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Backup time machine

Restore your system to working order with ease.

Regular system backups are a matter of emphasis for us, and we like them thorough and often. Windows' built-in system recovery and backup utilities do a pretty decent job, but like many built-in features, they have their limitations, and they can be confusing and even daunting for many users, especially those who need them the most. There are more third-party backup utilities than you can shake a Registry at, however, each offering a different combination of power, flexibility, and ease of use. MagiCure Professional 9 from AdvantEDGE Solutions is aimed at less-experienced users, since its goal is to simplify the process of protecting and recovering your system from a variety of failures. But it also offers plenty of capabilities for more-experienced users who are looking for a better backup tool.

MagiCure's download includes steps that analyze your system, including disks, partitions, and operating system. It also prepares the system recovery step that inserts itself before the boot stage, a step that requires a system reboot. The program's blue-hued interface is one of the milder variations we've seen of the typical graphically skinned Windows utility-in-disguise seen on so many system cleaner/restorer/booster programs; basically it's the three-part toolbar/navigation pane/main display layout, only with more color and bigger buttons. It's an easy-to-use design, too; MagiCure does most of the work for you, especially in setting things up, which is the first hurdle that keeps so many users from making proper backups. Everything is clearly labeled and nicely functional, and a handy System Tray icon ties it all together.

We didn't test MagiCure's ability to recover from system failure, and hope we don't get the chance, but that's the whole point of having a backup. However, it did take a thorough reading of our system and send it "back in time" to its previous state. That's the essence of its promise: by taking a daily "snapshot" of your system, any revolting developments that harm your system can be rolled back to the last functional state, so you can carry on computing instead of facing downtime and support calls.

Editors' note: This is a review of the full version of MagiCure Professional 9.0. The trial version is limited to 15 days.

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