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Today, more and more user / company files are stored in clouds. Due to technical and business reasons (esp. working offline) many files in the cloud have locally cached copies.
In my case I have 100GB of cached files from Nextcloud, Tresorit, OneDrive and Qobuz.
These cached files are normally stored under my user profile on the system drive.
Therefor they are included in every image of the system drive by Macrium Reflect Pro oder Home.
But there is no need storing these cached files in the image and storing them is useless, too. But storing them takes time and storage.
That is why there should be a way to exclude them completely from system drive images.
Recently there is a first workaround for doing this using registry entry FilesNotToSnapshotMacriumImage to exclude specific files and folders. Unfortunately, the used VSS Windows feature does this only for a very limited number of files.
It does not work for many files. In the case the VSS Windows internal maximum number of files is exceeded, all following files are NOT excluded from the image.
In my case 60GB of these files are included in every system drive image created by Reflect.
There is a second workaround moving cached files to a second (non system) drive.
Unfortunately Tresorit and other programs rely on the user profile folder as root for their data AND apps / programs. This means their files can not be moed to a second drive.
Moving the user profile to a second drive is not a solution:
Under the user profile settings, registry, config, user programs are stored which should be saved together with the system image. This means user profiles should remain on the system drive.
So there is a need for a reliable mechanism to exclude specific folders / files completely.
Other image software like True Image or O&O Drive Image do this very well. But I personally would like to go with Reflect.