Macrium 'Try and Decide'


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GrahamGo
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Hi, I am a long-term Acronis user, but now firm a Macrium convert. However, there is one Acronis feature that I do miss which they call 'Try and Decide'. It's a feature that you could activate before installing and running programs etc to test or try them out and when you're done you just deactivated the feature which restored the system, thus eradicating the changes made.  I have found it pretty useful in the past. See their description below
QUOTE
Try and Decide
Safely test new software, drivers, system updates, etc., knowing you can easily revert to your previous configuration.
UNQUOTE
Is there a good way to emulate this using Macrium, other than doing a full restore?



Froggie
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With Reflect you don't have to do a "full" restore.  If RDR (Rapid Delta Restore) is set to be used during restoration (the current DEFAULT, I believe), only the differences in your disk geometry from the beginning of the "test" period to when you decided to restore are actually restored.

This only requires the taking of an Incremental image prior to your testing, then restoring to that Incremental image.  I use this feature all the time to return to a pre-test condition... if the pre-test Incremental is recent, the restoration time is usually "minute(s)."
Edited 30 December 2017 1:52 PM by Froggie
GrahamGo
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Froggie - 30 December 2017 1:51 PM
With Reflect you don't have to do a "full" restore.  If RDR (Rapid Delta Restore) is set to be used during restoration (the current DEFAULT, I believe), only the differences in your disk geometry from the beginning of the "test" period to when you decided to restore are actually restored.

This only requires the taking of an Incremental image prior to your testing, then restoring to that Incremental image.  I use this feature all the time to return to a pre-test condition... if the pre-test Incremental is recent, the restoration time is usually "minute(s)."

Hello, thank you for the description. I just tried to do it. I wanted to trial a photo editor, I managed to do it, but with nowhere the ease that you described. Here is a quick review. I have 2 PC's and 2 laptops in the house, using the latest Macrium build. I use a Qnap NAS, in that unit, I have an extra USB NFTS drive plugged in which appears as a network drive. I use it as a central point for backups. It seems to work fine. If I need to do a restore I just move the USB drive to whichever unit needs it (that's the theory anyway).
Tonight I wanted to try the Photo editor software using a laptop. So I made a backup, installed the Photo software and after half an hour wasn't impressed and wanted to revert. The laptop then complained that it couldn't restore over wifi, fair enough, plugged a USB network adaptor in. For whatever reason, I got the blue screen of death. So had to plug in the Macrium USB restore stick, plug in the USB hard drive and restore. Which went fine, taking 8 minutes.

Short story, it didn't go too well. I put it down as a learning curve Smile 

I believe that I made an error in not specifying an incremental backup (i just found the option to force the backup type). But I do have one question. When restoring an incremental backup can this be done without having to start the machine from cold to invoke the rescue media?




Froggie
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No, the machine must be restarted to the Rescue Media.  This can be done to the separate media itself or to a BOOTable option provided by Reflect (the Rescue Media is disk-resident).  If the BOOTable option is installed, you can easily ask Reflect to "automatically" restore to the Incremental you took.

Since your backup images are managed on a network drive that must be connected to the System for successful restoration, the "automatic" method is not quite automatic (because the image holding device at image time will be different than the same device at BOOT time (plugged into the System in different ways).  BUT, you can BOOT to the disk-resident Recovery Media, select the Incremental image you wish to restore to (the original Full image and any child differential/Incremental images must be in the same place) and with the RDR option set, it should go through a very short restore to the time point you selected.
Froggie
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PS- "Try'n'Decide" operations are best done with Lite Virtualization tools, but even then a full System reBOOT is required.

I use the Reflect RDR feature continuously for my "snapshot" requirements... quick testing followed by returning to the System state prior to the test.  It works very well and is easy to use.  Of course my images are System resident (as well as copied off the System) and that makes the whole operation much easier to manage, rather than using wireless networked storage devices.
Edited 30 December 2017 10:28 PM by Froggie
GrahamGo
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Froggie - 30 December 2017 10:23 PM
No, the machine must be restarted to the Rescue Media.  This can be done to the separate media itself or to a BOOTable option provided by Reflect (the Rescue Media is disk-resident).  If the BOOTable option is installed, you can easily ask Reflect to "automatically" restore to the Incremental you took.

Since your backup images are managed on a network drive that must be connected to the System for successful restoration, the "automatic" method is not quite automatic (because the image holding device at image time will be different than the same device at BOOT time (plugged into the System in different ways).  BUT, you can BOOT to the disk-resident Recovery Media, select the Incremental image you wish to restore to (the original Full image and any child differential/Incremental images must be in the same place) and with the RDR option set, it should go through a very short restore to the time point you selected.

@Foggie, thanks! It is a new laptop, nothing on it yet, it's my Macrium testbed ATM.  The NAS/USB drive method seems to be a decent solution for normal use because I don't want to be messing with external drives. But I will try plugging the USB drive in, doing an incremental backup - test the software - then restore with the USB drive left attached.  I realize now that this is a better solution for what I want to do. I want to check out two other Photo editors tomorrow. Thank you for the tips.



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