Macrium Reflect

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

  1. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Posts:
    889
    No difference; endless prompt for a 205 KB download...
     
  2. jphughan

    jphughan Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Posts:
    354
    Location:
    US
    This thread may be of interest to people who have been prompted to rebuild their WIM files, in some cases apparently without success. No response from Macrium yet, but that may change (or we may just see another update).
     
  3. JasonUK

    JasonUK Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2017
    Posts:
    32
    Location:
    UK
    Windows AIK & WIndows Kits/10 folders are now created in C:/Boot/Macrium folder when you create Windows PE10 rescue media with v4557. Windows AIK & Windows Kits/8.1 are installed with a clean install of v4557 in C:/ProgramData/Macrium/Reflect. In previous build (v4539) everything was in C:/ProgramData/Macrium/Reflect so if you've just run the update patch and recreated rescue media you'll have Windows AIK & Windows/Kits/10 folders in two locations. Doesn't look right! Rescue environment does work though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019 at 2:11 AM
  4. jphughan

    jphughan Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Posts:
    354
    Location:
    US
    The last six Reflect updates (excluding the one that only applied to Reflect Free) have included changes to Rescue Media and/or Rescue Media Builder, sometimes many changes within a single release, and it seems new problems are being reported with each new release that solves some other problems. This incidentally is why I don't necessarily update my Rescue Media every time I update Reflect and why I ALWAYS keep an ISO of a known good Rescue Media build somewhere that I'd be able to access even if my system was dead. That way if a new Reflect release has a problem with Rescue Media Builder and/or the Rescue Media it produces, I'll still be able to generate known good Rescue Media from that ISO. (Rufus is a useful and free utility for creating a bootable flash drive from an ISO for users who aren't familiar with how to do all of that manually.)
     
  5. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Posts:
    1,388
    There are some people over at Windows 10 Forums having problems with recent Reflect updates.

    The Directory Name Is Invalid

    I haven't read into it much yet.
     
  6. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Posts:
    5,291
    Location:
    USA
    Recent like what, version 7? I NEVER had problems with 5 or 6. Version 7 has been hit or miss from the beginning.
     
  7. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Posts:
    1,388
    I agree. 6 was rock solid for me. I think that is when lots of people jumped on board.
     
  8. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    20,560
    Exactly why I am still on 6.
     
  9. jphughan

    jphughan Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Posts:
    354
    Location:
    US
    I think Reflect V7 has been beleaguered primarily because it's the first release that added low-level, persistent background components -- namely CBT and Image Guardian. The diversity of the Windows ecosystem means that any time you try to add something like that, you risk creating disruptive issues on some people's systems -- and indeed, CBT and Image Guardian have been responsible for many of Reflect V7's issues, certainly the more serious ones. But those features and viBoot are the main selling points of V7, and while viBoot is a very cool idea, it's also serving sort of a niche need. I personally have more appreciation for the subtler improvements that have been made over V7's life than those "banner features", like the new warning outcome for jobs rather than just success and failure and the "BitLocker Live Restore/Clone" capability.

    The problem of course is that the problematic banner features are the ones that are likely to entice people to upgrade, while the subtler features that are more appealing to me personally would be unlikely to push many to upgrade on their own, in fact they probably wouldn't even warrant a new major release designation at all. They could have just been part of a hypothetical Reflect 6.4.

    I'm curious to see what Macrium has in store for Reflect V8. Reflect at least for most people may have already reached the point where it already does everything they want, sort of like MS Office did a decade ago. On the other hand, I don't know if I would have thought of a feature like Rapid Delta Restore to wish for before it existed, so there's always the possibility of Macrium introducing something that few may have asked for but that lots of people want when they learn about it.

    One thing that I've suggested previously is an "opportunistic mode" for scheduling backups, like Time Machine and File History use, whereby you could say, "Try to back up at least once per [day/hour/whatever]" without having to choose a specific time, and then Reflect will just perform backups as closely to that interval as circumstances allow -- without having one or more jobs set for specific times generate failures because the destination wasn't available at that specific moment. Of course a "You haven't backed up in a while" notice would be appropriate for this type of model. I wrote that up in the Wish List section of their forums here. But that would probably require Macrium to stop using Windows Task Scheduler, which they've said they're trying to replace with their own scheduling engine, and undoubtedly other engineering work.

