Macrium Reflect

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Stigg, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. aldist

    aldist Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Posts:
    30
    Location:
    Germany
    Assigning letters D for this partition in to a Computer Management does not help?
    It seems, that the MBR also contains a Partition Table.
    Try to restore from an even earlier copy, if partition D appears, then save only MBR for subsequent manipulations. Then restore again from the last copy, and if necessary, restore only the MBR (but it's not from the Reflect).
     
  2. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Posts:
    488
    Location:
    Canada
    When creating the new backup image (the one from which your "D:" partition is missing) which of Reflect's backup operation options did you choose? Did you choose the one to "Image selected disks on this computer"? Or did you choose the one to "Create a backup image of the partition(s) required to backup and restore Windows"?

    The latter option acts as an exclusionary override regardless of any other (data) partitions that may be selected manually in the user interface screen and the data partition can't be recovered from the backup image if it wasn't included in the backup operation that created that image. You'd need to recover it from a backup image that did include it.

    __
    P.S.: The master boot record (MBR) has nothing whatever to do with your issue. The EFI system partitions are fine for booting your setup. Don't mess with those.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017 at 9:47 AM
  3. newbino

    newbino Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Posts:
    392
    Frankly I dont remember, however in any case I am sure I did not back up D:, only Windows. Since the previous image I also changed partiton size between C: and D:

    So, from what I get, there is no way I can restore D, correct? This implies I have to initialize the disk and copy over folder strucure and data anew.
    Also, in the future, what do I have to do in order to backup Windows only but in such way I can restore it AND still see my D:?

    thanks
     
  4. aldist

    aldist Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Posts:
    30
    Location:
    Germany
    Apparently, this is the reason. At the official forum there were reports, that after changing the size of the partitions Reflect can not understand this, and it is required to create a full image again.
    The lost partition D can be restored with the Paragon Hard Disk Manager, it's not that difficult.
     
  5. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Posts:
    488
    Location:
    Canada
    If you have never run any backup operation that included your data partition ("D:"), then no, you cannot possibly recover it from any backup image. However, that does not mean that you "have to initialize" the entire disk in order to recreate that single partition. You can simply select the 162.10 GB available space (currently shown as "unallocated" in that Windows Disk Management screenshot that you posted) and create a new partition there. Since "D:" is no longer assigned, you should be able to assign that same "drive letter" to the newly created partition and just proceed from there to re-establish whatever data you want to copy over to it.

    You can avoid the same problem in the future either by including the "D:" partition in your system backups (ensure that it is selected along with the others and use the "Image selected disks on this computer" option) or by backing up that "D:" partition in a separate backup image of its own. In any case, you do need to understand very clearly the difference between Reflect's two backup operation options. As I said above, the option to "Create a backup image of the partition(s) required to backup and restore Windows" acts as an exclusionary override regardless of any other (data) partitions that may be selected manually in the user interface screen. -- Personally, I think that's a dumb and dangerous way for Macrium to handle it, but they don't agree.
     
  6. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Posts:
    488
    Location:
    Canada
    As I said in reply to Froggie's comment on the subject, it wouldn't be impossible for them to use reagentc output for detecting the currently active WinRE partition. In general, I certainly agree with you that they'd do much better concentrating their efforts on core functions stuff like that within the scope of their strongest expertise rather than trying to compete with Acronis "bells and whistles" add-ons and sideshows.

    Their user interface could certainly benefit from some more professional attention as well, especially some parts of it that are stupidly and dangerously exclusionary as exemplified above. If they don't want to make them inclusionary (which was actually their stated rational motivation in the first place) more clearly distinguishing drive and partition backup options as you suggest would definitely be a helpful step in the right direction.
     
  7. newbino

    newbino Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Posts:
    392
    I also have Reflect (paid) for my desktop, and I run an automatic backup (and occasionally restore) of my C: partition. I never had any problems on restore - on my desktop both C: and D: are on separate drives.
    Am I then correct to state that the issue with my notebook occurred because D: is on the same drive?
    PS in the meanwhile have recreated D: on the notebook and repopulated it with data from my desktop
     
  8. aldist

    aldist Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Posts:
    30
    Location:
    Germany
    After changing the size of the partition, you need to create a new full image and continue to work with it. From now on, all previous images can be considered invalid.
     
