Macrium Reflect saved my ass again- and a few questions


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JoeZ
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I love Macrium Reflect! While doing some intense video editing yesterday- my video card must have been overworked as my screen flashed briefly, then I got a message down near the "tray" which said the video card (? or driver) crashed but restored itself. Everything seemed OK- then I shut down. This morning, booting up was very, very, very slow. And if I ran any program- the video continued to run at maybe 10% of normal speed. I realized I was going to have to restore my boot drive. (maybe there's a more direct way to simply fix the video driver but I haven't a clue) I had seen this problem a few years ago- forgot what triggered it. Since I don't do a restore that often- I got very nervous. But since I make multiple backups on several internal and external drives- I assumed it was going to be OK.  And it was, I booted from a flash drive-then ran the restore program. I also had set up the program to run from the boot drive (if it's still working of course) - but because everything ran so slow- I decided to boot from the flash drive. The restore happened, very, very fast- like just over 4 minutes- and all is now well. I probably need to update my video driver but doing that makes me very nervous again! I think I've restored boot drives with MR on this and other computers several times- and I used it to install SSD drives. All I can say is Macrium Reflect has never failed me and I'd say the design of the program is super. I've used other backup programs and they don't compare.

So, I'm still using V6.1. I should upgrade to 7. It's not the cost that I'm concerned about. Like I've said above, I do get nervous updating programs and drivers. I understand (?) that V7 can restore a drive to another computer? If so, how does it deal with registration of software- especially the OS? I presume it can figure out any hardware differences and find the right drivers. Also, aside from that issue- if I update MR to the same computer- will I need to update my boot flash drive? I presume I will and hopefully Macrium will handle that well. I seem to recall updating it once before and it did go well- once again, Macrium Reflect is a very impressive progam.

Froggie
Froggie
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Hi Joe!  First of all, you should probably upgade to v6.3... it should be FREE.  v6 can also do restorations to dissimilar hardware (the option is called ReDEPLOY) using the Rescue Media.

The ReDEPLOY feature will definitely process a restoration to a BOOTable System but may not include the latest drivers it may need for all its hardware.  Once you load all the proper drivers (especially for any graphics interfaces), then you may create a fresh Rescue Media for the new System and it will contain all the needed drives for that System.

As far as Software registrations are concerned (as well as the OS by the way), it's a crapshoot.  Software registrations that require no more than REGISTRATION codes should work out of the box.  But many applications use not only a REGISTRATION codes but also a hardware footprint, which most always changes during a hardware upgrade.  Even Windows most likely will become deActivated as a result of that restoration (it uses a hardware footprint as well).  Macrium REFLECT will most likely fail as well unless you unInstall their license (available in their HELP menu) from the old System first.  If you don't, you'll have to work the issue with Macrium SUPPORT.

Edited 5 May 2019 7:18 PM by Froggie
JoeZ
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Froggie - 5 May 2019 7:17 PM
Hi Joe!  First of all, you should probably upgade to v6.3... it should be FREE.  v6 can also do restorations to dissimilar hardware (the option is called ReDEPLOY) using the Rescue Media.

The ReDEPLOY feature will definitely process a restoration to a BOOTable System but may not include the latest drivers it may need for all its hardware.  Once you load all the proper drivers (especially for any graphics interfaces), then you may create a fresh Rescue Media for the new System and it will contain all the needed drives for that System.

As far as Software registrations are concerned (as well as the OS by the way), it's a crapshoot.  Software registrations that require no more than REGISTRATION codes should work out of the box.  But many applications use not only a REGISTRATION codes but also a hardware footprint, which most always changes during a hardware upgrade.  Even Windows most likely will become deActivated as a result of that restoration (it uses a hardware footprint as well).  Macrium REFLECT will most likely fail as well unless you unInstall their license (available in their HELP menu) from the old System first.  If you don't, you'll have to work the issue with Macrium SUPPORT.



JoeZ
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OK, great. Now regarding my flash drive that I boot from- the "boot media"- if I update to 6.3, will I need to remake that? I vaguely recall a previous update and I think MR did that easily- still having all the necessary files on my drive somewhere to do it.

thanks,
Joe

PS. by the way, this forum has the best and fastest replies of any online community forum and I go to dozens! (Froggie, I think  I've seen you on here before- thanks for your contribution!)

Froggie
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If you upgrade to v6.3, I would remake your Rescue Media accordingly.  There was a lot of changes between v6.1 and v6.3... it's best to get those in your Rescue Media version as well.  Somewhere along the v6 timeline, I believe the actual image format changed... I don't remember when (Macrium, pls jump in here and let us know when that change occurred, thanks!).  After that change, the image format has been the same since.  Until you know for sure when that was, I would keep a copy of my v6.1 Rescue Media in case it's needed for pervious image restoration.

Normally I would say just use REFLECT and image your Reflect v6.1 USB FLASH device... but I can't.  REFLECT will not image USB FLASH removable drives... I have no idea why not.  My backup imaging application images everything, include my BOOTable Flash Media devices... I sure wish Macrium REFLECT could do that Angry

Edited 5 May 2019 9:09 PM by Froggie
dbminter
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About the question of updating to V7 and updating the Rescue Media.  If you do update to version 7, it is highly recommended to update the Rescue Media, too.  While newer versions' Rescue Media is backwards compatible, it's not always necessarily forwards compatible.  It's generally been the case, I think, where, let's say V7 Rescue Media would restore an image made by V6 Reflect, but a V6 Rescue Media would not restore an image made by V7.


