Conclusion: Never Again Without It
With Recover Pro 2004, Phoenix Technologies has developed a user-friendly, highly secure and fast-working backup and recovery tool for Windows XP/2000 PCs that takes the sting out of virus and malware attacks. Best of all, it's a veritable bargain at just $40.
Put all of these pluses together and we believe this software product has earned our Recommended Buy Award. Recover Pro 2004 is definitely one tool that no computer user should be without, whether mobile laptop or desktop PC, at home or in the business environment.
There is one function we would like to have seen included, namely the possibility of backing up to and/or via external drives. On that front all we can do is hope that the manufacturer quickly manages to get down to checking off the items on that priority list mentioned above.
Note: Phoenix Technologies also offers a version of FirstWare Recover Pro 2004 designed especially for the requirements of system builders. It stores the backup and recovery software, corresponding utility programs and backup files in the HPA (host protected area) instead of on a hidden partition. The ATA-5 standard defines the HPA as a protected area of a mass storage device, the size of which can be determined in all ATA-5-compatible storage devices using a low-level tool. Because this area is only accessible with special tools, this version is not intended for consumers, but that also makes the HPA partition especially secure, because it can't even be accessed from the DOS level so deletion is not an option. In practice, system makers use the HPA to store a factory backup of the PC, although manufacturers can throw in extra utilities, too. The HPA is generally a few GB in size.