[Written Review] of Macrium Reflect Home Edition v7.0

Discussion in 'Giveaways and Contests' started by tarekma7, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. tarekma7

    tarekma7 MDL Member

    Sep 28, 2012
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    #1 tarekma7, Jan 13, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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    Macrium Reflect is an image based backup and cloning software. It can easily create full, incremental or differential backup images that are very accurate and reliable. You can do backup of the whole computer, partitions or individual folders and files. Backup is done into a single compressed, mountable archive file which is easy to restore. In this way, you will be able to restore the exact images of partitions or a hard disk. It is now safe and easy for you to upgrade your hard disk or recover your system if it breaks. You can also mount images as a virtual drive in Windows Explorer to easily recover Files and Folders using Copy and Paste.


    The current version of Macrium Reflect 7 was launched in February 2017. It includes many new features and faster disk imaging times

    The program is available in three versions for the home users; free, home and workstation. You will never experience any type of system loss, the program will help you to restore the entire disk, partitions, or individual files and folders.

    Macrium Reflect is the most complete backup solution for personal use. Protect documents, data and operating systems using advanced disk imaging technology. Includes Macrium viBoot for instant Hyper-V virtualization and Macrium Image Guardian.

    The program includes 12 months Essentials Support with the license. This means that you can have peace of mind with Macrium Reflect Home Edition, and should you have any difficulties, our technical staff will be on hand to answer your questions. You can sit back, relax, and be confident that Macrium Reflect will be quickly and reliably protecting your data and systems.

    Solution Highlights:

    Macrium Super-Fast Imaging
    File and folder backup
    Rapid Delta Cloning increases cloning speed by copying file system deltas
    Backup file Consolidation with Synthetic Full backup support
    SSD trim support
    Pre-defined backup plan templates
    Mount images in Windows Explorer for easy item level recovery
    Rapid Delta Restore recovers your images in minutes or even seconds
    Restore images to dissimilar hardware using Macrium ReDeploy
    Protect your backups from ransomware with Macrium Image Guardian
    Recover partitions and entire disk images with just a few clicks of your mouse.
    MBR and GPT disk support.
    12 months Essentials Support.

    Homepage:

    https://www.macrium.com/



    Current version: 7.2.3957

    Release date: 21st December 2018

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    Macrium versions available:

    Please visit this page to revise all the differences:

    https://www.macrium.com/product-comparison

    Program Page:

    https://www.macrium.com/products/home

    Download and installation:

    You can download free trial version from the official website. Using the Macrium download manager, simply input your license to download Macrium Reflect Installer and PE Components. Installation is very easy and doesn't need any skills. After installation, you will have 30 days free trial

    System requirements:

    Windows XP Service Pack 3 and later, 512MB RAM, A keyboard and mouse, rescue media usel needs either a CD/DVD writing drive or USB pen drive.

    User Interface:

    The user interface is very friendly and easy to use even if you are a beginner. There is built-un stepped wizard that guide users during backup and restore processes

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    Purchase:

    Macrium Reflect licenses are perpetual with no expiry date or annual renewal. On the other hand, the support is offered for 12 months. After this period, you can renew the premium support in the workstation version of Macrium software.

    Updates:

    The program automatically check for any updates and pop up window inform you about the changes and new features. You can click on the download button to install the update. The whole process is complete in a few minutes

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    Installation of the updates is very easy and just following simple steps. System restart will be needed after complete installation

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    Backup menu:

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    Restore menu:


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    Other task Menu:

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    Key Features:

    Backup your entire PC or workstation to a single compressed image file.
    Backup files and folders to a single compressed archive file.
    Rapid Delta Cloning increases cloning speed by copying file system deltas
    MBR and GPT disk support
    Recover partitions and entire disk images with just a few clicks of your mouse
    Mount images in Windows Explorer for easy item level recovery
    Rapid Delta Restore recovers your images in minutes or even seconds
    Protect your backups from ransomware with Macrium Image Guardian
    With a new Backup Engine Incremental and differential images are faster than ever
    Instant virtual booting of backup images: instantly create, start and manage Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines
    Ultra-fast Live imaging of windows systems, physical and virtual
    Restore images to dissimilar hardware using Macrium ReDeploy
    Greatly simplified administration including pre-defined Backup Plans for popular backup strategies
    Fully featured file and folder level backup and recovery
    Updated support for all the latest Windows Operating Systems and disk formats

    Video:



    New Features:

    The full list of new releases of the program with all of the new features and bug fixes are found in this page:

    http://updates.macrium.com/reflect/v7/v7.2.3957/details7.2.3957.htm

    Macrium Image Guardian (MIG):


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    This is a new feature that offers a good security for all users. Macrium Image Guardian protects your backup files from unauthorised modification, or deletion. All such activity will be blocked with error 0x80070510 - Storage policy block. MIG grants write access to existing backups file for Macrium Reflect 7.1, any image tools created by us, and optionally, MS RoboCopy. All other process attempting to update existing backup files will be denied access. In addition, it also protects local NTFS volumes and allows Macrium Reflect 7.1 and later to use the protected volume as a shared network resource.

