry leading PC protection software. It represents an advancement in technology that has never before been available in protecting computers from virus, user or system problems. It allows computer users regardless their skill levels to easily and quickly address their computer problems in seconds. It enables both users and enterprise IT support groups to save tremendous amount of time and money on maintaining their computers.
EAZ-FIX provides the protection without the need for backups or carrying duplicate images of hard drives. EAZ-FIX allows users to create a ?snapshot? of the entire system and data at a specific time. Technically speaking, a snapshot is a map of the hard disk sectors and the map?s indexing system. Practically speaking, a snapshot is a ?picture? of the system and data at a specific time. Users can select a specific snapshot to recover files from or restore the entire system to.
Based on a patent pending technology, EAZ-FIX? only takes 0.07% total hard disk space to create up to 60,000 snapshots. That is the least amount of disk space required to protect the entire system compared to any other software available.
1. Supports up to 60,000 snapshots.
2. Recovers corrupted or deleted files from any of the 60,000 snapshots easily and quickly.
3. Restores a completely crashed system with data up to the second of crash.
4. Restores the entire system to any of the 60,000 snapshots with data synchronization from the current system.
5. Includes dynamic disk space management. Releases the unused disk space upon the deletion of snapshots
6. Supports all industry standard deployment options.
7. Provides completely hands-free, silent background installations.
8. Includes configuration during installation. Customizes the program upon installation

From the above set of options, all of the software?s are good. I am personally using EAZ-FIX?. It is definitely the most advanced computer system and data maintenance software that is available in the market today. It has the most features and also can be used with virtual OS software?s like VMware. It is the best software in its class, not to forget it?s cheaper than the competitors. The best part is it uses only 0.07% disk space and can recover data in about 15 seconds in case of any problems.
Coming to the problems we discussed above:
? What if my system has already crashed?
? What if my system does not boot?
? What if I am not allowed to login?
? What if my computer has already been infected with a virus?
? What if I accidentally deleted an important file?
? What if someone deleted my files on a shared computer?

EAZ-FIX? does solve all the above mentioned problems and more with in seconds. It gives you the freedom to do anything and everything without any fear and as they say it literally bullet-proof?s your computer from all problems.
You can visit to know more about EAZ-FIX?. The site is very informative and you can download a free 15day trial and evaluate it.
I hope this has been an informative and useful article for you and you do take preventive measures to safeguard your computer data.

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 4:44 AM  
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