Restore on Reboot
Instantly reset to the baseline on startup or hard reset.
One-Click Instant Update
Update the baseline without restarting your computer.
Reduce Maintenance Costs
Drastically reduces computer maintenance, and can be used to protect tier one public access computing environments
Reboot Restore Rx as a SteadyState Alternative
What is Windows SteadyState ?
Windows SteadyState was formerly known as Microsoft's Shared Computer Toolkit. Both the "Toolkit" and Windows SteadyState were discontinued freeware tool developed by Microsoft. The concept behind SteadyState was to provide teachers an easy to administer method for configuring public access computers. It was designed for use on computers shared by many people, such as internet cafes, schools, libraries, etc. In essence Windows Steady State was designed to maintain PC by delivering a "Steady PC State" – in essence restoring PC’s to a baseline on every restart. SteadyState was available until December 31, 2010 free of charge from Microsoft for computers running Windows XP and Windows Vista. A 64-bit version was never available and Microsoft ceased the continuation of development of Windows SteadyState. Thus as of Windows 7 - Steady State no longer was compatible.
Where would Windows Steady State be deployed?
The management of public access computers are technically challenging. Not only time-consuming, but expensive if you do not have the right PC automation tools. Moreover, without system restrictions and protections, users can unintentionally change the desktop appearance, reconfigure system settings, and introduce unwanted software, viruses, and other harmful programs. Repairs to shared computers that are damaged in this manner can require significant work. The Idea behind Windows SteadyState was to easily restore PC's back to a pristine condition after being used by a learning student, or potential hacker
Windows SteadyState: Who was SteadyState designed for?
SteadyState grew out of the U.S. Libraries Program from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The U.S. Libraries Program provided more than 60,000 PCs to 11,000 libraries during 2001 to 2003. Those "Gates PCs," as they were known, came with lockdown software called the Public Access Security Tool (PAST). When the Gates Foundation dropped support of PAST in 2004, Microsoft picked up with the Shared Computer Toolkit in 2005, which began Windows SteadyState in 2007
Windows SteadyState – Not so Steady for most Teachers
Microsoft SteadyState was designed to be simple enough application that could be managed by teachers and low-tech admins of small schools, libraries and computer labs that we for "non-profit". Thus it was offered for free. However, the architecture of Microsoft's Shared Computer Toolkit (aka. SteadyState) was not as simple as it seemed. Which was most probably the reason for its failure...? SteadyState failed to provide a low tech solution for their intended market (non-technical teachers and librarians). Steady State was more complicated and challenging for typical rural teachers to adopt. In fact, it was used by more technical advanced users and organizations. Perhaps due to their advanced development requirements, Steady State became more of a liability to Microsoft to support.
Windows SteadyState - Restore PC on Restart
Not only does SteadyState return the PC back to its original state, but you can lock down virtually every aspect of the computer from programs to websites and more. Of course you’ll need to be the administrator, and the first thing to do is install current drivers and Windows Updates. Then install programs and configure settings you want to how you want the machine to be every time it’s restored. Once everything is set up and you create different user account, you can let the public have at it. Any changes they make to the configuration will be undone just by restarting the machine. Originally there were hard drive restore software solutions that had this same functionality. But with respect to Windows Steady State, here we take a look at SteadyState running on a Windows XP machine.
Windows SteadyState: How it worked
SteadyState caches all of the writes made to the PC's boot drive. The administrator can have SteadyState clear the cache every time the PC reboots, restoring the PC to its original state. Thus the reboot and restore process. Downloaded Windows updates get special dispensation; they aren't zapped when the cache refreshes. The program's settings allow the administrator to restrict access to many parts of Windows: the Registry Editor, Task Manager, adding or removing printers, burning CDs or DVDs, and much more. Internet Explorer can be blocked or limited to specific sites. Specific programs can also be blocked, either for specific users or for all users. An administrator can even hide entire hard drives, making them inaccessible. Users can be allotted a maximum number of opportunities they're allowed to access the machine, and an administrator can force a reboot after a specific amount of time. In order to do updates on SteadyState – one would need to turn the Windows Disk Protection off on a dedicated data cache. If this redirected data cache uses a significant amount of space and once it becomes close to full Window will force a restart so that it can be cleared. What this means is that the public user would suddenly find their session needing to end if they've used up this amount of space on the hard drive. SteadyState can take up as much as a quarter or even half of the hard drive’s space. In order to move the baseline forward by incorporating the latest applications and operating system updates then means turning off the write-protection to allow the Windows updates, new virus-scan definitions, and program changes to be written on the hard drive. With most commercial restore-on-reboot products this means that while updates take place the system is left unprotected. In addition, this means not being able to undo the baseline updates. Many IT managers of these commercial restore-on-reboot products find that program conflicts, botched updates, hard resets of the machine instead of shutting down properly, and other such issues cause Windows performance to degrade over time. Eventually, these systems require the occasional reinstall of Windows from scratch.
