Macrium Reflect 0, EaseUS backup 1.


At one time I seem to remember, if you replaced too many components in quick succession, Windows would deactivate and you had to ring Microsoft to explain what you were doing to activate it again.

Is this no longer the case?
Before Windows 10 yes, that was the case. Windows itself checked the hardware and, if it had changed substantially, could deactivate itself.
I would have thought making a clone on a similar PC and installing the disk into another PC, no matter how similar is a recipe for disaster. At best, surely many of the drivers would be incorrect. Or have I totally misunderstood what you posted?
Activation changed completely with Windows 10. Now activation is by a digital licence, stored on Microsoft's activation servers and linked to the unique hardware ID of the PC (this hardware ID does NOT include the hard drive, so you are free to change that without losing activation). Windows is now only responsible for checking if/when the hardware has changed substantially. If it may have changed, then the hardware ID of the PC is sent to the activation servers, and they reply saying whether or not this PC has a digital licence for the edition being run (Home or Pro). Note that the digital licence did not change with Windows 11, so a PC with a digital licence for 10 will activate the same edition of 11.

If you make a clone on one PC and install the disk into another PC, then as long as that other PC already has its own digital licence for the edition of Windows on the disk, then it will activate.
 

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 Samsung EVO 870 SSD
    Internet Speed
    50 Mbps
    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. Windows Update offered the 22H2 Feature Update on 20th September 2022. It got the 23H2 Feature Update on 4th November 2023 through Windows Update.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro (and all my Hyper-V VMs).

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 256GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro RTM and Insider Beta, Dev and Canary, all as native boot vhdx.

    My SYSTEM FIVE is a Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1, Pentium Silver N5030, 4GB RAM, 128GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro, and the Insider Canary build as a native boot .vhdx.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
    CPU
    i5 M 520
    Motherboard
    0T6M8G
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics card(s)
    (integrated graphics) Intel HD Graphics
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768
    Hard Drives
    500GB Crucial MX500 SSD
    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. In-place upgrade to 22H2 using ISO and a workaround. Feature Update to 23H2 by manually installing the Enablement Package.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro (and all my Hyper-V VMs).

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 256GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro RTM and Win11 Pro Insider Beta, Dev and Canary, all as native boot vhdx.


    My SYSTEM FIVE is a Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1, Pentium Silver N5030, 4GB RAM, 128GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro.
Maybe I can find it searching "Ghost Backup"?
Don't bother. Ghost is old, inflexible, unsupported, and a pile of crap by modern standards.
 

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
Before Windows 10 yes, that was the case. Windows itself checked the hardware and, if it had changed substantially, could deactivate itself.

Activation changed completely with Windows 10. Now activation is by a digital licence, stored on Microsoft's activation servers and linked to the unique hardware ID of the PC (this hardware ID does NOT include the hard drive, so you are free to change that without losing activation). Windows is now only responsible for checking if/when the hardware has changed substantially. If it may have changed, then the hardware ID of the PC is sent to the activation servers, and they reply saying whether or not this PC has a digital licence for the edition being run (Home or Pro). Note that the digital licence did not change with Windows 11, so a PC with a digital licence for 10 will activate the same edition of 11.

