FAQ

Registration / Upgrade / Subscription
How do I upgrade when a new version comes out? How can I check?

For RVS Pro 2011 and RSS Pro/Free 2011, simply install the appropriate version's final release over your current copy. Your licensing will be retained in the upgrade and no further action is required.

For current RVS 2010 customers and users, your direct upgrade path is RSS 2011. As the installer for RSS is universal, simply download the most recent release version installer and install over your current copy of RVS 2010. NOTE! You cannot use your current RVS 2010 License Number with RSS 2011, but your RVS 2010 licensing will be retained in the upgrade if you install RSS 2011 over your registered copy of RVS 2010.

For RVS Lite 2011 customers, you will need to uninstall your current copy before installing the updated build. 

How do I check for the availability of a new version or upgrade?

RVS Pro 2011 and RSS Pro 2011 customers will receive an alert message in their copy of the software with download link when a new build or upgrade is available. For those who do not receive the alert for any reason, you can check the product pages on our website and release announcements in our on-line support forums.

RVS Lite 2011 customers should check the product page on our website and also watch for announcements at our on-line support forums.

Why do I receive an "Invalid License" message when I attempt to register my copy of RSS/RVS 2011 or RVS 2010?

There are two distinct situations where this error message may appear:

  1. Your License Number is already assigned to the maximum number of clients in your licensing. This issue happens most commonly following a reinstall of Windows or installing your copy on a new computer after retiring an older computer. 
  2. You have upgraded some of the hardware on your computer after installing RSS or RVS.

To resolve the issue, please contact our support team to request that your License be cleared at the server so it can be reassigned to a new copy of the software. 

Why do I get a "license policy doesn't allow the product version" warning when I try to register my copy of the software?

This warning indicates that you have tried to register a product or version that is not supported by your current licensing. This warning can be shown in the following scenarios:

  1. You have a License Number for RVS 2010 and you try to use the same LN to register a fresh copy of RSS Pro 2011 or RVS Pro 2011.
  2. You have a License Number for RSS Pro 2011 but attempt to use it to register a copy of RVS Pro 2011.
  3. You have a License Number for RVS Pro 2011 and attempt to use it to register a copy of RSS Pro 2011.
  4. You have a License number for either RSS Pro 2011 or RVS Pro 2011 and attempt to use it to register a copy of RVS 2010.

This can be cleared by:

  • Uninstalling the copy of the software you are attempting to register and then install the proper version of the software for your License.
  • Installing the proper upgrade version over your existing version to retain your licensing during the upgrade. This resolution is most commonly applicable to upgrading from a paid version of RVS 2010 to RSS Pro 2011. Though you cannot register a fresh install of RSS Pro 2011 using your current RVS 2010 license, installing RSS Pro 2011 OVER your existing copy of RVS 2010 will retain your RVS 2010 licensing.
What happens after the subscription period expires for RSS 2011 or RVS 2010?

RSS Pro 2011 and RVS 2010 will simply revert to the free version. The Virtual Mode/System Safe and Virtual Disk features will continue to work but the following will be unavailable:

  • Virus Guard Full Scan in RVS 2010: The Full Scan option will not be available. In the newer RSS 2011 series, the Full Scan is available in both Free and Pro versions
  • File Manager: Not available in any version as saving to the real disk while virtualized is not permitted in free versions of RSS 2011 or RVS 2010
  • Real disk and Real registry browsers: Not available in any version
  • System Restore: Not available in RSS 2011. This feature was not included in the older RVS 2010 series, so by default is not available.
I am unable to register my copy of RSS/RVS 2011 or RVS 2010. The "Request Pending" messsage will not go away, what do I do now?

Sometimes, it might take up to 24 hours for the registration request to be processed. Please be patient. If within that time, the software is still not registered, you might want to see if any of the below explanations apply. If not, please let us know.

It is possible that date and time is not properly set on your computer. If the time, date, and time zone are not properly configured, the RVS client may not be able to communicate with the Returnil registration server and will result in the RVS program interface showing an endless "Pending…" message in the lower left portion of the program.

We have identified a situation where RVS will not be able to register if the time, date, and time zone are not properly configured on the client computer.

To resolve this issue:

  • Turn Virtual Mode or System Safe off and restart your computer (if applicable)
  • After restart, log back into your administrative account
  • Configure the date, time, and time zone that is appropriate for your location

  • Windows XP and Server 2003
  • Click the time and date display on the task bar to open the Date/Time Properties screen OR right click on the time and select "Adjust Date and Time" from the available menu items
  • Enter the appropriate time for your location
  • Next, enter the appropriate date
  • Now open the Time Zone tab and then select the appropriate zone for your location.
  • Click the "Apply" button to save your settings

  • Windows Vista, Server 2008, and Windows 7
  • Click the time and date display on the task bar to open the Date/Time settings screen
  • On the Date and Time tab, click the "Change date and time…" button and enter the appropriate settings for your location
  • Next, Click the "Change time zone…" button and select the appropriate zone for your location from the drop-down menu
  • Optional: Internet Time tab. This will allow you sync your computer’s clock with a known internet time server automatically
    • If it is not set, click the "Change settings…" button to open the "Internet Time Settings" screen
    • Place a check in the "Synchronize with an Internet time server" option
    • Select the appropriate server from the drop-down menu and then click the "Update now" button to update the time now
    • Click "OK" to save your settings and close this window
    • Click "OK" again to close the main date/time screen
At the expiry of the present license, do I pay a renewal for another year and get further upgrades?
Yes, if you choose to purchase a new license or renew your existing one. Cost of the renewal will depend on whether the licensing is commercial or Educational/Non-Profit
How do I keep the program updated to the latest version?

When an upgrade is available, we will send a message directly to your copy of RSS Pro/Free 2011 and RVS Pro 2011 with the announcement of availability and the link where you can download a new version. Simply download and then install the upgrade over your existing copy of the software.

NOTE! DO NOT install RVS Pro or Lite 2011 over RSS Pro/Free 2011 or RVS 2010. They are separate product lines with incompatible licensing so you should uninstall RSS 2011 or RVS 2010 prior to installing RVS Pro or Lite 2011.

Virus Guard updates can be set to automatically download or you can use one of the links in the program to force an update immediately.

General
What are Returnil Virtual System 2010 and Returnil System safe 2011? What do they do?
RVS 2010 and RSS 2011 are completely integrated combination solutions that use System Level Virtualization (A.K.A. boot-to-restore) with antimalware (Virus Guard) and anti-execute to provide long term, effective, and real security for your PC and network. Further enhancements in RSS 2011 include Full/selective System Restore and Cloud based antimalware updates from our server side artificial intelligence and machine learning technology that is used to analyze malware sample and suspicious behavior submitted to us automatically through the program interface by all participating RSS users world wide.
 
So what does this all do?
 
