Why should I choose Macrium Reflect?


cereberus

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don-t-panic-the-answer-is-42.png
6x9 = 42 is true if you get point of the scrabble episode where Arthur select tiles randomly and the question pops up - "what do you get if you multiply six times nine". Clue for the baffled - think 13.
 

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GCG1000

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Hello community!

As an average (or above average) user myself, I have some experience in installing/ restoring Windows, doing a backup, etc. People have a natural preference for GUI over command line. But there are many who prefer built-in utilities to 3rd party solutions for multiple reasons:

1. Built-in utilities are good enough.
2. 3rd party solutions can be a privacy risk.
3. 3rd party solutions can be a security risk.
4. 3rd party solutions can be a resource hog.

In this context, let's look at the pros and cons of a very popular program - Macrium Reflect!

I have hardly used this program, but I do have some initial impressions:

1. I don't like the fact that they don't give you the link to download the actual program. They only give you an installer link, which then downloads the program for you. This itself raises a few questions on privacy.

2. The program size is very big compared to competition.

3. The program runs a mandatory background service.

4. The program punches a hole for an incoming connection in Windows Firewall, without your knowledge.

The above reasons are good enough for me to look at it skeptically.

Since I haven't used this program much, I would like to hear specific benefits of this program over others. If you love this program, please list the exact things you use it for, and why this is the best among competition.

Here, I'll post why I don't really need Macrium Reflect for doing my system backups:

I prefer to have my system images as an ISO for the following reasons:

1. Just two commands (in Windows Terminal/ Command Prompt/ PowerShell/ Deployment Tools from Windows ADK ) are required. It is extremely easy to copy and paste those commands. The 1st command generates the image.wim file and the 2nd command creates an ISO using the same file. You need to have files from an installation disk for the 2nd command though, and that is just about 700 MB in size.

2. It can be installed in a Virtual Machine (VM).

3. It can be installed in an external disk
(only Sysprep Generalized images will be bootable though on other computers).

4. I can extract the install.wim file from the ISO and use DISM to install/ restore the image on my system. No 3rd party utilities required. And no need to nuke the whole disk which happens if one were to use 3rd party utilties like Rufus or WinToUSB.

The built-in Windows System Image utility is good for the most part, but comes with limitations:

1. It can only be restored if partitions on your disk have not changed since the image was taken. If you force a restore, you will lose your existing partitions and the data in them.
2. It can only be used on the source machine that was imaged.

The default Recovery Disk created using built-in utilities is good enough to get your system up and running if you have an image backup like the one described above. If you have a working Recovery partition, then the Recovery Disk isn't even required.

Since I haven't used the program extensively, I may be missing something. I am interested in the following:

1. What are your reasons to choose Macrium Reflect despite the above?
2. What can Macrium Reflect do that built-in utilities can't?
3. Why do you think Macrium Reflect is the best among competition?

Thanks.
Because it always works correctly!
 

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Zardoc

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Hi folks,
Just wanted to add my bit in here.

So I just switched from Acronis 2021 to Macrium Home version. Backups are easy to make and fast. I like it.

What bothers me though is: (Correct me or the show me the way if I'm wrong. I'd appreciate it)
1) Recovery is only with USB WinPE on reboot. Acronis will reboot system and launch recovery without intervention. (I love that)
2) Saving a Veracrypt file on a NAS is very complicated with Macrium. I haven't even fully mastered it yet, but I'm close. I want to delete last file and shutdown. Manually it worked, scheduled it just ran but didn't replace the file and then shut the computer. With Acronis you choose the file, give a timeline, choose backup type to delete old version. I didn't use shutdown command because I have a batch file for that.

Like I said in another post, Macrium is offering me what Acronis doesn't anymore, a perpetual licence and a simpler way to disable cyber protect (which really isn't that hard to disable). I think Macrium is just as good as Acronis but the TI user interface is simpler. But for the price, Macrium wins hands down.:wink: (y)
 

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cereberus

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Hi folks,
Just wanted to add my bit in here.

So I just switched from Acronis 2021 to Macrium Home version. Backups are easy to make and fast. I like it.

