Newbie Questions regarding recovery setup


Author
Message
Moondoggy
Moondoggy
New Member
New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 12, Visits: 23
I purchased a new Windows 11 Pro PC that supports booting from a thumb drive and supports USB 3.0.  I initially created a Win PE recovery USB drive a few months back but after my copy of Reflect and Windows 11 has been patched a number of times I'm concerned that what I have on the thumb drive might be dated and needs updating.  So my first question is whether the rescue drive I've created needs to be recreated or updated at all and if it needs to be recreated or updated, how frequently should this be done?  Additionally, would any answers given change once Windows 11 has been updated to 23H2?

My second question deals with the version of PE to put on the thumb drive.  When I created the drive the first time I chose the Windows RE version but when I looked at the options this time I question whether I should continue with RE or select the Windows PE 11 version.  Can someone provide me with some guidance here?  Same question regarding the upgrade to 23H2.

Lastly, I'm a bit fuzzy on the option to add or not add a boot menu.  The default right now is RE 11 build 22621 (64 bit).  I noticed that if I change the version from RE to Windows PE 11 this option didn't change so can someone explain what this option does and why someone might  want to not add the boot menu?

Please note that I have never had the occasion, even when my PC was Windows 10 to ever use the rescue media to restore my PC so I feel like a real newbie in this area and you may need to dumb down your answers.  Also, my Laptop is Windows 10 Pro and cannot be updated to Windows 11 and to my knowledge can only be booted from the built-in CD vs a thumb drive so if you can provide me with some guidance on best practices in that area I'd appreciate that information as well.

Thanks in advance to any and all that respond to this query.
capair45
capair45
Macrium Hero
Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 1.9K, Visits: 18K
Most importantly, once rescue media is created, you should test it to ensure that it boots the computer and can see all the internal and external, disks that are used to store the images you will create.  If your current rescue media can accomplish this then you should be fine.

When updates (patches) of Reflect are released, it is usually not necessary to update your rescue media. The release notes (Under the HELP menu) will tell you if you should consider doing so (look for information in red text).

WinRE (Windows Recovery) resides on your machine and includes Wi-Fi support. It is part of the Windows OS. No downloads are necessary. WinPE is downloaded from Microsoft and stored on your machine.  Either RE & PE will do the job but RE includes wi-fi support so if you need that, go with RE.

The Windows Rescue Boot Menu (WRBM) allows you to restore an image file without using external rescue media. It allows you to boot into the rescue environment using files already located on your C partition. These files load directly into RAM, so it is possible to restore an image of the C partition you booted rescue from. That being said, you should make sure you have created and tested alternate rescue media. Think of WRBM as a convenience and not something you would rely on to consistently restore an image. The reason is that the files you need may not be available on your computer for a number of reasons (corruption, malware, drive failure, etc.). External rescue media can be used as your only rescue media (or a backup to the recovery boot menu option) because it does not depend on any recovery files being on your computer.  The WRBM can be handy for those who perform frequent restores, e.g., people who perform frequent application testing or who need to reset to a known good state frequently.


Windows 10 Home (22H2)  Build 19045.4046 (Desktop)
Windows 11 Home (22H2)  Build 22621.1992  (Laptop)
Macrium Reflect 8.1.7847



Moondoggy
Moondoggy
New Member
New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 12, Visits: 23
capair45 - 9 October 2023 5:54 PM
Most importantly, once rescue media is created, you should test it to ensure that it boots the computer and can see all the internal and external, disks that are used to store the images you will create.  If your current rescue media can accomplish this then you should be fine.

When updates (patches) of Reflect are released, it is usually not necessary to update your rescue media. The release notes (Under the HELP menu) will tell you if you should consider doing so (look for information in red text).

WinRE (Windows Recovery) resides on your machine and includes Wi-Fi support. It is part of the Windows OS. No downloads are necessary. WinPE is downloaded from Microsoft and stored on your machine.  Either RE & PE will do the job but RE includes wi-fi support so if you need that, go with RE.

