By Jon L. Jacobi
Software that protects you from yourself: How many utilities promise that? By backing up changes to your hard drive in real time, Roxio's $50 GoBack 3 Deluxe can restore your drive to virtually any recent state, whether the damage is a destroyed report or an unstable system caused by a virus attack or a software installation.
I used my shipping copy of GoBack on a PC with a 650-MHz Athlon processor, 64MB of RAM, and Windows 98 SE. Compatible with Windows 9 x, Me, NT 4, and 2000, GoBack runs in the background and requires no intervention, but it does require at least 32MB of hard drive space. It uses 10 percent of your hard drive at installation (you can adjust the program's size, but Roxio says that choosing 10 percent lets the average user return a drive to a state two weeks in the past).
Launching the program from the system tray and choosing a Safe Point restores your hard drive to an earlier configuration. GoBack keeps a comprehensive log to use if you're unsure of the exact point when things went wrong. You may also restore files individually without disturbing other changes.
GoBack works exceedingly well for everyday computing tasks, and on a 500-MHz or better system you probably won't notice a performance hit. But if you perform heavy-duty graphics, audio, or video work, you will notice a slowdown, and such files quickly overwhelm GoBack's undo cache. Also, the software is incompatible with third-party boot managers like System Commander, and it is no substitute for backing up. For ordinary data accidents, however, GoBack could be just what the doctor ordered.
From the October 2001 issue of PC World magazine