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  • Backup Utility for Win10

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Questions: Win10 Backup Utility for Win10

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      • #2283431 Reply
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        I recently upgraded to windows 10 pro. I need a back utility as there is none in windows 10. It only has win7 backup. My system had two drives; the master is 1 tb SSD and data drive is conventional drive 1 tb.
        I was to make full backup of both drives including clone master.

        I have two 3tb external SSD for backup.
        I appreciate the advice on what to get. I don’t want to spend arm and leg. If I buy it I wand annual subscription not monthly.

        I appreciate your help.

      • #2283441 Reply
        PKCano
        Da Boss

        There are several good FREE backup utilities (they have paid versions also):
        Macrium Reflect Free
        EaseUS Todo Backup Free
        Aomei Backupper Free

        There are Topics in the Tools Forum about these.
        Also use the Search function in the right woodgrain panel.

        5 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2283444 Reply
        Zig
        AskWoody Plus

        +1 for EaseUS; many others like Macrium. In the past, I found Acronis buggy after previously having a good reputation.

        Zig

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2283468 Reply
          Alex5723
          AskWoody Plus

          I use Acronis (currently 2019) backup app for years. Never has any problems with the app.
          I didn’t like the new file system (tibx) on version 2020 so I stayed with 2019.

          • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Alex5723.
          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2283663 Reply
            doriel
            AskWoody Lounger

            Can you backup NVMe SSDs? I use TrueImage 2017 and it cant see the NVMe disks when I boot from USB and try to backup my C:

            I tried to find drivers for it, but no luck so far.

            Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

            HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

            • #2283668 Reply
              Alex5723
              AskWoody Plus

              Yes. I do backup my drive C which is M.2 MVMe SSD + my drive D which is a HDD with Acronis to external USB HDD.

              Attachments:
              2 users thanked author for this post.
              • #2283674 Reply
                doriel
                AskWoody Lounger

                OK, I see its time to upgrade Acronis to version 2019. Thank you for your insight.

                Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

                HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

                1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2283720 Reply
                Paul T
                AskWoody MVP

                The lack of disk controller drivers in the recovery CD will be the issue, not the version of Acronis.

                You should be able to add the required driver to the Acronis USB – via DISM or from the Acronis USB creation utility.

                cheers, Paul

                2 users thanked author for this post.
              • #2283728 Reply
                doriel
                AskWoody Lounger

                I tried..

                Acronis Linux-based bootable media cannot detect NVMe drives in RAID mode due to a Linux kernel limitation.

                Acronis Knowledge Base

                And Im not skilled enough to import the driver into bootable media 🙁

                Thats why I mentioned transition to 2019, I thought it can solve my problem. But this is maybe for another whole thread.
                Thank you for your replies, I really appreciate that.

                Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

                HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

              • #2283766 Reply
                Paul T
                AskWoody MVP

                Make a WinPE boot disk.
                https://kb.acronis.com/content/59611

                cheers, Paul

                1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2294540 Reply
                Michael Austin
                AskWoody Plus

                Long story short… I’d fiddled lots with four versions of Acronis since maybe 2015. Their interfaces are sometimes unnecessarily complicated for my tastes. But they do offer granular controls, and they keep up with the times by including anti-ransomware and anti-malware features.

                In my records I see that I was licensed for 2018, -19 and -20. In searching for cloning or backup tools which would be reliable, and have live support (chat or phone) I days ago opted to switch to Acronis True Image 2021 with a negotiated (‘upgrade’ to them, ‘cross-grade’ to me) price of $35. I don’t use their cloud storage because I live in the country and I’m unwilling to pay $800/month a gigabit data line would cost me here. I store everything to do with my machine’s backups, including their Windows restoration media, on a big, external USB drive.

                In using the 2021 Acronis True image version I found that validating the backups takes far longer than the backups themselves. Maybe 10 minutes for incremental backups. And 90 minutes to validate the most recent backup.