    What I would love to see is a full Windows equivalent to Apple's Time Machine. File History has a similar backup mode and UI for flipping through your various point-in-time backups to access files, but it can't be used for a full system recovery like Time Machine can. Reflect is great for image backups, but it doesn't have a slick UI for browsing individual files across multiple backups in a set. And both File History AND Time Machine have a true "one-click set it and forget it" capability for users who just want to know that their system is being backed up but don't want to put any more thought or effort into it beyond enabling the backup feature. Reflect absolutely lacks this. Using Reflect properly requires understanding various backup strategies, which means understanding Full/Diff/Inc backups and why you'd use each, then you have to set schedules and retention policies for each backup type, etc. That's a fair amount of knowledge and thought. Time Machine also has a truly killer feature of being able to restore a full system backup of an old system onto a new system while retaining that new system's more recent OS and applications. But I suspect that's made possible by Apple's unique position of having full control of both their OS and hardware ecosystems, so I wouldn't hold my breath for a Windows version of that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019 at 6:04 PM
  10. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Posts:
    1,388
    I guess most (if not all) software developers fall for the, "What are we going to implement into the next major upgrade so that we keep our business running?"
     
  11. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Posts:
    1,388
    AOMEI Backupper gives the user the option to use Windows Task Scheduler or install a service to run scheduled tasks.
     
  12. paulderdash

    paulderdash Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2013
    Posts:
    3,678
    Location:
    Under a bushel ...
    Yes, and I think the default is it's own service.

    I have a strange problem with my GFS nightly backup routine (full monthly first Friday, differential weekly Friday, else incremental) where it does the full and differential on a Thursday as well!
    I have tried deleting the whole thing, including in Windows Task Scheduler, and recreating but the problem persists!
    It's as if my laptop has two calendars going, but my (similar) differential backup is not affected.
    Very strange, I just live with it, though it can cause space issues.
     
  13. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    20,560
    Interesting points JP. Sad point is more of the problems relate to Win 10. I still am on win 7 and I am using v6 with the beta cbt. Smooth as silk. The MIG is to me as foolish as Acronis and it's stupid Ransomware protection.
     
  14. jphughan

    jphughan Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Posts:
    354
    Location:
    US
    Whenever I see the reports of people being just fine on the CBT beta, it makes me wonder if those people simply don't have any of the factors that created the problems that have been fixed in CBT since then. I mean I don't think it's the case that Macrium completely redid CBT between the V6 beta and the V7 official launch in a way that introduced tons more bugs that then had to be fixed. Maybe it's a question of sample size in that there are far fewer people using the V6 beta, so far fewer different Windows environments it's being tested in.

    Looking over the release notes for 7.2, of the very few fixes that relate to a specific OS, I only see fixes pertaining to XP, Vista, and 7 -- and one Windows 10 Insider fix. The only Win10-specific fix I remember recently was the V6 patch to keep it working on a new Win10 release. So I'm not sure why you say that more of the problems relate to Win10.

    I personally wouldn't consider MIG foolish. I realize others have their preferred alternatives for restricting access to files, but it's not like Macrium jumped into the general purpose anti-malware business. They designed a solution focused solely on protecting the files generated by their application, which allowed them to go with the much more secure whitelist security stance rather than the blacklist model typically employed. And given that most people really do use Reflect to put all of their eggs into a Reflect image file basket, those backup files are arguably worthy of additional, specialized protection, because they are what users would look to when ransomware has ravaged everything else on their system. So to me it seems like a completely "justifiable" component for Macrium to have created, and it hasn't been causing near as many problems as CBT. That's the component that I personally think is superfluous for most people's use case and arguably a poor value proposition considering the amount of problems it's caused -- including the infamous image file corruption situation. I do recognize that for the use cases it's designed to enhance, the enhancement is significant, but that's not most people. Then again, what should Macrium do? Have it not install by default and say, "Only choose to install this if you perform backups extremely frequently and/or have huge files on your image source partitions, otherwise you may as well avoid it because it might cause system stability issues"?
     
  15. aldist

    aldist Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Posts:
    462
    Location:
    Germany
    What version of the v6 has beta cbt?

    What is the latest version of v7 that has the old GUI of WinPE creation (like v6.3)?
    ScreenShot_116.png
    Or starting with which version of v7 the new GUI for creating WinPE is implemented?
     
  16. jphughan

    jphughan Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Posts:
    354
    Location:
    US
    CBT was in beta late in Reflect V6's life and could be installed as a separate component. I can't remember which production release of Reflect V6 added support for the CBT beta, but even then it wasn't a component that was installed by Reflect installer itself. You had to do it yourself some other way. I'm hazy on the details now.

