We all know backing-up is one of the key rules to good computing. However, when you start listing everything you need to make a copy of to ensure you can return to normal pretty quickly if your PC should crash, there's much more than just digital photos and word documents. There's all your emails, program settings and even your games. Fear not, help is at hand in the form of these ten free downloads.
GameSave Manager 2.3
When it comes to backing up, backup tools seem to have most bases covered: your documents, photos, email and even some program settings. But what about your saved games? You may have spend hours – days even – getting to a certain point in a game, only for your PC to crash and a Windows reinstall to ensue. End result: you have to start again from the beginning.
Fear not, GameSave Manager is the answer to your prayers. It's capable of backing up nearly 800 games thanks to its ever-growing database, which is built on community feedback.
ShadowExplorer is a free third-party front end for Windows Vista and 7's Previous Versions feature. The operating system will regularly create backups of your files. If you accidentally delete something, say, you can then right-click its folder, select Properties > Previous Versions, and perhaps recover the lost file from one of these backups.
The interface for this is a little clumsy, though. And it's only available in the Ultimate, Business and Enterprise editions, although the copies are still being made in the Home editions - which is where ShadowExplorer comes in. Launch the program and you can then choose a drive, and you'll see entries for all the available shadow copies.
File Verifier++ 0.6.3
File Verifier++ is a useful Windows application that can help you confirm that a set of files haven't been changed. Which may sound a little odd, but actually it has several worthwhile applications. For example, you may regularly back up files to CD or DVD but these can become corrupt over time, but usually there's no way to tell this. File Verifier++ can generate digital fingerprints called hashes for each file, though, and then save these on the discs as well. They may then be used at any time to verify that the backups are still good.
Windows Registry Recovery 184.108.40.206
It doesn't matter how diligent you are, sometimes you forget to back up a critical setting, one that's buried in the depths of the Registry. How are you going to get it back again? If you've taken a drive image of your computer, then the information is sat waiting inside that image – all you need is the right tools to extract it.
Windows Registry Recovery is designed to browse Registry hive files, allowing you to peruse the contents of a Registry backup or Registry hive copied from another computer. You can even extract selected Registry settings which can subsequently be imported into your current Registry, effectively restoring the settings.
FreeUndelete offers a simple way to locate and recover accidentally deleted files. Simply choose a drive to check, enter a filter to limit the number of files displayed, and click Scan to view the results. Then select any files you'd like to recover, choose a destination folder where they'll be saved, and click Undelete to restore them.
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- Recover files, folder and even your games
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