The Windows Rescue Boot Menu (WRBM) allows you to restore an image file without using external rescue media. It allows you to boot into the rescue environment using files already located on your C partition. These files load directly into RAM, so it is possible to restore an image of the C partition you booted rescue from. That being said, you should make sure you have created and tested alternate rescue media. Think of WRBM as a convenience and not something you would rely on to consistently restore an image. The reason is that the files you need may not be available on your computer for a number of reasons (corruption, malware, drive failure, etc.). External rescue media can be used as your only rescue media (or a backup to the recovery boot menu option) because it does not depend on any recovery files being on your computer.  The WRBM can be handy for those who perform frequent restores, e.g., people who perform frequent application testing or who need to reset to a known good state frequently.

OK,  Thanks but I'm still a bit fuzzy on this.  My objective of having Reflect is disaster recovery.  I have my Reflect backups stored on a separate USB mounted SSD that is NOT connected unless I'm doing a backup.  I want to use the rescue media to fully restore the C: partition of the internal SSD in the event of corruption, Malware of a drive failure so I want to be able to plug in the rescue media thumb drive and then grab my last backup from the external SSD and be able to restore my internal SSD the way it was on the last backup.  So when you said that WIN RE and WIN PE 11 would already be on my C:partition, I don't understand how this would help me with a disaster recovery situation or are you referring to a different type of recovery situation where one has an uncorrupted internal drive and you simply want to back level the drive to an earlier version?  Perhaps you're implying that the 31.4 FAT32 non-bootable partition that's on my internal drive contains WIN PE and that's how the rescue disk works.  I don't know what is on that FAT32 partition since I didn't format the SSD and install Windows 11.  The only time I ever restored a drive was on my Laptop when I was using Acronis and the CD booted into LINUX and accessed my portable HD for the backup and that's how I sort of envisioned that the Reflect rescue media works except it uses WIN PE instead of LINUX.  Can you please enlighten me some more?  Thanks.
capair45
capair45
Macrium Hero
Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 1.9K, Visits: 18K
If you needed to restore your C partition, you would boot your computer with your rescue media (that you have tested prior), choose what you want to restore from your USB SSD backups, and complete the restore process.  Your rescue media will contain a full working copy of Reflect and either RE or PE that you chose when you built the rescue media.


Windows 10 Home (22H2)  Build 19045.4046 (Desktop)
Windows 11 Home (22H2)  Build 22621.1992  (Laptop)
Macrium Reflect 8.1.7847



Edited 9 October 2023 7:36 PM by capair45
Dan Danz
Dan Danz
Macrium Hero
Macrium Hero (2.7K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.7K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.7K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.7K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.7K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.7K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.7K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.7K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.7K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.7K reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 1.2K, Visits: 9.5K
Moondoggy - 9 October 2023 6:38 PM

OK,  Thanks but I'm still a bit fuzzy on this.  My objective of having Reflect is disaster recovery.  I have my Reflect backups stored on a separate USB mounted SSD that is NOT connected unless I'm doing a backup.  I want to use the rescue media to fully restore the C: partition of the internal SSD in the event of corruption, Malware of a drive failure so I want to be able to plug in the rescue media thumb drive and then grab my last backup from the external SSD and be able to restore my internal SSD the way it was on the last backup.  So when you said that WIN RE and WIN PE 11 would already be on my C:partition, I don't understand how this would help me with a disaster recovery situation or are you referring to a different type of recovery situation where one has an uncorrupted internal drive and you simply want to back level the drive to an earlier version?  Perhaps you're implying that the 31.4 FAT32 non-bootable partition that's on my internal drive contains WIN PE and that's how the rescue disk works.  I don't know what is on that FAT32 partition since I didn't format the SSD and install Windows 11.  The only time I ever restored a drive was on my Laptop when I was using Acronis and the CD booted into LINUX and accessed my portable HD for the backup and that's how I sort of envisioned that the Reflect rescue media works except it uses WIN PE instead of LINUX.  Can you please enlighten me some more?  Thanks.
I can't speak of how Acronis operates, but Reflect has excellent documentation in the KnoweldgeBase/UserGuide, especially this article that should answer a lot of your questions about how things work. 


