Tools do exist on the market for keeping the system free of modifications, with the ability to completely restore Windows back to how you left it via a simple reboot. At one point in time, Microsoft offered a tool called SteadyState, which served as a means to preserve a system's exact configuration and health as well as restricting access to areas guests had no business accessing. Alas, Microsoft decided that Windows 7 users wouldn't get an upgrade and the tool was effectively discontinued.
Reboot Restore Rx
Thankfully, not all is lost, and third party applications have stepped in to fill the void left behind by SteadyState. One alternative is Reboot Restore Rx by Horizon DataSys. At the most fundamental level, Reboot Restore Rx does one thing and one thing only, a complete system-wide restore after a full reboot. Any files you deleted, or icons that were moved, all are restored to the way you set it originally. If kids wreak havoc on the system - no problem! Reboot and relax.
This is pretty much all you'll ever see of Reboot Restore Rx Product Information
- Title: Reboot Restore Rx
- Company: Horizon DataSys
- Product URL: http://www.horizondatasys.com/en/products_and_solutions.aspx?ProductId=18
- Price: Freeware
Installation was incredibly simple. All I had to do was install the program and reboot the system. When Windows starts again, an "Installing" progress bar is shown and a snapshot of your system state is taken on the spot before resuming the boot process. Once you arrive to your desktop, a new system tray icon greets you. Right clicking the orange power symbol icon presents you with a "Restore on Reboot" and About option. It's incredibly barebones for what it does.
I did give the restore feature a test by deleting test documents I had created before I activated my install of Reboot Restore Rx. Afterwards, I rebooted my computer and, just like clockworks, all my files restored and were perfectly fine to open and view. None of the contents within the files were altered in any way. To say the least, the job was done right.
Keep in mind, if you are looking to actually configure additional save states and administer the restore functionality on a per user basis, you will need to pony up and pay for either Drive Vaccine or Rollback Rx PC, both of which cost about $39 and $69 respectively for individual user licenses. If you want to deploy this tool out to a larger network of machines, cost-saving license packs exist which can be purchased at three or five licenses at a time.
If you are looking to make a publically-accessible PC junk proof and consistently reliable, Reboot Restore Rx is definitely a nice product to consider for preserving the peace. The freeware release might not be nearly as customizable as Microsoft SteadyState was at the time, but at least your system will thank you for not allowing its condition to deteriorate rapidly from abuse.
An avid technology writer and an IT guru, Matthew is here to help bring the best in software, hardware and the web to the collective consciousness of TechRepublic's readership. In addition to writing for TechRepublic, Matthew currently works as a Customer Success Professional for Ultimate Software in Santa Ana, California.