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Old 22nd December 2018, 14:45
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Default Disk Imaging Software

I'm interested in getting recommendations of Disk Imaging Software. I want to be able to take an image of my OS drive so that in the event of a drive failure, or badly corrupted OS, I can restore to a known working/safe OS.

Up until now I've been using Acronis TrueImage. I thought it was excellent, and it got me out of a number of holes over the years. However, my system crashed earlier this week and when I restored my Acronis OS image it wouldn't work properly, and so I was forced to reinstall Windows 10, along with all my other software - an almighty pain in the bum!!!

If you use disk imaging software other than Acronis I'd be interested in hearing your experiences with all the pros and cons. I'm on Win 10 Pro 64bit, so any suggestions would need to be compatible with that.

TIA
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Old 23rd December 2018, 23:12
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I use Macrium Reflect, it is free and it works very well and it gets updates regularly as Windows etc gets updated.

Pro's
It has full support for all windows and Mac etc, very easy to use and i have used it a lot with no issues.
I just used it to clone my HHD to an SSD and it took about 30 min to clone about 200 GB.
If you search Youtube there are many how to use vids
YouTube instructions from Macrium
http://youtube.com/watch?v=1PqAh7TSMRU

You can also make a portable version, dvd, usb etc if needed

Con's
Nothing yet

Download the "Home Use" version, it is fully working and does anything you will need

http://macrium.com/reflectfree
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Old 24th December 2018, 03:33

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i think i used free AOMEI version to move larger HDD to image to smaller SSD

iirc it allows you to create a bootable version on a flash drive to do this, most that create bootable version are not free

i also use free version of Mini Tool Partition Wizard for HDD stuff - very nice for copying, moving and creating partitions but bootable version costs $$$

i was previously using Clonezilla but the GUI isnt too good, better for advanced users
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Old 26th December 2018, 18:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evenings7 View Post
I use Macrium Reflect, it is free and it works very well and it gets updates regularly as Windows etc gets updated.

Pro's
It has full support for all windows and Mac etc, very easy to use and i have used it a lot with no issues.
I just used it to clone my HHD to an SSD and it took about 30 min to clone about 200 GB.
If you search Youtube there are many how to use vids
YouTube instructions from Macrium
http://youtube.com/watch?v=1PqAh7TSMRU

You can also make a portable version, dvd, usb etc if needed

Con's
Nothing yet

Download the "Home Use" version, it is fully working and does anything you will need

http://macrium.com/reflectfree
I DLed and installed the free version, created a disk image of my C drive and a boot media on a USB stick, uninstalled a couple of programs and restored my C drive. It worked perfectly and I got my OS back along with the programs I'd uninstalled. Excellent!!!

I actually think it is much better than Acronis True Image. The interface is a lot simpler and more intuitive than Acronis. It also appears to be much faster and the image file it creates appears to be much smaller. Not to mention of course that Acronis failed me when my PC died.

Many thanks for providing the information. I feel safe again.
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Old 29th December 2018, 18:14

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I use Paragon Hard Disk Manager. It's a very great program that comes with many features, compared to the FREE version of Macrium Reflect.
It offer options such as cloning HDDs, create a VM disk image that you can restore on another computer or a different HDD and much more.
The FREE version of Macrium is ok for creating standard HDD backups and restore them. But If you create a disk image with an old version of the program, and then you suddenly update it and create a boot media with it, you won't be able to restore the image you created with the old version. As Macrium does flag the disk image with the program version you used to create it, and reads it each time you launch the restore process.
So, once you created your backup and boot media, DO NOT update the program. Otherwise you will lose your backup and you won't be able to restore it.
Also, Macrium FREE doesn't offer the option to restore your backup to another HDD other than the one you used to create your backup. So, if you need to change your HDD and restore from the backup you created, it will not work.
So, if you wanna be on the safe side of things, I highly recommend getting also Paragon and create a backup with it, too.
That way, whenever you will run into some problems with Macrium, you will not lose an entire day reinstalling Windows, along with every single driver and app.
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Old 1st January 2019, 00:04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SynchroDub View Post
I use Paragon Hard Disk Manager. It's a very great program that comes with many features, compared to the FREE version of Macrium Reflect.
It offer options such as cloning HDDs, create a VM disk image that you can restore on another computer or a different HDD and much more.
The FREE version of Macrium is ok for creating standard HDD backups and restore them. But If you create a disk image with an old version of the program, and then you suddenly update it and create a boot media with it, you won't be able to restore the image you created with the old version. As Macrium does flag the disk image with the program version you used to create it, and reads it each time you launch the restore process.
So, once you created your backup and boot media, DO NOT update the program. Otherwise you will lose your backup and you won't be able to restore it.
Also, Macrium FREE doesn't offer the option to restore your backup to another HDD other than the one you used to create your backup. So, if you need to change your HDD and restore from the backup you created, it will not work.