                Finance, social and tech founder. My new, planet-wide talk show, Casual Saints, is happening.

        • #2283630 Reply
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          What is buggy about Acronis? You have to provide evidence if you want to make such claims – only fair to the manufacturer.

          cheers, Paul

          5 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2291870 Reply
            anonymous
            Guest

            I also had major problems with Acronis. I bought and used Acronis years ago to back up my computer and it crashed my whole system with an unrecoverable BSOD! Exactly the opposite of what I was trying to accomplish! That was years ago and maybe they improved the product since then? But I personally would never take a chance with them again. It was directly related to using their Backup software at the time!

            I used both Reflect and Window Backup and Restore. That way I have two different copies just in case one doesn’t work.

            2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2292344 Reply
            Michael Austin
            AskWoody Plus

            I disagree that anyone has to “provide evidence”. When one pays any publisher to provide sofware which is stone-stock reliable, and the publisher isn’t able to do that, then I’m uninterested and unwilling in spending my own time to enumerate long events about their inabilities and failings. The proof of performance rests squarely with the publisher. With that stated, I’ve found after two years of fiddling with Acronis True Image 2019 and 2020, and even one edition before those, it almost always has some problem, big or small. Today I finally uninstalled it because I’m unwilling to de-bug Acronis’s problems on a regular basis.

            Finance, social and tech founder. My new, planet-wide talk show, Casual Saints, is happening.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2292466 Reply
              Paul T
              AskWoody MVP

              Dealing with the manufacturer is one thing, making unsubstantiated claims on the web is another.
              We (AskWoody) are trying to provide a quality platform so some evidence is required.

              cheers, Paul

              2 users thanked author for this post.
              • #2292511 Reply
                Zig
                AskWoody Plus

                Fair enough; see my posts #2288194 & #2288250.

                Zig

                1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2294545 Reply
            Michael Austin
            AskWoody Plus

            OK, Paul T: I’m an elder geek who had built and run a very unusual (for our industry) mixed-OS network for 12+ years for a special gallery of vintage animation art with many clients, including some of mine from Belgium, Japan, and North America. I was also a silent partner in the gallery, and contributor of capital to its expansion and operations. One can see from my new post in this thread that I just re-upped to Acronis yet again. Without my taking my own time for the very long, accurate explanations to which I’m given, that means that I voted with my personal time and dollars to trust their software and support. This after looking at Macrium and other 3rd party Windows backup publishers.

            Finance, social and tech founder. My new, planet-wide talk show, Casual Saints, is happening.

        • #2292343 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          I second the bugginess of Acronis True Image. I just this moment gave up trying to make it work after many months of their 2019 and 2020 versions being very fiddly and unreliable.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2294274 Reply
            anonymous
            Guest

            Acronis also went to annual subscriptions this past year for the paid version.

        • #2294619 Reply
          wavy
          AskWoody Plus

          yep buggy
          seems to happen when ever I actually pay for s/w 🙁

          🍻

          Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      • #2283460 Reply
        Rob Cork
        AskWoody Plus

        +1 for Macrium Reflect. No problems at all.

        I also found Acronis buggy.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2283476 Reply
        Norio
        AskWoody Plus

        Paragon Backup & Recovery Community Edition is free.
        https://www.paragon-software.com/us/free/br-free/

        I have tested it and it is very basic, but works well:
        1)  Set up automated, scheduled backups of disks, partitions or files.
        2) Mount the backup files as a drive letter and browse the recovery points.
        3) Recover drives/partitions by booting from an USB stick with WinPE; the process of creating one is automated for you.
        4) Do one-time manual (cold) backups of drives & partitions from the USB stick.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2283485 Reply
        agoldhammer
        AskWoody Plus

        I’ve been using NovaBackup for a lot of years.  It can be configured in a lot of ways and also has a disk imaging utility built in for mirroring the system drive.  It also is able to back up to Amazon Web Service for low cost off site storage of important data.  We have three PCs at home and the three pack license is reasonably priced.