The Steady State Software Situation Today
Schools, libraries, and other shared computing environments face ongoing challenges to reduce costs while needing to offer better performance, availability, and efficiencies with their diminished budgets. To manage PCs on such small networks usually means removing unwanted changes that the public users have made on those machines. So it would be ideal if after one public user has ended their session and the next user logs on that the machines would automatically return to a baseline. SteadyState was a very useful Windows utility that Microsoft provided free of charge and would enable managers of these sorts of shared-access computers to continually reset the machines back to a predefined prestine state (or "baseline"). Unfortunately, for those who lack the technical training or wherwithal to acquaint themselves with Group Policies, Active Directory, Windows Server Update Services, et cetra, et cetra,... SteadyState was a cumbersome system which involved many unnecessary complexities and hassles. Perhaps for these reasons SteadyState was discontinued as of Dec. 31, 2012 and it's not supported for Windows 7 and now Windows 8.
Free Alternatives to Windows SteadyState
So what options are there for a Free SteadyState type utility? Any application that is designed to restore PC on restart would fall under this category. Most of which are commercial software products such a Drive Vaccine or RollBack Rx. However for the best Free Utility it would have to be Reboot Restore Rx: Reboot Restore Rx (Freeware)
Why Reboot Restore Rx ?
Advanced Technology designed for small public access computing environments.
It’s a challenge to maintain public access PC's - at hotels, internet cafes, and libraries - where users are not always careful and usage is high. Reboot Restore Rx simplifies the management of PC's in shared computing environments... Reboot Restore Rx is a non-restrictive hard drive restore product designed for public access PC management. The PC users feel as though they have complete control over the PC. But regardless of what they do, including erasing files, installing software or even hacking the system registry, Reboot Restore Rx will automatically restore the PC to a predefined baseline -- every time the workstation is restarted, or turned on. Making the workstations perfectly configured and available for the next user.
- Restore on Reboot
- Reset to Baseline on PC
- Start Up or Hard Reset
- One-Click Instant Updates
- VMWare Support
- Protects the MBR
- Works below Windows
- Mini OS Access
- Restore from unbootable Windows
Simple protection. Unrestricted access
Reboot Restore Rx Professional integrates Reboot-and-Restore, a simple technology designed to keep computers fully functional and optimally configured. In addition to restoring on reboot, Reboot Restore Rx Professional can also restore on user Log-Off and can also maintain a safe “Immune Space” for file and data storage.
Reboot Restore Rx Professional drastically reduces computer maintenance, and is widely used to protect public access computers, (ie. library public computers, school PC Labs, etc) or shared computing environments where a workstation could be damaged either intentionally or accidentally by a PC user.
Bullet-proof yet flexible PC restore
Reboot Restore Rx Professional (formerly Drive Vaccine) is a comprehensive automated PC restore utility that provides the right balance of functionality and robustness. Reboot Restore Rx Professional allows you to restore on reboot, log off, end-of-day, every hour, week, month — on any fixed schedule! You can even set Reboot Restore Rx Professional to automatically restore when the PC is idle for a set period of time. Reboot Restore Rx Professional sits outside Windows and functions at the sector level of the hard drive, not within Windows like traditional reboot-on-restore applications.
Reboot Restore Rx Professional protects the Master Boot Record (MBR), maintaining unmatched system integrity. With its 256-bit AES baseline encryption you can be absolutely certain that your public access PCs are protected from ANY inadvertent or malicious attempts to make changes to the PCs.
