Macrium Support Forum

Aggregated list of outstanding "quick win" feature requests

https://forum.macrium.com/Topic16556.aspx

By jphughan - 24 August 2017 1:59 AM

UPDATE: Some of these are getting implemented!  I've noted those below by using strikethrough text.

I've noticed that in addition to useful feature requests being spread across several sections of this forum, some are "hidden" inside threads whose names have nothing to do with the request that eventually arose in it, so I went through the various sections of both the V6 and V7 areas of this forum to build an "omnibus" list, consisting of feature requests that meet all of the following criteria:
  • Have not yet been implemented
  • Would seemingly add convenience, utility, and/or some other value to a material portion of the user base
  • Would seemingly require relatively little engineering investment from Macrium developers
This is by no means a list of all "worthy" feature requests still outstanding, nor necessarily the most important, but rather the "low(ish)-hanging fruit". I deliberately did not include requests that would clearly require more significant engineering effort and/or consideration as to whether the feature's benefits would justify required tradeoffs, even if those requests seemed worth said effort/tradeoffs.  My hope is that Macrium can use this thread as a guide to the various "quick win" requests spread throughout this forum in order to knock many or all of them out in short order, delivering several benefits to their users at fairly low cost. Some of these requests have already received responses from Macrium, while others have not:

GENERAL
  • Allow clone and image/F&F restore operations to be paused in order to free up disk I/O capacity temporarily, as can be done for image backups. Especially handy for clone and F&F operations where priority adjustment is not available.
  • Handle network interruptions during backup/restore jobs gracefully (pause, retry, resume) rather than failing the entire job at the first interruption. Perhaps include option to specify number of retries or timeout period before abandoning job.
  • Allow backup file comment to be specified on command-line (to dynamically generate comment text using PS/VBS): https://forum.macrium.com/Topic16519.aspx
  • Add option to purge older sets when total storage consumption of all matching backups exceeds a defined value (allows implementing a quota system for multiple jobs that back up to the same destination, which the current disk space threshold purge doesn't allow): https://forum.macrium.com/Topic23917.aspx
  • Improve protection of encryption passwords stored in definition files: https://forum.macrium.com/Topic16782.aspx
  • Add "Verify Image" action to Windows Explorer context menu (right-click) shell extension: See geneo's post below.
  • Add "Show characters" button/checkbox to the encryption password prompt when restoring backups: https://forum.macrium.com/Topic22992.aspx
  • Overall UI simplification: https://forum.macrium.com/Topic15061.aspx
  • Add easy and obvious way(s) to export log to HTML file (stripping license key): https://forum.macrium.com/Topic15759.aspx
    Allow filtering logs by definition file name (including "None" for ad-hoc jobs): https://forum.macrium.com/Topic16527.aspx
  • Improve wording of consolidation operation in log file: https://forum.macrium.com/Topic16663.aspx- Add option to suspend MIG for a specified period of time (to avoid prolonged exposures caused by users forgetting to re-enable MIG after a temporary need to disable it): https://forum.macrium.com/Topic18187.aspx
  • Check for updates when Reflect runs even as a scheduled task or by using the background service, then pop a system tray notification and possibly allow email notifications to advise users that updates are available (to cover use cases involving scheduled backups and/or unattended systems where there might be long periods between interactive Reflect launches or even OS logons): https://forum.macrium.com/Topic21429.aspx
  • When "Enable password protection" is checked, default encryption to 128-bit rather than None: https://forum.macrium.com/Topic22657.aspx
  • Clarify naming of Edit Defaults > Scripts subcategory names that pertain exclusively to VBScript: https://forum.macrium.com/FindPost16265.aspx
  • Show definition file name in the "Backup started" notification, if applicable: See posts immediately below.
CLONING/IMAGING
  • Add priority slider for clone operations, as already exists for image operations.
  • Allow user to choose whether to clone the MBR to the destination, just as image restores already allow the user to choose whether to restore the MBR.  Would help for users regularly cloning partitions from multiple source disks to a single contingency destination disk.