        I also had a problem with Acronis.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2283544 Reply
        Bundaburra
        AskWoody Plus

        I have been using Macrium (free version) for years, and am very happy with it.  I have two main drives, and it will back them up separately to an external USB drive.  I know it works, because more than once I have needed to restore – either an entire drive, or individual files or folders.

        Windows 10 Pro 64 bit 2004

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2283618 Reply
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        I’ve been using TeraByte Unlimited software for close to 20 years, do a great deal of tinkerin’ with Windows and breaking it regularly.  I’ve restored drive images literally hundreds of times, never a failure.

        I’m now using Image For Windows v3.40.  $38.94 covers 5 PC’s for private use.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2287939 Reply
        John782
        AskWoody Plus

        I started using the free version of Macrium Reflect software sometime back earlier in the year on both my laptops.  I scheduled a full backup monthly and a differential backup weekly on each laptop. I thought it may be complicated to use, but I haven’t found that to be the case,  and it seems to work fine for me.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2287951 Reply
        Biiljoy
        AskWoody Lounger

        I have been using the old norton/symantec Ghost.  It backs up an image of the drive and can hot image a running windows system really does everything I need and comes with ghost explorer binary that can mount the images and get just one small file without restoring, very handy.

        • #2290193 Reply
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          Thanks for the memory! I nearly forgot about this tool. I think it came in one bundle with Pratition Magic. I think it was special Linux distro, from which we booted and backed up the HDD.

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

      • #2287981 Reply
        Sueska
        AskWoody Lounger

        Has (or does) anyone use the built in Win 10 backup for making a system image? I have used it once successfully in the past to restore an image possibly version 1809. Currently use the built in backup system image for Windows 8.1. Have recently used successfully to restore an image for a hard drive failure.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2290776 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          I use the windows File History and also the Windows builtin Create System Image.  I have restored the System Image several times and it works just fine.  (I wonder if Microsoft intends to remove this feature because they identify it as Windows 7).

          I just recently using EaseUS ToDo Backup Pro.  I have successfully restored my HDD using it.

          I use both programs to create a system image before I allow the monthly quality update to be installed.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2288194 Reply
        Zig
        AskWoody Plus

        I have been using EaseUS Todo backup since ~2010 to perform a nightly differential backup of my System drive. I’ve had to restore 2-3 times, and have used the program to clone the OS drive many times, on several computers. Few problems at all, though I do miss the convenience of having a public forum. I think Macrium has a better and more transparent model there.

        I use FreeFileBackup to do a backup of my data nightly, but haven’t had the necessity of restoring.

        In response to PaulT’s question above, I purchased 3-4 copies of Acronis Backup in 2009 after seeing multiple glowing reviews of earlier versions. I couldn’t get it to do what I wanted (differential b/u with email notification), and when I went to the forum found that numerous people were having problems also, with no substantial help from the company (“we’re working on it”). The “fix” eventually seemed to buy Acronis 2010, but I’m not sure if that helped, either, as I had already gone to EaseUS by that time, as the free version (at that time) did everything I wanted. I have since upgraded to the paid version on my family’s desktop machines, though I still use the (latest) free version on our laptops, which are only occasionally backed up. (Nothing mission-critical there.)

        As always, YMMV and remember to RTFM.

        Zig

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2288250 Reply
        Zig
        AskWoody Plus

        I should have said “automatic daily differential b/u with email notification”

        Zig

        • #2288308 Reply
          Alex5723
          AskWoody Plus

          I use Acronis True Image Home with automatic daily incremental backup.

          I don’t need mail notification but the software has this function.

          Attachments:
          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2290101 Reply
        Speed Racer
        AskWoody Plus

        I recently bought Acronis True Image 2020 (5 PC version, Newegg $40) and have a couple questions for anyone based on your experiences.

        • I have 2 PC’s, both setup with OS on C drive, and data on D drive.
        • I plan to use a single 2TB external HDD for backups of both PC’s.
        • I am using separate 128GB USB flash drives as OS boot drives (one for each PC).
        • All backups are done monthly and stored in a fire safe.

