Product review: Save Butt salvages trashed files

PGSoft's aptly named Save Butt 1.2 is a good measure of added file protection for the Windows end-users on your network. This file recovery utility offers easy access to deleted or changed files and provides a mechanism for quick restoration, while reducing the number of frantic calls to your help desk.

In terms of file-recovery capabilities, Save Butt compares favourably to rival offerings such as Symantec's Norton Utilities and its file undelete capability. Save Butt offers a more straightforward interface that lets users select from plain English phrases -- such as, "Let me see all recently changed files" -- so that they can easily access a variety of file views to restore both changed and deleted files.

Save Butt is a useful tool, installing easily and automatically identifying the applications and file types on my test systems. I could also add other applications or file types for Save Butt to track at my discretion.

Like Norton Utilities, Save Butt lets you recover accidentally deleted files even after you have emptied the Windows Recycle Bin. By choosing to view all deleted files, you can easily find and restore any file. You can sort the deleted files in this list view by date and name, among other attributes. Although there are multiple views of files, the "all deleted and changed files" view does not sort; this capability would have been a useful addition.

I especially liked Save Butt's scope of support for recovering revisions of changed files. The utility can store as many as 99 different versions of a file -- an extremely useful feature if you need to retrieve a prior version of a document. The revision support is truly advantageous in those instances where users have accidentally overwritten a file.

From a network administrator's perspective, Save Butt could add some tools to manage the installation and configuration tasks at sites with many distributed users. Although you can plug Save Butt into your choice of system management software for easy distribution to end-users, the ability to centrally configure Save Butt attributes for different user groups would be a valuable improvement.

Save Butt could also be of greater assistance to administrators in mixed enterprise environments if it expanded support to client platforms other than Windows.

As a file recovery utility, Save Butt works just as the name implies. Whether recovering a deleted file or a prior version of a changed file, the product works well. If you support large groups of Windows clients, Save Butt is worth investigating.

Maggie Biggs is a senior analyst at the InfoWorld Test Center. She can be reached at maggie_biggs@infoworld.comThe bottom line: VERY GOODSave Butt 1.2Giving your end-users this handy utility, which easily recovers changed or deleted files, will reduce calls to your help desk.

Pros: Extremely easy to use; recovers deleted files even after removal from the Recycle Bin; maintains as many as 99 revisions to any given file; enables easy retrieval of previous file versions; supports recovery on hard disk, removable media, and network drives; automatically tracks all applications and file typesCons: No centralised administration features; limited file-sorting optionsPrice: $US29.95Platforms: Windows 9xPGSoft:

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