||The topic of this article may not meet Wikipedia's notability guidelines for products and services. (May 2012)|
|Developer(s)||Paramount Software UK Ltd|
|Stable release||v5.2.6354 / August 2, 2013|
|Operating system||Window XP, Vista, 7, 8, Server 2003, Server 2008, Server 2012|
Home Use Freeware
Macrium Reflect is a backup and disk imaging software program for Microsoft Windows developed by Paramount Software UK Ltd in 2006. It creates disk images and file backup archives using Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service to ensure 'point in time' data accuracy.
As of October 2012[update], the latest version supports Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008, both in 32- and 64-bit editions. The application has a VBScript generator that uses Windows Script Host WSH to enable system administrators to handle complex backup scenarios. Backup definitions can be saved as XML files for simple editing and re-running. Macrium Reflect also offers Windows Preinstallation Environment 4.0, and Linux based system recovery solutions.
Macrium Reflect can create full, incremental and differential backup images to optimize speed and storage requirements. Data is compressed and encrypted in real time using Abraham Lempel LZ based compression and AES encryption algorithms. Images can be mounted as a drive letter in Windows Explorer and restored using a custom Live CD.
Macrium Reflect can also backup files and folders into a compressed virtual drive. This can be mounted as a drive letter in Windows Explorer for file recovery using copy and paste. Full, incremental backup and differential backup files are supported as well as data compression.
Macrium Reflect can clone one disk onto another. An image is taken of the disk to be cloned and rather than create an image file, the output is placed directly onto the target disk. The target disk does not need to be the same size as the original provided it is big enough to fit all the data. Macrium Reflect also ensures that the underlying disk signatures and data structures are consistent on the new disk.
The Windows System partition cannot be restored whilst Windows is running. To overcome this issue the PC has to be started with another operating system using a Live CD. There are typically three ways to do this:
1. A customized Linux kernel can be used to load the restore software and overwrite the Windows system partition. The Linux kernel is booted from CD/DVD and completely loaded into main memory. This enables any partition on local hard disks to be freely accessed for update. This is the option used by Acronis True Image Home and others.
2. Microsoft provides a cut-down version of Windows called Windows Preinstallation Environment or Windows PE. This also creates a Live CD but is proprietary and needs to be licensed from Microsoft before distribution. This option is used by the current version of Norton Ghost.
3. Microsoft also provide a free-to-download tool called the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) that Macrium Reflect uses to create a Rescue CD. The advantage of using this method is that the WAIK has a much richer set of preinstalled drivers compared to Windows PE allowing the rescue disk to be created more easily. The disadvantage of using this method is that it requires a 1.7GB download from Microsoft.
Macrium Reflect v5 offers Linux and Windows PE as standard.
Redeploy to new hardware
Macrium Reflect Professional and Server editions provide the ability to redeploy and image to new hardware in the case of catastrophic hardware failure. Using a pre-created Macrium Reflect Rescue CD, it is possible to inject the critical drivers associated with the new system into the image taken from the old system, enabling it to boot on the new system after it has been restored.
A free edition is available for non-commercial use. It is missing features available in the paid versions, limiting its practical use to one of imaging and cloning operations. Technical support is not included.
- How to create a disk image with Macrium Reflect
- How to restore a backup image
- How To clone a disk
- Review of Macrium Reflect by Dr FileFinder
- Review of Macrium Reflect by TopTenReviews