File and Folder Backup in Macrium Reflect Home (MRH)


Haydon

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Anyone uses the feature in the title of this thread (File and Folder Backup in MRH) ?

I have been playing with Macrium Reflect Free (MRF) that does not have the feature (although MRF can mount a full disk image that you can copy and paste from) If I don't take advantage of the current 50% sale ...

... what benefits will I be missing out on?

It's about the 'File and Folder Backup' feature only, not about all the other additional features that MRH also has. For example, how does this MRH feature compare to File History or RoboCopy?

(Please, just the facts, Ma'am (y))
 

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cereberus

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In the end, it is handy but does really not do anything you could not do with file explorer and zip files.

Its main benefit is it compresses the files and folders saving space.

You can also do incremental or differential backups.

To me, it is a nice to have feature but not an essential feature.
 

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Haydon

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@cereberus What about the verification options that you don't get with a plain zip file? On the one hand, it's a LOT of data in 1 big file! On the other hand, maybe the verification options aren't worth much?

@Wynona Thanks, but I knew about the feature comparison chart and wanted to limit the scope to the one feature as per title and OP
 

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Wynona

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So, basically, all you're wanting is to compare file and folder backup in Macrium with other backup options?
 

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Bree

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Anyone uses the feature in the title of this thread (File and Folder Backup in MRH) ?

I have been playing with Macrium Reflect Free (MRF) that does not have the feature (although MRF can mount a full disk image that you can copy and paste from) If I don't take advantage of the current 50% sale ...

...For example, how does this MRH feature compare to File History or RoboCopy?


To be honest, I don't use this feature in my Reflect Home. I have looked at it. It does have the advantages that a) you could schedule it, and b) you could use incrementals. In that respect it is similar to File History, you could pick a backed up file from any point in time by mounting the appropriate incremental.

If you'd like to try it, you can turn your Reflect Free into the 30 day trial just by trying to use a Premium feature.

1653844494863.png

At the end of the trial it will revert to Reflect Free, but Free will still be able to restore any images made using a Premium feature.

I back up my most important user files separately from Reflect, using a batch script that I wrote some 8 years ago. It can do full or incremental backups. Initially it was written to use XCopy but is now using RoboCopy.
 

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cereberus

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@cereberus What about the verification options that you don't get with a plain zip file? On the one hand, it's a LOT of data in 1 big file! On the other hand, maybe the verification options aren't worth much?

@Wynona Thanks, but I knew about the feature comparison chart and wanted to limit the scope to the one feature as per title and OP
I never bother with verification as I have said before. Its roots date back to time when writing media was much less reliable. But fair point, one extra plus.

In the end, there are a number of features of Reflect Home I consider make it worthwhile and F&F backup is ok but not for me particularly.

I would like to see a file sync behaviour as in AOMEI Backupper Pro.
 

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Haydon

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In any backup and restore operation, the overriding objective is whether the Restored Data (5) is identical to the Original Data (1) and various methods are used to ensure that the objective is achieved, some of these methods are better than others, especially when HUGE amounts of data is at stake. Below is what I know or seem to know, comments welcome.

pic01.jpg

Macrium Reflect: In verifying (1)>(2)>(3) a hash of (1) is stored in (3) so that before doing (3)>(4)>(5) you can check the hash. Note that there is NO comparison of Backed Up Data (3) vs Original Data (1). Note that there is NO comparison of Restored Data (5) vs Backed Up Data (3). There are logs of (1)>(2)>(3) and (3)>(4)>(5) that do NOT always go down to file level.

File History: There are logs of (1)>(2)>(3) and (3)>(4)>(5) that do NOT always go down to file level and the dangerous thing is that errors in the low-level logs MAY NOT appear in the high-level GUI! This can give you a false sense of security, e.g. running File History after making a big change may not capture that big change unless you check the logs and/or do a test restore of that big change. File History seems to rely on the default automatic hourly backups in the background, what it misses in the present run will be captured in the next run.

RoboCopy: There are detail logs down to file level for (1)>(2)>(3) and (3)>(4)>(5) that always go down to file level unless you exclude them.

My current level of confidence for HUGE amounts of user data backup and restore (1)>(2)>(3)>(4)>(5)
RoboCopy (y)(y)(y)
Macrium Reflect (y)(y)
File History (y)
 

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cereberus

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How does the file sync in AOMEI Backupper Pro compare to File History?
Completely different beasts.

FHB backs up files (with version numbers) to the backup folders. This is done periodically. You can roll back to earlier versions.

file sync - allows you to keep contents of two folders aligned in real time. So it you add or subtract a file in source folder, the target folder can get immediately updated (if you choose real time option). It is like syncing to onedrive, except you sync to a folder of your choice.


