Create Snapshot Backups of Data and Files With Comodo Time Machine

ctmlogo   Create Snapshot Backups of Data and Files With Comodo Time MachineThe other day I wrote about Back In Time which takes snapshots of the configured folders and keeps track of various versions over a period of time, before you need them to restore your system back in time. In which case, it simply requires you find the right version and then click on restore. I actually quite like the idea of maintaining a history of sorts for the important folders that you care about.

So I started to hunt for a similar solution to backup data and files for Windows as that would be familiar territory for most of our readers. The search finally ended on Comodo Time Machine, which I have to admit is even better than Back In Time. Once downloaded and installed, fire it up and let’s see what CTM has to offer.


By default, Comodo Time Machine opens up a “Quick Operations” window, where you can choose to Restore a System, Take a new snapshot or fire up the advanced mode.

Using Comodo Time Machine to Backup Data and Files

If you have invoked Time Machine for the first time you would of course want to create a snapshot first. Go ahead and choose the snapshot option and Time Machine sets to work. The first snapshot takes some time depending upon the amount of data it has to keep account of, subsequent snapshots should be quicker.

quickstart   Create Snapshot Backups of Data and Files With Comodo Time Machine

Once the snapshot has been created it will appear in the snapshot timeline, giving you a good indication of when you started using Comodo Time Machine, all the snapshots that you have created since then and the current state of the system as well.

You can manage the snapshots from this very screen as well. You can quickly delete a snapshot, lock it (it cannot be deleted then) or unlock it. You can also right click on a snapshot and mount it to view what files and which version of files are present in the snapshot.

timelinecm   Create Snapshot Backups of Data and Files With Comodo Time Machine

Another great feature of Comodo Time Machine is that you can schedule snapshot creation as well as restoring from a snapshot. Head over to the scheduled tasks tab and you can choose between either kind of scheduled task. You can also manage all the existing scheduled tasks from this screen.

taskcctm   Create Snapshot Backups of Data and Files With Comodo Time Machine

Restoring your computer to a previous snapshot is just as easy, all you have to do is choose the appropriate snapshot from within the Restore System tab, click next, verify if it is indeed the snapshot you were looking for and click Reboot. Your computer will reboot and Comodo Time Machine will restore it back to the snapshot state. You will be able to view the changes the next time you log into your computer.

restore   Create Snapshot Backups of Data and Files With Comodo Time Machine

Comodo Time Machine also lets you recover individual files from a snapshot if you so please. You just have to enter a part of the filename and the snapshot you want to recover from and Comodo Time Machine will give you the very version contained within that particular snapshot. Of course you can visit the timeline view and mount individual snapshots and copy paste a single file as well.

preferences1   Create Snapshot Backups of Data and Files With Comodo Time Machine

In addition to all this you can also tweak certain aspects of the software via Settings. You can for example tell Comodo Time Machine to delete all snapshots that are x days old or to take a snapshot on every system startup and the likes.

Comodo Time Machine is an excellent software if you favor the snapshot method to backup data and files. It is feature rich and works well and efficiently. Do you know of any other similar software?

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25 Comments -

Brian

It’d be nice if you spelled out clearly at the start of the article what OS it’s for. This appears to be Windows based although Back In Time is Linux based.

Sameer Prabhakar

It seems to have an issue with Truecrypt installed !! the setup just refused to go ahead.. what a shame…

Varun Kashyap

Yes, Sameer, apparantly TrueCrypt and CTM don’t play very well. But to be fair, I have been using both of them together for some time now. The difference might be that CTM is on the primary hard disk and Truecrypt container on the secondary drive.
Are you using full disk encryption or truecrypt containers for some files? I can understand it would interfere with full disk encryption since both would work at boot time but it should playwell with the containers as truecrypt goes a long way to make them look like regular files.

Tobey

This application is DANGEROUS at current state of development. Use at own risk.

Read more here:
http://www.freewaregenius.com/2010/03/23/comodo-time-machine-roll-back-your-pc-including-every-file-on-every-partition-to-a-previous-state

Varun Kashyap

Well, DANGEROUS might be a little over dramatic. Granted it modifies the boot, but it needs to do that to enable restore to a previous point in time. You just need to be careful as you would be while installing let say – GRUB or resizing your partitions with GParted!

Tobey

As long as two complete OS reinstalls with several blue-screens in between qualify for it, I’d pretty much keep calling it DANGEROUS. :-)

Tobey

This application is DANGEROUS at current state of development. Use at own risk.

Read more here:
http://www.freewaregenius.com/

El Galloviejo

Varun,

You asked for software that was similar to Comodo Time Machine, so here’s one, AyRecovery Professional, that I have very successfully used for the last couple of weeks.
It came from Giveaway of the Day and has a one year license. During these two weeks, I had, as is my habit, ‘ tried out ‘ new software. A couple of my trials were a disastrous
mix with my Windows 7 Ultimate x64. AyRecovery Professional pops up a screen right after the motherboard boot screen that enabled me to jump right back to the restoration point that I had purposely created immediately before installing the problem program(s).

The URL for their Pro Version is –

http://www.ayrecovery.com/ayrecovery-professional/index.html

Other versions of their software are also available.

Varun Kashyap

Seems interesting, thanks. Glad you got it from GOTD and have it working well for you!

