Power On Rewind: MacOS9.1 review: Power On Rewind: MacOS9.1

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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Fast setup; reliable operation; great electronic manual.

The Bad Requires from 5 to 10 percent of drive space.

The Bottom Line If you've trashed a file or corrupted your system software, Rewind can take your Mac back to a predisaster state. It's an invaluable utility for any Mac owner.

8.0 Overall

This could happen to you: You've deleted an important business document by mistake, or your system software has become corrupted. Power On Software's Rewind can take your Mac back to a time before the disaster struck. If you're not diligent about doing regular system backups, you'll want Rewind in your utility toolkit. This could happen to you: You've deleted an important business document by mistake, or your system software has become corrupted. Power On Software's Rewind can take your Mac back to a time before the disaster struck. If you're not diligent about doing regular system backups, you'll want Rewind in your utility toolkit.

Easy setup
It's a breeze to set up Rewind. Simply run the installation program and restart your Mac. Rewind creates an invisible file that stores the changes you've made to your system in a compressed format. If you add peripherals, Rewind tracks any additional drivers you might have added. Even better is Rewind's emergency start-up mode, where you set aside a portion of your Mac's hard drive (300MB recommended) to serve as an emergency start-up disk in case your system software bites the dust.

But there's a downside to all this magic. Rewind's initial setup requires at least 5 percent of available drive space, and the well-written electronic manual recommends that you set aside up to 25 percent. (You can change these percentages at will.) The more disk space you set aside for Rewind, the further back in time Rewind can roll back your system--from several days to several weeks. As this hidden partition fills up, older files are discarded.

Clever time machine
Rewind silently and continually tracks everything you do on your Mac. Whenever you start your Mac, save a file, launch an application, install a new program, and so on, Rewind keeps tabs. (Rewind also has a comprehensive Ignore feature, so you can tell it which functions not to record.) Then, if disaster strikes--an accidentally deleted file, a virus infection, or trashed system software--call on Rewind to restore your entire Mac or individual files to the way they were before the calamity struck.

Our hero
Interestingly, during this review, our test Mac--a Power Mac G3 upgraded with a G4 processor--crashed when we installed a utility update. We restarted the Mac with the R key, the shortcut that activates the Rewind emergency disk. The Mac restarted, and Rewind launched and picked a point in time just before the utility upgrade. Rewind chewed on the problem for a few minutes, restarted the system, and the Mac was restored to its exact condition before the utility was installed. Everything was back to normal.

Truly one of a kind
Rewind is one of those rare applications that breaks new ground. At $99.95 ($89.95 for the downloaded version), Rewind will prove its value the first time you have to use it.

Click a date in the calender on the left and, on the right, choose the event to which you want your system to rewind.

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