The target or source folder can even be on a removable drive, and it syncs immediately it is plugged in. One of the members here, writes to external usb drives when out at a client, and when he gets home, files get automsatically synched to his permanent storage drives.

The AOMEI version also has a neat two-way synching facility i.e. you can add a file to either folder, and it updates other one.

This guide give basic overview


There are various tools like freefile sync which are popular but I have never used them.

I have my Reflect image files set up to synch to external usb drive, and when I plug it in, I just click on synch task, and it does it. I do not bother with real time as files are large and I do not always want to synch.
 

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Haydon

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@Bree Thanks for mentioning the 30 day trial of MRH. I have begun playing with the 'File and Folder Backup' :) What bothers me is that I cannot find a way to exclude 'Hidden Files/Folders' and 'System Files/Folders' from the backup, or did I overlook something, anyone?

@cereberus Thanks for the AOMEI link! The 'Scheduled Sync' of AOMEI can be run in hourly intervals, making it similar (not identical) to File History. However, AOMEI Logs (as shown by way of example in the Tools tab of the website) look even less confidence inspiring than the Logs of File History.

-------------
Conceptually, File History is ideal for my purposes, i.e. automatic hourly backup of user data in the background, with the option of doing a manual backup run at any time (y) I just wish that it had better tools to monitor/ensure data integrity (n)
 

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cereberus

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@Bree Thanks for mentioning the 30 day trial of MRH. I have begun playing with the 'File and Folder Backup' :) What bothers me is that I cannot find a way to exclude 'Hidden Files/Folders' and 'System Files/Folders' from the backup, or did I overlook something, anyone?

@cereberus Thanks for the AOMEI link! The 'Scheduled Sync' of AOMEI can be run in hourly intervals, making it similar (not identical) to File History. However, AOMEI Logs (as shown by way of example in the Tools tab of the website) look even less confidence inspiring than the Logs of File History.

-------------
Conceptually, File History is ideal for my purposes, i.e. automatic hourly backup of user data in the background, with the option of doing a manual backup run at any time (y) I just wish that it had better tools to monitor/ensure data integrity (n)
That was an old AOMEI demo.

It does realtime synching. Worked fine so far for my needs.
 

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Haydon

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Well, like you in your previous post, I am not going to use real time sync for large amounts of data, I would only do scheduled or manual sync (the linked website shows that AOMEI provides 5 basic types of sync that can be used in various combinations)

The real point, though, is that the AOMEI Logs (for backup, restore, clone, sync, etc) are bad in the sense that you can only see that there are errors, but you can't use it for error tracking, IMHO
 

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cereberus

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Well, like you in your previous post, I am not going to use real time sync for large amounts of data, I would only do scheduled or manual sync (the linked website shows that AOMEI provides 5 basic types of sync that can be used in various combinations)

The real point, though, is that the AOMEI Logs (for backup, restore, clone, sync, etc) are bad in the sense that you can only see that there are errors, but you can't use it for error tracking, IMHO
I only use the sync for reflect images but as we both say, not in real time. If I want real time data syncing, I use onedrive anyway.
 

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Haydon

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At the end of the trial it will revert to Reflect Free, but Free will still be able to restore any images made using a Premium feature.
MRFree cannot restore a 'File and Folder Backup' as per user manual. You need a paid licence (at least a paid licence for MRHome) to do such a restore. The (30 day) trial version of MRHome cannot do such a restore.

(MRFree can restore a full disk image which is a bit counter-intuitive)

In other words, one would need at least a 30 day trial version of MRHome to create a 'File and Folder Backup' on the source computer and a paid licence for MRHome on the destination computer to restore the 'File and Folder Backup' on the destination computer.
--------------
I am still evaluating the trial version of MRHome, and I am still bothered that there seems to be no way to exclude 'Hidden Files/Folders' and 'System Files/Folders' from the 'Files and Folders Backup' as I wrote before.

In other words, there seems to be no way for the 'Files and Folders Backup' to contain user data and nothing else. Of course, I could mount the 'Files and Folders Backup' in File Explorer and copy and paste from it, but in so doing there wouldn't be ANY restore logs to inspect afterwards :( (I could do the copy and paste from mounting the full disk image using MRFree too, there would be no point in using MRHome)

MR seems to be treating 'Files and Folders Backup' as doing a part of 'Full Disk Backup' rather than creating a 'clean' solution for the former, oh well.
 

