Instant Recovery / Snapshot Software Review and Guide: Rollback RX (Page 3)

| Apr 28, 2013 at 6:16 pm CDT
Rating: 98%Manufacturer: Horizon DataSys

The Importance of Multi-Layered System Protection

Rollback RX should not be used as the sole protection for your system. Multi-layered protection is the best approach in all cases. It is important to understand that RX is not an anti-malware program and as such it does not protect from infections or differentiate between malicious and non-malicious system changes. RX's purpose is to provide damage control, and it does this superbly. By restoring a clean RX snapshot, users can instantly undo unwanted program installations, system crashes, incompatible or botched installs, or user configuration mistakes. Basically most non-malicious software-related problems will be instantly gone, like they never even happened. RX can also undo non-sophisticated malware infections in this manner, but it will not be able to contain and undo sophisticated malware attacks like the TDSS/TDL family of rootkits. Fortunately, such malware are quite rare.

For best overall protection you should always use Rollback RX alongside a decent Firewall/Antivirus suite with HIPS/anti-execution features, plus anti-keylogging software in order to cover yourself against most eventualities. Such programs should be your first line of defence against malware. Top it all up with a robust Light Virtualization program like

Shadow Defender.

With Shadow Defender (SD) in the mix, most sturdy infections will never actually have the chance to reach the real system. If sturdy malware manages to somehow breach your other defences, they will still have to deal with the ultimate safety net of Shadow Defender. SD will keep all changes (including most sturdy infections and their effects) contained solely within its buffer and completely isolated from the real system. The buffer will then be flushed at the next reboot and any malware contained within will instantly be removed.

We have to remember here that this is not about repairing or cleaning up software damage. This is about being able to fully undo all damage in mere seconds with no leftovers whatsoever, like it never happened in the first place. Shadow Defender is able to contain and undo strong malware that Rollback RX alone wouldn't be able to handle. RX works very well with SD; these two programs complement each other perfectly.

Of course no single program can ever be 100% infallible. New malware strains appear online all the time. Shadow Defender is currently the best against sophisticated threats, but it would be foolish to take this ability for granted, and think that it will always be able to contain everything in the future.

We also have to remember that Rollback RX and Shadow Defender cannot safeguard against hardware failure. If your disk suddenly dies, you'll lose everything, including all Rollback RX snapshots. That's why it is crucial to always have a clean recent backup of your Windows disk/partition at the ready, along with a tested start-up disc or USB stick that contains a bootable version of your favourite backup program. This start-up disc/stick is essential in cases where the computer is unbootable, as it will allow you to boot directly into your favourite backup program and be able to recover your system from the backup.

If your system contains Rollback RX then your backups have to be raw (a raw backup is also known as a sector-by-sector backup). This kind of backup will be considerably larger in size, but it will also include and preserve all RX snapshots. Make sure to always verify your backups for possible corruption after they are created. Remember, an unverified backup is like having no backup at all.

Also don't forget to keep updating your backup as the setup of your system evolves. For example, it's no good to have a backup that is three years old. When you restore it, you will have a lot of work in your hands updating everything to the latest versions. It's best to update your backup every time you make any important system changes that you want to preserve (e.g. updating drivers, installing Windows updates, or adding new software that you want to keep).

After the backup has been updated with the latest legitimate changes, you should always make a second copy of it stored at a different medium from the original, and re-verify both copies for corruption. Keep the second copy stored away from the computer, this will cover you if the medium that holds the original copy is lost or damaged.

Always backup and protect all your valuable data against most eventualities. You don't have to wait until you actually lose stuff and learn the hard way. A clean and recent double backup along with a couple of bootable start-up discs or USB sticks that contain a bootable version of your backup program will cover you in cases of hardware failure, or when Windows has been damaged beyond repair and the computer cannot boot normally.

Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:31 pm CDT

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Tasos Laurentiadis was born and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece, but now lives in London, UK. An avid computer enthusiast with a passion for hardware and software alike, he has been around since the early days of the Commodore 64 and the BBC micro. He later moved on to a 386 PC and never looked back. Tasos loves the buzz of installing and testing new hardware and software, and is a keen gamer. He also loves hard rock, metal, ethnic/folk music, and has been the lead vocalist with numerous rock and metal bands since the mid-eighties.

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