If you make a clone on one PC and install the disk into another PC, then as long as that other PC already has its own digital licence for the edition of Windows on the disk, then it will activate.
Thanks Bree, interesting. Looks like I am showing my age these days ;-)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Local shop built (KC Computers Ltd)
    CPU
    Intel Core i9 13900F
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte Z690 Gaming X (rev. 1.0/1.1) - (BIOS: F29)
    Memory
    2 x Kingston Fury 32gb DDR5 5600 Beast
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte Eagle (Nvidia) RTX 3060
    Sound Card
    Chord Async USB 44.1kHz - 384kHz 2Qute DAC
    Monitor(s) Displays
    piXL PX27UDH4K 27 Inch Frameless IPS Monitor
    Screen Resolution
    4K (3840 x 2160) 60fps
    Hard Drives
    1 x KINGSTON NVMe M.2 SSDSKC3000D2048G 2TB
    1 x Samsung SSD 870 EVO 250GB
    2 x Crucial CT4000MX500SSD1 4TB
    2 x Crucial CT2000MX500SSD1 2TB
    1 x Crucial CT250MX500SSD1 250.0 GB
    PSU
    Gigabyte 750w
    Case
    Fractal Torrent
    Cooling
    Stock Intel CPU, 2 x Fractal 180mm PWM (front), 3 x Fractal 140mm PWM (bottom)
    Keyboard
    Logi H295
    Mouse
    Logi M720
    Internet Speed
    47.2 Mbps
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Eset Nod32
Don't bother. Ghost is old, inflexible, unsupported, and a pile of crap by modern standards.
I will stick with Macrium since it works for me. I used to make clone drives, but these newer laptops do not have old fashioned removable hard drives so I'm not sure a clone backup would benefit me. I have a bunch of hard drives in external cases with backups and I only save stuff in documents and some program installs. Computing has changed too much.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 15 3510
    CPU
    Intel® Celeron® N4020
    Memory
    4GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    15.6-in. display HD (1366X768)
    Hard Drives
    128 GB M.2, PCLe, NVMe, SSD
  • Operating System
    Windows 10
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 15 3552
    CPU
    Intel Celeron N3060
    Memory
    4 GB
I will stick with Macrium since it works for me. I used to make clone drives, but these newer laptops do not have old fashioned removable hard drives so I'm not sure a clone backup would benefit me. I have a bunch of hard drives in external cases with backups and I only save stuff in documents and some program installs. Computing has changed too much.
What do you mean "old fashioned removable"? Are you saying you can't replace your laptop's hard disk?!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Professional (not the cut down rubbish)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home built, of course
    CPU
    Ryzen 9 3900XT (on this one anyway, I have 8)
    Motherboard
    MSI X470 Gaming Plus Max
    Memory
    72G and 72GB and 64GB and 32GB and 32GB and 8GB and 8GB and 8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Fury and 12 Tahitis
    Sound Card
    People still use cards for those?
    Monitor(s) Displays
    7 of them.
    Screen Resolution
    All sorts.
    Hard Drives
    1TB NVME, 4TB rust spinner
    PSU
    Several kW
    Case
    Unimportant
    Cooling
    Big Zalman 6 inch thing
    Keyboard
    Really?
    Mouse
    Yes
    Internet Speed
    32Mbit/7Mbit
    Browser
    Opera
    Antivirus
    AVG
    Other Info
    [Crosses legs] Exactly what info are you looking for?
Used Macrium boot-CDs in the past , went to Ventoy-stick , much faster booting and can choose between all kind of ISOs ( Macrium, AoMEI, etc, etc )
OS-backup in about 5 minutes........... :-)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Asus
    CPU
    i7
    Motherboard
    z97k
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Hard Drives
    3
    Cooling
    air
I prefer to make a precise copy, so I can boot off the copy, instead of hoping I have the relevant software to reimage in a hurry.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Professional (not the cut down rubbish)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home built, of course
    CPU
    Ryzen 9 3900XT (on this one anyway, I have 8)
    Motherboard
    MSI X470 Gaming Plus Max
    Memory
    72G and 72GB and 64GB and 32GB and 32GB and 8GB and 8GB and 8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Fury and 12 Tahitis
    Sound Card
    People still use cards for those?
    Monitor(s) Displays
    7 of them.
    Screen Resolution
    All sorts.
    Hard Drives
    1TB NVME, 4TB rust spinner
    PSU
    Several kW
    Case
    Unimportant
    Cooling
    Big Zalman 6 inch thing
    Keyboard
    Really?
    Mouse
    Yes
    Internet Speed
    32Mbit/7Mbit
    Browser
    Opera
    Antivirus
    AVG
    Other Info
    [Crosses legs] Exactly what info are you looking for?
I use both Easeus Todo Backup Home (ETBH) (lifetime licenses) and Macrium Reflect Home Version 8 (MR) on both of my computers, alternating my weekly system images between them.

In my personal experience, MR is much faster, especially when verifying images: MR 12 minutes vs. ETBH 35 minutes for its "Check Image." As such, I prefer MR.

For my less-experienced clients, where the objective is to encourage them to implement a sound and regular backup strategy, I often recommend ETBH because the GUI is less intimidating.

I have never had either program fail me in the years I have been using them.

In the end, people should choose what works best for them. Implementing a robust strategy is the most important computer security consideration, so often ignored or overlooked by far too many computer users, sadly.

Just my two cents. Have a great day.

Regards,
Phil
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro Version 23H2 (Build 22631.3155)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS8930 SE
    CPU
    Intel i7-9700K 4700 MHz
    Motherboard
    Dell XPS 8930
    Memory
    32 GB (4 x 8GB SK Hynix DDR4 @1333 MHz) (2666 MHz)
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (6 GB) GDDR6 300 MHz
    Sound Card
    None
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell UltraSharp U2518D 25"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    NVMe Intel 1024 TB
    Seagate 2 TB, SATA-III
    PSU
    850 W Gold Standard
    Case
    Dell XPS 8930 Base (Special Edition)
    Cooling
    Air
    Keyboard
    Dell 0G4D2W
    Mouse
    Dell MOCZUL
    Internet Speed
    Download 553 Mbps, Upload 686 Mbps
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Bitdefender Total Security, plus Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    BIOS Version 1.1.31
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro Version 23H2 (Build 22631.3155)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 15 7590
    CPU
    i7-9750H 4.5 GHz
    Motherboard
    Dell XPS 15 7590
    Memory
    16 GB (2 x 8GB @ 1333 MHz) DDR4-2666 MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce 1650 4 GB GDDR5
    Sound Card
    None
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell XPS 15 7590, 15.6" InfinityEdge Anti-Glare, Non-Touch
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    512 GB M.2 PCle NVMe SK Hynix
    PSU
    130W Power Adapter
    Case
    Dell XPS 15 7590
    Cooling
    Air
    Mouse
    Logitech M510
    Keyboard
    Laptop
    Internet Speed
    Download: 400 Mbps, Upload: 203 Mbps
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Bitdefender Total Security, plus Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    BIOS Version 1.25.0
I prefer to make a precise copy, so I can boot off the copy, instead of hoping I have the relevant software to reimage in a hurry.
Cloning has it's place - main limitation is one clone per backup drive (at least not without some effort).