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    Task Scheduler 2.0:

    This is an improvement over the previous Task Scheduler 1.0 which was available in the previous version 6. It helps to overcomes errors and issues

    Changed Block Tracking (CBT):

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    This is a powerful unique technology that is available in Macrium reflect v7. Macrium Reflect Changed Block Tracker (MRCBT) reduces the amount of time it takes to perform incremental and differential images by monitoring the changes to an NTFS formatted volume in real-time. This is especially relevant when a file system contains very large files, such as virtual hard disk (VHD) files, where speed improvements are significant and can reduce the Incremental image time from hours to minutes or even seconds.

    CBT is enabled by default. You can change whether CBT is enabled or disabled by selecting “Enable Changed Block Tracking for Incremental Backups” check-box in the “Advanced Incrementals” page of the program settings.

    Macrium CBT Driver Tools is a small Windows utility to install and monitor the Macrium CBT driver. Using this tool, the user will have a visual representation of the changed blocks and of the various performance metrics reported by the kernel mode driver. It can be found here: C:\Program Files\Macrium\Reflect\MrCBTTools.exe

    Macrium viBoot:

    Macrium viBoot has a built upon new technology that allows it to instantly present a Macrium Reflect image file as a Microsoft Virtual Disk (.VHDX) file. It enables you, to instantly create, start and manage Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines using one or more Macrium Reflect image files as the basis of the virtual machine storage sub-system.



    Windows PE and the rescue environment:


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    If your Windows operating system crash or failed to boot from any cause such as virus or hardware error, you can start your PC using Macrium Reflect rescue media on CD, DVD, or USB stick. This makes it very important to create rescue media with Macrium Reflect. This contains a bootable, lightweight version of Windows and a full version of Macrium Reflect.

    This lightweight Windows version is called Windows Pre-installation Environment (Windows PE). It is provided by Microsoft and Macrium Reflect downloads Windows PE automatically for you and writes it to your media. It downloads just those components you need to rescue your system. Next, you will have one of two options, either to restore to a new system or virtual machine using Macrium ReDeploy to reconfigure your Windows installation for the new hardware.

    When Macrium Reflect creates a rescue CD or USB, it analyses your system hardware and tries to locate drivers for unsupported devices by looking on your system. If it can't find appropriate drivers, Macrium Reflect prompts you to provide drivers. After you provide these additional drivers (online download, from CD Rom…), Macrium Reflect adds them to the Windows PE environment.


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    The Macrium Windows PE rescue media has the following features:

    Fixes for boot problems
    Macrium ReDeploy to prepare Windows to load on new hardware
    RAID support
    USB 3.0 support
    CD boot
    USB boot
    Boot menu
    Full version of Macrium Reflect
    Reduced download size compared with full Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) - 150 MB to 450 MB (depending on PE version and 32- or 64-bit support)

    To create rescue media using Macrium, the process is very easy. Simply Insert your blank CD, DVD or USB stick then click “Create bootable Rescue media” from the Backup tab of the task pane, below Other Tasks. At this step you can either accept or change the default Windows PE environment selected by Macrium Reflect. Next step lets you add drivers of your system. The last step includes the option to prepare and build the Windows PE image before you finally burn on CD/DVD or use USB Flash drive

    If the hardware for all your computers is supported by the default Windows PE driver set, you can use the created image on any of your computers

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    Macrium ReDeploy:

    This feature allows users to restore an image to a replacement computer or even create virtual hard drives to virtualize the machine, a technique sometimes called Physical to Virtual or P2V. You will be able to re-deploy Windows to new hardware and run a Windows installation on new hardware which helps to overcome issues with Windows boot processes. There are many situations you will need this feature, for example; hardware failure or planned upgrade or moving between a physical and a virtual machine

    Creating a backup image of your computer, drive or partitions

    You have three options to select from; image selected disks on this computer, create an image of the partition(s) required to backup and restore Windows, or create file and folder backup. After making one choice, you need to specify the output location and the advanced settings. Next step; you can add and edit the backup plan and retention rules

    Differential and incremental disk images:

    When your first full backup, you can run differential and incremental backups. This will help you to capture just the changes which occurred since the backup process. This will save your time because it is quicker. Macrium manages these backup sets for you.

