Have you ever installed a software update that failed, erase a system file or get a virus that accidentally crashed your system? If so, you know that restoring to a healthy working system is painful and can be a chase just to find the origin of the failure and that is just the beginning of the problem. If you aren’t yet a Windows Me user, PowerQuest has got a software solution for you named Second Chance 2.0. As its name indicates, Second Chance 2 will give you a second chance to restore a working PC environment.
Installing Second Chance 2.0
is very easy, and the setup is fast as it took only two or three minutes
to complete. During the setup you’ll be prompted to select which hard
drives you want to monitor in order to protect it from file deletion,
registry, etc. At the end of the setup you’ll be invited to create a DOS
rescue floppy disk to boot the computer and restore files under DOS if
your Windows system is too damaged. Then you’ll be invited to reboot
Once you have installed the software, PowerQuest Second Chance 2.0 will take a ‘photo’ of your hard-drives that will contain an accurate image of what your drives contain. When you’ll reboot the computer your Windows Me taskbar will show a tray icon of Second Chance 2.0 in order to let you know your system is monitored. Note that if you'll also be invited to create a rescue floppy to restore images when needed. Double clicking this icon launched the Second Chance 2.0 software.
In fact Second Chance 2.0
isn’t a backup or image program like DriveImage or Norton Ghost. Indeed
it works smarter and faster as Second Chance 2.0 continuously monitors
your hard drives and saves backup copies of files that were modified,
updated or deleted. To do so Second Chance 2.0 creates restore points (as
written below in the setup part of the review) automatically but you can
obviously create your own restore points at your convenience: indeed by
simply pushing the ‘Create control point’ button it’ll be done. You
can take up to 24 different restore points per day and obviously you can
manage them in the software and delete those who aren’t needed anymore.
When you launch Windows the program is automatically launched and
doesn’t affect the computer performance: indeed even if it takes 2MB in
memory we didn’t notice any slow downs during our extensive tests.
Second Chance 2.0 will track every system change such as file
modification, file creation, file deletion, etc. Only Internet cache
folders and temporary folders won’t be watched.
When Second Chance 2.0
detects software or the user is about to delete/change/update a file it
will backup the old files by copying them in a safe folder before updating
or deleting the files. If you encounter a problem you’ll have to select
the restore point you want restore and push the ‘restore’ button: then
Second Chance 2.0 will act just like a time machine by backing up time.
Restoring the system based on the selected restore point can be done under
Windows or under Microsoft DOS: the restoring process is almost fast even
if it requires two reboots. It’ll save precious time by solving your
problem quickly and efficiently. Best of all Second Chance 2.0 can also
backup files that would be replaced by the restoration process.
Each restore point you
create can be viewed in a separate window that looks like the explorer and
shows the exact contents of the image that was taken. It’s very useful
as hopefully you can choose to restore only one file contained in a
restore point: imagine you’ve created a restore point yesterday with the
latest version of your working files and today your latest child has just
erased everything! Before killing him just launch Second Chance 2.0 and
only select the files you want to retrieve in the interface and relax
while Second Chance 2.0 restores these files in only a few seconds as it
just extract them and it doesn’t need to restore a whole hard disk. Best
of all when viewing the contents of a restore point you can see which
changes have been applied.
Second Chance 2.0 also
allows you to change the space limit of the control points you create so
when the limit is reached new restore points will delete old ones
automatically or on demand. You can even define automatic day save limit
to tell the program how many days it should keep restore points when the
hard disk space is reached. If you don’t want monitor some folders of
your hard drives you can exclude them from the monitoring process easily.
Finally you can schedule the checkpoint creation day by day, hour per
If Second Chance is a very
good program it has got some limitations: indeed it only monitors Windows
file modification and not DOS ones. Also Second Chance 2.0 can’t handle
partition changes so if you create a new partition by erasing an older one
you won’t be able to retrieve anything. The latest limit of Second
Chance 2.0 is related to hard disk crashes or virus attacks: indeed if the
hard drive where the image is stored crashes you won’t be able to
retrieve anything except if you use special utilities like Lost &
Found. Also virus attacks can definitely damage your saved checkpoints. To
avoid such problems you can backup the folder where you store the
checkpoints into a safe place or a CDR.
PowerQuest Second Chance 2.0 is the ultimate lifeguard software for your precious data. It’s such an innovative software that Microsoft has included the ‘System Restore’ applet that works the same in its latest operating system: Windows Me. Its features, ease of use and performance make it worth the buy. The only drawback of this software is the place it requires on your hard disk to store multiple and various checkpoint images. Windows Me users can now adopt Second Chance 2.07 as it is now compliant with the latest OS from Microsoft. Windows Me and non-Windows Me users, if you want the ultimate file protection to protect your data, this is the software for you!