There are also other reasons to keep the Rescue Media updated.  For instance when I got this new Dell XPS PC, which was my first with an SSD in it, I wanted to image the HDD before starting Windows setup so I'd have a factory default image.  So, I booted the Rescue Media I'd made with my old Dell XPS PC, but Reflect didn't recognize the SSD installed it.  Most likely because the necessarily driver wasn't included since the WinPE had been generated without the need for an SSD driver before on the old PC since it didn't have an SSD.  So, I had to do the basic Windows setup so I could install Reflect and create new Rescue Media that recognized my SSD.

Froggie
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I have restored many, many v7 images with a v6 Rescue Media without issue.  I think the only issue was the aforementioned image format change somewhere early in v6's life.
JoeZ
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Thanks, guys!
Jo

jphughan
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It’s true that updating Rescue Media isn’t technically required every time you update the installed version, and that V6 Rescue Media can work with backups captured by V7. However, new Reflect updates sometimes have bug fixes or enhancements that pertain to the Rescue environment, and especially in the case of ReDeploy, you might not realize that you even need that fix or enhancement until you’re migrating to a new PC, which won’t always be a planned event, so the fact that your old Rescue Media might work now is no guarantee that it will work in an unforeseen scenario where you might need it. And of course some bugs only arise in specific circumstances that you may or may not encounter at any given time in testing, so here again in general it's good to stay current.  Yes, there have been cases where a Reflect update introduced a bug that hampered or even completely broke the Rescue Media environment, but Macrium has typically fixed those very quickly.  In one case I remember an update to address an issue like this being released within hours of a problem report.

The only image format change I remember Macrium discussing is that V6.1 added support for Delta Incremental Indexing, so if you need to work with Delta Incrementals, you’d need at least 6.1 Rescue Media. But again, the release notes for V6 and V7 are sprinkled with red text items indicating changes that pertain to Rescue, so it’s worth updating at least to the latest V6 release.

As for moving to V7, the "headline" features are CBT (link), Macrium Image Guardian (link), and viBoot (link), and then there were some enhancements called out for the recent 7.2 update (link).  I especially like the new "completed with warnings" possible job outcome in 7.2 rather than just pure success or failure, because there are times where the backup technically completed but there's something you should be aware of, and having that notification can be crucial.  And then there are a variety of smaller enhancements that I personally really like having:

- Better display DPI scaling support for high-DPI displays (especially handy when trying to run Rescue on a laptop with a high-resolution display)
- Warnings about a job that would restore formerly encrypted partitions onto unencrypted targets
- The ability to view the progress of a backup job that started while you weren't logged in
- Popup notifications that show the name of the job that's about to run for at-a-glance convenience so the user can decide whether they may want to postpone it
- The ability to have scheduled jobs run as the SYSTEM account so you no longer have to store admin credentials with Reflect to run scheduled backups. The latter could cause scheduled backups to break if that account's password was ever changed and the user forgot to update the credentials stored with Reflect.
- The ability to store credentials for network targets so the user running the backup doesn't have to have write access. This is necessary if you run backups as the SYSTEM account of course, but even if you want to use your own user account for scheduled backups, this allows you to grant your own account just read-only access to your backup share as a ransomware protection measure during your everyday use, while still granting Reflect write access.

Edited 6 May 2019 2:55 PM by jphughan
JoeZ
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jphughan - 6 May 2019 1:43 PM
It’s true that updating Rescue Media isn’t technically required every time you update the installed version, and that V6 Rescue Media can work with backups captured by V7. However, new Reflect updates sometimes have bug fixes or enhancements that pertain to the Rescue environment, and especially in the case of ReDeploy, you might not realize that you even need that fix or enhancement until you’re migrating to a new PC, which won’t always be a planned event, so the fact that your old Rescue Media might work now is no guarantee that it will work in an unforeseen scenario where you might need it.And of course some bug only arise in specific circumstances that you may or may not encounter at any given time in testing, so here again in general it's good to stay current.  Yes, there have been cases where a Reflect update introduced a bug that hampered or even completely broke the Rescue Media environment, but Macrium has typically fixed those very quickly.  In one case I remember an update to address an issue like this being released within hours of a problem report.

The only image format change I remember Macrium discussing is that V6.1 added support for Delta Incremental Indexing, so if you need to work with Delta Incrementals, you’d need at least 6.1 Rescue Media. But again, the release notes for V6 and V7 are sprinkled with red text items indicating changes that pertain to Rescue, so it’s worth updating at least to the latest V6 release.

As for moving to V7, the "headline" features are CBT (link), Macrium Image Guardian (link), and viBoot (link), and then there were some enhancements called out for the recent 7.2 update (link).  I especially like the new "completed with warnings" possible job outcome in 7.2 rather than just pure success or failure, because there are times where the backup technically completed but there's something you should be aware of, and having that notification can be crucial.  And then there are a variety of smaller enhancements that I personally really like having:

- Better display DPI scaling support for high-DPI displays (especially handy when trying to run Rescue on a laptop with a high-resolution display)
- Warnings about a job that would restore formerly encrypted partitions onto unencrypted targets
- The ability to view the progress of a backup job that started while you weren't logged in
- Popup notifications that show the name of the job that's about to run for at-a-glance convenience so the user can decide whether they may want to postpone it
- The ability to have scheduled jobs run as the SYSTEM account so you no longer have to store admin credentials with Reflect to run scheduled backups. The latter could cause scheduled backups to break if that account's password was ever changed and the user forgot to update the credentials stored with Reflect.
- The ability to store credentials for network targets so the user running the backup doesn't have to have write access. This is necessary if you run backups as the SYSTEM account of course, but even if you want to use your own user account for scheduled backups, this allows you to grant your own account just read-only access to your backup share as a ransomware protection measure during your everyday use, while still granting Reflect write access.

jphughan, wow, thanks for that detailed commentary. As I've said above and in past messages- I've never seen a community support forum as good as this one. First chance I get I'll update to the latest version.
Joe
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