Macrium Image Guardian and Norton Security - Macrium Reflect Home Edition V7.2 on Windows 10 PRO


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rescue2017
rescue2017
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Hello!

I use Macrium Reflect Home Edition V 7.2.3811 UEFI for Windows 10 Professional.

I also have Norton Security.

If my antivirus program Norton Security now performs a system scan, Macrium Image Guardian will report every time. That's annoying. What is the necessity of this Macrium Image Guardian, and why does Norton or the Image Guardian report itself during a system scan? Is it a requirement that this Image Guardian is active or can I deactivate it?

I don't have any viruses or Ramson software on my computer.
Only the one with the Image Guardian is confusing.



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capair45
capair45
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Macrium Image Guardian protects your backups by allowing ONLY Macrium Reflect to access them.  This feature protects you against ransomware locking your files.  More information here:  https://www.macrium.com/mig
Image Guardian can be turned off by opening the Macrium GUI > Other Tasks > Macrium Reflect Image Guardian.  I think most users would advise against doing so but up to you.

There are others on the forum far more knowledgeable than I am who may offer a more thorough understanding of the MIG feature.


Windows 10 (1809) x64 / Macrium Reflect 7.2.3825

Edited 2 November 2018 12:50 PM by capair45
rescue2017
rescue2017
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If you have Macrium Reflect Home V7.2, do you need the successor version or will everything continue to work as before?
capair45
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Macrium Image Guardian is included in version 7.2


Windows 10 (1809) x64 / Macrium Reflect 7.2.3825

rescue2017
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Does this mean that I don't need a new version because there is no new version at the moment?

Is it possible to backup and restore with an older version if the version is now 3 years old?
jphughan
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Image Guardian is only meant to protect against modifications or deletions, so I'm not sure what Norton is doing with your backup files that's causing MIG to throw an alert.  However, I don't understand saying, "Why do I need Image Guardian?  I don't have any ransomware or viruses on my computer."  By that logic, you could say, "Why do I need Norton Security?  I don't have any viruses on my computer."  The point of both Image Guardian and anti-virus is to mitigate the consequences of a possible future incident.  You can read more about Image Guardian in its KB article here and decide if it's protection you'd like to have.  Personally I would dump Norton.  I gave up third-party anti-virus years ago because Microsoft's built-in Defender has gotten quite good, and everything else on the market seemed to be some combination of bloated, expensive, "noisy" in terms of notifications, or problematic in terms of interfering with legitimate activity.  There are several cases in this very forum of anti-virus doing things like blocking or dramatically slowing down image backup creation, causing Rescue Media creation to fail, etc.  That's probably why Macrium has this KB article.  And that's all before considering the multiple cases where third-party anti-virus has turned out to be the cause of Windows updates or new release upgrades failing, because the AV solution had hooked the OS in some way that Microsoft didn't recommend or support, so when MS changed something that nobody else should have been using, the AV solution broke and took the whole system down with it.  Then there are multiple where anti-virus has become a system vulnerability it had a bug in its code, and since anti-virus by its nature constantly scans files and incoming network traffic, those types of bugs are exploitable in a wide range of ways.  And most of these anti-virus vendors expect you to pay for these "privileges".  No thanks.

jphughan
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rescue2017 - 2 November 2018 1:10 PM
If you have Macrium Reflect Home V7.2, do you need the successor version or will everything continue to work as before?

7.2 is the current version, so there is no "successor version" beyond that.

rescue2017 - 2 November 2018 1:33 PM
Does this mean that I don't need a new version because there is no new version at the moment?

Is it possible to backup and restore with an older version if the version is now 3 years old?