The System Safe (RVS 2010) or Virtual Mode (RSS 2011) feature clones your real system partition (usually the "C:\" drive) and prevents changes (malicious, unwise, and potentially unwanted) from being made to your real system. In other words, RVS System Safe and RSS Virtual Mode presents Windows with a fantasy world where anything can happen, and like a dream, is gone at computer restart; leaving your computer clean. This feature can be used in two ways:
 
1. On demand: Some users will leave the feature off and activate it when they are engaged in risky behavior (surfing the dark side of the internet, malware research, opening a website you are not certain of, etc). In this mode, it is called Session Lock where the virtualization is on only until the computer is restarted. To enable it, you do not have to restart so it functions as a "panic button" in a way. 
 
2. Always on: This is the most secure, but the user needs to make some adjustments in how they use their computer and save files and data. With all changes to the system partition being lost at restart of the computer, it is true that work, files, pictures, etc saved in areas like Documents, Pictures, Downloads, etc would not persist following said restart. For this reason, it is recommended to change your other program settings to save their output and data on a non-system drive or partition if you are still using RVS 2010. 
 
For those using RSS Pro 2011, the File Manager feature (Virtual Mode > Tools > File Manager) now supports automated saving of defined content to your real disk at a wide range of schedules from every minute to every 24 hours as required. There is also a general setting where you can specify saving of content defined in your list at user account log-off and computer shutdown.
 
So what is a non-system drive or partition?
 
EX's:
A. Data Drive "D:\"
B. USB drive "E:\"
C. Optical CD/DVD+_R drive :F:\"
D. External drive or IEEE drive "G:\"
E. RVS/RSS Virtual Drive "Z:\"
 
RVS and RSS provide a convenience feature called the Virtual Drive (RVS 2010: Tools > Virtual Drive OR Virtual Mode > Tools > Virtual Drive for RSS 2011) for those who do not have access to a non-system drive (have only a "C:\" drive) without the need to partition your hard drive. It simply creates a large, empty file with special properties that makes Windows believe it is an actual drive. When opened (mounted), you can use it like any other drive and files saved within it will remain following a restart of your computer with System Safe or Virtual Mode activated.
 
Virtualization alone however can only do three things by itself:
 
1. Drop all changes
2. Save some changes
3. Save all changes
 
This means that malware, though completely removed from your computer at restart, can work as expected while in the virtual system. This is why we have combined the Virus Guard and anti-execute functions to ensure that the user can both block malicious content and get a warning of its presence so they can restart their computer and keep the time the malware was present to an absolute minimum. With just an Antivirus and/or other anti-what-have-you scanner, there is a good chance that malicious content would not be detected (scanners have at best a 30% to 50% average detection rate at any given time) and as a result can persist for days, weeks, and even years before it is discovered and eliminated from your computer with the obvious consequences to personal information or other issues. (Ref: Rustock C, Induc A, conficker/downadup).
 
With RVS System Safe or RSS/RVS Virtual Mode active, and even if the Virus Guard does not detect it, malware can only persist until the computer is restarted. This means that detection is akin to the canary in a coal mine and is much less important than ensuring your computer is clean. Further, in situations where the Virtual Mode was not active and you experience an infection issue, RSS Pro 2011 includes a full System Restore feature that you can use to restore your system to a time where it was known to be clean and can also restore individual files from the previous system image just prior to the full restore (ref: File Restore = System Restore > File Restore).
What are Returnil Virtual System Pro 2011 and Returnil Virtual System Lite 2011? What do they do?

RVS Pro and RVS Lite 2011 were designed to meet our customer's requests to provide virtualization specific solutions. Both editions are centered around our award winning Instant System Recovery technology without additional antimalware and System Restore capabilities to address gaps in their current PC and network security strategies and deployments.

  • RVS Pro 2011 is based on the same architecture and remote management support as is our RSS 2011 line. Customers with access to the Returnil Commander management console can see both RVS Pro 2011 and RSS Pro 2011 clients with equal ability to control the client copies in the same way. Included are the Virtual Mode protection feature, ability to be upgraded in place, compatibility with the RC, the same Tools available in RSS 2011 (Virtual Disk, File Manager, Real disk/registry browsers), and Anti-execute to provide extra protection while in Virtual Mode when required or desired.
  • RVS Lite 2011 is based on our previous 2x generation and is a direct descendant of RVS 2008.  It is designed primarily to meet the needs for Virtual Mode protection within high security and/or inner ring networks with limited or no Internet access. Included are Multi-Disk Virtual Mode, System Guard anti-virtualization circumventing protection, LAN based remote management console that can be installed on any supported Windows based computer in the same network, and virtualization exclusions rather than the File Manager used in the 3x generation with an installer plus console that is less than 4 MB in size! 
What distinguishes Returnil System Safe and Returnil Virtual System from similar products?

First, there is no way to compare RSS Pro/Free 2011 or RVS 2010 with any other security solution due to the fact that Returnil is the only vendor providing this type of protection in one, high performance application. Simply put, others need to catch up to the level of protection our solutions offer and this is the most important distinction we could ever draw. 

The concept is to take the best aspects of traditional and non-traditional PC security solutions and strategy and then recombine them into a fully integrated, intelligently layered approach. This intelligent layering in RSS 2011 and its predecessor RVS 2010 work so that overlapping redundancy is eliminated while exploiting the strengths of each component part to make the whole more effective, efficient, and relevant to eliminating the threat from malware over the long term.

The only thing that can be compared to other solutions is our Virtual Mode/System Safe virtualization technology. This comparison is better illustrated by looking at our Virtualization only solutions such as RVS Pro 2011 and RVS Lite 2011 which use system level virtualization (as do RSS 2011 and RVS 2010) for the System Partition itself, rather than just the Windows file system as do others using Application level virtualization techniques.

Where RVS Pro/Lite 2011 differ from other solutions that also use a form of System level vertualization is as follows:

  1. Anti-execute and MBR protection is included, not achieved through the use of additional programs
  2. Ability to enter Virtual Mode protection without a restart of the computer
  3. Targeted, internal protection against malware designed to circumvent virtualization technology
Do you offer a lifetime licensing or do I need to renew periodically?

Returnil System Safe and Returnil Virtual System licensing is available by subscription with 12, 24, and 36 month options for both purchases and renewals in future years. We offer frequent promotions and all versions come with 30 day trial periods for your convenience.

For institutional and Enterprise level customers, we do offer custom alternatives that include perpetual client licensing with support maintenance renewals in future years. Corporate, Educational, Governmental, and Non-Profit organizations are encouraged to contact our sales team for terms, availability, and pricing via the following form on our website.

Why isn't lifetime licensing available?

We do not offer lifetime licensing as it is self defeating and leads inevitably to poor customer service and slower product development. The reason for this is that as the pool of available customers shrinks with time and competition, companies who allow lifetime licensing are eventually forced to focus myopically on revenue generation at the expense of customer service. As we are in this for the long haul, subscriptions and renewals allow us to focus on product development and support having sufficient resources to service all customers quickly and efficiently.

Even with Institutional level custom alternatives, perpetual licensing does not mean lifetime support and product maintenance services which require renewals in future years.

Why should I use Returnil System Safe or Returnil Virtual System?

