Windows XP recovery software receives a record number of downloads

Rollback XP, a recovery software created to help protect users from the Windows XP lockdown, has been downloaded 400,000 times. These facts come straight from the company who created the software itself. Considering the fact that it has not even been a month since its release, it is a lot. 

It was in Microsoft’s Tech Ed conference which took place this past May in Houston, Texas where the team that created this freeware came up with the idea. After hearing that companies would have to pay up to $200 per PC in order to get extended support from Microsoft, they decided to create an alternative and charge nothing to users. 

A brief snippet on the Windows XP lockdown, just to refresh your memory: In April of this year, Microsoft discontinued support for Windows XP operating system on April of this year. Despite being nearly 13 years old, this operating system is still widely used worldwide: a little more than one-fourth of the world’s PCs still run on Windows XP. Once the Windows XP lockdown began, users of this operating system would be left unprotected from hacks or viruses Enterprises and organizations that run Windows XP on their public access kiosk systems would be exposed to the aforementioned problems.

Rollback XP promises to be a viable solution against these problems. 

About the software:

Rollback XP is a comprehensive, instant recovery software Windows XP System Restore software similar to Horizon Datasys’ star product, Rollback RX. It functions on a snapshot-based system that allows your PC to be like an instant time machine. In case of any system crash, users can restore their computer to a previous point in time, even if Windows cannot boot. This is possible because the software operates on a sub-operating system below Windows, enabling it to protect the contents of your entire hard drive. 

Rollback XP only works on Windows XP operating system. Another difference is in the number of snapshots. Rollback XP, a freeware, supports a maximum of ten snapshots. For those who wish to upgrade to a greater number of snapshots, a non-freeware option is being developed.

 

Freeware restores Windows XP operating system

Recall how I wrote about the Windows XP lockdown a couple of days back? Well the recovery solution for Windows XP users is now available.

Called Rollback XP, this software is a freeware that preserves and secures the settings of the XP operating system.

The neat thing about this software is that it will restore the contents of the hard drive and cache memory to any earlier time from a pre-OS subsystem. Other programs like Windows System Restore are not able to do so, so if you are unable to boot into Windows itself, the software would be futile.

About the software: The software creates a sub-OS that is pre-boot, giving users the ability to restore their PC to a desired system state in less than a minute, before booting to Windows. It uses sector-level mapping technology, or snapshots, on your hard drive to record exact copies of your system at a given point in time. ‘Snapshots’ are stored at the sector level and cannot be accessed through Windows manually.

A little bit of background about the events that preceded the release of this software: In April of this year, Microsoft stopped its support for the Windows XP operating system. Now, as you may remember, Windows XP is the oldest OS with a stable, large user base. It is still used in many commercial enterprises and public access kiosk systems.

With no more Windows updates, new threats will appear to take advantage of users. Since Windows XP was no longer going to be supported, users that were reluctant to switch to a newer operating systems were now looking at options to protect their PCs. This could also be a transition period for many organizations, whom are looking to protect their PCs until they are ready to deploy a new operating system.

Thus, Horizon Datasys decided to take advantage of this opportunity and lockdown Windows XP by developing Rollback XP. 

As you may recall, this company has had experience with another freeware in the past, Reboot Restore RX, namely a Microsoft SteadyState replacement  and alternative to deep freeze.

If you are interested, you can download it from their website here.

 

Windows XP Freeware recovery solution

Rollback XP is a freeware instant system restore software for Windows XP that has come out of beta testing. According to its makers, Horizon Datasys, it will be released as early as next week.

This comes after the recent Windows XP LockdownThis has caused a series of responses from the IT and computer industries – many are in a dilemma of whether to upgrade to newer operating systems or sticking with XP and suffering the consequences of no longer receiving support from Microsoft.

The Windows XP end of life issue may cause harm to their systems and the software that they use. Certain organizations still use legacy software, or software that does not work for newer OS. There is now a great need for third party assistance in protecting Windows XP, and Horizon DataSys’s RollBack XP aims to do just that.

This freeware will allow users to stay on their current OS.  It is the premier alternative in the field of Windows XP Support, and is a huge benefit to the approximately 1-billion users currently running Windows XP. Previous freeware software such as Reboot Restore RX was very successful as a SteadyState alternative. RollBack XP hopes to assist users by providing free and accessible restore software where there is no longer support present.

