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Cloning My System With Macrium Reflect


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8 replies to this topic

#1 auto1571

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 08:52 AM

Hi I would like a recovery image for my computer as I do not currently have one. And so I have chosen to go with Macrium Reflect. The only thing is now that I have opened it after installing it I am not exactly sure what to do. Am I right in assuming that I only need to clone or image 2 - (C:) NTFS Primary? Very much appreciated if you could help me with this please. Thanks.


Edited by hamluis, 15 June 2014 - 09:59 AM.
Moved from Win 7 to All Other Applications - Hamluis.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 09:54 AM

You do not want to clone the drive. You want to create a disk image or system image. A disk image will take an image of your entire drive (all partitions) and save it as an image file on an external drive. System image will only create an image of your System partition. I believe you would want to create a disk image.

 

You also want to create a Windows PE boot disk in case the drive fails or cannot boot because of malware.

 

Here is the help file for the Full version. It should help even if you are using the Free version.

 

http://www.macrium.com/help.aspx

 

Here is the Knowledge Base for additional help



#3 Scoop8

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 07:42 AM

auto1571

 

I've been using Macrium Reflect (Free ver) for about 7 months on 3 PC's.  I use both Cloning and Imaging as they both have advantages.

 

Cloning and (full-HDD) Imaging accomplishes the same end result but does it differently.

 

Cloning requires a spare HDD available as the "target" HDD.  It doesn't have to be the same size but should be an identical or larger size, if we're referring to the "Spinner" HDD's.

 

I like cloning since it provides me with the fastest plug-play recovery mode for several scenarios:

 

- Failed HDD

- Malicious recovery

- Bad download, ie user mistakes.

 

Imaging's big advantage is flexibility since you can store multiple full-HDD images (or incremental if you're using the paid version) on another storage HDD.  For example, I have a 4 Tb HDD that stores a few full-HDD Images of my Desktop and Laptop PC's and a family member's Desktop PC.

 

The advantage of Imaging is that you can recover your PC's HDD by choosing among multiple snapshots of images, enabling you to roll back your PC's history at a point in time that best suits your requirements.

 

I do the same thing with Cloning since I have 2 spare HDD's.  I clone my Desktop PC every 2 weeks.  I recently downloaded a driver update for my Nvidia GPU which didn't work out well.  It caused my Nvidia card to intermittently crash when streaming.  In addition, the download included a "suite" of unwanted applications.  The download was from the NVidia site but I didn't read the download info correctly.

 

Instead of uninstalling all of the apps, and the driver update, I installed my cloned HDD and was running with my original driver version within a few minutes.

 

It's just a personal preference but I like the fast recovery method with a cloned spare HDD on the shelf.

 

I always time any major update or download on a weekend where I've just cloned my HDD.  That way, I can roll back my PC within a few minutes without using Windows Restore Point or uninstalling from the Control Panel.

 

Another advantage of using full-HDD Images or a Cloned HDD for recovery, is that in some cases, Restore Point won't work with some programs.  For example. MBAM (MalwareBytes) recommends not using Restore Point for MBAM users since it can render it unusable.

 

I have 2 spare HDD's for another reason in addition to rotating cloning.  I like to have a spare "lab rat" HDD for testing full-HDD Image recoveries and also to test some disk-wipe tools.

 

Regarding Macrium Reflect, I recommend that you test the complete HDD recovery methodology. ie, booting from the WinPE (or Linux) "Rescue" media that you create with Macrium.  This way, you have confidence that you have a bootable rescue cd (or flash stick), and you can restore a full-HDD Image back to a new or blank unallocated HDD.

 

I always Clone and Image from my bootable media for this reason although it's not necessary with the volume shadowing techniques and similar methods, ie, Imaging or Cloning from the installed program tool on the "C" HDD.

 



#4 cafejose

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 01:03 PM

This is a really interesting topic.

 

I've read about Macrium Reflect but never tried using it.  The plan was to explore the product using an old computer which no longer works.

 

I have a computer, and there are family members who have their own computers.  Would Macrium Reflect need to be installed on each computer which is desired to be cloned or imaged?   Is it possible to just install Macrium Reflect on my computer only  (not theirs) and perform a cloning or imaging for their computer?



#5 Scoop8

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:08 PM

cafejose

 

I believe you can do that, boot up on your other PC's with the WinPE (or Linux) media that you created on your PC (with Macrium installed on your PC) and clone or image on your other PC's.

 

I've not tried processing a clone or image on another PC without Macrium installed but I can boot up onto my Desktop PC with a family member's WinPE CD that I made on their PC.

 

For example, with another cloning/imaging tool, I clone and image my Desktop & Laptop PC's and my Mom's Win XP PC with my Acronis bootable CD.

 

I think Macrium would be the same but as mentioned earlier, I haven't tried it on a PC where Macrium isn't installed on that PC's HDD.

 

It's the same idea as booting up on other bootable CD's (or USB sticks) on another PC, since you're booting into the PC's RAM independent of the HDD.

 



#6 cafejose

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 07:05 PM

Scoop8,

 

Many things I cannot think logically regarding the produdures and softwares for using anything such as Macrium Reflect.  Boot Disc, Repair Disc, Windows PE, AIK, ADK.  I have trouble thinking clearly about these when I read about them.



#7 badr0b0t

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 11:49 AM

I personally just use Macrium for cloning hard drives.

For image backups, I use the native image backup utility on WIndows.

 

For Win 7 it's under Control Panel >>> Backup and Restore

For Win 8, Control Panel >>> File History

 

Make sure to create the image outside your host drive, Use a USB external hard drive.

 

 

...


Edited by badr0b0t, 19 June 2014 - 11:50 AM.

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#8 cafejose

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 04:50 PM

Scoop8 wrote a few days ago:

 

Regarding Macrium Reflect, I recommend that you test the complete HDD recovery methodology. ie, booting from the WinPE (or Linux) "Rescue" media that you create with Macrium.  This way, you have confidence that you have a bootable rescue cd (or flash stick), and you can restore a full-HDD Image back to a new or blank unallocated HDD.

 

 

 

How does one decide, WinPE or Linux for the rescue-disk?  

 

Also, how is cloning faster?  Is cloning easier to do?



#9 badr0b0t

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 05:21 PM

Cloning is faster if you clean up your hard disk and isolate all your personal files and just leave the OS itself. This is important to do if you are migrating to an SSD. A 240GB will only be able to handle the OS and programs.

When you clone an OS, all your installed programs go with it. So if you keep a clean copy of a cloned OS, you can use that to fix an infected system. Just clone it again to an infected hard drive. It only takes 30mins at most compared to an entire day of reinstalling windows, drivers and programs. But I suggest to make an image backup instead of a cloned OS.

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