The largest issue that people face is the utter failure of traditional PC security solutions and strategy to provide any long term protection. While marketing messages and claims tell you that their solutions will protect you, the reality has been very different. This is why our current users have moved to the RSS/RVS concept where proactive protection and TIME TO REMOVAL are the keys rather than the old reactive detection & brute force removal techniques where the "cure" is often just as dangerous as the infection. Whether you use the Virtual Mode/System Safe feature on demand or always on, you can be confident that your system is protected and simply restarting your computer will make all the nastiness go away!

Why are you giving Returnil System Safe 2011 free to Home users?

Our mission has always been focused on the elimination of malware as a threat to computing. By offering a solution to those who may not have the ability to purchase our software, we get closer to the realization of our goal. Further, having free software choices available serves an important marketing function without having to use traditional advertising to achieve large scale adoption of our software. The better RSS performs, the more people will hear about and try it. It is simple really: Build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door.

Now that you have a freeware edition, how do I acquire a paid version trial copy for evaluation?
The new RVS 2010 uses a single installer for all versions of the software which is available from a number of mirrors listed at the Returnil website on each specific product page. Simply download a copy and then request the appropriate type of license from the integrated License Registration screen. Users of RVS 2008 and LABS versions should uninstall their current copy of the software before installing the 2010 upgrade.
The computer Security industry is overflowing with new software every day, so why are you different?

We take an intelligent layered approach to PC security that is proactive rather than the traditional bloat that occurs in security solutions you may be familiar with already. These solutions have trended towards a myopic focus on detection and brute force removal/blocking, more intrusive system hooks, bloated marketing sourced feature sets, and flashy interface designs. Returnil System Safe 2011 and Returnil Virtual System 2010 are designed from the perspective that there is no single technology that can be considered a "silver bullet". All have weaknesses that can be exploited in one way or another. The key in RSS/RVS has been to take the best parts of security and meld them into a coherent whole where the weaknesses no longer matter because they are addressed by the strengths of another component.

One good example that most readers will connect to intuitively is the Antivirus scanner. Almost everyone has and uses one, but the technology is fundamentally flawed. They are based on a blacklist of known malware that assumes any file not on its list is "clean". This is simply not true as many have discovered to their detriment. Even if the AV solution uses heuristics, the base rules for this detection method are based solidly in the analysis of known content. If the malware is sufficiently different than what is already known, it can slip by detection or even worse, a file could be falsely identified as malware which can lead to damage of your programs and/or Windows itself.

Virtualization on the other hand can allow you to simply restart your computer to remove malicious content, but it is not capable of detecting whether a change is good, bad, or indeterminate. This could allow malware to install and/or run inside the virtual environment for the period up to the point where the computer is restarted and the malicious changes are removed. If you combine the two components, you can begin to see the power where the AV's best feature (detection) is complimentary to the Virtualization's strength (quick, painless removal) and you not only get nearly 100% removal of malware, you also reduce the time to that removal from your system!

How can I get a product manual. The program will not print out the Help file?

Manuals for our products are provided in PDF format on our Resource Center page.

Do you offer phone support?

Yes and no. For all customers we offer free email support. For large customers and partners we offer a wider range of support options based on customer requirements and/or specific support agreements.

Will I receive free tech support for Returnil System Safe Free 2011?

No, we do not offer direct support for the freeware editions of our solutions. We do, however, have a community based support forum on-line where all are welcome to post questions and participate in RSS/RVS discussions:
http://www.wilderssecurity.com/forumdisplay.php?f=100

What languages is the help manual available in for RSS/RVS?

Currently, the Help manual is only available in English and Japanese. Additional languages will be added in the future as time and resources allow and will be available for access form the software interface.

Are there any other products that I should have on all the time, or run periodically?

Without trying to sound flippant here, the answer is no other than to be sure you are employing a firewall and or Firewall/router, apply Microsoft product and security updates, and practice safe surfing while on-line. Do not take this answer, however, to indicate that we think you should uninstall or stop using any of your current security solutions; rather it is to emphasize the protection offered in RSS 2011 and its predecessor, RVS 2010.

Troubleshooting
Are RSS Pro/Free 2011, RVS Pro 2011, and RVS Lite 2011 compatible with Windows 7?

Yes, all versions are fully compatible with both 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows 7.

Do RSS Pro/Free 2011, RVS Pro 2011, RVS Lite 2011, and RVS 2010 support other 64-bit versions of Windows?

Yes, all versions support Windows XP, Server 2003, Vista, Server 2008, and Win 7 64-bit Operating Systems.

Help! I cannot INSTALL RVS or RSS properly!

This could be caused by a number of reasons that most likely relate to other programs you may be using at the same time as RVS or RSS. The most common:

  • Antivirus, HIPS, and/or Anti-Executable interferes with the installation. To remedy the issue, deactivate your antivirus real-time protection until the installation is complete and then reactivate your AV.
  • Firewall hinders install or uninstall. To remedy this issue, open your firewall rules and/or allow the installer to run without hindrance
  • Order of program install can have an effect in some cases. Related to the first point, you may be able to clear the installation issue by:
  1. Temporarily uninstalling your current Antivirus solution
  2. Install RVS or RSS as appropriate and COMPLETE the entire installation including restarting your computer to install the virtualization (RVS 2011) and Virus Guard monitoring (RVS 2010 and RSS 2011) drivers properly
  3. Reinstall your alternate Antivirus solution

If the installation still fails, then you might want to try the following:

  • Reboot your computer
  • Run the installation again and follow onscreen instructions (The installer has a built-in feature to recover from previous broken installations)
  • Contact our Technical Support team for a more in-depth investigation into your installation issue. Our team will request specific logs created by RVS 2010, RVS Pro 2011, and RSS Pro/Free 2011 which will help us to identify the root cause and help resolve the problem

For assistance with install/uninstall issues with RVS Lite 2011, please contact our Technical Support team for assistance and product specific troubleshooting.

Help! I cannot UNINSTALL RSS Pro/Free 2011, RVS Pro 2011, or RVS 2010 properly!

As security solutions, RSS Pro/Free 2011, RVS Pro 2011, and RVS 2010 install kernel mode drivers to provide the applicable Virtual Mode and malware protection capabilities. It is STRONGLY recommended that you DO NOT attempt to remove the product manually. Also, it is STRONGLY recommended that you DO NOT use any third-party uninstallers, which may be very useful for traditional products, but which may cause stability problems with your computer as those we have tested all fail to remove the drivers in our products properly!

Please follow the recommended approach:

  1. IMPORTANT! Ensure that System Safe (RVS 2010) or Virtual Mode (RSS Pro/Free 2011 and RVS Pro 2011) is turned OFF
  2. Uninstall the product from your within your Control Panel using standard Windows mechanisms (ref: Add/Remove Programs or Programs > Uninstall a Program)
  3. If the above does not help, then please download the latest version of RVS or RSS, upgrade as appropriate, and then uninstall it as described in #2. We have improved the installer to detect and correct the most common types of damage that can result in the inability to install due to remnants of a previous RVS/RSS installation which was improperly or incompletely uninstalled. NOTE! This process may require multiple passes to completely repair the damage so please be patient.