L.W. (Dan) Danz, Overland Park KS
Reflect v8.1.7847+ on Windows 11 Home 23H2 22631.3085+ | Reflect v8.1.7853+ on Windows 10 Pro 22H2 19045.3996+
Reflect v8.1.7784+ on 2 systems Windows 10 Home 22H2 19045.3803+

Moondoggy
Moondoggy
New Member
New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 12, Visits: 23
capair45 - 9 October 2023 5:54 PM
Most importantly, once rescue media is created, you should test it to ensure that it boots the computer and can see all the internal and external, disks that are used to store the images you will create.  If your current rescue media can accomplish this then you should be fine.

When updates (patches) of Reflect are released, it is usually not necessary to update your rescue media. The release notes (Under the HELP menu) will tell you if you should consider doing so (look for information in red text).

WinRE (Windows Recovery) resides on your machine and includes Wi-Fi support. It is part of the Windows OS. No downloads are necessary. WinPE is downloaded from Microsoft and stored on your machine.  Either RE & PE will do the job but RE includes wi-fi support so if you need that, go with RE.

The Windows Rescue Boot Menu (WRBM) allows you to restore an image file without using external rescue media. It allows you to boot into the rescue environment using files already located on your C partition. These files load directly into RAM, so it is possible to restore an image of the C partition you booted rescue from. That being said, you should make sure you have created and tested alternate rescue media. Think of WRBM as a convenience and not something you would rely on to consistently restore an image. The reason is that the files you need may not be available on your computer for a number of reasons (corruption, malware, drive failure, etc.). External rescue media can be used as your only rescue media (or a backup to the recovery boot menu option) because it does not depend on any recovery files being on your computer.  The WRBM can be handy for those who perform frequent restores, e.g., people who perform frequent application testing or who need to reset to a known good state frequently.



jphughan
jphughan
Macrium Evangelist
Macrium Evangelist (22K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (22K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (22K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (22K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (22K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (22K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (22K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (22K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (22K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (22K reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 14K, Visits: 84K
Moondoggy - 9 October 2023 6:38 PM
OK,  Thanks but I'm still a bit fuzzy on this.  My objective of having Reflect is disaster recovery.  I have my Reflect backups stored on a separate USB mounted SSD that is NOT connected unless I'm doing a backup.  I want to use the rescue media to fully restore the C: partition of the internal SSD in the event of corruption, Malware of a drive failure so I want to be able to plug in the rescue media thumb drive and then grab my last backup from the external SSD and be able to restore my internal SSD the way it was on the last backup.  So when you said that WIN RE and WIN PE 11 would already be on my C:partition, I don't understand how this would help me with a disaster recovery situation or are you referring to a different type of recovery situation where one has an uncorrupted internal drive and you simply want to back level the drive to an earlier version?  Perhaps you're implying that the 31.4 FAT32 non-bootable partition that's on my internal drive contains WIN PE and that's how the rescue disk works.  I don't know what is on that FAT32 partition since I didn't format the SSD and install Windows 11.  The only time I ever restored a drive was on my Laptop when I was using Acronis and the CD booted into LINUX and accessed my portable HD for the backup and that's how I sort of envisioned that the Reflect rescue media works except it uses WIN PE instead of LINUX.  Can you please enlighten me some more?  Thanks.

WinRE/PE
The simple answer is that no matter what "Base WIM" you choose for Rescue Media, i.e. WinRE or some version of WinPE, the most important element is to test boot that Rescue Media to make sure that a) you know how to boot from Rescue Media and it does so successfully, and b) Rescue can see all of the hardware it would need to see in order to perform a restore if needed. In your case, that would be your system's internal storage and then your USB-attached storage. If your WinRE-based Rescue Media works, then don't overcomplicate matters here. There's a reason that WinRE is the default choice. WinPE options are available mostly for cases where WinRE doesn't work as expected and/or for IT scenarios where somebody might need to build Rescue Media on some other Windows kernel for compatibility with other systems they'll need their Rescue Media to work with. (There are Reflect licenses that allow this sort of utilization.) I can go deeper here, but you've warned us that you're a newbie, so for now I'll leave it at what I've said thus far, along with, "This probably isn't something you need to worry about, so you might not want to go farther down this rabbit hole." Smile (I spent 15 years in various Windows IT roles.)

