What is Reboot To Restore Technology?
Reboot to restore technology restores devices exhibiting IT issues with a simple reboot. In other words, the technology is developed on the general notion of restarting computing devices facing IT challenges. Reboot and restore as a framework ensures that system issues need not be diagnosed and administered as specific use cases. Multiple IT issues, such as accidental malware download, configuration drift, unwarranted app installation, and data encryption, can all be dealt with a system restart. It works by restoring the system to a predefined pristine configuration. Restoring the system’s desired state removes viruses, reverses configuration changes, and uninstalls applications which ensures smooth operability and functionality after every reboot.
Evolution of Reboot to Restore technology
The task of restoring systems has evolved over time and can be done in a number of ways. To list a few of them:
An image is a file where an exact copy of your disk data is stored. One can overwrite an entire hard drive or a specific partition using an image. Using this, you can copy image of one configured system and deploy it to other computers. If you want incremental backups, you can do so by creating different images. However, deploying images takes a lot of time and storing different images requires lot of space. Also, there is a risk of losing the entire data in case the image file gets corrupted.
A pre-defined or master snapshot is referred to in case of system issues. This snapshot is compared with the current state of the system and any changes to the files are rewritten and synchronized back to its “pristine” state.
Any changes written on the system by end-users does not get reflected on the hard drive permanently. Instead, user defined changes get written onto a big buffer file on the hard drive. Administrators can later on decide which changes they want to retain permanently and which ones to discard.
Read-only file systems
Some OS’s are configured in such a manner that it only allows for mounting files in read-only mode. This ensures that none of the end-user made changes can be saved onto the partition space.
These are physical cards which work like a “read-only” switch for a specific hard drive when plugged into the motherboard.
Block level protection
Block level partitions do not work on individual files. It works on specific sectors on hard drives and protect them entirely. These protected partitions cannot be overridden with end-user changes and exhibit a fresh image upon restarting the system.
Reboot to Restore
To minimize the challenges and time consumption of various methods, reboot to restore technology was developed. The objective was to resolve multiple IT issues at once with ease. It works by restoring the system back to its pristine state post each reboot.
How software programs on reboot to restore technology work?
Multiple in-built and third party software leverage reboot to restore technology. To name a few of them:
Windows SteadyState is a freeware developed by Microsoft that allows administrators to configure computers on a shared network, protect hard drives, and perform advanced user management. This reboot to restore software was meant for use on public access computers, as in computing systems shared by many people, like in business centers, public libraries, and schools. SteadyState was discontinued as of December, 2010. This was due to its incompatibility with 64-bit Operating System versions like Windows 7 and higher. Windows SteadyState reverts a system to a previous configuration, one that is predetermined by the system administrator. The system is restored to its pristine status on every reboot. To enable reboot to restore functionality, the Windows Disk Protection (WDP) component should be turned on. With WDP switched on, changes made by end-users get redirected to a temporary cache. The ‘discard’ mode clears the cache on every reboot. The ‘persist’ mode retains the cache for a specific period of time, which is discarded post an expiration date. The ‘commit’ mode does not retain changes as cache but rewrites them onto a disk and end-user made changes become permanent.
Deep Freeze is a workstation recovery software for public access computers developed by Faronics that uses patented Reboot to Restore technology. This restore software mitigates unwarranted configuration changes and resolves IT issues with a simple yet effective reboot. The rollback software is operable on Windows OS and macOS systems. When end-users override baseline configuration, the information gets redirected to an allocated table, while the original data remains safeguarded. The redirected information is not referenced on a restart. This removes temporary alterations and the reboot to restore technology rollback the system back to the desired “frozen” state. Deep Freeze enables automatic Windows updates. The application creates virtual “ThawSpaces” for storing end-user personal data, if required. Additionally, it protects the master boot record (MBR) from rootkit injections and other changes. With the centrally located enterprise console, this reboot to restore software is capable of locking input devices and scheduling power management as well.
Use cases or applications
Computing systems in the universities and schools often exhibit unwanted configuration changes due to student activity. As a result, the IT team labors over cleaning the systems of unwarranted virus, unapproved software, and private information on a daily basis. IT admins at educational institutes often use a reboot to restore software on all its computers to deal with system issues effectively. With the reboot to restore software in place, all unapproved applications are removed with a system reboot. Confidential private information left behind by students on systems are also removed with a quick reboot. As a result, data security improves on the whole. Also, private student information, such as social security, and credit card information do not stand at a risk of being shared among other students.
Police departments have Mobile Data Computers (MDCs) set up with their cars. The MDCs are key instruments during mission critical problems. The department should ideally have a solution in place, one that can lockdown these computers centrally. Reboot to restore technology fits the bill perfectly in this aspect. Not only does the centrally located enterprise console of robust reboot to restore software help monitor remote MDCs, but rebooting individual systems restores them to their pre-defined state as well which resolves any issues on the go.
Healthcare organizations often implement a reboot to restore technology. With the software installed, the organizations can protect medical systems from malware, spyware, and viruses. A simple reboot restores the system completely, eliminates these threats and ensures that critical patient data is accessible in case of emergencies. Additionally, reboot to restore solutions helps in automating Windows updates and software updates on the medical systems.
Reboot to Restore Technology mitigates unwarranted configuration changes and resolves IT issues with a simple yet effective reboot.