Should Boot Menu Version Agree With Installed Version


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Homer712
Homer712
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I have Macrium Reflect 7.1 Build 2646 installed. When I boot from the Recovery Boot Menu it comes up as build 2199. Are we to somehow update the Recovery Boot Menu version after updates of the installed version? I've tried just clicking on "Add Recovery Boot Menu Option" but the version build stays at 2199.

jphughan
jphughan
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The option you're looking at only adds or deletes the boot menu option itself, but that boot entry actually tells your PC boot from the exact files that Reflect caches for creating Rescue Media, so to update the boot menu recovery files themselves after you've updated Reflect, launch Reflect and click Other Tasks > Create Rescue Media > Next > Next.  You'll be prompted to update your Rescue Media files.  Click Continue, then Next again.  After the rebuild process completes, even if you do NOT then create any new Rescue Media (which you usually don't have to -- see below), your boot menu recovery files will have been updated.  You can also force a manual rebuild of that Rescue Media / boot menu cache at any time, e.g. if you just want to change your BitLocker auto-unlock preferences.  The process is the same except you won't get a prompt to update files if there hasn't been an update; instead, click the Rebuild button on the last step of the wizard, then Next.

However, note that there are very few cases where a Reflect update means it's worth updating your boot menu recovery/Rescue Media files.  If you read the release notes of Reflect updates, most of them only affect operation under the "real" Windows environment.  The way to spot changes that pertain to the Rescue environment is to look for the acronym "PE", which stands for "pre-installation environment" and is itself an abbreviation of "Windows PE", which is Microsoft's name for their highly stripped down Windows environment on which the Rescue environment is based.  It is so named because its most common use case is to provide an environment for installing "real" Windows onto a new PC, but a close second is to provide an environment from which to recover Windows installations.

Anyhow, since V7 was introduced, there have only been 2 updates whose release notes mentioned any changes to WinPE at all.  Most recently, 7.1.2638 fixed a bug that I reported, but it was minor.  And before that, a particular 7.1 release broke Rescue Media completely, so an update to fix THAT was pushed out 2 hours later -- but unless your Rescue Media was built on that one broken 7.1 version, there hasn't been anything critical for PE yet.  Technically you could even use V6 Rescue Media to restore V7 images if you really had to.  By comparison, back in the V6 days, there were a few updates that had critical fixes for PE, and their release notes specifically said that users were urged to rebuild their Rescue Media after updating.  Again, that hasn't happened yet in V7, though it might soon based on a bug that I reported recently in this thread.

Edited 14 October 2017 4:25 AM by jphughan
Homer712
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Thank you for the quick and very detailed response. I did try, unsuccessfully, to find this information in the documentation. If it is there, possibly you could point me in the right direction. In any event, I have copy/pasted your response into a document that I will print and file for future reference. Again, thank you.

jphughan
jphughan
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You're welcome!  After an admittedly cursory look over the documentation, I don't see this directly mentioned.  The page for the boot menu option hints at the connection by saying that you can't enable it until you've created Rescue Media, and as you saw, that wizard does automatically prompt for a rebuild when an update is available, but that's it.  My guess is that Macrium is expecting users will keep their boot menu recovery option files current as a "side effect" of updating their Rescue Media.  That actually makes sense, because the boot menu recovery option is billed as a supplementary convenience, not an alternative to separate Rescue Media.  The reason is that the boot menu option depends on that boot entry existing on your hard drive and the OS partition's file system not being badly damaged, and things like a Windows update gone awry, malware, and other factors can jeopardize those things. Additionally, if you use the boot menu option and perform a restore that ends up failing, then you won't have that boot menu option anymore to continue troubleshooting.  Dedicated Rescue Media does not have those dependencies and limitations.

So basically, the thinking seems to be that if a user feels the need to update their boot menu recovery files after a Reflect update, that same thinking should apply to their more important Rescue Media, and as a result of taking the steps to update the latter, they'll automatically have updated the former. Smile

Edited 14 October 2017 3:01 PM by jphughan
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