Discarding Obsolete Rescue Media Disks


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Steven Leiden
Steven Leiden
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This may sound like a silly question.

With the multitude of disks with Rescue media that gets generated when considering 4 different machines and versions of Macrium Reflect, I’m trying to clean things up. Is there any private information contained on these disks, or can they be safely discarded in regular trash?

Thanks for any advice
Steve

dbminter
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As far as I know, there's no personally identifiable information in a WinPE/RE setup.  If you're really concerned, you can do what I do.  Invest in a chisel tipped permanent marker.  Then, blacken the entire data surface of a Rescue Media disc you want to throw away.  I also shred these discs after blackening them, but I'm paranoid.  Smile  It's not a perfect situation, but generally trying to clean off the permanent marker will require chemicals that will probably hurt the disc surface too much to be readable afterwards.

jphughan
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If you enabled the “auto-unlock BitLocker volumes” option when you built Rescue Media and you use BitLocker, there will be unlock keys for those volumes on that Rescue Media. Otherwise, your Reflect license info, including licensee name, is also in there if you use a paid version, but I think that’s it.

As for destruction, many paper shredders now have CD/DVD slots, which might be faster than dbminter’s suggestion. I’ve never heard of people recovering data from a shredded disc, so I don’t see the value of permanent markers on top of that, except to assuage paranoia I guess. Smile

Or better yet, unless you have systems that simply won’t boot from USB, get some flash drives that you can reuse. I use Sandisk Ultra Flair drives, which are physically small and pretty fast, and the 16GB version is only $7 on Amazon as of this writing. That’s way more than enough capacity for Rescue Media — although as a note I’d recommend not using flash drives larger than 32GB for Rescue Media. I can go into lore detail on this if you’re curious.

Lastly, depending on the systems you’re managing, you might find that Rescue Media built on one PC works just fine on all of them, so you might be able to simplify there a bit. As long as you don’t use Rescue Media generated by a paid Reflect installation on a PC that uses Reflect Free (or a lesser paid version), then you’re fine.
Edited 28 December 2018 10:49 PM by jphughan
dbminter
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I would be interested in your reasons why you don't recommend anything beyond 32GB for flash drives for Rescue Media.  Does it have anything to do with formatting as FAT for booting?


As for my blackening the discs, yeah, it's more to satisfy my paranoia, since I also shred the discs.  I don't have to do that with Blu-Ray discs because  the coating on them makes it impossible for permanent marker to adhere to it.  Wink  And, before I had a shredder that also shredded CD/DVD discs, I did that for years before throwing them away.  Sort of an old habit dying hard situation, too.

jphughan
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Yes, it’s mostly the fact that Windows won’t format a partition larger than 32GB using the FAT32 file system. Yes, there are third-party utilities that can do that, and yes if you’ll only need to use the flash drive on Win10 1709 or later then multi-partition flash drive support makes this somewhat of a non-issue, and yes if you don’t have any Legacy BIOS systems then you don’t have to deal with FAT32 at all. There are also some systems that seem not to boot from high capacity flash drives, although I don’t have a list handy or know offhand what the capacity cutoff is. But since there are relatively few cases where people would use more than 32GB on a Rescue Media flash drive anyway, it’s just easier to say what I did originally so they avoid buying something larger because “What’s the downside when the cost is almost the same?” And for the small minority of people who might want to use a larger flash drive for Rescue Media, perhaps because they might want to store backups on that device as well, are also more likely to be aware of some of these issues — or might ask for more detail as you just did. Smile
Edited 28 December 2018 11:11 PM by jphughan
dbminter
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I am one of those people who likes to use large capacity flash drives to store Reflect backup images.  So, I like it when a flash drive is formatted to FAT32, like the Lexar S75's I use.  I use file splitting at the 4 GB mark on my Reflect images, so I don't have to worry about file sizes being limited by FAT32 to 4 GB or less.  And I like having the rescue media booting from the same flash drive as the images.  It's a small step, but it saves me having to use separate media and/or swap out flash drives/plug in 2 drives, one for booting the Rescue Media and one for the images.  Then, again, I'm picky.  Wink

jphughan
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In your scenario I’d go the multi-partition route so I could store my backups on an NTFS volume, simply because FAT32 isn’t a particularly resilient file system that can recover well after adverse events. Splitting backups also introduces some limitations within Reflect. If memory serves, split backups can’t be consolidated or viBooted, and there may be other restrictions.
dbminter
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I know you can't set scheduled Incremental and/or Differential backups if you use file splitting.  I tried setting that up myself and Reflect said it couldn't do that because of file splitting.


I didn't know if the multiple partition route would work.  I thought in WinPE/RE, it didn't detect the 2nd/multiple partitions after the boot one.  Or that may have been old Windows booting where that was a limitation?  Or maybe I'm totally wrong.  Smile

jphughan
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Multi-partition works in WinPE/RE as long as you’re using WinPE/RE 10 1709 or later. Otherwise, only the first partition will be visible. That’s why Rescue Media Builder allows creating a multi-partition flash drive now, but only when you’re running Windows 10 1709 or later and building with one of those PE/RE environments.
Edited 29 December 2018 12:52 AM by jphughan
dbminter
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Ah, that was it.  I was thinking that older WinPE only recognized the first partition it booted from.  Which was why I wanted media I could build Rescue Media on and put the Reflect images on.

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