The pre-existence vs. downloading refers only to Reflect's ability to build Rescue Media. WinRE exists on your system, and therefore Rescue Media Builder can leverage those pre-existing files to build its Rescue Media "foundation". WinPE files have to be downloaded from Microsoft and then get cached on your system to allow future builds that rely on that base WIM. None of that directly pertains to disaster recovery, which requires you to have Rescue Media that you've already built. As long as you have that, you're golden. This discussion pertains to your system having the "ingredients" cached to build future Rescue Media.

Rescue Media updating
In terms of how often to update, the red text guidance is good. If you're not interested in reading release notes, then I would update maybe every 3-6 months or so. In general, keeping somewhat current to avoid getting bitten by bugs that might have long since been fixed is better than the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality, especially if you're not regularly using Rescue Media and therefore might not encounter bugs until your system has failed and therefore updating Rescue Media would be trickier. I would however encourage you to retest Rescue Media after updating just to ensure that nothing has broken. Updates are generally for the better, but there have also been updates that break things, and if there's a problem, you want to find out sooner rather than later.

Boot menu recovery
The boot menu recovery option gives you a way to access the Rescue Media environment by booting from files located on your internal storage, i.e. without having to go get your Rescue Media device. This can be handy in cases where your system hasn't completely failed (and thus the necessary files are still on your system to allow this boot choice), but you want to roll back to a prior backup for whatever reason. It can be especially handy for people who do a lot of application testing and therefore want to try installing something and then roll back their system shortly thereafter. However, it should never be considered a substitute for "external" Rescue Media, because of course there are all sorts of failure scenarios where the files on your internal storage that allow Rescue booting this way won't be available. In those cases, you'll need proper Rescue Media, which has no dependencies on anything existing on your internal storage at boot time. For that reason, "external" Rescue Media should be considered essential, and can also be your sole mechanism if you don't expect to need it very often. The boot menu option should be seen as an optional convenient alternative that will be available in many cases. As such, it can be your primary Rescue mechanism, but it should never be your sole mechanism. As to why you might NOT want to do it, some people just don't like adding extra stuff they don't expect to need.

Edited 9 October 2023 8:15 PM by jphughan
Moondoggy
Moondoggy
New Member
New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 12, Visits: 23
capair45 - 9 October 2023 7:28 PM
If you needed to restore your C partition, you would boot your computer with your rescue media (that you have tested prior), choose what you want to restore from your USB SSD backups, and complete the restore process.  Your rescue media will contain a full working copy of Reflect and either RE or PE that you chose when you built the rescue media.

Thanks for clearing that up for me as you're reply covered exactly what I wanted to understand regarding a DR situation.  One thing that was not covered in previous replies was this question...

Lastly, I'm a bit fuzzy on the option to add or not add a boot menu. The default right now is RE 11 build 22621 (64 bit). I noticed that if I change the version from RE to Windows PE 11 this option didn't change so can someone explain what this option does and why someone might want to not add the boot menu?

Can you enlighten me on that question?

capair45
capair45
Macrium Hero
Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)Macrium Hero (2.8K reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 1.9K, Visits: 18K
You're welcome!

Most likely, you would not need the WRBM unless you perform frequent restores, (people who perform frequent application testing or who need to reset to a known good state frequently).  I would not get hung up on that.  As I mentioned earlier think of WRBM as a convenience and not something you would rely on to consistently restore an image.  It's not necessary to install or use it. 

Rescue media is what's important.


Windows 10 Home (22H2)  Build 19045.4046 (Desktop)
Windows 11 Home (22H2)  Build 22621.1992  (Laptop)
Macrium Reflect 8.1.7847



Edited 9 October 2023 8:58 PM by capair45
Moondoggy
Moondoggy
New Member
New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)New Member (17 reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 12, Visits: 23
capair45 - 9 October 2023 8:54 PM
You're welcome!

Most likely, you would not need the WRBM unless you perform frequent restores, (people who perform frequent application testing or who need to reset to a known good state frequently).  I would not get hung up on that.  As I mentioned earlier think of WRBM as a convenience and not something you would rely on to consistently restore an image.  It's not necessary to install or use it. 

Rescue media is what's important.



GO

Merge Selected

Merge into selected topic...



Merge into merge target...



Merge into a specific topic ID...




Reading This Topic

Login

Explore
Messages
Mentions
Search