Macrium Reflect - Consolidating Images


cereberus

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Some of you are probably way of "Synthetic Fulls" that get created by a schedule and retention rules if you click option.

How it works (if you select synthetic option), is if you say to keep 4 incs, and you produce a 5th one, first one automatically get merged with full image.

I tend not to use schedules though - creating incs as I need them.

I discovered today that you can manually create a syntheti full.

To do this, you use a stand-alone feature in Macrium Reflect that lets you consolidate differentals or incrementals to its parent full image creating a "synthetic" full.



You just run consolidate.exe from c:\program files\macrium (I have created a desktop shortcut), and select full image and (for incs) last one in chain you wish to consolidate.

In a simple example, I have a full and three incrementals.
1648933893922.png

In this example, I run the consolidate.exe file and I select to integrate Full + 1st two incrementals, but not the third.

1648934248234.png

and you end up with this.

1648934404738.png

The interesting thing is the 3rd incremental does not become orphaned (or else scheduled synthetic fulls would not work).

So I ran consolidate again to see if that got merged as I expected, and it did.

1648934804548.png

Quite how useful this feature is is debatable - it saves space and if the fulls are large, it can save time.
Downside is whether it is reliable (of course we expect Reflect to be reliable) i.e. are you putting all your eggs in one basket?
 

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