If all the above fails for any reason, please send us the following reports from the problem computer to our technical support address for deeper analysis and troubleshooting:

RVS 2010:

  • C:\Windows\rvs3.log
  • C:\Windows\rvs3-inst.log

RSS Pro/Free 2011 and RVS Pro 2011:

  • rvs3.log
  • rvs3.inst.log
  • Directories per supported version of Windows:
  1. Windows XP and Server 2003: C:\Documents and Settings\all users\application data\returnil\rvs3\log
  2. Windows Vista, 7 and server 2008: C:\ProgramData\Returnil\RVS3\log

All versions:

  • MSINFO32 report: Click START > RUN > Type MSINFO32. On the System Information screen click FILE > Export and then save the file where you can find it to attach to your e-mail.
I forgot my password to unlock the program interface. What do I do now?

You can reset your password here.

Enter the following information in the fields provided:

  • Installation ID (preferences > Advanced Tab)
  • E-mail used during registration of the software
  • Purchase or activation date (the activation date is usually displayed in the License Registration screen (click the "Details" link in the lower left corner of the main program interface) under Details of current Registration > Status)
RVS 2010 System Safe will not turn off. What do I do now?
  1. Boot in Windows Safe mode
  2. Delete the file "%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Returnil\RVSYSTEM.DAT" (usually, it is "C:\Returnil\RVSYSTEM.DAT")
  3. Restart in Windows normal mode

Note: This solution does not work if you turn OFF the option "Preferences/System Safe/Disable Virtual System in Safe Mode". In this case, you have to boot your computer from recovery system (e.g. recovery disk, from CD or flash, then delete the specified file, and then restart Windows in normal mode.)

Why am I getting a Code 6 error and am not able to access my Virtual Disk?
The most likely cause is that you configured the size of the Virtual Disk incorrectly. To resolve this issue, simply open the Tools > Virtual Disk tab, remove your current Virtual Disk, and then configure a new Virtual Disk in a larger size.
There are too many popups from the Tray Icon, how do I turn them off?

You can deactivate the popup alert messages by activating the "Do not show hints in tray icon" option in preferences >  User Interface tab.

Why do I receive messages about RSS 2011 detecting that I have restored my System and a "System Requires attention" alert when I am using the free version?

This is a special situation and usually happens after your license subscription has expired, but a Full Restore was complete just prior to the license expiration which caused the client to revert to the free for Home use version.

You will not be able to access the File Recovery feature at this point so do the following:

  1. Renew your subscription and re-register your copy of the software. This will restore your access to these features and allow you to restore or not restore as required.
  2.  Hide the alert: For those who do not wish to renew their licensing at this time, open the Home > Overview tab and then click the "hide" link to the immediate right of the "System Requires Attention" panel. This will clear the alert and you should have no further messages for the restore.
Payment / Billing
Who handles your payment questions and do you support custom pricing and licensing?

All Payment Inquiries are handled by Cleverbridge who can also assist with your general purchasing requirements. For contact information including E-mail, Phone, FAX, and postal mail, please click the following link to contact Cleverbridge Support.

For those seeking a custom pricing quote or have unique requirements not addressed through a simple on-line purchase and/or general sales assistance from Cleverbridge, please use the form on the following page to contact our internal sales team.

Do you offer other payments apart from credit card OR I cannot pay with a credit card, what can I do?

There is no problem with ordering from our website without credit card. Please follow the instructions below:

Via the Internet:

  • Go to our Products page and click the appropriate Buy Now button for the product you are interested in.
  • Once in the store, at the bottom of the first page you'll find "payment options", please select your desired payment type.

With sales representative assistance for general purchases via Phone, FAX, or postal mail

Via custom quote and delivery

Partners
I want to become a partner. What do I do?
Please visit our website to read about the Returnil Certified Partner program and its benefits.

Before you apply:

- Sales questions, please use this form

- Technical questions, please use this form

Once you are ready to join the Returnil Certified Partner program, simply fill out your application
Install / Uninstall
How do I completely uninstall my version of RSS or RVS?

NOTE:  As security products, RSS and RVS install kernel mode drivers to provide the virtualization and malware protection capabilities. It is STRONGLY recommended that you DO NOT remove the product manually. Also, it is STRONGLY recommended that you DO NOT use any third-party uninstallers, which may be very useful for traditional products, but which may cause severe stability issues with your computer if you attempt to use them with RSS or RVS.

Please follow the recommended approach:

  1. IMPORTANT! Ensure that System Safe (RVS 2010) or Virtual Mode (RVS/RSS 2011) is turned OFF
  2. Uninstall the product from Control Panel using standard Windows mechanisms. This means that you should use the appropriate add/remove programs or uninstall a program feature in your version of Windows
  3. If the above do not resolve the issue, then please download the latest version of RVS or RSS, upgrade to the new version, and then reattempt the uninstall as described in #2. The latest installers for our products have been improved to support repair of damaged installations which should allow you to then uninstall RVS/RSS properly.
Can I install RSS Pro/Free 2011, RVS Pro 2011, RVS Lite 2011, or RVS 2010 on both operating systems in my dual boot computer?

Yes, this is what is recommended as RSS/RVS must be installed separately within each supported Windows OS installed on the computer to provide protection for the associated System for that OS. To protect non-active boot partitions, simply use the included File Protection feature to lock them down.

IMPORTANT NOTE! Installation to multiple Operating Systems on the same computer may require additional licensing. For those with milti-boot Windows environments, it is recommended to purchase seating sufficient to install within each copy of Windows on your computer.

Technical
Can I use a disk defragmentation program while using RVS 2010, RVS Lite 2011, RVS Pro 2011, or RSS Pro/Free 2011?

Yes and no. RVS and RSS do not allow you to defragment your hard disk drive while its System Safe (RVS 2010) or Virtual Mode (RVS/RSS 2011) feature is active as this could cause damage to your system files. When the virtual protection component is deactivated however, you can defragment your hard disks.

This also applies to Solid State Drives and the use of TRIM. If your primary boot drive is an SSD, you should not use TRIM in automatic mode. For those using an SSD as a non-system drive and RVS Lite 2011 in multi-disk Virtual Mode, TRIM should be deactivated for those partitions that are being virtualized.

Important tip! If you keep the virtual protection feature active at all times (always on), disk defragmentation will not be required as the only changes that would take place are within the virtual system and not the real disk drive. 

Do you recommend any particular system configuration for compatibility with Returnil System Safe or Returnil Virtual System?

