Macrium Reflect

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Macrium reflect
Developer(s) Paramount Software UK Ltd
Stable release 6.0.753 / July 21, 2015; 2 months ago (2015-07-21)
Operating system Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, Server 2003, Server 2008, Server 2012
Type Backup software
License Commercial Use
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, 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 5.0, and Linux based system recovery solutions.

Disk imaging[edit]

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.

File backup[edit]

Macrium Reflect can also back up 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. Compressed or uncompressed full, incremental, and differential backup files are supported.

Disk cloning[edit]

Macrium Reflect can clone one disk onto another; a disk large enough to accommodate all the data can be made into an exact copy of the original. The underlying disk signatures and data structures are consistent on the new disk.

System recovery[edit]

The Windows System partition cannot be restored with any recovery software while Windows is running; the PC has to be started with a Live CD or other boot medium with its own operating system. There are several ways to do this.

1. A customized Linux kernel can be used to load the restore software and overwrite the Windows system partition with the imaged version. 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 proprietary cut-down version of Windows for a live CD, requiring licensing, called Windows Preinstallation Environment (PE). This option is used by the current version of Norton Ghost.

3. Microsoft also provide a downloadable a 1.7GB free-of-charge tool called the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK). The WAIK has a much richer set of preinstalled drivers than Windows PE, simplifying creation of the rescue disk. Macrium Reflect uses the WAIK to create a Rescue CD

Macrium Reflect v5 offers Linux and Windows PE as standard.

Redeploy to new hardware[edit]

Macrium Reflect Professional and Server editions can restore an image to new hardware, for use for example in the case of replacement of failed equipment by more up-to-date hardware. Using a pre-created Macrium Reflect Rescue CD, critical drivers required by the new system can be inserted into the image taken from the old system, making it compatible with the new hardware.

Free edition[edit]

An unsupported free edition is available for non-commercial use, lacking some features of full versions including incremental backup, restore to different hardware, file and directory backup, dynamic disk support, and server support. The Version 6 free edition (Feb, 2015) now supports "differential images."

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