  • Warn when selecting the C partition without selecting other partitions necessary to back up and restore Windows: https://forum.macrium.com/32426/Add-warning-when-users-select-Image-this-partition-only-for-C-drive
  • Add option for clone target's volume label to be created by appending/prepending the source's label with a user-specified string in order to differentiate source from target, and perhaps allow the destination label to be preserved as-is if the destination already "matches" the source (i.e. a condition where RDC can be used): https://forum.macrium.com/Topic15796.aspx
  • Rename "BitLocker Removal Restore/Clone" to "BitLocker Unencrypted Restore/Clone" to more accurately describe restores/clones to empty drives and more closely align with other established terminology, e.g. "BitLocker Encrypted Restore" for restoring locked volumes.
  • Warn when selecting BitLocker partition as image source if Reflect image encryption is not enabled: https://forum.macrium.com/FindPost16545.aspx
    When cloning/restoring to a smaller destination, if the source contains only the standard BIOS or UEFI Windows partitions, make the default "Copy selected partitions" behavior shrink the OS partition as needed to fit all selected partitions on the destination, even if a Recovery partition exists after the OS partition. This will immediately give users a viable restore/clone setup that is likely to be their desired outcome in this scenario anyway.
  • For clone/restore destination partition staging, allow "staged" partitions (i.e. those that don't currently exist on the destination) to be dragged left and right along the destination disk to be snapped to adjacent partitions. This would allow a user to shrink Partition 1 in staging and then drag Partition 2 to the left to avoid leaving empty space between them. Currently, achieving this would require shrinking Partition 1 before dragging down Partition 2 at all, which is unintuitive and makes the "Copy selected partitions" link less useful. It might also be nice to allow staged partitions to be reordered after having been dragged down to the destination.
  • Support email notifications for scheduled clone jobs: https://forum.macrium.com/Topic16811.aspx
  • Clarify the wording on the warning that appears when a clone/image restore will result in a BitLocker Removal operation, since the current wording is a bit ambiguous, especially on clones where it suggests that BitLocker might be removed from the source.
  • Warn when a target partition that has BitLocker enabled will be restored unencrypted ("BitLocker Removal Restore"): https://forum.macrium.com/FindPost19352.aspx
FILE AND FOLDER
RESCUE
  • RMBuilder: Check and if necessary copy drivers for network and storage devices attached via USB rather than just PCIe (e.g. USB network adapters and memory card readers)
  • Enhancements to Macrium PE Explorer: https://forum.macrium.com/Topic22596.aspx
  • Warn when restoring (or running Fix Boot Problems against) an MBR disk while booted in UEFI or a GPT disk while booted in Legacy BIOS: https://forum.macrium.com/Topic15555.aspx
  • RMBuilder: Add a “Force copy host driver” capability for individual devices to address incorrect determinations of appropriate driver support existing natively in WinPE/RE. This would allow users to get a driver copied into Rescue Media without having to provide it to RMBuilder directly.
  • Add Restart option to "On Completion" dropdown in activity window: https://forum.macrium.com/Topic15820.aspx
  • Add DPI scaling support to a few remaining areas of the UI in Rescue: https://forum.macrium.com/FindPost18247.aspx
  • Make main content area of the Backup and Restore wizards scroll-enabled and size the overall windows dynamically based on display resolution and scaling, including a sizing small enough that the wizard navigation buttons are visible even on systems locked to 640x480 in Rescue: https://forum.macrium.com/FindPost16975.aspx (fixed via Legacy EFI option in new Rescue Media Builder)
  • Change power scheme to High Performance, which can significantly reduce backup and restore times: https://forum.macrium.com/Topic23572.aspx
  • Modify Restart taskbar button to pop up a dialog allowing choice between Restart and Shut Down (gracefully): https://forum.macrium.com/Topic16476.aspx
VIBOOT
  • (Slated for V8) Add VM settings UI to add/remove additional Reflect image-based virtual disks after initial VM creation (not possible in Hyper-V Manager) and also to adjust CPU and memory settings as a convenience alternative to Hyper-V Manager if a settings UI is being built anyway: https://forum.macrium.com/FindPost16641.aspx
By BGregory - 24 August 2017 2:54 PM