  9. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Posts:
    488
    Location:
    Canada
    The problem of your "D:" partition not being available to restore from any backup image occurred because that partition wasn't included in any of your Reflect backup operations in the first place. Regardless of whether your "D:" partition (or any other) is located on the same physical drive as your OS ("C:") partition or on some other physical drive, you need to include it in your backup operations strategy somehow if you want to be able to recover it from a backup image in the future. As I said above, you can do that either by including the "D:" partition in your full system backups or by backing it up separately.

    As for why your data partition ("D:") got damaged or wiped out and therefore needed to be recovered, I don't know the answer to that with absolute certainty. Most likely, however, you did it yourself whilst changing sizes between the "C:" and "D:" partitions as you said. There is far too much bad advice out there (and here too unfortunately) tempting people to try gimmicky "solutions" and advanced operations beyond the actual levels of understanding and competence of both the advisor and the victim. You'll have to decide for yourself whether that played any part in your own situation.
     
  10. newbino

    newbino Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Posts:
    392
    Thanks, however in this case I resized the partitions BEFORE taking the last backup, so should not have been an issue in this case
     
  11. newbino

    newbino Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Posts:
    392
    This is totally clear

    As I just specified above, the full backup which I restored was taken AFTER resizing the partions.

    Sorry to insist, in a matter like this I need absolute clarity: under normal circumstances I should have been able to restore D: without problems, correct?
    And this independently from my choice "Image selected disks on this computer" or "Create a backup image of the partition(s) required to backup and restore Windows".
    Thus the specific problem was an outlier?

    I back up my D: partition on my desktop via a file backup (Bvckup 2), and then mirror certain folders to my notebook
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 12:19 PM
  12. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Posts:
    488
    Location:
    Canada
    I only know what you have posted here. Unfortunately, you "don't remember" which one of Reflect's backup operation options you chose, but you are sure that you "did not back up D:". So, regardless of when and how the backup image was created and restored, its restoration could not possibly correct any problems with that "D:" partition regardless of how any such problems were caused and regardless of whether they were inflicted before or after the Reflect backup operation.

    Moreover, that "D:" partition will not be included in any future backup images unless you follow my recommendation for using Reflect's option to "Image selected disks on this computer". I repeat: the Reflect option to "Create a backup image of the partition(s) required to backup and restore Windows acts as an exclusionary override regardless of any other (data) partitions that may be selected manually in the user interface screen. That's just the way Macrium has chosen to make it work, not as "an outlier", but consistently for all of its backup imaging. If that's still not clear, please say so and I'll try again.

    Any operations using Bvckup 2 are an entirely separate issue about which I know nothing whatever and cannot help you at all. I believe it has its own thread here.
     
  13. Alexhousek

    Alexhousek Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Posts:
    474
    Location:
    USA--Colorado
    Bvckup 2 is a file synchronization utility. It synchronizes files. It has nothing to do (as you've stated) with file or disk imaging.

    I happen to use both Macrium and Bvckup 2. I image my c drive or my operating system (SSD) with Macrium and keep all my files/documents on my D drive and sync it or backup the files with Bvckup 2 to my external HD. Once in a great while (every 3 months or so), I do image my D drive with another program (Drive Snapshot) just because I'm paranoid like that.
     
  14. paulderdash

    paulderdash Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2013
    Posts:
    2,514
    Location:
    The etherlands
  15. aldist

    aldist Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Posts:
    30
    Location:
    Germany
    If you want to add icons to the context menu of images .mrimg, it's easy to do in regedit, Registry Workshop etc.

    For the item Explore Image in the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Reflect.mrimg\shell\browse
    create the string-type parameter Icon with the value C:\Program Files\Macrium\Reflect\ReflectBin.exe,-390
    where 390 is the icon number of the ReflectBin.exe file.
    22.jpg
    For the item Restore in the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Reflect.mrimg\shell\restore
    create the string-type parameter Icon with the value C:\Program Files\Macrium\Reflect\ReflectBin.exe,-736
    where 736 is the icon number of the ReflectBin.exe file.

