Macrium Reflect

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

  1. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

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    Yes, ReflectMonitor is running. I'll check again next backup.
     
  2. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

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    Well, it has helped me out of situations many times over the years. And it is such a simple first try solution.
    I don't know why you would deny yourself of such a simple and often effective recovery option in your armoury.
     
  3. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    In my case it's because almost any, well managed, reliable disk imaging System is, basically, MicroSloth's System Restore on steroids... covering ALL areas of the System that may have changed.
     
  4. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Because system restore doesn't restore everything and Macrium,IFW, and Acronis do. Also they work the way I want not the way Microsoft wants.
     
  5. jphughan

    jphughan Registered Member

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    Building on the above sentiments, there were only two reasons I ever used System Restore:

    - Under Windows 7, keeping it enabled allowed you to use the Previous Versions feature, which was admittedly a nice safeguard against accidental deletions/modifications. It never completely saved my bacon since I'm not prone to accidental deletions/modifications, but it did a few times avoid what would otherwise have been at least a mild inconvenience. But then Microsoft removed that feature for Windows 8 and onward, replacing it with File History, but that requires you to be connected to an external drive or network share all the time. I grant that this allows more recovery than local snapshots, but the convenience factor no longer existed. Fortunately this capability still exists on Windows Server, where it's called "Shadow copies" and where it is absolutely indispensable when running a file server in an office where some users ARE prone to accidentally deleting data. Sometimes it's nice not to have to go all the way to your real backups.

    - There was one time that I installed a Windows update and my system wouldn't boot anymore -- and I hadn't made a backup in a while. So despite having heard nothing but negative impressions of System Restore from the XP days, I figured my current situation meant I had nothing to lose by giving it a try. To my surprise, it did recover my system. That was the one and only time I've used System Restore for its core purpose.
     
  6. jphughan

    jphughan Registered Member

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    Actually, I suppose there is one defense of System Restore over imaging solutions. The fact that System Restore only rolls back certain things can actually be a virtue in some cases. If a user’s system becomes unbootable after a change, restoring an earlier image backup will fix that, but it will also roll back all of their personal data, which they probably don’t want. System Restore explicitly does NOT roll back that type of data. Of course more advanced users mitigate this risk by having a separate Data partition, or worst case by capturing an image backup of their unbootable system before running the restore and then mounting the unbootable backup afterward to manually extract the newer data, but most people won’t do those things. In fact I would wager that even most image backup users won’t do those things.
     
  7. Tinstaafl

    Tinstaafl Registered Member

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    I agree that System Restore is nearly all but useless. But I leave it running on my system drive anyway, even though I take FULL Macrium images daily. Just in case I do something stupid, and bork my system before the daily image runs. It's happened to me, so don't ask, LOL! But nearly anything could get you there, be it malware, a bad regedit, a misbehaved software installer, bad driver, etc.

    When the unexpected happens, I have used System Restore to quickly get my system back to a mostly running state, so that I can at least copy off any work that I did that day, or since my last clean full image. So in that sense, it's not really a rescue, just a parachute for a softer landing.

    I don't trust System Restore enough to leave the system running in that "restored" state. I have found too many holes with that process in the past. So after I have saved what I need, I wipe and re-image with the last clean Macrium image!

    In my opinion, Microsoft's name for "System Restore" is misleading, because it isn't truly a full restore. "Restore points" do not restore the entire system. Restore points are snapshots of your Windows system files, certain program files, registry settings, and hardware drivers.

    This article explains the limitations in detail, such as: "So don’t count on System Restore as working like a backup. That isn’t what it’s intended for."

    How to Use System Restore in Windows 7, 8, and 10
    https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/using-windows-vista-system-restore/
     
  8. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Couple of things. I take hourly images which cover a lot more territory. Also all my data is in the images, and even if I have to restore an earlier time for the system, I can mount a current image for the data. I've done it and it's simple.
     
  9. jphughan

    jphughan Registered Member

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    Glad that works for you, but very few people capture hourly image backups, and manually restoring data from a mounted backup can be time-consuming and/or error-prone. If you can't remember exactly what files you updated after the backup you restored, then you'll have to either play it safe by casting a wide net on your extraction (more time), or use a file compare utility to check your restored state against last backup (more complexity), or try just restoring only the files you remember updating and then hoping that you're not forgetting anything, or else at least that you'll remember anything you missed before the backup you extracted from gets purged by your retention policy, which might happen soon in an hourly backup strategy (more risk). None of those options is ideal. That's absolutely not to say that System Restore IS ideal, but for the average user who doesn't perform image backups at all -- and even for some who do -- I can see the value of being able to perform a "partial rollback".
     
  10. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Data stuff isn't a problem. I keep in in a tree of folders, and I have a sync program that just compares all the folders and moves the files in a certain direction. Can do the whole thing in 2 or 3 minutes.
     
  11. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    I clock in on that the same not so surprisingly. However maybe not as real-time as System Restore but least on Windows 8 Microsoft did 8 users a little rare favor with adding the feature Custom Refresh. (WIM)

    Found it as reliable as the day long, but while not a substitute for a solid Imager (Mine are Reflect & DS) and also not real-time (needs manually started although there may be a batch file for that too), it certainly is no slouch in returning (Refresh) 8 systems to point-in-time when the image is made.

    This of course is of no account for folks who depend on the immediacy of frequent system saved settings/files in real-time but I always like to mention it since it's one thing Microsoft did right with Windows after 7 but shockingly threw it in the rubbish bin away from Win 10. Beats me why but it works and works well when Windows bites a bad apple.
     
  12. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

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    But, from my understanding, Reflect and IFW do NOT back up and restore everything.
    I don't know about Acronis.

    I think I recently had a discussion with @jphughan about this very subject.
     
  13. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    What is iti you don't think they restore. I don't see it
     
  14. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  15. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

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  16. jphughan

    jphughan Registered Member

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    PSA for Reflect V6 users on Windows 10

    The current release of V6 does not work with the current release of Windows 10 1903. The underlying cause is the problem described in this KB article. Apparently the Microsoft bug that Macrium describes there made it into the final version of Windows 10 1903. V7 received the hotfix shown in the KB article to work around this when it was still a Windows Insider bug (and that hotfix has since been incorporated into the regular release code), but V6 did not receive a hotfix, presumably because it was well past its support period by the time that issue came to light. However, I PMed Nick at Macrium Support about this, and he replied saying that Macrium is "about to" release an update to V6 that will address this issue, despite the fact that V6 is over a year past its official support period and this is apparently Microsoft's fault. So if you're still on V6 and are eyeing Windows 10 1903, hold off for a bit.
     
  17. beethoven

    beethoven Registered Member

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    Brian, I read this twice but I think this is beyond me. The way I read it is that some things may be excluded by the writers of programs using VSS and then the link references a few examples. However, from a practical point of view, do you know which files either IFW or macrium are excluding and under what circumstances that may be relevant? You state that MS must think they are dispensable and that you have modified your setting in IfW to override this, so I am curious to learn why. Then again I may quite possibly misread all of this?
     
  18. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    @beethoven - when I look at the REGISTRY keys mentioned in the above link (W10 v1803), I see two FilesNotToSnapshot keys... one put there by the System defining MicroSloth supported stuff (Outlook, etc.), and one put there by Macrium which eliminates only SystemRestore files. Since these appear to be a one time setting, I'm guessing that users of VSS have issued these when the application was built/installed. When you install Reflect, I believe this special "FilesNotToSnapshotMacriumImage" key was added.

    ...and I believe values may be added to this key at anytime along the way (if you decide you want to add other files that you don't want in a VSS snapshot) which will become your Reflect image when taken under VSS... and they may be removed (for instance if you really want SystemRestore files). The key is not dynamically modified whenever Reflect runs... it's only set as a reference when the app is installed.

    Also, Reflect is not a VSS Writer, it is a VSS user. VSS Writers are completely different animals. They are applications that, when run, declare themselves as WRITERS to the VSS sub-system. The purpose of this is so that VSS, when invoked, knows all of the possible running apps that are WRITERS. When VSS is invoked by a VSS user (ie, Reflect, IFW), VSS will contact all the registered writers and let them know its about to snapshot the System. This contact lets registered writers (mostly database apps) know that a snapshot is about to be taken and that writers should flush all file caches to the disk, making them consistent before the snapshot is taken. That way the actual database file is in tact when the snapshot is made. VSS contacts these registered writers through tast-to-task communications and waits to hear back from them when they are consistent. Once it hears back from all the running writers, it locks the FileSystem for snapshot purposes.
     
  19. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    As mentioned by JP above, v6.3.1865 has been released to eliminate the above mentioned problem using W10v1903.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  20. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    beethoven,

    If you have ticks in Exclude Files To Not Backup and Exclude Files To Not Snapshot (IFW) then these are the VSS exclusions...

    On a practical basis, after a restore I found the Windows Update history had been deleted and the Search Index database had been cleared. It had to be re-indexed which takes time. So I don't have ticks in...

    Exclude Files To Not Backup
    Exclude Files To Not Snapshot

    I know, it sounds like a double negative.
     
  21. FanJ

    FanJ Updates Team

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    I have, yes again, a question about renewing my licence. And, so sorry, I have to say that I am so sick of it !!!!!
    How the **** do you have to purchase extended support for it?
    This company has to make it easier !!!!!
    Home Edition, 4-Pack ; or how they may call it.
     
  22. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

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    How do I do that?
     
  23. jphughan

    jphughan Registered Member

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    The Home version doesn’t offer extended (renewable) support or premium support. You get 1 year of basic support included with the purchase price, and then that’s it. If you want renewable and/or premium support, you need to get a business version, i.e. any other paid version, the closest equivalent being Workstation. The support on all business versions also includes free upgrades to any major releases that occur while you have active support, which isn't part of the Home version's support. However, the business versions aren’t available as a 4-pack for 50% off the normal cost of four licenses.

    Official support page that lays this all out: https://www.macrium.com/support
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  24. beethoven

    beethoven Registered Member

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    Thanks Brian and Froggie, I think I will just stick with default to keep it simple for my old brain, but appreciate your info.
     
  25. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    @Hadron - In Brian_K's above mentioned LINK, it explains the REGISTRY key and its modifications. Any additions or subtractions you may want to make need to me made modifying the REGISTRY key manually. If you're not familiar with this type of operation, I probably wouldn't attempt it.
     
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