I'd like to add one to the "General" section.  Please add the name of the backup to the notification message that appears when the backup starts.
Bob Gregory
By jphughan - 24 August 2017 8:41 PM

BGregory - 24 August 2017 2:54 PM
I'd like to add one to the "General" section.  Please add the name of the backup to the notification message that appears when the backup starts.
Bob Gregory

Nice idea!  The screenshot below shows how notifications appear on Win10.  Given that "Macrium Reflect" is listed on both the first and third lines, maybe one of those could be replaced with the name of the definition file (not its full path, which might be too long) whenever the job being run is based on one, and only default to the current display for ad-hoc jobs that don't use a definition file.  Alternatively, the "Backup started" message could be augmented to include the name/path of the definition file if applicable, since I've seen this notification box expand vertically to accommodate longer such messages, like those generated by Safely Remove Hardware.

https://forum.macrium.com/uploads/images/b0b83db3-30b4-4624-ad3c-3aae.png

By BGregory - 24 August 2017 9:19 PM

Hi jphughan,
I asked for this a long time ago but it was never implemented.  I run a series of 8 backups nightly and it would be nice to know which one is running without having to open the main UI.  I also asked for a"shutdown' button in the Rescue UI but it was also never implemented.  These seem pretty easy to code.  As you stated one of the current lines in the already present notification could probably be used.

Bob Gregory

By jphughan - 24 August 2017 9:28 PM

BGregory - 24 August 2017 9:19 PM
Hi jphughan,
I asked for this a long time ago but it was never implemented.  I run a series of 8 backups nightly and it would be nice to know which one is running without having to open the main UI.  I also asked for a"shutdown' button in the Rescue UI but it was also never implemented.  These seem pretty easy to code.  As you stated one of the current lines in the already present notification could probably be used.

Bob Gregory


Ok, yeah I thought I remembered reading about this request before, but I couldn't find the thread during my initial crawl through the forum or even when I looked again after seeing your post here, but some of these feature requests are inside threads whose titles have nothing to do with the request, so that isn't too surprising.  But if I've accurately captured the ask with the post above, I can just edit the top post in the thread to refer down to it. Smile
By Klaatu.barada.nikto - 9 September 2017 10:28 PM

Post deleted.
By geneo - 14 September 2017 12:52 AM

I would like to add right click on image file to verify the image
By Zardoz2293 - 22 September 2017 1:05 PM

Excellent list. All much needed in v7 of the product. Please give this list very serious consideration developers. Thanks!
By jphughan - 27 September 2017 5:11 AM

geneo - 14 September 2017 12:52 AM
I would like to add right click on image file to verify the image

Added to list in first post. Smile
By jphughan - 29 September 2017 8:20 PM

BGregory - 24 August 2017 2:54 PM
I'd like to add one to the "General" section.  Please add the name of the backup to the notification message that appears when the backup starts.
Bob Gregory

Looks like Macrium has smiled on you, Bob!  Both of the feature requests you mentioned above, namely showing the definition file name in the "Backup started" popup notification and the option to shut down rather than just restart in Rescue, are in the latest release. Smile
By BGregory - 29 September 2017 11:52 PM

JP, that's really great news.  I've been reading the posts on the latest updates and was holding off until things were stable but now I have to download the latest and give it a whirl.
Thanks Macrium for these much anticipated additions.  I'm sure others will welcome these changes.
Bob Gregory

By jphughan - 12 December 2017 5:54 PM

Updated the list at the beginning of this thread in light of the new release that warns when a BitLocker-protected target will not be encrypted after the restore, since that would not otherwise be obvious to users who were restoring OS volumes that used using a TPM-only protector. Kudos to Macrium for this and their other security-related enhancements of late!
By jphughan - 11 February 2018 8:06 PM

Added request to improve automatic update check and notification functionality that came up in the V7 Installation section.
By jphughan - 28 February 2018 6:37 AM

Added two more ideas to the General section since I remember both being requested somewhere on the forum in the past
By jphughan - 30 October 2018 5:41 PM

Updated the list in the first post to reflect functionality added for Reflect 7.2.
By jphughan - 21 November 2019 4:04 PM

Updated the first post based on items implemented/addressed in recent Reflect releases, added some new items.
By JeroldS - 26 November 2019 3:43 PM