    The effect comes immediately.
    Please, how can I add a picture to the message, not a link to it?
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 1:48 PM
  16. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Posts:
    488
    Location:
    Canada
    I hear you. I'm a "belt and suspenders" type myself. My general philosophy has always been to "back up drives comprehensively and restore partitions or even individual files and folders selectively from comprehensive backup images as needed". Fortunately, Macium Reflect has been quite good at doing both once you have acquired a very firm grasp of its somewhat confusing operational options, retention and "housekeeping" parameters and methods, et cetera. Swappable drive bays used with a rotation strategy along with off-site storage all helps to ensure "peace of mind" too.

    __
    P.S.: I would certainly never recommend that anyone even consider modifying any drive's partition layout "geometry" in any way at all without first ensuring at least one recent, complete and fully verified backup image of that entire drive, including all of its partitions. Preferably more than one.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 12:11 PM
  17. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Posts:
    24,505
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    aldist, if you are talking about attaching an image to a post, see Basic Image Attachment Uploading (on XenForo), and then use the Test Forum to test attach images.

    Keep in mind that as Policy, you need to own your image, not use third party images which may run afoul of copyright laws. Enjoy testing!
     
  18. aldist

    aldist Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Posts:
    30
    Location:
    Germany
    To JRViejo
    Thank you very much for you help! I got it now.
     
  19. WinterKnight

    WinterKnight Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2017
    Posts:
    11
    Location:
    USA
    After starting up my computer, how long do I need to wait before doing a full backup? My computer has a regular 7200 spinner hard drive. It’s active for a while after startup with the usual Windows 10 housekeeping activities. Do I need to wait for those activities to complete or can I start my backup whenever I want?
     
  20. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Posts:
    488
    Location:
    Canada
    Reflect backup operations in the regular Windows working environment (but not in the WinPE rescue environment) rely on the OS's Virtual Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to create a "snapshot" of the system state "frozen" at a particular moment in time. VSS should be able to do that at any time after system start-up and OS loading is complete regardless of any other background operations that may be ongoing. There are occasional "glitches" however and this KB article offers some suggestions about how to deal with them.

    Keep in mind that the VSS "frozen snapshot" that provides the Reflect backup image base will not include any of those ongoing background changes and so it will omit, for example, any immediate post-boot updates. So you might want to wait a little while to let those complete themselves.
     
  21. WinterKnight

    WinterKnight Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2017
    Posts:
    11
    Location:
    USA
    Thanks Arvy. A process called “Service Host: Superfetch” is responsible for a lot of the disk activity I see after startup. Is there any benefit to letting that process complete before starting the backup?
     
  22. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Posts:
    488
    Location:
    Canada
    The Windows Superfetch service is a "preloader" for frequently used applications. As such, it's reading stuff into memory rather than making changes on the disk itself. So, other than competition for system resources, it has no significant impact on the "snapshot" and backup processes and there's no important reason to wait for it to complete its work.
     
  23. WinterKnight

    WinterKnight Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2017
    Posts:
    11
    Location:
    USA
    So, if I understand VSS correctly, after it takes the snapshot it holds all subsequent changes off to the side while the backup is running. Then VSS applies the changes after the backup is complete. The “off to the side” part is still unclear to me. Is there any limit to the amount of changes that VSS can hold while the backup is running? For example, if an application (or Windows itself) decides to do a significant update involving a large amount of data while the backup is running, will VSS be able to process it correctly?
     
  24. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Posts:
    488
    Location:
    Canada
    Yup, you've got the essence of the VSS "snapshot" process. I think you'll find that this TechNet article will cover all of your remaining questions about it and a lot more besides. The FAQs at the bottom of that article answer quite a few common issues and queries. Macrium has also posted this blog item entitled "What is VSS, how does it work and why do we use it?"

    Apart from all that, if you really want to avoid VSS entirely for some reason, you can run the backup operation in the WinPE rescue media environment which doesn't use VSS at all because it's not needed when everything, including Reflect itself, is running on a virtual drive. You could even remove the rescue media completely after booting has completed successfully.
     
  25. WinterKnight

    WinterKnight Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2017
    Posts:
    11
    Location:
    USA
    Thanks for links Arvy. Great info, especially the Macrium blog entry. What I got out of it is that VSS has limits but it’s extremely unlikely to hit them in normal usage. My take is that regular application activity, even if it involves a lot of data updates, should not be a problem for VSS. Sound about right?
     
Loading...