When you freeze something you are keeping it in stasis. You can freeze something at a point in time and return at a later date to find it exactly as you left it. This can be applied to your computer in order to create a specific system state that cannot be permanently changed.
A factory reset restores your computer to the manufacturer’s default, which means that it contains no personal data or any of your installed programs. This is good if you just want to nuke everything on your computer, but the best method of maintaining your system state is by deep freezing.
There is a paid application called Deep Freeze that will allow you to specify a state that you want your computer to maintain. Every time you restart the computer any changes you’ve made will be wiped and the previous state will be restored.
The usage of this is most common on public computers, like those in internet cafes or hotels. These systems have been set to run in a particular way – a way which doesn’t benefit from people installing what they want or editing system settings. It would cause a headache for the IT team to keep these public computers healthy if they didn’t maintain a base state. This is especially true if there are a lot of machines on the network.
However, deep freezing your system can also come in handy in the workplace and at home. Depending on how strict the IT infrastructure is in your enterprise, deep freezing could be used to make sure that employees don’t adversely affect the health of their system.
Of course, not everyone will want to pay an application to do this. Although Windows did have a utility built-in called Windows SteadyState, this was only for XP and Vista and has since been discontinued. Nevertheless, a number of developers have provided their own software online that achieve the same thing.
One of these is Steadier State, a program named after Window’s application, which will work on Windows 7 specifically. Every time you restart the computer you can choose to restore to the original state or carry on from where you left off.
Another program is Reboot Restore Rx which works on everything from Windows 2000 to Windows 8.1. This uses a mini operating system at the sector level of the drive. This means that the integrity of the master boot record is retained. A paid alternative does exist from the same developers called Drive Vaccine. This is suitable if you’re after more advanced features like scheduled restoring and remote management.
Drive freezing has a very specific application, but it’s one that you might benefit from. Although it should never replace a strong backup plan, it’s great for when you don’t want your system to have any permanent changes made on it. Of course you’ll always be able to set new system states and install new programs, but deep freezing your system will mean that things like viruses and accidentally deleted data are not a worry – you can just restart and everything will be back to normal.
Protect Your Data by Deep Freezing Your System
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