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Fast NT/2000 and XP recovery tools

Meredith B. Derby, assistant news editor

Bring unbootable Windows systems back up in minutes with the two new operating system recovery products from imagine LAN, Inc.

RecoverySafe and CPR for XP Professional recover the Windows NT/2000 and Windows XP operating systems, respectively. Web-based Enterprise Management (WBEM)-based RecoverySafe restores non-booting NT/2000 servers and PCs from a central management console. CPR for XP provides restoration via CD-ROMs or floppy disks with XP installed on them, but is not centrally managed.

Windows systems can be rendered unbootable for many reasons, said Kirk Olsen, vice president of development at Nashua, NH-based imagine LAN. Virus attacks can be frequent culprits. Often, the OS can blue screen when users try to modify registry settings or modify device drivers. If drivers are not present on the system to install new devices correctly the OS can crash, too.

RecoverySafe reboots failed Windows NT/2000 servers and networked clients either via scheduled snapshot comparisons or on demand, said Olsen. A central console, Manager Console, administers the recoveries. A feature of RecoverySafe, Command Prompt recovery, allows users to perform a self-recovery. It is not managed via the Manager Console, however.

CPR for XP, a product of imagine LAN's subsidiary myEZfix, Inc., works with Windows XP's native recovery feature, System Restore, to provide a NT file system (NTFS)-based Command Prompt recovery. When Windows can still be accessed,

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CPR for XP deciphers the format of the System Restore checkpoints, which track configuration files and settings. It then restores the system to its previous configuration.

Windows XP uses NTFS as its primary file system; but Microsoft does not provide tools to get to NTFS drives after a failure. So, "you're on your own without a tool like CPR for XP," said Olsen. When they use CRP for XP, administrators will not need to spend countless hours reloading OSes and reinstalling applications, said OIsen.

In the event that Windows can't be accessed at all, CPR for XP can still provide recovery. CDs or floppy disks, which are pre-installed with XP, re-boot and restore configurations.

RecoverySafe is priced at $1,400 for a 100-system package and a Manager Console license. It will be available in December. CPR for XP Professional is $30 per user, with volume pricing available, and will be available this month.

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