Yes, There are a number of things you can do to prepare for your installation of RSS or RVS and to also make your use of the software a good experience:

To prepare:

  • Clean System: Make sure your computer is free from malware. Those who are preparing to install RSS Pro/Free 2011 will have access to a malware scan during and after program installation, but RVS Pro 2011 and RVS Lite 2011 do not have integrated antimalware detection capabilities outside of very specific families that are designed to circumvent virtualization as part of RVS's system and program self-protection.
  • Well organized disk drive: Take time to defragment your hard disks. Though RSS and RVS do not need this to be installed and work properly, part of the design behind RSS and RVS is to provide as low maintenance an environment as possible so your time is better focused on using or enjoying your computer(s). Defragmenting your hard disks has the benefit of improving both your computer's and RSS's or RVS's performance by eliminating changes, including those that would cause disk fragmentation, or keeping those changes to an absolute minimum which is enforced by the Virtual Mode protection.
  • KEEP WINDOWS AND PROGRAMS UP TO DATE! Many of the ways that malware can infect your system are through unpatched vulnerabilities in both Windows AND the programs you use. Just as the lock on your front door is useless if the wood holding the door in place is rotten, the security of your computer and/or network is equally vulnerable to "rot" in the underlying structure of the Operating system and the programs that run within Windows.
  • Assess your risks and deploy accordingly: RSS and RVS are similar, but with specific differences that make them appropriate for a wide range of strategies. RVS is designed as a strict virtualization solution as part of an intelligent, layered security strategy. This means it works to fill the gaps in your current strategy. RSS on the other hand is an entire vertical layered approach where you can replace a number of alternate solutions within a single, high performance application.

To be aware of while using the software:

Research and experimentation: The most difficult component in either RSS or RVS for the average user to understand fully is the Virtual Mode feature. When active, all changes made on the System are lost at restart of the computer. This is to ensure that malicious and potentially unwanted programs (euphamism for Spyware, addware, rogueware, etc) cannot make changes to your real system and works to keep your computer clean over time.

This function has the effect however of also removing changes you may want to make such as editing your documents, saving your last gaming session, retaining your POP3 e-mails, updating your browser's bookmarks or Favorites, etc. This is why we have included the File Manager (RSS Pro and RVS Pro 2011) or the Virtual Exclusions (RVS Lite 2011) tools that allow you to specify what files and folders should be saved to your real disk while rejecting the rest.

What is difficult here in some circumstances is to identify what files and folders should be included to ensure the good is saved and the rest is discarded appropriately. Due to the sheer volume of different programs available, we cannot provide a specific tutorial for what to add with what program. We can however caution users to research their favorite programs and identify what needs to be saved and to configure the appropriate feature in RSS or RVS as required.

This has two distinct effects:

  1. The user becomes familiar with the underlying structure of their favorite programs and gain the experience to know when something is not as it should be. 
  2. The user is forced to make deliberate decisions about what should and should not be saved on their computer. Many infections happen due to user apathy or inattention; so please do not let yourself become a victim for the sake of convenience!

Disk space will be used: There are two ways that disk space will be used:

  1. Virtualization cache: This is used by the System Safe (RVS 2010) or Virtual Mode (RSS Pro/Free 2011, RVS Pro 2011, and RVS Lite 2011) will be a percentage of your AVAILABLE free space to support the creation and maintenance of the virtual system. It is dynamically used, but the space available is reserved. This means that you may only use a portion of the space allowed, but Windows shows the entire space reserved as used.  Don not let this throw you as the unused space is still there and will be available the next time you release the virtualization.
  2. Virtual Disk: This is simply a convenience feature where a very large, but empty file with special properties is created to serve as an alternate, non-system disk where you can save files and data while using the System safe or Virtual Mode protection depending on your current version of the software. IT IS NOT the cache and serves no purpose related to the cache!

Autosaving and cache wiping may delay computer shutdown, account log-off, and computer startup depending on the size and/or quantity of data to be saved to the real disk or wiped from the virtualization cache from the previous System Safe/Virtual Mode session per your configurations. 

During an autosave operation within the File Manager (this is not available in RVS 2010), the changes you want to save must be moved from the virtualization cache to where they should be within the real system on the real disk. For large files or a large number of concurrent changes, this can take time so please be patient if you are saving this at account log-off or computer shutdown only. This is why we highly recommend using an appropriate save interval so this process happens in the back ground continuously during the virtual session rather than at the end of your session.

The cache wipe can only be activated or deactivated so please be aware that when activated, your startup time may be delayed depending on the size of your virtualization cache and the number of changes tracked in the previous virtual session. NOTE: You can improve the startup time by turning this option off. For those concerned with privacy issues, the cache is overwritten with each new virtualization session so this information is eventually lost over time.

Do Returnil System Safe and Returnil Virtual System protect my Master Boot Record (MBR)?

Yes, this is an integral component of the virtualization engine and is activated automatically when you turn on the Virtual Mode (RSS 2011, RVS Pro 2011, and RVS Lite 2011) or System Safe (RVS 2010) feature.

Do RSS Pro/Free 2011, RVS Pro 2011 or RVS 2010 "call home"?

It depends. There are certain features that require communication with our servers:

  • Remote management in a network
  • Antimalware behavior data and sample collection
  • Request for product registration
  • In product messaging (alerts, product upgrades, support, etc)

Communications features can be turned off in the product's preferences and options. As RVS Lite 2011 is specifically designed for use in inner ring networks without Internet access or severely restricted access, as well as in-LAN remote management, "calling home" has no relevant purpose.

Are RSS/RVS compatible with RAID?

Yes, all versions are compatible with RAID 0 & 1

Do RSS 2011, RVS 2011 and RVS 2010 support UAC in newer versions of Windows?

Yes, all versions play well with the new Windows User Account Control feature.

Do I need to create a start up/boot disk?

Emergency backup and recovery is an important element in PC security and is often overlooked. While we are working to develop several new features in this direction (Ex: Returnil Multi-Snapshot Utility), we highly recommend using both data replication and some form of total computer imaging. Windows Vista and Windows 7 both contain new features that include these abilities. For XP users, we recommend choosing a solid data backup and imaging solution or solutions.

You never know when disaster will strike, so be prepared!

How do I use Returnil System Safe or Returnil Virtual System to beta test or evaluate new software?

As long as the program or system change you are testing does not require a restart of your computer, RSS/RVS in Virtual Mode can be used to evaluate the effects and performance of the specific changes.

If the program or change requires a restart, RSS/RVS will not be the proper environment to test, but is the proper solution to protect your supported version of Windows while you test the program in a computer simulation solution such as VMWare, Virtual PC, Virtualbox, etc.

Do RSS Pro/Free 2011 and RVS Pro 2011 support Solid State Drives?

Yes, but not completely. RSS/RVS 2011 and RVS 2010 will work as expected on SSDs, but do not yet support disk write minimization. We do however offer an alternative product (RVS Lite 2011) that includes multi-disk virtualization with support for creating and maintaining the virtualization cache for non-system disks on a different non-system disk. We plan to introduce a more full featured version of this feature in a future generation which will support creation of the cache for the System Partition on non-system partitions/disks.

Is there an advantage for using RSS/RVS as opposed to a virtual machine (VM)?