Reboot Restore Rx Professional VS Imaging
The days of having to re-image your hard drives, or worse, having to format and reinstall Windows constantly, are finally over! Imaging is a very time-consuming process. We bring the time required to restore your PCs down to seconds! With Reboot Restore Rx Professional, you can easily automate the restore process. Preserving a computer’s configuration and automatically returning it to this baseline on any schedule.
Enhance The Computing Experience
Reboot Restore Rx Professional ensures workstation performance is at optimal levels by removing website cookies, spyware, viruses and unnecessary plug-ins; which can cause system bottlenecks. Any infections to a “immunized” system are instantly eradicated – workstations are reverted back to their original configuration on every restart, log-off or on any fixed schedule. Because Reboot Restore Rx Professional does not restrict access and is invisible to users, users feel as though they have complete control of the machine, enhancing the computing experience.
Keep PCs Virus and Spyware free
Viruses and spy ware are the most common threats, and new infections slip through the cracks daily. In addition, users can also cause inadvertent damage to PC’s by tampering with configuration settings, or by installing botched software. Reboot Restore Rx Professional (formerly Drive Vaccine) helps maintain a consistent baseline – free of any malware or system changes.
Set Acceptable User Policies
Put in force user policies by guaranteeing that only approved applications are installed on your organization’s PCs. When protected, Reboot Restore Rx Professional will not allow configuration changes or installation of any applications to remain on the workstations. This, in effect, blocks the installation of most illegal or unauthorized software. Reboot Restore Rx Professional offers the option to deny access to CD ROM and USB ports – Preventing the use of external applications, root kits or data heisting.
Immune Space – Persistent Storage Space
Administrators can create a “Immune space” – a virtual drive space in order to save files and folders. This enables computer users to save files and folders for permanent storage, keeping them exempt from the restoration process. This integrated Immune Space ensures that student work files, such as documents can always be accessible even after Reboot Restore Rx Professional has restored the PC back to its baseline.
Remote Control – Manage PC’s from anywhere
The Reboot Restore Rx Professional RMC (Remote Management Console) is a complimentary utility that is delivered to all clients that require remote management capabilities of their Reboot Restore Rx Professional PC installations. The Reboot Restore Rx Professional RMC solution delivers a complete client-server based network management solution for Reboot Restore Rx Professional PC client installations – Enabling administrators to easily manage their client PC’s from anywhere via LAN, WAN or over the Internet.
Prevent Identity Theft – Protect User Privacy
Users in a public access settings are susceptible to falling prey to identity thieves. Some may attempt to pre-install a key-logger or some dangerous spyware application. Other bandits may attempt to view your history, temporary files or worse – Your completed forms, which may contain personal information, usernames, passwords etc. A system immunized by Reboot Restore Rx Professional insures users, that no information or installed applications remain. Reboot Restore Rx Professional erases any installed application, history settings, logs and temporary files from remaining on the public access workstation so your privacy is protected and personal information is not cached and saved on the system for prying eyes to see
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Last Updated: 08 February 2017
Requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8, 10 (all 32 and 64 bit versions)
Reboot Restore RX (freeware)
Reboot Restore Rx (freeware) prevents any and all changes made on your drive(s) making those PC’s bulletproof and unbreakable. It is designed for small public access computing environments such as classrooms, libraries, kiosks, and internet cafes. Even when users download files, viruses, malware, or even try to delete registry keys, Reboot Restore Rx will restore the PC’s back to your desired state set from a schedule that you have control of
Reboot Restore Rx Professional
(formerly Drive Vaccine) Reboot Restore Rx Pro prevents any and all changes made on your drive(s) making those PCs bulletproof and unbreakable. It is designed for public access computing environments such as schools, computer labs, kiosks, hotels, Internet cafes, and libraries. We understand it takes a certain fortitude to service PCs in the public domain where users are not always careful and computer usage is high. That is why we built Reboot Restore Rx Pro to be fast, effective and efficient. Regardless of what a user does (including erasing files, installing software or even hacking the system registry) Reboot Restore Rx Pro will automatically restore the PC to your desired system state on a schedule you set.
|Protects the MBR|
|Mini OS Access|
|Access Control & Data Security||Windows Admin User Only|
|Restore On Any Schedule|
|Back Out from Baseline Updates|
|Exclusion Drive / Registry Exclusion|