I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

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I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:26 am

Got the trial version right now, and once you get the hang of it, it seems to be more reliable than Acronis. One thing to be mindful of is that you need to put each backup set into its own folder, or else the "DSM" (Disk Space Management) feature will delete backup sets with complete abandon!

I like the "redeploy" feature, but I haven't had a chance to use it yet.

A sidebar:

When I was trying to find my old Quicken file and decided to restore it from an old Acronis backup, that's when I found out that Acronis True Image Home 2012 wouldn't even install on my Windows 8 system. I get a message about some grave incompatibility, and not even XP SP3 mode will allow the installer to run. Sure, the new version is 2013, but the -1 version should still work, and I only bought the upgrade license back in August.

Next, I went to the Acronis support forum, and yikes, what a mess. Lots of people having problems, with few responses from company support people. Mostly, it's the same couple of users providing support. By contrast, Macrium's forum support seems much more attentive.

I'm tired of this bad treatment from Acronis. Barring any catastrophic issues, I'm pretty sure I'm going to dump True Image in favor of Reflect.

Full Disclosure: I'm not affiliated with either company except as a customer (Acronis) and potential new customer (Macrium).
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:26 am

Yea, Acronis turned into garbage long time ago... And yes, Macrium products are pretty good alternative - I've been using their stuff for a year, never had any serious issues.
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:05 pm

Same issues with Acronis here. My lament:

http://techreport.com/news/24084/any-re ... p-software

Just bought Reflect after using the trial lightly. The user interface is kind of arcane, but once you find everything, it seems to do what I need. Running a full image backup now. Will feel better after I have an incremental successfully scheduled on top of that, but after some looking, I now know where to find the option.
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:05 pm

I too have been using Macrium after frustrations with Acronis and reading about it here. My only roadblock so far has been trying to image a 1TB WD green drive that HP in its wisdom saw fit to use as a boot drive over to a spare Samsung 750GB 7200 RPM drive. Even though only 100GB of the drive was used, it had a 100mb partition at the front of the drive, the main drive partition of 900GB or so and then, at the end of the drive, the HP restore partition. It was that whole end partition that made it an adventure - it just wouldn't do it. I'm not sure that Acronis would have either, but for the sum of free that I had spent on it I wasn't about to complain.
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:41 pm

frumper15 wrote:I too have been using Macrium after frustrations with Acronis and reading about it here. My only roadblock so far has been trying to image a 1TB WD green drive that HP in its wisdom saw fit to use as a boot drive over to a spare Samsung 750GB 7200 RPM drive. Even though only 100GB of the drive was used, it had a 100mb partition at the front of the drive, the main drive partition of 900GB or so and then, at the end of the drive, the HP restore partition. It was that whole end partition that made it an adventure - it just wouldn't do it. I'm not sure that Acronis would have either, but for the sum of free that I had spent on it I wasn't about to complain.


When I have run into this issue, I sometimes find it easier to make a disk image of the original drive, dump it to a another location, and restore to my new drive.
I do that a lot when straight cloning fails.

Still using a older version of Acronis now, via the boot CD, but may check out Macrium Reflect when Acronis becomes really bad; I have been lucky so far.
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:35 pm

Damage wrote:Same issues with Acronis here. My lament:

http://techreport.com/news/24084/any-re ... p-software


Hi Scott: It was your article that spurred me into action, because Acronis had been nagging at the back of my head as a potential weak spot in my backup and recovery strategy. And it was in the nick of time, too; the only thing I seem to have lost was that Quicken data file I mentioned in my original post. Even though there was a lot of data in there, nothing was really permanently lost, because if necessary, I can rebuild everything from downloadable past bank statements in Quicken format, but it IS going to be a hassle. It's like an "Acronis tax", except that this will be the last time I pay it. :lol:

If I was really really motivated, I could probably reassemble the old Windows 7 system on the bench and boot it just long enough to run Acronis, mount the backup drive, and retrieve the file. But it's probably not worth the time expense at this point because the file will get rebuilt over the course of me living my life and also doing my 2012 taxes.

I've decided to just take my punishment on this one and learn my lesson!

frumper15 wrote:I too have been using Macrium after frustrations with Acronis and reading about it here. My only roadblock so far has been trying to image a 1TB WD green drive that HP in its wisdom saw fit to use as a boot drive...


