Windows System Restore is a tried and tested utility that's performed well over the years, but it has its limitations. Comodo Time Machine takes the process of creating system snapshots to the next level.
Why use Comodo Time Machine when I have Windows System Restore?
Comodo Time Machine (CTM) is a simple but powerful system rollback utility that lets users quickly restore their computer to an earlier point of time. Unlike Windows System Restore (WSR), CTM creates a complete record of your entire system including the Windows registry, critical OS files, installed programs and user created documents with seconds.
CTM can help you recover from botched software installs and computer crashes with a click of a button. It also has a unique feature that lets you access it during system boot up. Just press the "Home" key and CTM opens up a sub-console which allows the user to perform all operations that are available through the Windows interface — including a system roll back option.
You can use CTM alongside Windows System Restore without any issues if you'd like to double up, but make sure your system has enough space to accommodate backup data from both the sources.
- Provides instant and comprehensive system recovery after malware infections or system crashes.
- Boot-up console allows you to rollback even when your system will not boot to Windows.
- Completely remove unwanted software installations without the need to uninstall or clean the registry.
- Flexible restore options allow you to mount and browse snapshots to recover individual files or folders.
- For dual or multi boot systems it is necessary to install the programs on all OS or else the program would not work as expected.
- A new OS cannot be installed on drives protected by CTM. In order to install a new OS, you would need to uninstall the program and then install the OS.
- Does not work with fully encrypted drives.
How to use Comodo Time Machine
Note: Installing CTM is straightforward, however, you should keep the system requirements in mind. Since it is backing up important system files, the backup cannot be created on a USB or external drive. Also, if you are using any programs that create fully encrypted disks, CTM won't install until you remove the encryption software. It works well on all versions of Windows and Windows Server for both 32- and 64-bit versions.
The main user interface is pretty self-explanatory, offering three simple options: 1) Take a new snapshot, 2) restore your system to a previous state, and 3) advanced — which opens up a more detailed view with advanced options for the software. Here's how they work:
1) Creating a new snapshot of your system
Clicking on "Take Snapshot" button takes you to a screen where you can provide a snapshot name and describe the reason for creating it.
You can choose whether or not a particular snapshot be locked in a way that it can't be deleted by anyone, by selecting the Lock the new snapshot checkbox. As it says, it doesn't take more than a couple of seconds to create the system snapshot.
2) Restoring your system to previous state
If you ever need to restore your system to a previous state, just open the main interface and click on "Restore System"
The software displays a list of previous snapshots available and you can choose any the one you would like to restore your system to. The baseline snapshot is created when you first installed CTM on the computer.
3) The Advanced view and CTM options
The advanced section shown on the main interface has several options to customise CTM according to your requirements. The very first screen shows a tree view of the snapshots you have taken over time. This makes it very easy to locate a specific backup.
Other tabs include option to schedule the timing and frequency of the snapshots, recovering specific files from any of the previous snapshots and resetting the baseline to the current system configuration.
Scheduling the creation of a snapshot is easy and you can choose the frequency of snapshots to vary from as frequently as hourly to monthly. You can even setup the snapshots to be taken in event of installing any new software.
Comodo Time Machine settings
In the settings menu you can choose several options to customise the program behaviour. You can also change the user access rights and the protection settings for different partitions on your computer.
The Comodo Time Machine Sub-Console Feature
CMT features a convenient sub-console which you can access when your computer boots by pressing the Home key during startup. If you ever face a system crash or Windows isn't booting up normally, you can restore it to a healthy snapshot even before the system boots up.
This can either be considered convenient or irritating, depending upon your view about how CMT makes changes to your Master Boot Record (MBR). It changes the configuration of your system to make sure that the CMT sub-console splash screen is shown before Windows starts loading. The splash screen stays on screen for about four seconds, and if you do not press the Home key, Windows goes about its normal booting process. In an event of system crash this can really come in handy.
Here, you have the option to create a new system snapshot and restoring the system to a previous state if your Windows isn't booting up.
The compacting feature lets you delete older snapshots and defragment the present ones for better space utilization. You can even uninstall CMT right from this interface.
Uninstalling Comodo Time Machine
It is important to know how one should go about uninstalling CMT. Since this program is integrated with your system file, it's important you uninstall it in the right manner. Just go to Programs > Comodo > Time Machine > Uninstall. Follow the steps shown on the screen, restart the PC, and let the software remove its own remaining files after restart.
Important: Do not use uninstallers like Revo or others to uninstall CMT, as the software requires certain files to remove all remaining traces once you restart your PC after uninstalling it. If you delete some files of the program, using Revo, chances are your system may not boot up properly.
I'm a big fan of Comodo Time Machine, but if you've used it, we'd love to hear more about your experience in the comments.