CBT and MIG


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Hello everyone. I'm brand new to the forum and have a noob question.
I've been using the free version for a month and just upgraded to the Home version.
The question: Is there any upside or downside to using CBT or MIG?
I did not install these features when I installed the paid version. I'm not using incremental backups at this moment so I didn't see a need for CBT. I wasn't sure about MIG. I'm a little confused as to whether is locks the entire drive you're using it on or just the Macrium backup files?​ I'm assuming the later is the case.

I was a long time Norton Ghost user and for the past 2 years have been using Aomei Backupper Pro. I know all products have some problems but I was seeing too many small glitches with Aomei lately and thought I'd give Macrium a try. So far I've been very happy with it. I believe in supporting any company whose product I'm using so I switched to the paid version. I'm a retired airline pilot with plenty of spare time on my hands and I enjoy building and repairing PC's and participating in user forums. In the future, I hope I can be of some help to the users who post here but for the time being I'm sure I'll be the one asking questions until I get comfortable with the program.​​​​
jphughan
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If you won't be using Incremental or Differential images, then CBT will never do anything for you.  If you use either of those, then CBT eliminates the "Looking for changes" step that occurs at the beginning of the job.  If that task takes a while for your backups and/or you perform a lot of backups in a day, then you may want to consider performing a Change install to add CBT.  Otherwise, you may prefer to keep your installation simpler by not using it.  CBT has definitely created issues in the past on some systems where it's installed.

As for MIG, you might find the KB article about it here useful, but it only blocks modify/delete access to Macrium backup files, and it can be temporarily disabled when you need to do something to your backups manually.

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Thanks. I did read that some were having problems with the CBT module. I am using differential images but they are done at night so the time required to finish the backup isn't really a factor. I read the article you provided on MIG and it seems to be a worthwhile feature. I'll let the new install run a few weeks to make sure all my backup sets (on 2 PC's) that carried over are running correctly and then try to add it. I am using Malwarebytes Pro and Norton Security and feel comfortable for the time that I'm fairly well protected from any outside attempt to attack my system. Of course adding MIG would add an extra layer of protection and I'm all for that. While my normal backup strategy is to use local drives for the backup location, I also use an external USB drive to store a full system backup every few weeks or so. It is kept apart from the PC and locked up when not in use.
Again, thanks for the quick response and I'm looking forward to using this forum to learn as much as I can about the best ways to use Macrium (as well as finding about potential problems I might encounter).​
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Flyer - 3 January 2019 5:00 PM
Thanks. I did read that some were having problems with the CBT module. I am using differential images but they are done at night so the time required to finish the backup isn't really a factor. I read the article you provided on MIG and it seems to be a worthwhile feature. I'll let the new install run a few weeks to make sure all my backup sets (on 2 PC's) that carried over are running correctly and then try to add it. I am using Malwarebytes Pro and Norton Security and feel comfortable for the time that I'm fairly well protected from any outside attempt to attack my system. Of course adding MIG would add an extra layer of protection and I'm all for that. While my normal backup strategy is to use local drives for the backup location, I also use an external USB drive to store a full system backup every few weeks or so. It is kept apart from the PC and locked up when not in use.
Again, thanks for the quick response and I'm looking forward to using this forum to learn as much as I can about the best ways to use Macrium (as well as finding about potential problems I might encounter).

Welcome to the forum and enjoy exploring.  In terms of MIG compared to other anti-malware solutions, you should be aware of a fundamental difference between them.  Pretty much every AV solution employs a "black list" approach. Basically, they use heuristics and definition files to identify and block "known malicious" applications, but they otherwise default to allowing activity. That keeps them from being so obtrusive that users are driven to disable them, but it also means they can fail to block certain malware. MIG takes the opposite and much more hard-line approach, called a "white list". It operates on the premise that Macrium's applications are trusted, and everything else is categorically not trusted. That obviously makes it less flexible, which is why the white list design is typically considered impractical for solutions that are designed to protect multiple file types that might need to be edited by multiple applications.  But in the case of MIG, it's only focused on protecting backup files, and those typically only need to be modified by Macrium applications, so it can "afford" to use this design -- and as a result it is both simpler and more secure than the other solutions' black list-based designs can ever be.

Additionally, I remember a thread a while ago where someone found that running a full system scan with some Norton product caused MIG alerts to pop up about blocking unauthorized access.  Macrium replied that MIG is basically working as designed there, because for reasons that are unclear, Norton during its scan tries to open those files for write access, which MIG is meant to block.  So if you want to use MIG, you should exclude the folder that contains your backups from scans.  You should also be aware that third-party anti-virus in general has occasionally been found to block or dramatically slow down certain Reflect operations, particularly backups and Rescue Media creation, so keep an eye out for that.  If you have those issues, you may need to exclude the applications in the Reflect installation folder from scanning.  I gave up on third-party AV when Microsoft introduced Security (which was later rolled into Windows Defender), and especially in this era of frequent Windows releases, I've found that it's simply a poor cost/benefit proposition.  Third-party solutions don't seem to fare notably better than Windows Defender in independent tests these days, and especially in this era of frequent Windows 10 releases, AV solutions can and have created problems such as BSoDs after updates more frequently because they hook the OS in ways that Microsoft doesn't support.  And then there are the cases where third-party AV itself has become a security vulnerability.  Turns out that when your application embeds itself deeply into the OS and inserts itself basically everywhere, a flaw in your code that can be exploited by an attacker gives them pervasive access to your system.  Norton was in the news for this not long ago.  So my philosophy has been that if I'm not getting noticeably better protection, it doesn't make sense to accept the interference with legitimate activity and increased risk of stability and security issues, and in many cases pay a subscription for the privilege.

Macrium has a KB article about anti-virus and some other utilities here if you're interested.

Edited 3 January 2019 7:24 PM by jphughan
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Good reply and good advice. So far Norton has been doing full system scans and not showing any problems with Macrium files. I will add them to Norton's exclusion list though as a precaution once I activate MIG. If it's slowing down the process, again, the images are being done at night and time is not of the essence. When I do a manual Macrium backup to the external USB drive, it goes a lot faster than Aomei does so I can't be upset with that for the moment. I fully understand what MIG is doing vs Malwarebytes and Norton. A great way to add protection. Fortunately or unfortunately, I still have over 400 days left on my Norton subscription. I've read the articles about Windows Defender now and agree it may be sufficient. I think I want to keep Malwarebytes Pro as it has stopped entry to some websites that it has deemed to be a "bad actor", a feature which I think might be more important for the way my wife browses. I've read a lot of your responses to others before I joined the forum and I respect the advice and help you are giving. I'm sure you'll see me lurking here quite often as I try to absorb all the information provided here.
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