Making a green drive the boot drive is just plain EVIL. I feel your pain. Actually, no I don't, because I always roll my own. But I have friends who feel your pain, I'm sure! :evil:

Dposcorp wrote:Still using a older version of Acronis now, via the boot CD, but may check out Macrium Reflect when Acronis becomes really bad; I have been lucky so far.


If I may, a suggestion:

Don't wait until Acronis fails you. If you need to use Macrium's "Redeploy" feature, I believe you will have needed to build your recovery disk with the OS you might need to restore AND taken an image of it BEFORE you need to do your redeploy.

Educated guess here: The Macrium recovery disk build process goes to Microsoft to get the Windows PE runtimes which include IMAGEX and DISM (I think I got those right), and I believe that process is best done from the system you might need to restore, because there is a phase where it identifies your drivers and such. Watching the process as I built my disk made me think that the disk build process is best done on the system you're backing up.
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:12 am

Dposcorp wrote:Still using a older version of Acronis now, via the boot CD, but may check out Macrium Reflect when Acronis becomes really bad; I have been lucky so far.


BIF wrote:If I may, a suggestion:

Don't wait until Acronis fails you. If you need to use Macrium's "Redeploy" feature, I believe you will have needed to build your recovery disk with the OS you might need to restore AND taken an image of it BEFORE you need to do your redeploy.


Well, by fail, I mean that it would not do what I wanted it to do, not that it failed restoring.
I have had a few older images fail to restore and show as corrupt, but that has been far and few between, and a lot of those images were moved from drive to drive multiple times, so it is possible it they got corrupt some how during one of the copies.

I still use Acronis because it still works great for me, even though its just the boot disc at times; I make and test my back ups all the time; part of it is to make sure it works and part of it is just because I am always tinkering.

Case in point: My sandy bridge based laptop HAD 120GB Kinsgton SSD in it with Windows 8 Pro last nite, but I need more space for a project off site this evening.
I popped the SSD out, hooked it to a desktop along with a 750GB Seagate 2.5" drive, and used Acronis to clone it. Popped the Seagate in and away I went.

I guess for me, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. :)
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:19 pm

BIF wrote:
frumper15 wrote:I too have been using Macrium after frustrations with Acronis and reading about it here. My only roadblock so far has been trying to image a 1TB WD green drive that HP in its wisdom saw fit to use as a boot drive...


Making a green drive the boot drive is just plain EVIL. I feel your pain. Actually, no I don't, because I always roll my own. But I have friends who feel your pain, I'm sure! :evil:


It actually was a friends computer that was complaining that it was slow - I didn't mind having the green drive for mass storage and the Samsung was a much better fit for that application.

I've really only used Macrium and Acronis for transitioning between drives or making a backup image before I work on someones computer, not for ongoing backup purposes (correction, I did use a version of Acronis back in windows XP days for incremental/differential backups). Since I built a WHS about 6 years ago, I haven't needed to rely on another program for drive imaging purposes. For the same price as Macrium ($50) you could have a complete server based backup solution for up to 10 computers along with all the other features it brings to the table. I realize it's not for everyone, but it's worked great for me so I wanted to bring it up.
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:00 pm

Update:

I have decided for certain to purchase a license (probably multi-PC). I have two days before my trial runs out, and it's been working just great, although I have not yet had an opportunity to test the bare-metal restore process. No matter; this has already been more reliable than Acronis True Image, so I'm going to make the switch. I will still use Acronis Disk Director for partitioning tasks, but not for day-to-day backups.

It takes a lot for me to switch. I observed in myself a resistance to change, but Macrium Reflect seems to be working just great with ZERO issues (after that common directory issue I mentioned in one of my posts above). By contrast, my many-years as a customer of Acronis true image were laced with a general feeling of uneasiness, always waiting, half-expecting, that it would fail me someday.
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:09 pm

I am also not a type of person who likes to switch to different software products, but with Acronis it only took me a few months of reading their forums and seeing how many issues there were with their products and how uncommunicative were Acronis developers when dealing with customers who had those issues... This was pretty long time ago (more than a year) and it seems like Acronis never changed from that time, so you're doing the right thing by switching to different product :wink:
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:16 am

It isn't clear to me how this is superior to the built-in backup in Windows 7. What does this do above and beyond?
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:47 am

Buub wrote:It isn't clear to me how this is superior to the built-in backup in Windows 7. What does this do above and beyond?