To answer your query, solutions such as VMware, VPC, VirtualBox, etc are designed to simulate an entire computer; both hardware and software. They create another complete computer on your desktop but let you access the real system by simply moving your cursor to the desktop or minimizing the VM window. This means that you could potentially drag and drop a virus from the VM session directly onto your real computer and have the potential to accidentally activate that content on your real computer. There is also a possibility that improper configurations (shared folders, direct connection to the Internet, etc) could result in "leakage" to the real system.

VMs are complicated to set up and configure as well as having additional expenses linked to proper licensing of the guest Operating System or systems used. RSS/RVS lock down the real system partition with a simple click of a mouse, do not result in heavy resource use, and are immune to leakage and thus secure, where the nature of a VM can never be secure in this way. In fact, it is recommended to use RSS or RVS in concert with VM solutions to address these very issues for the Host AND Guest computers.

Do RSS Pro/Free 2011, RVS Pro 2011, RVS Lite 2011 and RVS 2010 support Terminal Services?

Yes, we have not found any issues in our testing to date.

Can I run RSS/RVS within a virtual machine like VirtualBox, VPC, or VMware?

Yes, you can use RSS/RVS in combination with these solutions on the Host OS as well as within a supported Guest OS. Further, you can do this at the same time with sufficient resources.

Virus Guard
Is the Full System Scan available for the Virus Guard component in RSS Free 2011? What about the older RVS 2010 Home Free version?

Yes, the Virus Guard Full Scan feature is available for all registered users. In RVS 2010 Home Free however, the Full System Scan feature is only available in paid versions.

I have several non-system hard drives with content that does not need to be scanned for malware. How do I customize the Full Scan in the Virus Guard to scan only the drives that I want it to scan?

The RSS 2011 and RVS 2010 Virus Guard is set by default to scan all internal hard drives. Further, the default settings include additional drives you may have connected to the computer at that time. As this is not always necessary or desired, you simply need to adjust the Full Scan settings to perform custom scans that better meet your needs.

Running custom Full System Scans:

Click Virus Guard > Scan > Full Scan > Start > select appropriate user files (yours or for all user files) > uncheck the default scan of all hard drives and attached drives in the Full Scan configurations screen "Areas to scan" section > Check Scan defined files and folders > Click the Define list link.

In the list manager, use the "Add folder" button and then select the drive(s) and/or specific folders you want to scan. Keep this setting as the list manager will remember the choices you make here so the next time you want to perform a Full Scan, simply open the Full Scan configurations screen and then click the Start Scan button.

Too many false-positives were detected. What do I do?

First open a support ticket to let us know that this is happening by sending us an e-mail. In your e-mail, please attach samples of the improperly detected content in a password protected ZIP, RAR, or 7ZIP archive along with an export of your Virus Guard log in RSS 2011 (log export not available in RVS 2010) so we can investigate the content in our research lab.

To stop the alerts in the meantime:

RSS Pro/Free 2011: Add the content to your Virus Guard AV Exclusion list (Virus Guard > Scan > AV Exclusion List link) Open Virus Guard > Settings > Real-Time protection sensitivity section and change the option to "Do not use advanced rules analysis". This should stop most of the false/positives from appearing.

  • To add the content detected to your AV Exclusion list from the Virus Guard log, simply select the appropriate list items, click "Exclude" and they will be added to your exclusion list.

RVS 2010: Open preferences > Virus Guard tab and change the Real-Time malware analysis option to "Do not use advanced rules analysis". This should stop most of the false/positives from appearing. You can also send us a screenshot of the open Virus Guard log showing the false detections with the sample archive as requested above as an additional, helpful attachment.

System Restore
What is the RSS 2011 System Restore feature and what does it do?

The RSS Pro 2011 System Restore feature is based on the Windows Volume Copy Shadow service with some additional capabilities not available in the native implementation included as part of Windows. And as the name of the feature implies, it is there to allow the user to return their computer to an earlier period in time AND to support the restoration of selective files from a previous computer state following a full System restore, regardless of whether Windows or RVS was responsible for invoking that restore.

NOTE: The System Restore feature contains advanced functionality that does not always require the user to interact with restore points manually through the RSS 2011 System Restore tab. Typically, the software will automatically detect when a Full Restore or File Recovery is needed through the Real-Time Restore analysis feature and will suggest the appropriate option to the user via the System Requires Attention alert in the Protection status warning panel on the Home > Overview tab. Advanced users can use these features as required however.

The first step in gaining full access to all the features in the System Restore component is the Full Restore option. Don't be concerned as simply opening the Full Restore feature will only open the first of three steps where you can see a list of available snapshots.

When opened, the RSS Virus Guard will automatically scan the first snapshot in the list for malware. Once the scan ins completed, you can select the snapshot and move to the next step or select a different one from the list and use the "Recheck Snapshot" button to force a scan of the alternate snapshot you are interested in. Once satisfied with your selection, click next to open the detail view section to verify that this is indeed the snapshot you want to restore your system to.

The last step is to initiate the restore and allow the process to complete. Instructions for this step are included in the final screen.

Important TIP: Once you have restored your system at least once, you will be able to access the File Recovery feature where you can restore selected files from the previous state of your computer just prior to the last Full Restore.

What is the File Recovery feature in the RSS 2011 System Restore component and what does it do?

The File Recovery feature is an option that allows the user to restore files from a previous machine state. In other words, when you perform a Full System restore through the RSS GUI, Windows, or another program, RSS will recognize this and will keep track of the state your System was in just prior to said restore and allows you to "undo" that restore for selected files on the System partition.

Does the System Analysis step in the RSS 2011 Full Restore feature scan all snapshots listed or just the first one on the list?

The System Analysis feature will invoke the Virus Guard component which will only scan the first listed snapshot automatically as it is the most recent one created so is assumed by default to be the most likely one the user will choose. As assumptions are not always valid, the authorized user can select an alternate snapshot and then use the Recheck Snapshot button in the lower left corner of the screen to force the Virus Guard to scan that snapshot before you proceed to the next step.

NOTE: Once the scan is complete, you will see the Progress column change to indicate whether it is clean or infected. Further, as soon as a new signature and/or policy update is received, the status for a previously scanned snapshot will revert to indeterminate until/unless a new scan is made with the updated signatures.

Virtual Mode or System Safe
Do I need to use Returnil System Safe or Returnil Virtual System with the virtualization always ON?

NO, a common way to use RSS or RVS is to activate Virtual mode (RSS 2011, RVS Pro 2011, and RVS Lite 2011) or System Safe (RVS 2010) temporarily rather than change the default protection mode. You can think of this like the shield space ships use in Science Fiction: When in doubt or about to enter a potentially hostile place, turn ON the virtualization!

Something to consider: RSS and RVS are security solutions focused on the concept of TIME-TO-REMOVAL of malware as no Antivirus solution is able to detect 100% of all malware in existence at any given period of time. This means that the risk of encountering unknown malicious content can be significant and the consequences severe.

This is why we recommend that you do operate your computer with the RSS/RVS virtualization active at all times, but it is not manditory for the proper functioning of RSS or RVS. 

What happens if I have RSS Pro/Free 2011, RVS Pro 2011, or RVS Lite 2011 in Virtual Mode or RVS 2010 in System Safe mode and the power goes out?

