Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 123 / NOVEMBER 1990 / PAGE 8

Prevention or Protection?

We try to tell ourselves it won't happen, but it does. A sudden power failure, hardware failure, or simple human error can sometimes result in lost data. If we're lucky, we only lose a few minutes' work. If we're unlucky, it's possible to lose an entire hard disk—potentially months of work, including data that can never be retrieved. Nobody wants to go through that. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid total catastrophe.

One approach is to back up your entire hard disk. Constantly. Immunity is a fault-tolerant software package from Unitro Data Protection Systems designed to help you do just that. Immunity automatically writes data to a second hard disk drive every time you save data. Should your hard disk fail, for any reason, the program notifies you that a disk has failed and immediately switches to the other hard disk drive.

The program is actually a device driver that intercepts all of your save commands and sends associated data to the second hard drive. Immunity works with all IBM-compatible computers running DOS 3.2 or higher. Two hard disks are required. Available immediately, Immunity retails for a suggested retail price of $345.

Another approach is to purchase the tools necessary to recover data after you've lost it. BringBack, from Parsons Technology, is actually three software programs (ComeBack, PlayBack, and CommandBack) in one. The company claims that ComeBack is capable of recovering 100 percent of up to the last 1000 files you worked with, even if those files were modified, deleted, or overwritten. PlayBack is a keystroke-logging utility that transparently records up to 120,000 keystrokes. CommandBack stores the last 31 DOS commands used and replays them at the stroke of a key. The best part is the price: $35 suggested retail.

Unitrol Data Protection Systems, 815 Hornby St., Suite 604, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6Z 2E6; Parsons Technology, 375 Collins Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402