El Galloviejo

Varun,

You asked for software that was similar to Comodo Time Machine, so here’s one, AyRecovery Professional, that I have very successfully used for the last couple of weeks.
It came from Giveaway of the Day and has a one year license. During these two weeks, I had, as is my habit, ‘ tried out ‘ new software. A couple of my trials were a disastrous
mix with my Windows 7 Ultimate x64. AyRecovery Professional pops up a screen right after the motherboard boot screen that enabled me to jump right back to the restoration point that I had purposely created immediately before installing the problem program(s).

The URL for their Pro Version is -

http://www.ayrecovery.com/ayre

Other versions of their software are also available.

henk

Right now I downloaded the latest build of Comodo Time Machine from the Comodo website and tried to install it on my Win7 (32-bit) laptop, with a NTFS harddisk (containing a standard C: system volume with _no_ other partitions). Right after the installer started, it quit with the mysterious error message: “Comodo Time Machine supports only simple volumes.” So I wonder, what’s not simple with my C: drive?

Varun Kashyap

Are you using full disk encryption or does your laptop offer any special security features?

henk

No encryption at all, no compression either, no multiple user accounts, running with administrator permissions, no realtime security except Microsoft Security Essentials. I looked at Comodo’s own forum for other people reporting this strange error message, and yes! I found several with exactly the same inexplicable problem. Must be some bug – I found one terse reply by Comodo itself, saying they are aware of the problem and are “working on it”.

henk

Right now I downloaded the latest build of Comodo Time Machine from the Comodo website and tried to install it on my Win7 (32-bit) laptop, with a NTFS harddisk (containing a standard C:\ system volume with _no_ other partitions). Right after the installer started, it quit with the mysterious error message: “Comodo Time Machine supports only simple volumes.” So I wonder, what’s not simple with my C:\ drive?

Anonymous

Raid and cryptsoft killer

Dale

This is a great concept, terrible software. Avoid it like the plague, unless you want to reinstall a system from scratch. I had this running on two 32 bit XP systems for several months and had the system set up to delete old snapshots, but the cleanup did not seem to occur. The system eventually started saying that it was out of space, despite disk properties indicating that there was plenty of disk space available. The space issues ultimately lead to delayed write failures. If the deletion of old snapshots had occurred as scheduled, this software may have lived up to the claims. For me, it created far more work than it saved me from.

Given constant disk space issues, I decided to uninstall. The situation went from bad to much worse. I thought my best chance for removal was via the console that is accessible by pressing the home key during system startup, I was wrong. I chose a restore point, but received a useless cryptic error message during removal. My system locked up, I had no choice, but to power it off, cross my fingers and hope for a successful restart. This did not happen; instead I was greeted with a blue screen indicating that one of the VGA system files was missing. I tried several methods of getting the missing file back, none were successful; I resigned myself to the fact that I would be reinstalling this system from scratch. I needed to uninstall from the second system because of the same issues.

Given my previous experience with the uninstall, I imaged this system beforehand, other than never installing Time Machine, this is the best decision I could have made. The uninstall from the boot console failed again. I restored the image and attempted to remove Time Machine via add/remove programs, it failed on the first PC, but was successful on the second. Since my first removal attempt resulted in the loss of a machine, I searched the Comodo forums in the hope of finding some information on how to successfully uninstall this software. I found entries from others whose experiences were similar to mine, but I found no information on removal options if something has gone wrong. If that happens, it would seem that only two options are available, restore from a pre Time Machine backup, or reinstall the system from scratch.

Your experience may differ from mine, if so, consider yourself very lucky. I realize that Comodo cannot test every possible system configuration, but given my experience and the similar complaints I found in their forums, it seems that they have done very little testing before releasing this software to the public. I feel that this software needs to be pulled from their web site until further testing and development has happened. It is more of a disservice than a benefit in its current state. I realize that everyone’s experience may be different, but such a positive review does make me wonder how long the author has worked with Time Machine before writing this review.

Initially, I felt that this could be the savior of many of my client’s systems, such capabilities for free were a dream come true, or so I thought, but after having it installed for a few months, the dream turned to a nightmare. I would never install this on another system, even if it evolves to version 10 or beyond. If you do choose to test this software, good luck. Test for a few months at the very least, and on a non production system.

Tobey

Agreed. I’ll give it another chance eventually. Much, much later.

Aibek

Hey Dale

Thanks a LOT for insightful comment and the feedback. I am sure many readers will take it into account as well before deciding to install the software.

Varun Kashyap

Yes, Sameer, apparantly TrueCrypt and CTM don’t play very well. But to be fair, I have been using both of them together for some time now. The difference might be that CTM is on the primary hard disk and Truecrypt container on the secondary drive.
Are you using full disk encryption or truecrypt containers for some files? I can understand it would interfere with full disk encryption since both would work at boot time but it should playwell with the containers as truecrypt goes a long way to make them look like regular files.

Aibek

Hey Dale

Thanks a LOT for insightful comment and the feedback. I am sure many readers will take it into account as well before deciding to install the software.

Anonymous

There are many other free backup software, e.g., see this blog http://dottech.org/featured/6194

Aibek

nice list!

irha

There are many other free backup software, e.g., see this blog http://dottech.org/featured/61

Andrew Worcester

COMODO actually states in the user guide that RAID is not supported. If you’re thinking about installing COMODO, it would be good for anyone to read the “System Requirements and Important Information” section of the user guide found on their site.

http://www.comodo.com/support/