Adaptec – Go Back review

real-time disaster recovery tool
Photo of Adaptec – Go Back
£49.99

Ooops, you’ve accidentally deleted a file and emptied the recycle bin. How clumsy. Expert use of complicated disk tools might enable you to recover the file, but wouldn’t it be nicer to be able to turn the clock back to just before you made that silly mistake? That’s precisely what Adaptec Go Back is designed to let you do. In fact, Go Back should be able to let you reverse all manner of system disasters from virus attacks to botched software installations.

Go Back works by keeping a precise real-time record of the entire contents of your PC’s hard disk in a special index file. Rival utilities index system status and configuration information, enabling you to revert to a previous system state. However, they only look after OS and application files; they don’t index data files. In this respect, Go Back claims to be unique, even when compared to the latest comparable facilities that Microsoft has just introduced in Windows ME.

Typically, Go Back will grab 10 percent of your hard disk to store its rolling index file. In average use, this will provide a time travel window back several days to a few weeks. This is very much dependent on how much you use your PC and how much data changes in a given time.

Go Back boots up before Windows and so it can protect against accidents performed under DOS. However, if you boot off a floppy disk, you can circumvent Go Back. Go Back can cope with multiple partitions but is not suitable for protecting removable media. There is currently no Windows 2000 or NT support.

In the event you find you need to travel back in time, you can select a moment in time to revert to from a system history calendar. Go Back has been extensively tested in public by various challengers and as far as we know, as long as you don’t physically damage the hard disk or use tools which bypass the OS and change disk data directly, Go Back has so far proved itself to be impregnable.

There are some concerns, though. When installing large applications we experienced Go Back overload. The Go Back indexing system stopped and so invalidated the system record, which meant it had to start from scratch. This means you lose your time travel window when you might need it most. Also, Go Back won’t protect you from physical disk damage, so frequent backups remain essential. It does also make for a busier hard disk in the background. This could compromise laptop battery charge longevity, for example.

Company: Adaptec

Contact: 01276 854 500


Verdict
Undeniably, though not quite the perfect disaster recovery utility, Go Back is a unique and valuable line of defence. It's so promising that several PC manufacturers are now installing Go Back as standard on their PCs in order to simplify customer support practices. That's some recommendation.