    The new Rescue Media Builder UI arrived with Reflect 7.2. The missing item in the screenshot was the menu item to manage the recovery boot menu option, because that functionality was rolled into Rescue Media Builder.
     
  17. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    20,560
    v6 beta was a standalone application and not part of v6 application itself.
     
  18. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Posts:
    1,388
    That's what I think of it.
     
  19. jphughan

    jphughan Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Posts:
    354
    Location:
    US
    ^ Out of curiosity, why? Are you already using some other software for that type of protection, or do you have a backup strategy that means that you always have some backups that are physically offline and therefore beyond the reach of malware? If the former, I don't necessarily understand why the existence and use of some other tool would make it foolish for Macrium to offer a solution that's focused solely on its own files and doesn't require any configuration to deliver that protection, which non-Macrium solutions would. And if it's the latter, then that's certainly always going to be superior protection compared to a solution that is still fundamentally rooted in software, but not everyone will have that strategy, and in some cases it might not even be feasible for them to do that.
     
  20. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    20,560
    My why is backup companies should be experts in backup, but no necessarily security. For security I want the best of those. So they require some configuration. People want to be protected but ignorant on how. You need knowledge and some training to drive a car. That's the price you pay. For my other drives the best in security, for my c: drive Macrium and other imaging. The question of how often is really easy. How much data are you willing to risk losing, that;'s how often. Thats why I take hourly images
     
  21. jphughan

    jphughan Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Posts:
    354
    Location:
    US
    That's fair, and we may never know what other feature(s) were dropped or delayed because Macrium decided to develop and support MIG. And like you, I generally prefer to have the best purpose-built application for each of my purposes rather than one "omnibus" app that may not fulfill any single purpose especially well.

    HOWEVER, as is made clear on practically a daily basis in the news and people's everyday experiences, security is an afterthought for the overwhelming majority of people, sometimes even application developers. Consequently, I would wager a significant sum that only a tiny fraction of Reflect users prior to Image Guardian ever said to themselves, "You know, my Reflect backup files are especially valuable because they contain backups of everything else I have, so maybe I should look into additional security measures specifically to protect those files." Instead, if they put ANY thought into it at all, they probably just said to themselves, "I have anti-malware software and I'm apparently considering that good enough for everything else, so why should my Reflect backup files be any different?" But now Image Guardian is part of Reflect and is installed and enabled by default -- and while I grant that it may not be the best possible tool for the job because Macrium's focus as you said is not on security, I think it's virtually inarguable that a significant portion of Macrium's paying customers are now better protected than they were before Image Guardian existed. That to me seems an indisputably positive result, and to me makes a strong case to justify Macrium's engineering effort for implementing Image Guardian, including whatever tradeoffs had to be made to build it. Macrium has said that they've personally provided support for customers in cases where Image Guardian saved their backups after a ransomware outbreak, for what it's worth.

    The old adage that "the perfect is the enemy of the good" comes to mind here. Yes, something better may well be out there. But if very few people ever bother to go find and use that thing, then "pushing" something to them that's at least good (even if not the best) still makes them better off than they were before. You can certainly take the position that Macrium shouldn't take it upon themselves to protect people and their data, and should instead just expect people to go invest their own time and effort to find and learn to use a security solution. But Macrium apparently saw enough value in trying to help their customers rather than leaving them to fend for themselves. And the problem with the "let them fend for themselves" philosophy is that as you said yourself, some people want protection but are ignorant on how to get it -- and many people simply won't ever put in the time to remedy that. For any given person there will always be lots of things in their life that they should probably pay more attention to, but there's only so much time in the day. But the even larger problem is that for a significant number of people, it won't even occur to them that additional protection is something they SHOULD want. And if you don't even get to the point of thinking of that, then you won't put in the time and effort even if you would be willing to do so. THOSE are the people who would NOT benefit from the mere existence of other solutions on the market, but WOULD benefit from Image Guardian -- and again, I would argue that those people are a large percentage of Reflect users, possibly even the majority.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019 at 6:01 PM
  22. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    4,134
    Location:
    The Pond - USA
    I don't remember when the BETA started but all versions since that one support the use of CBT (the most recent, v1852 & 1865 for sure)

    But as has been mentioned, it is a MANUAL add-in...
     
Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.