I'm sure if you poked around the Macrium website it would be very educational. I spent a year relying on Windows 7 backup and was extremely happy to start using the free edition of Macrium Reflect. I'll just copy the comments I made in my front page post as to why:

Probably several things, but for me the most important thing is that I can specify the name and location of the backup and make multiple backups.

Also, you can create backup "jobs" with different settings

And, you can create scheduled backups that have much more scheduling options that what is offered by Windows 7 backup.

For Windows 8 users, it's even more important to get a 3rd party app due to the way that Windows 8 deals with disk images.

I'm sure there's more, but the first thing I mentioned was all it took for me.


Again, I'm using the free version at home, but I work I purchase the "professional edition".
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:51 am

Buub wrote:It isn't clear to me how this is superior to the built-in backup in Windows 7. What does this do above and beyond?


There are lots of reasons for me, but here's one:

I am under the impression that built-in Windows backup won't support a complete recovery to bare metal system with an unlike motherboard, CPU, and hard drive. I could be wrong about that and if I am, I know somebody will jump in here.

But this is important to me because building a new system and reinstalling my software and data takes more than a month. What sold me on Macrium is that this has been attended to and is present and front & center in the program and in documentation.
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:28 pm

BIF wrote:I am under the impression that built-in Windows backup won't support a complete recovery to bare metal system with an unlike motherboard, CPU, and hard drive. I could be wrong about that and if I am, I know somebody will jump in here.


It can do a bare metal recovery. Can even do bare metal recovery with proper SSD alignment.
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:37 pm

I haven't bothered to look for myself, but does Macrium (free or pro?) do backups over network? If so, that would be another edge it has over Windows 7, which I have never gotten to backup over the network.

Edit: well, I just gave it a try myself, and I can say the answer is YES - at least for the pro version I'm using here at work.
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:00 pm

Only the business editions of Windows 7 Backup can backup over a network (Pro, Enterprise, Ultimate).
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:21 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:Only the business editions of Windows 7 Backup can backup over a network (Pro, Enterprise, Ultimate).


All I use is Windows 7 Pro. I've heard it works over the network, but I couldn't get it to work. It wouldn't surprise me if there's some kind of ridiculous "work around" that has to be implemented or some kind of obscure setting that has to be tweaked. Meanwhile, it took me all of 3 minutes to get Macrium Reflect to initiate a network backup. :shrug:

I'll take another stab at getting Windws 7 to image over the network.
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:45 pm

You just press the network button as the destination during the wizard. It's pretty damn painless...

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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:00 pm

Ryu, I'm not sure why it wouldn't work for me, but it wouldn't. It was on a domain network from one domain computer to another. The shares were set up fine. Windows wouldn't do it. R-drive image (which was my "go-to" disk imager at that time a year ago) saved over the network just fine to the same target folder, but Windows 7 wouldn't do it. I didn't have an extra license of R-drive image, but I had the extra USB drive lying around so the solution (which is still in place and working as far as I know) was to have Windows 7 write the disk image to the USB drive.

So what I'm saying is that R-drive Image and now Macrium Reflect "just work". It seems that can't always be said of Windows 7 disk imaging. Maybe there are extra hoops to jump through on in a domain environment. I dunno - I didn't have time to eff with it, I needed an immediate solution. That's the difference between me and a full-time IT person - I don't have time for IT problem solving! Usually I don't even have an hour or two that I can step away from my real job. My real job kinda needs me. Macrium and R-drive Image have let me spend more time on my real job and a whole lot less time futzing with Windows 7 disk image. Apparently Scott and a good number of other people seem to feel that built-in Windows 7 and Windows 8 solutions are deficient enough to clamor for something better, too.

Another advantage, while I'm thinking of it, is that the recovery environment of Reflect (and R-drive Image to a lesser extent) is a far, far better interface that the extremely basic interface offered by Windows 7 recovery. And that's fine, I'm not faulting Microsoft for providing just the basics, but it's still another advantage worth noting when asking the "is it worth it" question of these other tools.
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:58 pm

Odds are the permissions on the share weren't right.

You had R-drive aim toward a local removable media instead, which the 7 Backup could have also done.