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cereberus

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MRFree cannot restore a 'File and Folder Backup' as per user manual. You need a paid licence (at least a paid licence for MRHome) to do such a restore. The (30 day) trial version of MRHome cannot do such a restore.

(MRFree can restore a full disk image which is a bit counter-intuitive)

In other words, one would need at least a 30 day trial version of MRHome to create a 'File and Folder Backup' on the source computer and a paid licence for MRHome on the destination computer to restore the 'File and Folder Backup' on the destination computer.
--------------
I am still evaluating the trial version of MRHome, and I am still bothered that there seems to be no way to exclude 'Hidden Files/Folders' and 'System Files/Folders' from the 'Files and Folders Backup' as I wrote before.

In other words, there seems to be no way for the 'Files and Folders Backup' to contain user data and nothing else. Of course, I could mount the 'Files and Folders Backup' in File Explorer and copy and paste from it, but in so doing there wouldn't be ANY restore logs to inspect afterwards :( (I could do the copy and paste from mounting the full disk image using MRFree too, there would be no point in using MRHome)

MR seems to be treating 'Files and Folders Backup' as doing a part of 'Full Disk Backup' rather than creating a 'clean' solution for the former, oh well.
This is not entirely correct - the 30 day trial does let you restore a file and folder backup within its 30 day trial period. I just tested it.

Also, I am not sure what you are backing up that you need to exclude hidden files/folders and system files/folders - I would not select them in first instance. My backups only contain user data.

1654199262434.png
 

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Bree

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MRFree cannot restore a 'File and Folder Backup' as per user manual. You need a paid licence (at least a paid licence for MRHome) to do such a restore.
I beg to differ. Just right-click on a .mrbak file and select Restore from the context menu.....

1654201289123.png

1654201305417.png
 

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Bree

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This is not entirely correct - the 30 day trial does let you restore a file and folder backup within its 30 day trial period. I just tested it.
So does Free, I've just tested that. See my screenshots above. Oddly though, after the successful restore it told me that 'this feature is not available' :eek1:

1654202025138.png


Free also can mount a .mrbak file as a virtual drive by double-clicking on it, same as it would for a .mrimg file.

1654202391847.png
 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire 3 A315-23
    CPU
    AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon Graphics
    Monitor(s) Displays
    laptop screen
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768 native resolution, up to 2560x1440 with Radeon Virtual Super Resolution
    Hard Drives
    1TB HDD
    Browser
    Edge, Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
    CPU
    i5 M 520
    Motherboard
    0T6M8G
    Memory
    4GB
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768
    Hard Drives
    500GB HDD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.

cereberus

Well-known member
Pro User
VIP
Local time
12:09 AM
Posts
2,241
OS
Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
So does Free, I've just tested that. See my screenshots above. Oddly though, after the successful restore it told me that 'this feature is not available' :eek1:

View attachment 30606

I was just about to post same thing - Free version definitely restores an F&F backup via context menu (but not directly from GUI) - I never knew that until you posted it:D(y).

I think the message is simply to remind you the File and Folder Backup feature is not in Free i.e. you cannot MAKE backups.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS Vivobook 14
    CPU
    I7
    Motherboard
    Yep, Laptop has one.
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated Intel Iris XE
    Sound Card
    Realtek built in
    Monitor(s) Displays
    N/A
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Optane NVME SSD, 1 TB NVME SSD
    PSU
    Yep, got one
    Case
    Yep, got one
    Cooling
    Stella Artois
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Bluetooth , wired
    Internet Speed
    72 Mb/s :-(
    Browser
    Edge mostly
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    TPM 2.0

Bree

Well-known member
Guru
VIP
Local time
12:09 AM
Posts
4,133
Location
S/E England, UK
OS
Windows 11 Home
Free version definitely restores an F&F backup via context menu (but not directly from GUI)
No, the one thing you cannot do from the GUI in Free is browse for and find a .mrbak file, the only file type is shows is .mrimg.

1654203063239.png

If you specifically type in the file name of a .mrbak file so that you can select it, Free then prompts you to upgrade to Trial in order to continue.

There are however no restrictions whatsoever in Free if you choose 'Open an image or backup file in Windows Explorer' from the Existing Backup Tasks' list. That can find and mount a .mrbak file.

1654203477224.png
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire 3 A315-23
    CPU
    AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon Graphics
    Monitor(s) Displays
    laptop screen
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768 native resolution, up to 2560x1440 with Radeon Virtual Super Resolution
    Hard Drives
    1TB HDD
    Browser
    Edge, Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
    CPU
    i5 M 520
    Motherboard
    0T6M8G
    Memory
    4GB
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768
    Hard Drives
    500GB HDD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.
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