What bothers me though is: (Correct me or the show me the way if I'm wrong. I'd appreciate it)
1) Recovery is only with USB WinPE on reboot. Acronis will reboot system and launch recovery without intervention. (I love that)
2) Saving a Veracrypt file on a NAS is very complicated with Macrium. I haven't even fully mastered it yet, but I'm close. I want to delete last file and shutdown. Manually it worked, scheduled it just ran but didn't replace the file and then shut the computer. With Acronis you choose the file, give a timeline, choose backup type to delete old version. I didn't use shutdown command because I have a batch file for that.

Like I said in another post, Macrium is offering me what Acronis doesn't anymore, a perpetual licence and a simpler way to disable cyber protect (which really isn't that hard to disable). I think Macrium is just as good as Acronis but the TI user interface is simpler. But for the price, Macrium wins hands down.:wink: (y)
Item 1 is incorrect. If you have setup Reflect as a boot option, you can setup a restore from the Windows environment and it will ask to if you wish to reboot to WinPe mode - you do not need a usb drive (you still need one in case a hard drive fails of course).

It is correct to ask if you wish to go to WinPe mode as you may be working on something you need to save first.
 

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Fortitude

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My apologies if it has already been mentioned in this thread, but I could add that Macrium Reflect has Image Guardian which is very effective at protecting your backups from any attempt at malicious or otherwise tampering.
 

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Zardoc

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Item 1 is incorrect. If you have setup Reflect as a boot option, you can setup a restore from the Windows environment and it will ask to if you wish to reboot to WinPe mode - you do not need a usb drive (you still need one in case a hard drive fails of course).

It is correct to ask if you wish to go to WinPe mode as you may be working on something you need to save first.
Ahh, now I'm getting somewhere. So I have to setup a boot option with Macrium?. OK this isn't necessary with Acronis, Reboot will automatically launch Acronis recovery console.

OK will do. Thanks
 

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Bree

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So I have to setup a boot option with Macrium?. OK this isn't necessary with Acronis, Reboot will automatically launch Acronis recovery console.
Actually you don't need to set up Macrium recovery as a boot option either, but it saves a little time in you have already done so. On choosing to restore an image of the C: partition from within Windows Macrium will try to boot to its recovery environment, and if that has not been set up yet will offer to build it for you before rebooting.
 

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    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.

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Zardoc

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Actually you don't need to set up Macrium recovery as a boot option either, but it saves a little time in you have already done so. On choosing to restore an image of the C: partition from within Windows Macrium will try to boot to its recovery environment, and if that has not been set up yet will offer to build it for you before rebooting.
Hi @Bree,

I get your point. I created the recovery boot option but reduced boot option to 4 seconds. What I like about Acronis is that you don't need to do any of that. Acronis does it all and you don't have to create a boot environment.

That's really not an issue for me what is a real pain is the backup schedule for my Veracrypt. :rolleyes:
 

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Zardoc

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That's really not an issue for me what is a real pain is the backup schedule for my Veracrypt.:rolleyes:
I think I found the solution. A noticed that a template is only a template. I created the template but did not add the source files and options. So the template ran but without a source. DUHHH :wink: :oops:

1640266932673.png

Forgot to add shutdown. It's not in your face. o_O
 

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Zardoc

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Just checked. It's in the right place and it purged last backup. SUCCESS!! :giggle::coffee:

1640267573646.png
 

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Senecio

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I changed from Acronis True Image 2020 to Macrium Reflect Home in the last month (partly in response to the points made in this thread). I was surprised to find that my system ran faster with Macrium Reflect. Of course this could be because I had some misconfiguration of the old Acronis installation, but I'm quite pleased with the outcome. I find the user interface inferior to Acronis, but I have tested it with all my usual backups and it runs quickly and has restored correctly. If I can work out how to do it, here is a picture of Performance test showing two results with Acronis and two with Macrium - no other changes.
1640796001400.png

Specifically, the 2D Graphics and the Disk Mark were faster.

John
 

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CornishRattler

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I changed from Acronis True Image 2020 to Macrium Reflect Home in the last month (partly in response to the points made in this thread). I was surprised to find that my system ran faster with Macrium Reflect. Of course this could be because I had some misconfiguration of the old Acronis installation, but I'm quite pleased with the outcome. I find the user interface inferior to Acronis, but I have tested it with all my usual backups and it runs quickly and has restored correctly. If I can work out how to do it, here is a picture of Performance test showing two results with Acronis and two with Macrium - no other changes.
View attachment 17154

Specifically, the 2D Graphics and the Disk Mark were faster.