Nothing other than your computer will turn off due to the power loss if it is not backed up by a UPS unit. The effect on Windows and your System Partition will be as though you simply restarted or shut down the computer normally with the virtual protection active.

The one caution here would be that any content you have scheduled to be saved via the File Manager may not happen depending on the time interval chosen and some unsaved changes will be lost at restart. For those using RVS Lite 2011 and its Exclusions approach, the files and folders excluded will be in the same state as they were just prior to the power outage as that content is excluded from virtual protection and saved as it normally would be without the virtualization active.

Will I need to reboot my system to change the virtualization mode in RSS/RVS?

No, you can activate Virtual Mode (RSS Pro/Free 2011, RVS Pro 2011, and RVS Lite 2011) or System Safe (RVS 2010) without a restart of your computer. To release the virtualization (turn it off) however requires a restart. We are working towards not having to restart the computer at all to enter or leave the virtual protection, but this will still take time to realize and is a directly related to the structure of Windows itself.

How do I turn off the alert when exiting from Virtual Mode in RSS Pro and RVS Pro 2011?

The alert is due to the new autosave feature in the File Manager. When you shut down your computer, but have a large number of changes to save to the disk, RSS and RVS Pro will delay the shutdown of Windows Vista and Win 7 to allow the process to complete. This causes the Windows shutdown screen to appear with options to cancel the shutdown or force the programs causing the delay to be forcefully terminated.

This assumes however that RSS/RVS have frozen which is incorrect. To resolve this issue if it happens too frequently is to:

  1. Allow RSS/RVS to complete the save operation. Your computer will eventually shutdown once this process is complete, so please be patient. NOTE: terminating RSS/RVS at this point may cause damage to the files where changes are being saved!
  2. Once you have logged back into your account, open the File Manager and change your autosave settings to Interval rather than at account log-off or computer shutdown. This will provide a smoother process and more efficient log-off/shutdown operations.

Once these settings are adjusted and you still wish to deactivate the warning, click Virtual Mode > Settings > Advanced section >  and activate the "Do not warn when exit from Virtual Mode" option. 

Virtual Disk / Partition
What is the Virtual Disk?

The RVS/RSS Virtual Disk is a convenient means for the user to save their data while using the System Safe (RVS 2010) or Virtual Mode (RVS 2011 and RSS 2011) protection feature. In design, it is a very large but empty file (until you fill it) with special properties that forces Windows to see it as a real disk attached to your computer when it is open (mounted). When closed (dismounted), Windows sees it as a large file with empty space.

NOTE! When closed (dismounted), Windows may erroneously see the file itself as being highly fragmented due to the empty space it contains to serve as an alternate disk. You can ignore these messages. When open (mounted), you can use your chosen defragmentation solution to defragment the contents within the Virtual Disk as required.

You should also explore saving data in alternate partitions - part of the design concept of our solutions was to force awareness that you do not have to save your data in default locations, especially your System Partition.

For customers who do not have the available space to support a Virtual Disk, RVS Pro 2011 and RSS Pro 2011 include an enhanced File Manager feature that supports automated saving of defined content to their real system while the virtual protection is engaged. 

Automated saving to the real system is not available in the RVS 2010 series so we suggest that users upgrade to RSS Pro 2011 to gain access to this new feature.

Do I need to turn ON the Virtual Mode (RSS/RVS 2011) or System Safe (RVS 2010) feature to use the Virtual Disk?

NO, Mounting/dismounting (opening/closing) and use of the Virtual Disk is not affected by the Virtual Mode/System Safe feature or its protection status.

How to modify settings for the Virtual Disk?

RSS Pro/Free 2011 and RVS Pro 2011:

  • Open the program interface
  • Click Virtual Mode > Tools > Virtual Disk
  • Adjust the settings as appropriate

RVS 2010:

  • Open the Returnil Virtual System 2010 interface and then click the Tools section on the home page. Next, click the Virtual Disk tab to access the settings.
  • On the Status section choose create if you have not created a Virtual Drive or select remove to delete your current VD (be sure to backup any data and dismount the VD before you proceed)
  • Change the settings as appropriate and then mount your new VD
What is the difference between Virtual Mode (RSS/RVS 2011) or System Safe (RVS 2010) and the Virtual Disk features?

The Virtual Mode/System Safe feature virtualizes your System Partition while the Virtual Disk is a convenience feature that provides you with a place to store files and data while using the virtual protection.

How do I recover/restore my Virtual Disk

To move or reuse an archived Virtual Disk on a new or restored computer, please do the following:

  1. Make sure the Virtual Disk is dismounted and then properly backed up.
  2.  Install RSS/RVS on your new System Partition (usually the C:\ drive for the alternate computer you are accessing the slave drive from). DO NOT install a Virtual Disk at this time.
  3. Following the installation/restart, copy the backed up RVSYSTEM.img file from the slave or backup drive into:
  • RSS/RVS 2011: C:\ProgramData\Returnil
  • RVS Lite 2011: Close the RVS GUI and then copy the file into your C:\ProgramData\Returnil
  • RVS 2010: Close the RVS GUI and then save to the root (hidden) C:\Returnil folder on the new computer.

Then:

  • RSS/RVS 2011: Open Virtual Mode > Tools > Virtual Disk tab and then mount the Virtual Drive
  • RVS LIte 2011: Restart the RVS GUI and then mount the Virtual Disk
  • RVS 2010: Restart the RVS GUI and then use the link to the right side of the Tools>Virtual Disk section to mount the Virtual Disk

You should now be able to access the data in the old VP and continue to use it in the same way you used it on the previous computer.

Can I install the Virtual Disk on USB drive?
Yes, but the USB must be connected to the computer to be mounted or accessed.
I am familiar with using alternate data partitions, so how can I use RSS or RVS comfortably on a system that does not have an alternate partition available?

Create and then mount a Virtual Disk to act as a substitute for an alternate partition.

Why would I want to dismount the Virtual Disk?

The Virtual Disk is a convenience for those who may not have access to alternate partitions to store documents, save pictures, or even save data changes when using the Virtual Mode (RSS Pro.Free 2011, RVS Pro 2011, and RVS Lite 2011) or System Safe (RVS 2010) feature in your version of the software.

When dismounted, the contents you have saved within it cannot be seen, altered, or moved and remains hidden from unauthorized eyes. It can also be transported if you have media large enough to copy or move it to and can be opened/used on another computer with RSS/RVS installed.

Saving Files
How do I save content to the real system while using RSS or RVS?

There are several ways to save your files and data to the real disk while using RSS or RVS. This includes the use of non-system drives (all versions), manually (RVS 2010), automatically via the autosave feature in the File Manager (RSS Pro 2011 and RVS Pro 2011), and by exclusion in RVS Lite 2011.