If you're already on 7.2, then there's no new version.  In terms of older versions, I'm not sure if you're talking about installing it within Windows or just using old Rescue Media to perform the backups, but if you want to install an older version, you certainly can as long as it supports the OS you're running.  However, if you'd be reinstalling V6, you should absolutely update it to the latest available version of V6, since there have been a lot of important fixes and some useful enhancements to V6 since 3 years ago.  If you're referring to V5, I don't even know if that supports Windows 10.  As for restoring, if you want to use an old version to restore backups created by a new version, Macrium has said that you need at least Reflect 6.1 to restore backups that use Delta Incremental Indexing, which is enabled by default on V7.  If you have that disabled, then you may be able to go farther back, but again there have been some important fixes since that time, so that wouldn't be a great idea.  I'm not sure why you feel you might ever need to use a version that's 3 years old in the first place.  If the version in your Rescue Media is that old, you should really update that and keep it updated more frequentlygoing forward.

rescue2017
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Anyway, I really wonder about the sense of the Macrium Reflect Image Guardian. Some users will have installed anti-virus solutions, also Norton, or Kaspersky and others and if the anti-virus solution complains every time, it's not funny either.

It's not practical to tell the user to uninstall the anti-virus solution - Norton etc. is also not practicable, because relying on the Windows anti-virus solution alone is very risky.

The introduction of the Image Guardian is questionable!

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jphughan
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Image Guardian was introduced over a year ago with Reflect 7.1, and this is the first report I've seen of it complaining about anti-virus solutions.  You also only reported this 2 days ago on a Friday, and it's currently Sunday, so there hasn't even been reasonable time to investigate.  So perhaps it's a bit premature to question Image Guardian as a whole based on a single experience you're having with one third-party anti-virus solution and have just reported, especially since depending on what's going on, the "fault" may not be Image Guardian's.  For example, if Image Guardian is throwing an alert inappropriately, then hopefully Macrium can fix it.  But if on the other hand the underlying cause turns out to be that Norton is opening files for writing during a system scan, then I personally would want to know why Norton wants to obtain write access to my files in order to scan them.  And even if that's the case, Macrium in the past has developed updates to work around issues with other applications.  For example, there have been two cases just recently where bugs in recent Windows Insider builds have caused problems for Reflect, and Macrium has provided updates to work around them, even though technically the problems are Microsoft's fault.  But if this issue can't/won't get resolved and you feel it's important for you to keep using Norton, then go ahead. Image Guardian is an optional component, so if you find it questionable, then remove it.

As for the risk of relying only on Windows Defender, if you haven't checked AV tests lately, you should.  Here is one site you might find useful, or here is the direct link to the latest test results as of this writing (September 2018).  I also remember reading an article about common practices found among prominent security researchers that seemed counterintuitive to "average" users.  One is that they use password managers, and the other is that they don't use third-party anti-virus.


Edited 4 November 2018 4:30 PM by jphughan
RayG
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I can reproduce this and hopefully explain why.
This is the Image Guardian message:

I see this when I scan the drive where my backup files are stored.
The system log contains this sort of message:
Blocked unauthorised process
(C:\Program Files\Norton Security with Backup\Engine\22.16.0.247\NortonSecurity.exe)
accessing file (\Device\...\...\Win10-x64_1803\WIN10-X64 #2018-07-05-12-42#-03-03.mrimg)

If you open the security tab in Norton and click on the "Scans" option you see this:

To test this I clicked on "Drive Scan - Run" Norton pops up a dialogue where you select the drive to scan. When that scan runs Image Guardian complains as above if it is a protected drive. The reason for this is that if you look and the "edit" option you will see this:

As Macrium backups are compressed files Norton will open the files to scan them. It must be for write access as I have seen Norton remove suspected files from *.zip files in the past. I can say that if you turn off the "Compressed File Scan" option and run a scan again there are no warnings from Image Guardian.

I would therefore suggest that Image Guardian is doing the right thing in that you do not want files removed from any of your backup files. You should be scanning the source drive and letting Norton remove them from there if they are suspect.

I hope that all makes sense.


Regards
RayG
Windows10 Pro X64 V1809 B17763.134 MR v7.2.3858

Edited 4 November 2018 4:50 PM by RayG
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