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Windows 7: Macrium perhaps not what I'm looking for...or is it?


29 Oct 2013   #1

Windows 7 32bit
 
 
Macrium perhaps not what I'm looking for...or is it?

When I read the posts about Macrium Reflect, I thought it was the answer to my prayers. What I wanted was a way to backup my C: drive, and use that backup to restore my system to this state when required.

I was looking to install Windows 7, then install all the basic applications / drivers that I need, so that if I have to restore the system I can hit the ground running, without having to root out CD's, download drivers, install updates etc.

But, and unless I have misread the comments about it, Reflect is not "Backup Software". So, from this, can I take this to mean that I cannot create the situation I've listed above? Or, as I say, am I missing something?

Duncs


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29 Oct 2013   #2

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

It's fine for what you want to do. I would make a couple of images on a couple of different drives as insurance if you want to keep the same image as your restore image for a long time. In fact I know a guy on another forum who restores the Macrium image to a HD in a docking station. Then he puts the drive in a drawer. If his system fails, he pops the backup HD in and boots. No boot CD restore. It's already been done. But he's a docking station aficionado. He does everything with them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2013   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Quote:
What I wanted was a way to backup my C: drive, and use that backup to restore my system to this state when required.
Yes, that is what macrium and similar are for. There is another imaging program which is completely free. It is my top recommendation for a free solution,

Local download

Free Download AOMEI Backupper: Windows Backup & Cloning Software
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29 Oct 2013   #4

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

I don't know why anyone would say Macrium Reflect isn't backup software unless it's because it doesn't do so automatically and continuously. Otherwise, it will do exactly what you want. It works best when your C: drive or partition only has the OS and program files on it and it isn't used for data storage as well although it still will work if everything is on drive or partition.

I have Win 7 and my program files on my C: drive, a 128GB SSD (I'm using only 56 GB). I make an image of the C: drive once a week and just before making any changes to the system, such as adding a new program or running an update. With the SSD, it takes me only a hair less than 10 minutes to make the image and verify it. I don't even have to babysit the process; I just start it and skip to my loo, snag a snack or drink, whatever. I have restored my C: drive several times and find it is more reliable than using System Restore (in fact, I have disabled System Restore).

While one can use an image to backup data (and most people prefer to), I prefer to clone my data drive (imaging and cloning each have their own pros and cons) since I have a 3.5" hot swap bay I plug the backup HDD into. I can access the backed up data easily and, if a data HDD suffers a fatality, I can just disconnect the deceased HDD and plug in a back up HDD (I always make two clones for each data drive) and keep chugging along until I get and install a replacement drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2013   #5

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2013   #6

Windows 7 32bit
 
 

It looks as though I've misunderstood the comments I've read.

I'll have a go at creating an image. I'm looking at possibly creating a system restore partition on the C: drive, as well as an image on a DVD and then an additional drive...can't be too careful!

Thanks for the help.

Duncs
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2013   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I use free Macrium since several years and never had a situation where I could not recover my system. I also use it to transfer systems to new disks - e.g. SSDs.

Here is a tutorial that might help you get started. And download the WinPE ISO from my Skydrive and burn it to CD. That will save you a couple of hours creating it yourself. You need the WinPE CD to get the recovery process started. You can also use it to make images - in case that you do not want to install Macrium on your system (which I would recommend though).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2013   #8

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

If you are going to keep this image as standard for a length of time, almost like a slipstream setup, then I'd recommend a couple of external drives. The docking station internal drive setup is a money saver now that drive prices have come back down to earth. The bare HD usually outperforms externals and is much cheaper so that the docking station pays for itself.

You can get a plastic stack of drawers in Walmart for about $10 to store 1/2 dozen bare drives in. It's very cool. I had USB 3.0 docking stations for both my desktop machines. Plus you can leave a drive in the dock as a data drive. Not to mention an SSD for fast video muxing, if you're into video conversion stuff.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2013   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Duncs View Post
It looks as though I've misunderstood the comments I've read.

I'll have a go at creating an image. I'm looking at possibly creating a system restore partition on the C: drive, as well as an image on a DVD and then an additional drive...can't be too careful!

Thanks for the help.

Duncs
1. You can create a partition on the same physical drive as your C partition. But that defeats the purpose of images. What do you do when that physical drive fails.

2. Macrium images on DVDs are possible but not recommended. Because of the image size you need a lot of DVDs which is messy and the recovery from DVDs is painful. The best is to use an external USB attached disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2013   #10

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MilesAhead View Post
...In fact I know a guy on another forum who restores the Macrium image to a HD in a docking station. Then he puts the drive in a drawer. If his system fails, he pops the backup HD in and boots. No boot CD restore. It's already been done. But he's a docking station aficionado. He does everything with them.
I had to laugh at that because that is pretty much what I do, especially the parts in bold. I prefer restoring my system back to the installed drive, either using a restoration CD, a USB stick (I recently made some for my two machines) or Macrium Reflect's ability to restore internally (I have the Pro version) during boot up.

Where I do use the two docks I have installed in my desktop machine (one 3.5" and one 2.5") is to backup my data drives.

Macrium perhaps not what I'm looking for...or is it?-hdd-swap-bay.2.jpg

When imaging my boot drive I save it to a folder on my main data drive and it gets backed up when I backup the data drive. I clone the data drive to a drive plugged into the dock, then, when finished, I take the backup drive out of the dock and literally put it in a drawer.

Macrium perhaps not what I'm looking for...or is it?-backup-drive-storage.01.2.jpg

If the data drive should die, I can stick one of the backup drives into the dock and use it until I get and install a replacement data drive.

The only possible problem with leaving a drive in a dock is cooling. Docks like mine have no means of cooling the HDD. Fortunately, my drives, when in the docks, run only 1C over the ones inside the computer. There are docks, however, that do have provisions for cooling. Servers use them.


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