John
I always found Acronis very resource hungry
 

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RD Mercer

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I guess they all have there good and bad. I like Acronis so I can backup to the cloud, and you don't have to use a rescue disk, If your boot drive won't boot. My guess is even if you have your image backup on a slave drive, and the boot drive won't boot, you have to use a rescue disk? I just like to be able to stick in Acronis on my flash drive, and recover from my drive I have all my image backup's on, just is easier for this old man. :)
 

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cereberus

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Time this tedious thread was abandoned. OP had no interest in whether Macrium was any good or not as evident by various posts.
 

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RD Mercer

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Time this tedious thread was abandoned. OP had no interest in whether Macrium was any good or not as evident by various posts.
I just went back and read this whole thread, I believe you are correct!
 

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TheMystic

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I just went back and read this whole thread, I believe you are correct!
That's incorrect.

The discussions in comment section has been aptly summed up here:

Of course. But as you can see for yourself, practically nobody cares about that, and so your criticism, although it is nonetheless valid, it gets treated like a formality by most, and so the behavior of treating it like a formality is best described as popular behavior.

It is difficult to pull people out of their comfort zones. People tend to become rigid and closed to a perspective that requires them to take an objective assessment of what could be potentially wrong with their existing practices and methods.

It is one thing to understand (and knowingly accept) the risks, and completely another to blindly deny that it exists.

I have no interest or motivation to pursue further when people like living in denial.
 

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jimbo45

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Hi folks
It really doesn't matter what backup system you use so long as you DO TAKE BACKUPS. I believe Macrium is simple easy and reliable like many on these Forums, while others use different programs. I also use things like rsync/grsync and the old DD. Others might simply use robocopy or even Windows/File explorer, or if they have cloud access use their cloud providers backup service if they have one.

However whatever system you use 1) CHECK THE BACKUP FROM TIME TO TIME TO SEE IF IT STILL RECOVERS, and 2 )TEST A FULL RCOVERY FROM BARE METAL.

These days often your data (e.g music, photos, documents) etc is often far more valuable than even the hardware its stored on so check whatever mechanisms you use that RECOVERY ALSO WORKS. Just because a backup appears to complete without any error you can't be sure until you've successfully tested that the recovery works.

Remember in most jurisdictions earnings records, invoices / tax records / VAT/sales tax details etc. need to be available for around 7 years -- and if the tax authorities want to investigate - an excuse "Records lost because of computer equipment malfunction" won't suffice. Remember even the notorious Al Capone went to jail eventually not because of his "organised Crime activities" but simply on "Income Tax evasion" charges !!!!!

Cheers
jimbo
 

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hdmi

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That's incorrect.

The discussions in comment section has been aptly summed up here:



It is difficult to pull people out of their comfort zones. People tend to become rigid and closed to a perspective that requires them to take an objective assessment of what could be potentially wrong with their existing practices and methods.

It is one thing to understand (and knowingly accept) the risks, and completely another to blindly deny that it exists.

I have no interest or motivation to pursue further when people like living in denial.
To help people succeed at pulling me out of my comfort zone, usually I just try to keep everything as simple as possible. Not simpler. 😶‍🌫️
 

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DigitalGoat

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That's incorrect.

The discussions in comment section has been aptly summed up here:



It is difficult to pull people out of their comfort zones. People tend to become rigid and closed to a perspective that requires them to take an objective assessment of what could be potentially wrong with their existing practices and methods.

It is one thing to understand (and knowingly accept) the risks, and completely another to blindly deny that it exists.

I have no interest or motivation to pursue further when people like living in denial.
You seem to have a very high opinion of yourself to assume that everyone else are living in denial just because they do things differently to you or don't agree with your views, suggesting they are not aware of what is potentially wrong with their existing practices and methods.
You started this thread under the guise of asking people which backup software and practices they prefer, you then formatted it like a review of Macrium, whether that was your intention or not, while admitting you haven't even used the software much.
You then proceeded to argue with everyone else's views and preferences while promoting paranoid opinions on installation choices by companies providing the software.
It seems you have a problem accepting that other people use a variety of methods particular to their preferences and circumstances or that they are aware of privacy issues but have different opinions on what is acceptable or not, to them.
 

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RD Mercer

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That's incorrect.

The discussions in comment section has been aptly summed up here:
It was just my opinion, just like the many you offered here. :cool:
 

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