Many XP machines are also being used in net cafes and public-access environments. XP works great for kiosks, so it’s important to have a kiosk computer recovery solution to match. Rollback XP would be a preferred recovery solution for these users, who cannot afford to upgrade all of their machines.  Therefore, having a kiosk computer recovery solution is important for XP users, many who use them in public access environment such as cafes and kiosks.

But, how does it Rollback XP work?

RollBack XP comes with a sub-os built in that installs beneath Windows, allowing the user to access the program’s features before Windows boots up.  This means that it does not deal with Windows at the file level.  This allows users to take snapshots, RollBack to a previous snapshot, or uninstall RollBack XP if necessary. Unlike to traditional re-imaging which may require a minimum of 30 minutes to complete, Rollback XP does this in seconds. Just like Rollback RX, the Recover Files and Explore Snapshot functionalities will be available.

This freeware will be able to take 5 snapshots. This limitation on the number snapshots is due to the fact that it is a freeware product. For those who wish to upgrade to a paid version with unlimited snapshots, there will be an option to do so.

So basically, RollBack XP will solve many of the issues that affect users of Windows XP such as malware, viruses or security threats. Thus, having an anti-virus won’t be necessary. Taking a snapshot every day will make up for that.

 

How to keep your Windows XP secure

By now it is old news that Microsoft has issued a Windows XP support lockdown. They will no longer offer support for users with Windows XP: no more bug fixes, no more security patches and no more Windows Updates. If you remember a couple of weeks back, Microsoft had to issue an out-of-band security update to fix the problem with Internet Explorer. This will not be very common in the future however.

This is actually a big issue for Microsoft given the number of individuals who still rely on Windows XP. Net Applications, a web analytics company that is dedicated to, among other things, determining operating system usage, has released their 2014 figures. The results for April 2014 are surprising. Windows XP has 27% of the total market share while Windows 8 only has 12%.

This leaves a question: What will millions of these Windows XP users do when their computer faces a security threat? A lot of corporate users on this operating system face losing billions of dollars with their information at the mercy of hackers. Is there an alternative recovery software for Windows XP? Is switching to Windows 8 their only choice?

Thankfully, no.

Software to protect one’s computer against the Windows XP lockdown is out there. Rollback XP is one example. And there always will be. If I remember correctly, when Microsoft discontinued their SteadyState, substitutes quickly surged as a replacement for it. Reboot Restore RX is an example of a SteadyState alternative. It received lot of downloads from users who needed a simple thing such as a restore upon reboot functionality.

Like I mentioned previously, given the high number of users who are still on Windows XP, a software like this will most definitely be needed.

Windows 7 & Vista at more risk than XP: Microsoft

(Article taken from technotification)
Computers running either Windows7 or Windows Vista operating systems are more likely to be infected by malware than Windows XP machines, according toa recent report by Microsoft.

The company’s biannual Security Intelligence Report (SIR) included figures showing that in the last quarter of 2013, Windows XP computers had an infection rate of 2.42%, compared to 3.24% for Windows Vista and 2.59% for Windows 7.

Microsoft said the data had been “normalized” to account for the different numbers of computers running each version of the operating system, with Windows 8 machines showing a 1.73% infection rate and Windows 8.1 (the latest version) just 0.08%.

The software giant credited the apparent insecurity of Windows 7 and Vista with a new threat from ‘Rotbrow’ malware targeting internet browsers, but security experts say this doesn’t mean that XP is more secure than more recent operating systems.

Speaking to The Independent, Graham Cluley pointed out that users of more modern versions of Windows could be exposing themselves to greater risks simply by using the internet more.

We’re hopeful that the number of Windows XP computers is rapidly diminishing, and that fewer and fewer of them are being used to regularly access the internet,” said Mr Cluley.

“If you think about it, if you have an old creaky computer still running Windows XP and a Windows 7 computer – which one are you more likely to be using regularly?”

Mr Cluley also notes that the statistics from Microsoft’s report cover a time period when Windows XP was still receiving regular security updates – fixes that Microsoft stopped issuing at the beginning of April this year.

Microsoft is also soon to issue its latest release of security patches on May 13 (an event referred to as Patch Tuesday) which, for the first time, will no longer include updates to Windows XP but will highlight vulnerabilities to the operating system.

Users of more recent Windows operating systems are recommended to download Microsoft’s Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) to block malware and, if still running Windows XP, to upgrade as soon as possible.