        Q:  Can a single external HDD be used as a backup target for multiple PC’s? Has anyone experience problems with doing this?

        Q:  Has anyone used the cloud backup capability in addition to a local HHD/SSD backup?  If so, what was your experience, and would you do it again?

        Q:  Regarding my external HDD.  I previously used the manufacturer’s backup software included with the drive for my current backups.  What would you recommend in preparing the drive for use with another backup utility software program/Acronis?

        Thanks…Speed

         

        ASUS TUF SABERTOOTH Z170s Motherboard, Intel i7-6700k CPU, Corsair 32GB DDR4-3200 RAM, ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce GTX-1070 Video Card, 1x BPX M.2 240GB NVMe SSD, 1x Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD, 2x WD Black 6TB HDD, Windows 10 Pro 64bit v1909

        • #2290171 Reply
          Alex5723
          AskWoody Plus

          Acronis True Image 2021 is just out. Your upgrade will be free.

          https://forum.acronis.com/forum/acronis-true-image-2021-forum/acronis-true-image-2021-released

          2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2290201 Reply
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          Q: Can a single external HDD be used as a backup target for multiple PC’s? Has anyone experience problems with doing this?

          Yes, In Acronis you choose the backup name while backup process. You can name it as you want. File extension is *.TIB

          Q: Regarding my external HDD. I previously used the manufacturer’s backup software included with the drive for my current backups. What would you recommend in preparing the drive for use with another backup utility software program/Acronis?

          I recommend to use NTFS external drive, with FAT32 you will end with lots of 4 GB files.

          Appendix:
          Clean the mess on the drive (internet temp, updates, windows.old folder, and so on) before backing up.

          If you run sysprep.exe and select “generalize” checkbox, you can transfer your system with installed programs on other PC. Run sysprep, then boot to Acronis (not windows) and backup drive.
          After recovery process on other PC, that PC will run into OOBE. Your installed programs will be there, ready for you.
          But try this with caution, because OOBE will appear on the backed up computer too. Be aware, that non OEM licenses, could require activating Windows 10 again.

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          • This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by doriel.
          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2291926 Reply
          alphacharlie
          AskWoody Plus

          My strategy is almost identical to  Speed Racer, except I use AOMEI Backupper.  I am not sure of the current pricing, but I switched from Paragon Free to AOMEI free around 5 years ago, and when that seemed quite satisfactory,  I paid around $50 or $60 for the Pro version which included lifetime upgrades and allowed 2 PCs.    I have a pair of 6-year old 2TB USB 2 WD external drives, and a one-year old USB 3 Seagate 5TB external.  I can back up to any of them from either of the 2 PCs, and have both Win 7 and Win 10 backups.  I recently put a brand-new  SSD in an old PC and restored from the external without any hiccups at all.  Speed of backup and restore is good.

          I have no basis to say AOMEI is better than its competitors, just that it works for me.

          • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by alphacharlie.
          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2290163 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        You can store backups from any number of machines on one disk. They are only files and to keep them separate you create a folder for each machine.

        I don’t use cloud backup because the upload speeds on broadband are generally slow, meaning the backup will take a loonnngggg time.
        You can put a small amount of data that you need to access from anywhere on the cloud.

        External drives don’t need to be changed to use another backup program. If Windows can see the drive, so can the backup software.

        cheers, Paul

        4 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2292693 Reply
          WSkevmeist
          AskWoody Plus

          Macrium Reflect can also put images of multiple PCs on the same external HD. I use an 8TB WD USB drive to backup PCs monthly and keep 3 backups of each PC on that drive. I also take a backup of my NAS on to that same WD drive. All backed up to date named folders.

          I use FullImage backups only when doing this.

          • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by WSkevmeist.
          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2290178 Reply
        Biiljoy
        AskWoody Lounger

        It has to be ntfs.  If the external is fat32 you’re limited to files 8gb or smaller per file.  But I do this all the time and have several backup images and vm’s on external.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2290210 Reply
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          Leaving it as FAT32 (exFAT) means you can access it from anywhere, not just Windows.
          The backup will still work happily.

          cheers, Paul

          • This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by Paul T.
          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2290229 Reply
            bbearren
            AskWoody MVP

            Leaving it as FAT32 (exFAT) means you can access it from anywhere, not just Windows.

            Personally, I don’t foresee a need to access a backup file from anywhere other than the backup software or Windows.

            My image files range in size from 22GB to 49GB for my weekly routine images, and larger for full drive images (in case a drive fails and needs to be replaced) up to 387GB.  Quite unhandy in FAT32.

            My page file partition is FAT32 (never gets imaged), my USB thumb drives are FAT32, and that’s it; all my other drives are NTFS.

            Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
            "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
            "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

            1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2290212 Reply
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          I didnt notice your post. I doubled the NTFS recommendation in my post.

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2290823 Reply
        DooDahMan
        AskWoody Plus

        I’ve used a number of backup program over the years but for the home environment Cobian Backup 11 has been the easiest and most reliable for me. Its free though no longer actively supported; no support is no problem as I’ve never had an issue with it after four years of use. Some may find it a little light in features for home-office PCs but for a retiree like myself its a good fit.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2290843 Reply
        ymo1965
        AskWoody Lounger

        One that Ive been using since Windows 7 (and my version is still working with Windows 10) is ‘R-Drive Image’.

        https://www.drive-image.com/

        30-day trial if you wanna try it. You can make a restore/backup disk (linux based) but you can also backup your entire boot drive while using it.

         

        ymo1965

        • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by ymo1965.
        • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by ymo1965.
      • #2290928 Reply
        jcp46
        AskWoody Plus

        I use Macrium to make a full image nightly. I use GoodSync to backup new and changed files every hour. The free version of GoodSync is quite limited, but the paid version does what I want. All backups are done to an external hard drive.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2291008 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        I’m surprised nobody mentioned Veeam: https://www.veeam.com/vm-backup-recovery-replication-software.html

        Look under the Free Tools, the backup is good and I’ve used it for recovery also.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2291120 Reply
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          I consider Veeam as enterprise solution, more than home software for backing up your PC.

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

      • #2291062 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        The free version of Macrium Reflect lets you Schedule updates to a networked external drive meaning it can be set an forget

      • #2291074 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        I can only speak very highly of EaseUs Free Backup which has many options from simple to more complex.
        And it can be used to create what they call PreBios which, when created, means that when Windows 10 is started up….right in the opening screen….there is the option to login to Win 10 or to use Eaesus – or, in fact, other Options right on the start screen to go through to Windows functions including System Restore. What more could one ask. Even though the program makes fully optioned Boot Disks (USB) as a secondary way of getting a compromised computer to draw upon a backup file made with EaseUs and resident on an external drive, the start screen alone in Win 10 is a great innovation.
        This is a wonderful program that I use on several computers here and on other people’s computers who I help voluntarily.
        The program has never failed within the scope of my use of it. Cannot speak highly enough of it. If wanted, the backup files can be encrypted….or left unencrypted.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2291159 Reply
        WSGordanski
        AskWoody Plus

        Hi,

        I’ve used Macrium Reflect Free for at least 5 years and it’s never let me down. There is a Pro version but I’ve never seen the need for it. Used it after several disasters with Windows backup.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2291167 Reply
        WSdplautatwindowssecrets
        AskWoody Lounger

        I’ve used a number of backup program over the years but for the home environment Cobian Backup 11 has been the easiest and most reliable for me. Its free though no longer actively supported; no support is no problem as I’ve never had an issue with it after four years of use. Some may find it a little light in features for home-office PCs but for a retiree like myself its a good fit.

        I use Cobian also. Great for file backups.

      • #2291193 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        Syncback by 2 Brightsparks for data. