Paid v7 cannot restore files and folders to PC2 from image made on PC1 (when it worked)? "Invalid...


Paid v7 cannot restore files and folders to PC2 from image made on PC1...
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Mac&Rum
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RE:  Paid v7 cannot restore files and folders to PC2 from image made on PC1 (when it worked)? "Invalid file." Can't mount.

After many years successfully using Macrium Reflect, v5 to v8, free and paid, on friends, family and my Windows PCs, I have a problem...

The power supply of my PC1 failed, with a new one on order.  Now using my laptop, PC2, and failing to mount (map) PC1's recent MR images, so that I can retrieve select data files and folders to work on.  Error messages are:

Right click in File Explorer says "Invalid File...An error occurred when reading G:\BkUp\BEF.....-00-00.mrimg" 

Browsing and selecting in MR says "Unable to load file 'D:\BkUp\T3610\BEF....-00-00.mrimg'".

MR is:   v7 Free on dead PC1,   v7 Paid on PC2,    v8 Trial on a friend's new PC3.   None can mount PC1 image files from external USB backup drives.

Is this considered "restoring to dissimilar hardware"?  Is my only option to upgrade PC2 from PAID v.7 to a PAID Version 8.0???

(Isn't this common scenario why we buy Macrium Reflect?) 

Is paying to upgrade to the latest version the only way to recover my data files?   

Big thank you for any advice or explanation you can provide.

.

jphughan
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Mounting a backup isn't considered restoring to dissimilar hardware.  Restoring to dissimilar hardware would be performing an image restore of a Windows partition.  Based on your information about the PC that the problem backup came from and the Reflect versions you're running on various PCs, it sounds like the backup you're trying to work with was created by V7 Free?  If so, any version of V7 or V8 should be able to work with it, no need to purchase a paid V8 release.  Have you tried verifying that image?  There may be a problem with the specific backup file you're trying to work with.  Do you have any other backups from that dead PC you can test?

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Yes, I was just going to suggest what JP recommended about trying to manually Verify the image you can't mount/restore from.  I'd be wary that the image file you're trying to mount/restore from has become corrupted at some point.  Try to manually Verify the image and see if it passes.

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Mac&Rum - 10 August 2021 1:10 AM
RE:  Paid v7 cannot restore files and folders to PC2 from image made on PC1 (when it worked)? "Invalid file." Can't mount.

After many years successfully using Macrium Reflect, v5 to v8, free and paid, on friends, family and my Windows PCs, I have a problem...

The power supply of my PC1 failed, with a new one on order.  Now using my laptop, PC2, and failing to mount (map) PC1's recent MR images, so that I can retrieve select data files and folders to work on.  Error messages are:

Right click in File Explorer says "Invalid File...An error occurred when reading G:\BkUp\BEF.....-00-00.mrimg" 

Browsing and selecting in MR says "Unable to load file 'D:\BkUp\T3610\BEF....-00-00.mrimg'".

MR is:   v7 Free on dead PC1,   v7 Paid on PC2,    v8 Trial on a friend's new PC3.   None can mount PC1 image files from external USB backup drives.

Is this considered "restoring to dissimilar hardware"?  Is my only option to upgrade PC2 from PAID v.7 to a PAID Version 8.0???

(Isn't this common scenario why we buy Macrium Reflect?) 

Is paying to upgrade to the latest version the only way to recover my data files?   

Big thank you for any advice or explanation you can provide.

.

Thank you, jphughan and dbminter!   Those were the hints I needed to solve this problem.  First what I did and then two questions...

SOLUTION:  Since in many years of use, I'd never encountered a corrupt Reflect image file, I only attempted to mount (map) or verify the last two I had...and those failed as I described.  After reading your advice, I was encouraged to try slightly older images and, voila, those mounted (mapped) just as I expected.  I was then able to copy needed data files and folders to my laptop for use.  (In those image archives, I even saw one 2020 image that was also corrupted, but the rest were not.)

Not that it's relevant, but I should mention that the original images were created with v7-Free on a desktop internal drive and, by chance, recently copied to my USB external archive drive (WD 8TB My Book).  The newest of the uncorrupt images is what I was just now able to mount and use, via v7-Paid.  (My friend and I plan to soon upgrade to v8-Paid on all our devices.)  Good to know that this was probably not an issue with the versions used, as I initially thought.

TWO QUESTIONS:  Since I have all my Backup Definition Files set to Auto Run and Auto Verify and they (usually) complete successfully...

1.) What could have caused just my latest two images to end up corrupted?  Guess we'll never know, but certainly an odd coincidence.

2.) To catch those corrupt backups and other bad images in the future, should I enable email notification for "Warning" or "Failure?  Or both?

Very much appreciate the prompt, accurate and clear advice from you both.  All the best.

.

jphughan
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Glad you're out of the woods.  In terms of your questions, the file name you mentioned in your first post was a Full backup, as indicated by its name ending in 00-00.  If "the last two" backups that you mentioned as having unsuccessfully attempted to mount and verify were both child backups of that Full, then it's entirely possible that the last two images were fine and that the sole problem common to both of those failures was that their common parent Full had a problem.  Since you mentioned that you copied, rather than moved, those images from your desktop drive to your archive drive, is there any chance you still have the original copy of that problematic backup file on your original drive?  If so, I'd be curious if that copy worked, just to suggest whether the problem might be with the data in the backup itself or some underlying issue with the archive drive that's preventing certain data from that specific copy of that backup file from being read properly.

In terms of email notification, you can certainly enable notifications for non-success outcomes, but if you do that, I have to warn you in the strongest possible terms NOT to consider that a substitute for checking the logs on a regular basis, unless you ALSO enable email notifications for success outcomes.  Most people don't do the latter because they tell themselves they only need to know about problems and have no need for "spam" success confirmations.  The huge mistake there, which I have seen bite multiple people here, is that it is not safe to assume that "radio silence" means that everything is working fine.  It could mean nothing is working at all.  There are multiple failure scenarios that would cause backups to fail (or not even start) and that would also result in no failure/warning email being sent, such as:
  • A scheduler engine issue that prevents the scheduled task from starting at all.  If Reflect doesn't start, it definitely won't run a backup or send an email.  This has come up particularly with Windows Task Scheduler after switching to or from DST.  Configuring Reflect scheduled tasks to run under a non-SYSTEM user account and then changing the password to that user account without updating Reflect would also create this problem.
  • XML definition file issue (invalid, moved/renamed/deleted, stored on a network location that isn't available or on a drive whose drive letter changed).  If Reflect can't find and read the XML file that contains the job settings, it won't know what backup to run, and it also won't know to send an email about that problem because the email notification settings for the job are stored in....the definition file, which it can't find/read.
  • Email delivery problem.  One user's mail provider changed their setting requirements (ports or encryption or something) such that Reflect's emails were no longer sending successfully, which caused him not to receive job failure emails that Reflect was generating but that weren't going through.
Bottom line: You always want to achieve positive confirmation that your backups are succeeding, whether that means enabling success emails or continuing to review the logs periodically.

Edited 12 August 2021 3:44 AM by jphughan
JK
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I should mention that the original images were created with v7-Free on a desktop internal drive and, by chance, recently copied to my USB external archive drive (WD 8TB My Book).

I would recommend that whenever you move or copy an image, to run a manual verify operation on the file in its new destination immediately after the move/copy operation. 

If the moved/copied image successfully verifies in its new location, then corruption could still happen in the future through bit rot or drive failure, but at least you will have ruled out other causes of corruption, such as bad transfer cables or bad computer memory.

                                
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You could set the Warnings/Failures e-mails if you wish, or you could do what I do.  I have a Windows Task Scheduler task set to open the main Reflect interface every morning at 11.  At that time, all backups should be completed, so I check the Logs of each completed backup every morning manually.  I've also got queued e-mail reminders to give me a nudge to check for backups that don't run every day, like the weekly, monthly, and yearly ones, so I won't overlook checking their logs if they failed to run.


Or do both.  Smile  Can't hurt to have an extra layer of checks.

dbminter
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JK - 12 August 2021 12:47 PM
I should mention that the original images were created with v7-Free on a desktop internal drive and, by chance, recently copied to my USB external archive drive (WD 8TB My Book).

I would recommend that whenever you move or copy an image, to run a manual verify operation on the file in its new destination immediately after the move/copy operation. 

If the moved/copied image successfully verifies in its new location, then corruption could still happen in the future through bit rot or drive failure, but at least you will have ruled out other causes of corruption, such as bad transfer cables or bad computer memory.

I also do this when copying image sets to external storage for redundant or off site backups, like USB SSD's or flash drives.  If I hadn't done that, I wouldn't have recently discovered a very rare use case error in flash drive imaging that Macrium is addressing in the next update.


There are other factors that can play into an image set becoming corrupt.  For instance, a LONG time ago, I was a user of Acronis True Image before switching to this product.  I had to disable automatic Microsoft disk defragmentation on the USB HDD partition where the Acronis images were stored because after each and every defragmentation operation on the drive, ALL Acronis images became corrupt!  No other files as far as I could tell were suffering corruption on the other partitions being defragmented on the USB HDD; just the one with the Acronis images on it.  Thankfully, this doesn't happen with Reflect images, so it could have simply been an artifact of the old USB HDD, some quirk with older versions of Microsoft's disk defragmenter, or some kind of internal problem in True Image that couldn't read its own files if they were defragmented.  Anyway, it was one of the reason why I moved away from True Image to Reflect.

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jphughan - 12 August 2021 3:41 AM
Glad you're out of the woods.  In terms of your questions, the file name you mentioned in your first post was a Full backup, as indicated by its name ending in 00-00.  If "the last two" backups that you mentioned as having unsuccessfully attempted to mount and verify were both child backups of that Full, then it's entirely possible that the last two images were fine and that the sole problem common to both of those failures was that their common parent Full had a problem.  Since you mentioned that you copied, rather than moved, those images from your desktop drive to your archive drive, is there any chance you still have the original copy of that problematic backup file on your original drive?  If so, I'd be curious if that copy worked, just to suggest whether the problem might be with the data in the backup itself or some underlying issue with the archive drive that's preventing certain data from that specific copy of that backup file from being read properly.

In terms of email notification, you can certainly enable notifications for non-success outcomes, but if you do that, I have to warn you in the strongest possible terms NOT to consider that a substitute for checking the logs on a regular basis, unless you ALSO enable email notifications for success outcomes.  Most people don't do the latter because they tell themselves they only need to know about problems and have no need for "spam" success confirmations.  The huge mistake there, which I have seen bite multiple people here, is that it is not safe to assume that "radio silence" means that everything is working fine.  It could mean nothing is working at all.  There are multiple failure scenarios that would cause backups to fail (or not even start) and that would also result in no failure/warning email being sent, such as:
  • A scheduler engine issue that prevents the scheduled task from starting at all.  If Reflect doesn't start, it definitely won't run a backup or send an email.  This has come up particularly with Windows Task Scheduler after switching to or from DST.  Configuring Reflect scheduled tasks to run under a non-SYSTEM user account and then changing the password to that user account without updating Reflect would also create this problem.
  • XML definition file issue (invalid, moved/renamed/deleted, stored on a network location that isn't available or on a drive whose drive letter changed).  If Reflect can't find and read the XML file that contains the job settings, it won't know what backup to run, and it also won't know to send an email about that problem because the email notification settings for the job are stored in....the definition file, which it can't find/read.
  • Email delivery problem.  One user's mail provider changed their setting requirements (ports or encryption or something) such that Reflect's emails were no longer sending successfully, which caused him not to receive job failure emails that Reflect was generating but that weren't going through.
Bottom line: You always want to achieve positive confirmation that your backups are succeeding, whether that means enabling success emails or continuing to review the logs periodically.

Thanks, JP, for more good advice.   I do know about the dependency of a differential backup being the child of the full backup.  That wasn't my problem...the two latest backups were full and, out of dozens, the ones that were corrupt.  All the others verified and opened okay.  These were are only full images on my external archive drive and going back a few years.  The last two were manually copied there from the internal backup drive in my Dell tower, just before its power supply faltered and failed, which might have been the cause of the corruption!  I never thought to verify after a simple manual copy of an already verified backup, but guess I should have.

At this point, with a power supply on order, it's likely that the tower's internal backup hard drive and all its images are good, not to mention the original source files on the main data drive.  Will know when my PSU comes in and the tower's up again.

I also have on order an external USB hard drive enclosure, so that if this ever happens again, I can pull the internal drives to get at backup images and original data files.  My oversight in not having that on hand.

Also good info and advice that I'll heed, JP, on email notifications and task scheduling.  I remember a few years back, Reflect was having problems with the latter and I had to manually configure Windows Task Scheduler to wake the box, run the backups, and shut it down.  Now they all seems to run fine from the Reflect interface.

Appreciate all the tips from you and the other members.  I know my data security will be improved going forward.  'Bye.



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Dear Mac&Rum,

I recently also stumbled over the image corruption problem of Macrium v7 after using it for years without problems. I wanted to share my experience (excluding names) on the topic with you and others:
----------------------------------
I wrote the following message to the Macrium support:
"Dear Sir or Madam,

recently I wanted to restore two SSD drives using Macrium Reflect v7 Home images. This images were verified by Macrium Reflect directly after the creation in July 2021.

I booted using a Macrium Reflect rescue media (USB key) and started the recovery including an initial verification of the image on the external 4 TB HDD. The program reported "Data verification failed - Block 918433, File offset 19314185248". I am using Macrium Reflect for several years now and restored images quite regularly, but never came across such error. Here are my attempt to analyze the problem:

a) verified the images in Windows (Macrium Reflect v7 Home) - same error
b) verified the images on my Laptop (Macrium Reflect v8 free) - same error
c) exchanged the USB-cable of the external 4 TB HDD - same error
d) 12 hour 55 min chkdsk-analysis of external 4 TB HDD - no HDD error
e) a copy of the images stored on an 8 TB HDD 200 kilometer away showed the exact same error
--> despite my best efforts I don't have a trustworthy backup and I am lucky that the recovery was intended to solve only a minor problem

f) I created new verified images of the SSDs on a different 4 TB HDD and successfully verified the images again on my Laptop with Macrium Reflect v8. Now I copied the files to the 8 TB HDD. The verification of the 50 GB image worked, the verification of the 160 GB image returned the following error "Data verification failed - Block 14501, File offset 2805463152". I verified the images on the 4 TB HDD again with no error. Thus, the copy process might have affected the 160 GB image. So I used TeraCopy (compares hashes of source and target files) to successfully create a verified copy of the image from the 4 TB HDD on the 8 TB HDD. However, the image verification returned an data verification failed error for the 160 GB image on the 8TB HDD again.

I will now run a chkdsk analysis of the 8 TB external HDD and retry the copy and verify attempt. I have not much hope, as the drive is new, the chkdsk analysis was done right after buying the drive and the verification error occurred on an error free 4 TB HDD already. I suspect that Macrium Reflect v7 and v8 have a problem with the verification.

I hope you can help me, as in the moment I am aware that I can't trust my beloved backup solution.

Thanks."
----------------------------------
I received the following reply from the Macrium support:
"Hello,

Thank you for contacting us.

If the image was corrupted on the 4TB drive, moving it to a new location will not change the outcome of the verification.

Verification failure means that your image file is corrupt and either cannot be read back reliably or was corrupted as it was written(the latter is unlikely as the image was originally verified successfully).
Reflect uses the unmodified code from the reference implementation of the RSA Data Security MD5 message-digest algorithm. This guarantees that the same block of data cannot generate a different hash value. If data is read back with a different MD5 hash to that that was generated when the data was written, it is guaranteed to be corrupt. This is always due to unreliable hardware. It could be a problem with your backup disk, your USB subsystem, or even your RAM.

Image verification issues can nearly always be put down to failing hardware. Please see the following KB article for more information:
https://knowledgebase.macrium.com/display/KNOW80/Understanding+Image+Verification+Failures

We recommend performing stress tests on the hardware to try and identify the issue, tools such as memtest86 will help with this process.

Another additional test is to isolate a multi-gigabyte file (similar in size to a resulting image file) run the ExactFile utility to generate an MD5 hash, copy the file to the same target disk where images or backups will be created and run ExactFile on that resulting, copied file to get another MD5 hash which can be compared with the original. If these MD5 hash values do not match then this is an indication of failing hardware.

You can download ExactFile from here: http://www.exactfile.com/downloads/

I am afraid that the license on your account is out of support.

Macrium Reflect v7 Home Edition includes 12 months of free Technical Support and I'm afraid your support time has run out.

Support Forum access and Minor updates (i.e. v7.0 to v7.3) will be perpetual for the life of version 7.

If you have any further queries you can direct them to our forum at https://forum.macrium.com

Kind regards,
Macrium Support Team"
----------------------------------
This is my answer to the message from the Macrium support:
"Dear,

thanks for replying to my request for help despite the support for my license ran out.

You mentioned that I wanted to move a corrupt image to a new location expecting a different outcome of the verification. Could you please point out the paragraph you are referring to?

I found it interesting that you excluded software related issues several times and pointed to the backup disk, USB, or RAM. At no point you discussed my thorough analysis (hard disk analysis, cable exchange, different PCs to verify the images).

You mentioned I should analyze my hardware. This is exactly what I did before I ran into the Macrium Reflect verification problem. To reduce the complexity, I did not mention that I wanted to restore my backup because I wanted to get rid of the tool clutter from a recent RAM upgrade (no manual overclocking, CPU Intel Spec, RAM XMP).

The (verified on creation) backup I wanted to use was made months before the RAM exchange. After the RAM upgrade I spent a week testing my PC with Karhu, HCI Memtest, Memtest86, Windows Memory Diagnostics, Prime95, Aida64 and other tools. After I was convinced of having a stable, reliable PC, I wanted to use my backup, which was corrupt being the cause of this help request. I also wrote that I created a new backup (on the torture tested PC) onto a different external hard drive with successful verification. After copying it to a third external disk (without and with TeraCopy), the image verification came up with errors. The image on the source drive was successfully verified for four times (before and after copying).

Here you mentioned ExactFile to check for failing hardware. This was already done, as mentioned in my first e-mail. TeraCopy creates a hash of the source file and compares it with the written file. TeraCopy confirmed that an exact copy was written. Now, how can Macrium Reflect 7 successfully verify the file on one disk and after creating an identical copy on another drive find the image is corrupt?

All that leaves not much space for a general "hardware is the fault" diagnosis. I think the software should be at least considered, which is supported by the fact that this verification error doesn't occur with EaseUS Todo Backup Home Lifetime License I now bought.

Thanks"
----------------------------------
This ticket has been Closed 19 days ago by the Macrium support. Please find below a picture showing the successful EaseUS Todo Backup verification of Images on an external HDD also after copying the images to another external drive. Everybody who read to this point: I appreciate your time!




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