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Macrium Reflect Free review

1 reply to this topic

#1 marko

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  • 25,405 posts

    Posted 04 November 2011 - 09:58 PM

    Developers Description
    The fastest disk imaging software is now available as a free edition.

    Absolutely free! No strings! The only free XP and Vista compatible disk imaging software with BartPE and Linux based recovery options.

    • Disk Imaging
    • Disk Cloning
    • Access images in Windows Explorer
    • Schedule backups
    • Linux Rescue CD
    • Windows PE 3 Rescue Media (RAID support)
    • Windows XP / Vista / 7 compatiblity

    #2 James (Jim) Hillier

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    • 852 posts

      Posted 27 November 2011 - 10:34 PM

      The Good:
      • Very easy to use
      • Fast operations
      • Good compression
      • Image verification (manual)
      • Creation of bootable disaster recovery CD/DVD
      • Free
      The Not So Good:
      • No incremental backups
      • No differential backups
      • No file & folder backup
      Macrium Reflect is very easy to use; the GUI is intuitive, the menu items are self-explanatory and each step is easy to follow. One of the features I really appreciate in Macrium Reflect is the ability to mount an image as a virtual hard drive. Simply double click on an image, follow a couple of simple requests and the image will then appear in ?[My] Computer? as a separate hard drive. From there the user can browse the contents as one would with any normal hard drive.

      The lack of ability to create incremental and differential image backups may or may not deter some users. The advantages of those methods are, of course, they save both time and disk space. For those who might be put off by those missing elements I make the following observations:
      • Time to completion of full disk image on my Window 7 64-bit system = 9 to 10 minutes (not an unduly long time by any means).
      • I currently have two images saved to a 320GB external hard drive: image #1 = 22GB, image #2 = 25GB (how many full images are going to fit on 320GB!).
      • A backup system of full disk images is much more preferable than no backup images at all.
      Here is how I would suggest to proceed:

      First, create an image immediately and save to external media. Now, every month or so create and save a new image until three images are on hand. From then on, continue regularly creating and saving a fresh image, deleting the oldest image each time.

      Note: The period between creating each image is subjective and depends largely on how much the computer is being used, how much total data is on the drive, and the extent of any changes made. Every one to two months would be the norm for most, but the more often you image the higher your chances of not losing data after a disaster.

      As freeware I don?t see any real negatives for Macrium Reflect. One fairly common user complaint has been the unreliability of the recovery boot CD, which is created from within the main program. I have used Macrium Reflect Free extensively through XP, Vista and Windows 7 and have never experienced any such issues. I can only make an assessment based on my own personal experiences. However, please do create the bootable CD asap and check to make sure it boots fine and everything is okay. There are some extra options (provided by the Macrium software) which can be utilized to help with any compatibility issues. Remember, you will need that bootable CD in order to recover from a disaster so keep it in a safe place.
      Jim Hillier - Managing editor Daves Computer Tips.com

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