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Chapter 6. Setting Up Important System Services > Third-Party Butt-Saving Tools

Third-Party Butt-Saving Tools

There are some third-party programs you might consider installing on any new system—programs that go beyond what Microsoft has seen fit to include in XP. While it's true that Microsoft, in its usual gameplan of feature expansion, has seen fit to co-opt many operating system improvement ideas developed by other vendors (System Restore is a good example), there are still a few tricks they haven't packed under XP's hood. Here we'll discuss briefly a few of them you might consider installing. We're not actually endorsing them for mission-critical enterprise settings, because we know that you'll probably want to keep system installs down to a bare minimum and not invite possible bugs by installing programs that fiddle with the registry or that insert themselves somewhere in the system internals to any degree, but you may want to know that these programs exist or might even give some of them a whirl.

WinRescue

WinRescue is a 4-in-1 Backup and Recovery tool that addresses a number of issues necessary for maintaining, protecting, and recovering a XP installation. It contains CrashFixer, File BackUp, RegPack, and Troubleshooter sections. The user interface is straightforward and easy to understand, providing a number of different ways to back up files and also the registry, a very nice addition. Over time, as programs are added and deleted, the registry tends to grow in size and contain stray entries. RegPack addresses this issue, compacting the size and removing useless entries. The only weak section is Troubleshooting, as it links directly to the XP troubleshooters that are included in the XP Help and Support Center for free, but it does provide a convenient interface for accessing each of the troubleshooters. At the current price of $25, WinRescue is worth a look for those who prefer a suite approach rather than individual programs, and it comes highly recommended by a number of respected computer industry journalists and Web sites. More information is available at the Super Win Software Web site (www.superwin.com).


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