You can have multiple image backups at different stages on one backup drive,

Most modern image backup tools will install the reimaging software on a hard drive and create a boot entry so you do not even need a usb boot drive in most cases. Of course, you still need a usb boot drive in case hard disk with the recovery software has failed or got corrupted.
 

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
I use both Easeus Todo Backup Home (ETBH) (lifetime licenses) and Macrium Reflect Home Version 8 (MR) on both of my computers, alternating my weekly system images between them.

In my personal experience, MR is much faster, especially when verifying images: MR 12 minutes vs. ETBH 35 minutes for its "Check Image." As such, I prefer MR.

For my less-experienced clients, where the objective is to encourage them to implement a sound and regular backup strategy, I often recommend ETBH because the GUI is less intimidating.

I have never had either program fail me in the years I have been using them.

Neither had I until I came to clone a Dell server. I guess there was something unusual about the hardware Macrium didn't like. But it's caused me to stop trusting the program.

Cloning has it's place - main limitation is one clone per backup drive (at least not without some effort).

I don't consider that a limitation. A seperate drive for each backup is safer anyway incase one fails. And I just choose a drive big enough for the purpose.

You can have multiple image backups at different stages on one backup drive,

Most modern image backup tools will install the reimaging software on a hard drive and create a boot entry so you do not even need a usb boot drive in most cases. Of course, you still need a usb boot drive in case hard disk with the recovery software has failed or got corrupted.
I don't want extra complications. Having a drive which is already ready is much safer. It also means you don't have to stick to the same software or remember what to do, you're just creating an identical copy.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Professional (not the cut down rubbish)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home built, of course
    CPU
    Ryzen 9 3900XT (on this one anyway, I have 8)
    Motherboard
    MSI X470 Gaming Plus Max
    Memory
    72G and 72GB and 64GB and 32GB and 32GB and 8GB and 8GB and 8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Fury and 12 Tahitis
    Sound Card
    People still use cards for those?
    Monitor(s) Displays
    7 of them.
    Screen Resolution
    All sorts.
    Hard Drives
    1TB NVME, 4TB rust spinner
    PSU
    Several kW
    Case
    Unimportant
    Cooling
    Big Zalman 6 inch thing
    Keyboard
    Really?
    Mouse
    Yes
    Internet Speed
    32Mbit/7Mbit
    Browser
    Opera
    Antivirus
    AVG
    Other Info
    [Crosses legs] Exactly what info are you looking for?
What do you mean "old fashioned removable"? Are you saying you can't replace your laptop's hard disk?!
No, I meant the older laptops one could take the HD out from the side, that kind of thing like my older pre-3500 models.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 15 3510
    CPU
    Intel® Celeron® N4020
    Memory
    4GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    15.6-in. display HD (1366X768)
    Hard Drives
    128 GB M.2, PCLe, NVMe, SSD
  • Operating System
    Windows 10
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 15 3552
    CPU
    Intel Celeron N3060
    Memory
    4 GB
No, I meant the older laptops one could take the HD out from the side, that kind of thing like my older pre-3500 models.
I have so much set up on my computer, I need more than a backup. I like a precise copy.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Professional (not the cut down rubbish)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home built, of course
    CPU
    Ryzen 9 3900XT (on this one anyway, I have 8)
    Motherboard
    MSI X470 Gaming Plus Max
    Memory
    72G and 72GB and 64GB and 32GB and 32GB and 8GB and 8GB and 8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Fury and 12 Tahitis
    Sound Card
    People still use cards for those?
    Monitor(s) Displays
    7 of them.
    Screen Resolution
    All sorts.
    Hard Drives
    1TB NVME, 4TB rust spinner
    PSU
    Several kW
    Case
    Unimportant
    Cooling
    Big Zalman 6 inch thing
    Keyboard
    Really?
    Mouse
    Yes
    Internet Speed
    32Mbit/7Mbit
    Browser
    Opera
    Antivirus
    AVG
    Other Info
    [Crosses legs] Exactly what info are you looking for?

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