  1. Save to alternate, non-system disk or network share: RSS Pro/Free 2011, RVS Pro 2011, and RVS 2010 only virtualize the System Partition (usually the C:\ Drive) when you turn the Virtual Mode or System Safe feature on. When using the Free versions, you cannot save content to the real disk but can save to other areas like a data drive, a USB stick or storage drive, optical disk (CD/DVD), firewire drive, etc. With the paid versions, however, you can save files and folders on your System Partition (C:\ drive) through the File Manager.
  2. Manually in paid versions: Simply add the files and/or folders you want to save to the File Manager List and then click the "Save Files Now" button (RSS Pro and RVS Pro 2011) or the "Update Selected" link in RVS 2010.
  3. Automatically or via schedule: RSS Pro 2011 and RVS Pro 2011 include a new autosave feature upgrade for the File Manager. Once you have defined the files and folders (sub-folders included) where you want changes made during a Virtual Mode session, configure the appropriate time interval and/or at log-ff/shutdown as you deem appropriate.

Special case: RVS Lite 2011

RVS Lite 2011 includes two distinct features that RSS 2011 and RVS Pro 2011 do not include:

  1. Multi-disk Virtual Mode: As opposed to RSS 2011, RVS Pro 2011, and the older RVS 2010, RVS Lite 2011 allows you to virtualize your non-system disks in addition to the default virtualization targeted at the System. 
  2. Virtual exclusions: Because of #1 above and where it is likely to be used, RVS Lite 2011 uses exclusions rather than the File Manager approach discussed above. 

This means that you simply have to add the files and folders where changes are to be committed to disk to the exclusions list and that content will be exempted from virtual protection. In other words, the content defined will be saved to your real disk (system and/or non-system) as though no virtualization were being used.

Though this is inherently more risky than a deliberate File Manager approach, the RVS Lite 2011 series is targeted towards customers with inner ring networks that have very limited or no Internet access which reduces the level of risk from outside content that network or clients within that network are likely to encounter.

How can I download software and files with Virtual Mode (RSS/RVS 2011) or System Safe (RVS 2010) ON?

There are various ways to do this:

  • Save downloaded files and programs to a non-system disk or partition (Ex: Data drive D:\, USB stick/device, etc)
  • Save downloaded files and programs within the RSS/RVS Virtual Disk (Ex: Virtual Drive Z:\)
  • Autosave feature within the RSS Pro 2011 and RVS Pro 2011 File Manager
  • File Manager in the RVS 2010 series (More complex): Download as you normally would do (Ex: desktop, My Documents, My Files, etc) and then add them to the RVS File Manager. Once added, select the "Update Selected" option in the RVS tray icon menu or use the "Save Files" button on the Tools > File Manager tab.

For the RVS Lite 2011 series, simply add files and/or folders to your virtual exclusions list for both System and alternate drives that are virtualized.

When the RSS/RVS 2011 Virtual Mode or RVS 2010 System Safe feature is enabled should I turn off System Restore services in Windows?

Yes and no as it depends on which version of the software you are currently using:

RSS Pro 2011 includes a fully function System Restore feature that works whether the Virtualization is active or not, With Virtual Mode active however, new restore points will not survive the restart of your computer so you should take time to make restore points manually following any updates you make to the real system.

For RVS Pro/Lite 2011 and RVS 2010 with the virtual protection active, changes made to the System Partition are lost at restart by default. This means any Windows Restore Points made during this time will simply disappear so having it active at this point would be a waste of system resources. Manual Restore points are still valid and should be made regularly with Virtual Mode/System Safe deactivated.

What is the File Manager for? Why would I want to add any files in there?

The File Manager is a feature that allows you to commit changes to files and/or folders (sub-folders included) on the Real System while using the Virtual Mode (RSS Pro and RVS Pro 2011) or System Safe (paid versions of RVS 2010) protection.

This feature however is inclusive rather than exclusive as designed by our competitors. In other products, files and folders are excluded from protection so the user can make changes to them. In RSS/RVS Pro however, we think it is more secure to protect this content at all times except at the exact moment the file or change is committed to disk (saved). This approach requires deliberate action on the part of the authorized user and cannot be exploited by malware as it can in competitor's solutions.

If Returnil System Safe and Returnil Virtual System do not allow changes to happen on my System Partition, how do I use the program and still get my Automatic updates from Microsoft or update my Antivirus?

Microsoft security updates come once a month (sometimes twice a month), are announced well in advance of release, and can be installed at any time you choose. Therefore, it is not a large hurdle to deactivate RSS's or RVS' virtual protection feature to allow the download and installation of these updates at the time convenient for you. What is more interesting here is that even if you mistimed this and did not get the update, your system is protected against unwanted changes that might exploit what these updates were developed to address.

To ensure compatibility with your Antivirus updates, change the default download/save/load path for the product's signature file to a non-system partition. A good example would be to change this to your data partition or the Virtual Disk. The only caution we would add in reference to saving data in the Virtual Disk is that you must have RSS/RVS installed to mount this or access the Virtual Disk.

Can the user choose to exclude files & folders while using the virtual protection in RSS/RVS?

No and yes, it depends on the version of the software you are using and its approach to supporting the saving of content to your real disk. In RSS Pro 2011, RVS Pro 2011, and paid versions of RVS 2010, commit to disk operations are handled through the File Manager feature.

In RSS Pro and RVS Pro 2011, the File Manager includes a new Autosave option where the content you define can be saved to the real disk in the background on a schedule (every minute to every 24 hours) and/or at account log-off/computer shutdown.

For those still using the older RVS 2010 series, the older generation File Manager does not have atuosave capabilities so content within your list must be saved manually by forcing the issue using the "Update selected" link in the FM or tray icon/toolbar.

In the RVS Lite 2011 series, virtual exclusions are available.

What does it mean that it drops all changes? Don't I want to save some changes made to my system, just in case I need to restore my system to a specific day?

Either you save data within your Virtual Disk or you do not (no exclusion or inclusion list required). Unless you are an UBER system tweaker, developer, program tester, or researcher there is no overriding need to exclude anything from protection on the System Partition; break your default Windows save directory addiction! For those who do need this type of feature, we have upgraded the RSS Pro 2011 and RVS Pro 2011 series to include:

  1. Autosave in the File Manager that allows you to specify selected files and folders (sub-folders included) on your System Partition that will be saved on a schedule (every minute to every 24 hours) or at account log-off/computer shutdown.
  2. System Restore in RSS Pro 2011 (not included in RVS Pro 2011): All your current restore points are available and monitored for malware before application. Once you have restored your system at least once with the Real Time Restore analysis feature activated, any restore, whether through Windows or using one in your System Restore list in RSS, will give you access to the File Restore feature where you can restore individual files from the previous state of the computer.
Other Features
What is the File Protection feature? Is this included in RVS Lite 2011?

File Protection in RSS Pro/Free 2011, RVS Pro 2011, and RVS 2010 allow users to protect selected files and folders on non-system partitions/disks and works by forbidding access to these items until an authorized user removes them from the list. With the addition of multi-partition virtualization in future versions of RSS and RVS, this feature will be phased out.

For RVS Lite 2011, Multi-Disk Virtual Mode is already available so the File Protection feature has been discontinued in that series.