To some extent I commiserate with you on your point that just work is handy, but at the same time you're walking in the dark and you're going to run into some walls. What you described didn't really fix the problem so much as ignore it. There's some misplaced blame there.

Your anecdotal issues don't really diminish that nor do they mean the feature doesn't just work for many others.

You're free to do as you please (happy is better than perplexed), my only point is that some of the features people have specifically asked for do exist in the Windows 7 Backup.
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:22 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:You had R-drive aim toward a local removable media instead, which the 7 Backup could have also done.

Oops, I've confused you. R-drive Image was able to write to the shared network folder that Windows 7 refused to write to. So I just used the Windows 7 disk imager anyway but pointed it to a local USB drive.

You're free to do as you please (happy is better than perplexed), my only point is that some of the features people have specifically asked for do exist in the Windows 7 Backup.

Fair enough. I'm not looking to malign Windows 7 disk imager. I think it's great for those with extremely basic needs. But for anyone that frequents these forums I'd think it would fall well short on desired features.
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:37 am

As an aside, Win7 Pro backup also refuses to write to VirtualBox shared host folders (which act like network shares from the perspective of the guest OS). Not that you'd ever actually *need* to do this (if you wanted an image of the system you'd normally use VirtualBox's snapshot or disk management tools instead), but I decided to try it as an experiment, and it was a no-go.
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:38 am

I'm setting up another machine here at work so I will be able to give it a try over the network again. I'll try it both before and after joining the domain. Even before joining the domain I should be able to access shares with a user name and password. If that doesn't work then I'll just join the domain and give it a whirl.
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:23 am

I'll try and setup a FRAPS video on YouTube of the process.
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:31 am

In the VBox case it wasn't a matter of not being able to find the network backup functionality in the backup tool, the problem was that it kept re-prompting for login credentials to access the network share and never let me finish setting things up. The share was accessible (via Windows Explorer), so I have no idea what its issue was. This is quite possibly just a bad interaction between the backup tool and VirtualBox; VirtualBox isn't exactly a paragon of stability!
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:27 am

just brew it! wrote:the problem was that it kept re-prompting for login credentials to access the network share and never let me finish setting things up.

That sounds like what happened to me when I tried to save to the NAS a year ago.

Ryu Connor wrote:I'll try and setup a FRAPS video on YouTube of the process.

Um, OK? It's not that the process is complicated, it just didn't work for me a year ago. BUT GOOD NEWS! IT WORKED TODAY! Does it matter? Not much, because Macrium Reflect Free remains a much better enthusiast solution (or really even a better solution for the novice, I think).

Dunno, IMO no one should be using Windows disk imager on their home computers when Macrium Reflect Free is, er, free to home users. Business users may be tempted to save the $60, but IMO it's easily worth it for a business user to pony up that paltry sum in order to much more easily manage multiple images for multiple computers.
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:51 am

flip-mode wrote:
just brew it! wrote:the problem was that it kept re-prompting for login credentials to access the network share and never let me finish setting things up.

That sounds like what happened to me when I tried to save to the NAS a year ago.

Aha... a clue! Maybe it only works if the target network device is running some flavor of Windows.
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:40 am

Buub wrote:It isn't clear to me how this is superior to the built-in backup in Windows 7. What does this do above and beyond?

I think the OP moved to Windows 8 a while back?
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:43 am

Personal data backups can be applied to any file system.

System images must be backed up to NTFS.

That doesn't require Windows, but Windows is certainly far more likely to have that situation.

Flip-Mode wrote:Not much, because Macrium Reflect Free remains a much better enthusiast solution (or really even a better solution for the novice, I think).


Gotta disagree there. The personal data backups being in a .zip archive and the system images/disc repair images being in a .VHD container has immense worth.

If Macrium can't properly align for SSDs then I'd consider that another pretty serious negative. (It apparently can through manipulating this menu.)

Different strokes.
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Re: I've been trying Macrium Reflect for backups

Postposted on Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:00 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:Gotta disagree there. The personal data backups being in a .zip archive and the system images/disc repair images being in a .VHD container has immense worth. Different strokes.
I still used Windows Backup to backup the files. But I use Macrium Reflect to do the disk image. However, the most important thing is having a backup to begin with. There's nothing wrong with using the built-in tool. As you said, different strokes.
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