Macrium Support Forum

Understanding the Backup page: Image selected disks v Create an image of the partition(s)

By adj - 17 June 2016 7:51 PM

Hi, sorry to be so dim.
Looking at the "start" page when one opens Macrium Reflect, I have the Backup tab open.
The first two Backup tasks are:
- Image selected disks on this computer
- Create an image of the partition(s) required to backup and restore Windows
To put it as simply as possible, assume I only have one physical disk and am running W7. The picture shows one disk with two partitions, a system reserved NTFS Active partition and a C: disk called NTFS Primary: and I have ticked the boxes for each of those partitions. What would be the difference in effect between the two commands above ? Or in other words, would Imaging the selected disk / partitions not also produce an image to back up and restore Windows ?
In fact my position is more complicated, but if I can understand this point,I should be able to take it from there.
Thanks for your help, adj

By Arvy - 17 June 2016 8:20 PM

The first option allows you to select for yourself exactly what drives and partitions you want to include in the backup image.  The second options tells Reflect to select for you and to include in the backup image only those partitions that are required to boot the Windows operating system normally and nothing else.  Your own drive/partition selections (if any) have no effect on that second option.

In your case, the second option would include everything because both of the partitions on your single drive are required to boot the operating system itself.  In other cases, the second option would exclude from the backup image any partitions such as might be created on the same physical drive for some installed applications, for user data (docs, images, music, etc.), or for booting to the Windows repair and recovery (WinRE) environment.  It would also exclude any additional physical drives and all of their partitions, of course.
By adj - 18 June 2016 8:57 AM

Dear Arvy
thank you for this concise, clear and speedy response: just what I wanted, and it confirms what I thought, that the second option could exclude things that one would normally want to back-up - but thank you again for delineating it so clearly.
Best, adj

By Arvy - 18 June 2016 3:10 PM

You're welcome.  Macrium's intentions (as explained to me when I asked) were inclusive rather than exclusive -- i.e., to ensure that other (MSR, ESP) partitions required for booting got included when the user chose to back up the operating system partition.  A very simple "Click here to ensure bootability" option could have accomplished those good intentions without forcing the exclusion of anything and everything else the user might choose to include on that same UI screen.  Why they chose to do the latter instead has never been explained to my satisfaction, but you're certainly not the only one to be made uncertain by the current implementation, wording and unintended consequences.

Frankly, considering the relatively small size of those other required-for-boot partitions, I don't know why they don't just add them automatically to the backup selection when the OS partition is chosen and leave it to the user to uncheck them if he really doesn't want them included.  It would eliminate that confusing interface verbiage.