    All you have to do is to right click the file you want to backup up and select the type of image to create.

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    Verifying image and backup files:

    This feature allows to check the entire contents of backup files against MD5 message hashes created from the source data when the backup was created.

    Cloning a disk:

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    This built in tool lets you easily clone an entire hard drive or specific partitions on a hard drive. Cloning creates a bootable new hard drive with the state of your computer at the time the clone was done. This is useful if you are upgrading to a larger hard drive, you can boot the target disk on the same system after cloning.

    Cloning is identical to imaging but instead of storing data to a file, it replicates volume contents and disk structures to an alternative device. When the cloning process is complete, the target disk is identical to the original and contains a duplicate of all volumes, files, operating systems and applications.

    Macrium Rapid Delta Clone (RDC):

    This feature offers a clone solution that would effectively and rapidly copy only the differences between the source and target file systems.

    Macrium Rapid Delta Restore (RDR):

    This feature offers a restore of an incremental image to a file system at a known state.

    Advanced Backup Options:

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    Compression: to reduce the file size.

    File Size to enter a fixed file size for the image, this is useful when using CD/DVD.

    Password: to encrypt the image.

    Auto Verify Image (needs more time)

    Comments (set comments for the image or backup)

    Shutdown: computer shutdown after complete backup

    Scheduling, retention and disk space: when you create any type of computer backup, you have the option to create a backup plan using the scheduling and retention wizard.

    Backup plan templates (Scheduling and Retention rules):

    Macrium Reflect provides multiple backup plan options to create backup cycles in days, weeks or months. This will let you decide when you want your backup definitions to run and also specify its type whether Full, Differential or Incremental backups. Scheduled backups can run independently of whether anyone is logged into the computer. Editing backup plans is very easy. All you have to do is to select a Template like Grandfather, Father, Son (GFS) or Incremental Forever then add, remove or change the schedules as needed for full, differential and incremental backups. Finally; define Retention Rules for each type of backup.


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    Restore:

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    You can easily restore system image or individual folders and files. Macrium Reflect will restore your disk partitions exactly as they were when the backup was taken. File and Folder backups lets you restore all or selected files and folders to their original or new location.

    You can even restore whole computers with few mouse clicks

    Disk Write Performance:

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    The main function of the program is creation of disk image. To complete this process successfully, large amounts of data are transferred from the source partition to the destination image file. This process needs to be as quick as possible. The program has a tool that assess the best method when writing image file data. This is disk write performance tool

    Log viewer:

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    Boot menu option:

    Addition of Windows boot menu specific for Macrium reflect is very useful option. It allows users to directly access Macrium Windows PE recovery environment without the need to burn a DVD or USB Flash drive.

    Event viewer:

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    Settings:

    The Macrium Reflect default settings allow you to set the default values used when doing various operations by the program for example creating a new backup definition. Restore, clone..etc

    The program has many settings that are categorized under many headings including backup settings, restore settings, update settings, scripts, email settings, events and advanced

    Backup:

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    Restore:

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    Other settings:

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    Conclusion:

    Macrium Reflect is the most comprehensive application that allows all users to do backup, restore and cloning solution for home and business devices. You can backup your files, folders, drives and even the entire hard disc. You will never have any data loss. It is fast and reliable. Macrium windows PE will solve your problem and lets you restore your system back if your system crashes and fails to boot. Macrium Image Guardian offers a good ransomware protection of Macrium images
     
  2. sid_16

    sid_16 MDL Giveaway Organiser

    Oct 15, 2011
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    As usual, nicely written and well documented.
     
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  3. dinosaur07

    dinosaur07 MDL Member

    Jan 19, 2016
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    Thanks for the very good and professional review, Tarek.
     
  4. ispasion22

    ispasion22 MDL Novice

    Nov 3, 2018
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    Thanks. I must admit that you save me hours of experiments
     
  5. Mohammad.Poorya

    Mohammad.Poorya MDL Novice

    Jul 22, 2018
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    Great review, Tarek:clap3:
     
  6. Raur

    Raur MDL Member

    Oct 11, 2017
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    Nicely written and detailed review, thanks a lot @tarekma7 ! :)