So, if you wanna be on the safe side of things, I highly recommend getting also Paragon and create a backup with it, too.
That way, whenever you will run into some problems with Macrium, you will not lose an entire day reinstalling Windows, along with every single driver and app.
Thanks for the very detailed advice SynchroDub, particularly what I've highlighted in bold italics. Do you know if the paid for version suffers from the same limitations? In particular could I restore to a new HDD with the Home version? And does the Home version have the same backward coompatability issues if updated? I'd really prefer not to have two different backup tools on my PC. I don't have anything against Paragon it's just I really like the look and feel of Macrium - so easy to use. I'm more than happy to pay for the Macrium Home version if it doesn't have those limiations.

TIA - and a happy New Year.
Last edited by Pad; 1st January 2019 at 00:10.
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Old 1st January 2019, 18:10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pad View Post
Thanks for the very detailed advice SynchroDub, particularly what I've highlighted in bold italics. Do you know if the paid for version suffers from the same limitations? In particular could I restore to a new HDD with the Home version? And does the Home version have the same backward coompatability issues if updated? I'd really prefer not to have two different backup tools on my PC. I don't have anything against Paragon it's just I really like the look and feel of Macrium - so easy to use. I'm more than happy to pay for the Macrium Home version if it doesn't have those limiations.

TIA - and a happy New Year.
To a new HD, no. You're only limited to one HD with the FREE version. And that's the one you backed up.
If you want to restore to a different HD/hardware than the one used to create your backup, you will need Macrium Redeploy (unlocked if you buy a license). And even if you buy a license, you will still miss on a lot of features offered by Paragon HDM.
As for the rest, once you created your backup with either the FREE or Redeploy version of the software, I personally wouldn't advise you to update the software, but just create your boot media, after you have backed up your drive.
That way, even if you update the program, you wouldn't have any trouble restoring your image.
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Old 7th January 2019, 22:21
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>>Also, Macrium FREE doesn't offer the option to restore your backup to another HDD other than the one you used to create your backup.

Sorry but that is just not true.

I have about 6 PCs in my house and about 20 different hard disks (500Gb, 1Tb, 2Tb, 4TB).

Many times I have used Macrium Reflect free edition to back up a hard drive to an external hard drive and then restored it to a totally different hard drive of a different size.

So I have backed up a 500Gb and restored it to a 1Tb or 2TB (you can increase or decrease the size of partitions during the restore).

I have backed up a 1Tb hard drive and restored it to a 2Tb or a 500Gb and never had a problem (again changing partitions size to make them fit).

I do this as follows:

I install Macrium Reflect Free on my hard disk and then create a Macrium Reflect rescue CD.

I then use the Macrium Reflect Free I installed on the PC to backup the hard disk to an image on the external hard drive.

I then swap hard drives (take one out and put a new one in), then "boot" from the rescue CD (which goes into Windows PE and a portable version of Macrium Reflect)

I then select the image from the external hard drive and restore it to the new hard drive in the desktop PC.

I always do this after making a backup to make sure they backup "works" (by restoring it to a totally different hard drive)

I have done this well over 100 times, always to another hard disk, many times to smaller or larger hard disks, and never had a problem.

Note I have only ever created images of a complete hard disk, and restored the complete image to another hard disk, I have never backed up or restored individual partitions.

I think Macrium Reflect is excellent and I have always used the "free" version and never had to pay them a penny.


>>>But If you create a disk image with an old version of the program, and then you suddenly update it and create a boot media with it, you won't be able to restore the image you created with the old version.

To be honest I am not sure this is true either. I have restored old backups with the latest version of Macrium Reflect and it worked fine.
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Last edited by guilert60; 7th January 2019 at 22:36.
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Old 11th January 2019, 09:34
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>>>>>>But If you create a disk image with an old version of the program, and then you suddenly update it and create a boot media with it, you won't be able to restore the image you created with the old version.

Sorry but confirmed this again is not true.

I have this morning just created a Macrium Reflect rescue disk with the latest version of Macrium Reflect Free (Version 7.2).

I then booted from the rescue disk and selected a Windows 7 image on my external hard drive from February 2015 and it worked fine.

Took out rescue disk, rebooted the PC, and Windows 7 (2015 image) started with no problem.

Macrium Reflect Free has done everything I want of it over the last few years.

NEVER had to buy a copy or pay them any money but have been able to make about 150 disk images of both Windows 7 and Windows 10 and restore them back to hard disks (and SSDs) of various sizes.

Rock solid product that has never failed on me once.
Last edited by guilert60; 11th January 2019 at 09:35.
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Old 11th January 2019, 10:28

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Why not use the built in Windows option?
Just navigate to the old Control Panel>System & Security>Back up & Restore (Windows 7) on the Left hand side you should see the Create a system image & Create a system repair disc options.
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