I’ve been having ever-worsening computer problems over the past several months. My power settings weren’t remaining as I set them. I stopped being able to use the “restart” option, because when I would do so my computer would freeze on the “logging off” screen and sit there for 16 hours. My folders stopped refreshing themselves when I would make a change. A slew of other things added to this, and I decided it was getting time for a fresh start.
I’m a pro when it comes to backing up data and reinstalling my OS. I’ve done it no less than 100 times since I got this laptop in 2008. Most of those times were attempts to run Linux as an alternative to the Vista I was sold with the computer. I’m not one of those Linux nuts. Frankly, I prefer the ease and usability of Windows. Vista, however, was a trainwreck on this computer. I had every single problem possible with that damn OS. Since my computer isn’t a standard brand, and has some funky extra doodads and whatzits, every Linux we tried failed in some way.
Anyway, as soon as it was available I got myself a copy of Windows 7. The worst part about all of the operating system switches has been the restoring of Firefox. I use XMarks, so I don’t have to think about my bookmarks or passwords, and I use the Add-on Collector plug-in for my add-ons, though I find it to be a bit clunky and not very intuitive. Additionally, while it is a good repository for your add-ons, it sucks to have to set your preferences every time. Especially when you use 15-30 plug-ins at any given point.
So when it became apparent to me that I was going to need a fresh start soon, I looked around for backup software. Enter MozBackup.
Such a simple and amazing tool. It’s very easy to install, run, and even to back up. I barely had to think about it.
Not only does MozBackup back up your Firefox settings, it also does so for your Thunderbird settings. I personally find it incredibly irritating to set up my multiple emails every time I install Thunderbird. So irritating, in fact, that I usually pare it down each time to the basic email addresses that I use, letting some of the less frequently used ones slide. That certainly is not ideal, because we have so many websites and so much going on, that I really should be able to easily check all 12 or 15 email addresses that I have.
Okay, now I’m going to blow you mind. MozBackup even installs your add-ons/plug-ins/extensions and restores your settings. Let me rephrase that: When you run MozBackup to restore your Firefox, the next time you open your browser it will be exactly the same as when you left it. Add-ons all there and set properly, bookmarks and passwords there (sorry, X-Marks), any skin you may like to use will be there – it’s simply amazing. What would typically take me an hour of work, minimum, was done for me in seconds.
I kept the installer, along with the generated backup data, in a folder that I moved to the external drive before I blanked my system. It was the first thing I installed on my fresh system, and minutes later I was back on the internet, in my familiar browser. I was even still signed in to Stumbleupon! It was as if nothing had changed at all.
MozBackup gets a full 5 stars.
* For the record, MozBackup has no idea who I am. This was not a paid or requested review.