Version 7 enhancement request

I backup using:
"C:\Program Files\Macrium\Reflect\reflect.exe" -e -w "C:\Users\Jerold\Documents\Reflect\My Backup.xml" -full

While it is running, I would love to be able to do the following:
"C:\Program Files\Macrium\Reflect\reflect.exe" -e -w "C:\Users\Jerold\Documents\Reflect\My Backup.xml" -pause

and some time later:
"C:\Program Files\Macrium\Reflect\reflect.exe" -e -w "C:\Users\Jerold\Documents\Reflect\My Backup.xml" -unpause

This is so I can run a defrag of the .mrimg file a minute or so into starting.


By Drac144 - 26 November 2019 8:06 PM

Interesting request.  I am not aware of the benefit of doing such a thing.  I understand the benefit of defragging a drive before starting an image backup. But if the drive has already been defragged, what is changed by doing the defrag after the start of the file creation?  I have an SSD (which needs no defrag) for my main drives, but my backups are done to a spinner which might benefit from a defrag.  Though I never defrag it and have not noticed any slowness or similar issues due to not defragging. . 
By JeroldS - 26 November 2019 9:18 PM

Drac144 - 26 November 2019 8:06 PM
Interesting request.  I am not aware of the benefit of doing such a thing.  I understand the benefit of defragging a drive before starting an image backup. But if the drive has already been defragged, what is changed by doing the defrag after the start of the file creation?  I have an SSD (which needs no defrag) for my main drives, but my backups are done to a spinner which might benefit from a defrag.  Though I never defrag it and have not noticed any slowness or similar issues due to not defragging. . 

I am a neat freak. I defrag the Backup device before the backup, but the backup doesn't always build a contiguous file, which my script requires. 
By jphughan - 26 November 2019 11:33 PM

Why would being able to defrag the file a minute into the job increase the likelihood that you’ll have a contiguous file in the end? Why not wait until the file exists in its entirety to defrag it? And what aspect of your script “requires” a contiguous file? In fact, HOW can your script even have a contiguous file requirement if it currently takes action before the backup and therefore before the file in question has even been created?

On a practical note, it might be better to post this request as its own topic rather than in a post on Page 2 of a thread that already has a long list of other feature requests in its first post.
By JeroldS - 27 November 2019 12:05 AM

If I pause the backup  a few seconds in and defrag the stub, the rest of the backup writes continuously in the dragged free space. It takes about 2 minutes. If I defrag the backup after it complete (without the pause)it takes up to 2 hours. All of this is scripted, except the pause.
By jphughan - 27 November 2019 12:18 AM

Except the stub file isn’t set to be the size of the final backup because Reflect doesn’t know in advance how large the backup will be, due to factors like the fact that compression ratios vary based on the nature of the data being compressed, so I still don’t see how defragging a few minutes in guarantees a contiguous file. I also question the value proposition of the additional defragging beyond what Windows already does automatically on a periodic basis, specifically whether the additional wear on the disk is worth any performance benefit, especially on a disk being used to store backups where performance typically isn’t a major priority. But of course that’s a larger discussion, and if the desire to defrag is based on you being a self-proclaimed neat freak, then I guess that discussion is moot anyway.
By JeroldS - 27 November 2019 12:45 AM

About half th   time, the first stub has 3-5 fragments and the rest is written contigously. By dninefragging the stub using the free space defragger of Perfect Disk, the rest of the backup abutts the stub and contues to write contigously. At the end of the backup, the script runs the freespace efragger, but if the last backup is already defragged, it takes less than a minute, instead of 2 hours. I have attached the script. If you are really interested, I will provide the sub-routines it calls.

Signing off fof the day

By avpman - 4 July 2020 2:57 PM

This is a BIG one, very important now that NAS and cloud backups are a lot of the norm and wave of the future. This is particularly important when consolidating incremental backups where Reflect frequently fails with an Error - 59.

Handle network interruptions during backup/restore jobs gracefully (pause, retry, resume) rather than failing the entire job at the first interruption. Perhaps include the option to specify the number of retries or timeout periods before abandoning the job.