Using Macrium for Image Backup/Restore/Migration

  1. Posts : 178
    Windows 7 Pro x64

    Using Macrium for Image Backup/Restore/Migration

    This topic has been the subject of several recent threads and has appeared on and off in sevenforums here for over 5 years that I've found using Search.

    There seems to be a specific issue on inability to boot into Win 7 after restoring or migrating a backup image to a new C:\ disk using Macrium, or cloning the installation disk to another disk then using that as C:\ . Recently migrating from an SSD to an NVMe through cloning has been topical. This note briefly relates my experiences in this area. It's a stand-alone thread to avoid complicating any current thread working through this issue.

    Control limits to this comment: 1) Win 7 SP1 Pro only - no dual boots or other OS complications; 2) versions of Macrium (free) used over time range from v6 to the newly released v8; 3) HP laptops only, from an i3 Gen6 to an i5 Gen8; 4) Intel GPU only, no AMD chips.

    Generating full backup/incremental disk images onto an external USB-connected disk has proven simple. The only issues over 4-5 years here has been with the external disk (too full, not connected properly, bad sectors etc), which have no relation to Macrium - or Aoemi either, which is the other belts 'n braces tool I use.

    Generating a Rescue Media iso file is an obvious requirement. I use the Win10PE choice offered by Macrium in generating this so that fast USB3/3.1 ports and NVMe disks work straight away, then use Rufus to translate that to an independently bootable USB disk, generally an 8Gb micro-SDHC.

    Restoration of these images to the same disk after catastrophic screw-ups to the installation has also proved reliable when Macrium is booted off the USB Rescue Disk. I've done this perhaps 15-20 times in the last few years due to "experimenting" with CAD programmes that have managed to destroy the installation. (I'm good at doing that).

    Restoring these images to a new disk - bigger, replacing platter HDD's with SSD's - has worked every time as well, just needing the extra step of increasing partition sizes, which Macrium does as smoothly as any other restore programme. There are dozens of YouTube tutorials on this, including those that Macrium provides and those in the tutorials on this forum. Restoration may also be done from an image file already on one external disk to another external disk in preparation for using the second disk as C:\.

    With Image Restoration (not cloning), when it is re-booted the System Protection tab for Restoration Points in Control Panel may show some rubbish entries. These are simply deleted.

    Now, cloning. I've done this quite a few times from the internal C:\ disk to a larger external disk for use as replacement. Cloning (migrating) from an internal SSD (original C:\ drive) to a NVMe SSD either already in the mobo socket or in an external case has also been done a number of times. Crucial with its' P1-P5 NVMe series has YouTube tutorials on this. If cloning from an existing SSD C:\ drive to a new NVMe inserted into the mobo socket, the original SSD must be removed prior to re-boot from the NVMe.

    There then exists an option available in Macrium only when independently booted from the external USB Rescue disk: "Windows Boot Repair". I've used this a number of times after an NVMe cloned disk refused to boot as C:\, even though the cloning process went without issue. It took less than 5 seconds to repair boot files so the NVMe then booted as C:\ without problem. This option works (from the independently-booted Macrium programme on USB) with the BIOS either as UEFI with CSM and the disk as GPT, or with the BIOS as Legacy and disk as MBR.

    It seems from reading some of the issues experienced in C:\ boot failure after cloning, they could be easily resolved with that last step.

    [Some comments I've seen advise against cloning an SSD to an NVMe on the grounds that the disk structures are different, Registry entries may be affected and other possibilities. Having done this quite a few times, including on an ASUS laptop belonging to a colleague, my experience has not shown these possibilities at all. I've only done this on the Crucial P series of NVMe, however.]
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 2,777
    Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

    I just now noticed your opening post - you are very thorough! :)
      My Computer


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