A small Slovakian company has announced software it claims can rescue Windows Mobile handhelds from the calamity of a serious data crash.

As well as performing the usual data backup tasks on handhelds using the platform, Resco Backup v1.1 from Resco Software can also be used to restore the whole system, including all registry settings and databases, handy in the event of a total by unplanned 'wipe'.

As with desktop backup programs, the core of the backup process is incremental and can be carried out as an 'update', normally on a scheduled basis. All data backups can be to a flash memory card or an external device such as a PC, and can be compressed and/or encrypted using AES.

Because creating and restoring whole backup sets can take time, the software allows users to perform a selective and partial backup after comparing the handheld with the last backup store. This would be useful where restores had been interrupted, or in the case of partial restores, where only some data was needed.

If not unique, the software is certainly innovative - the feature set of Resco Backup would normally require purchasing a highly-featured application aimed at corporate sales forces. While some handhelds come with basic backup utilities, Resco Backup takes the process to higher levels of sophistication.

The software, which originates with a similar program for the dying Palm OS handheld market, supports a range of Windows Mobile 5.0 and above handhelds, including HP iPaq hw65xx/69xx/hx4 4700/hx2700 series, the Dell Axim, Fujitsu-Siemens' Pocket Loox, and Asus MyPal. The program costs $19.95 and can be downloaded from Resco's website.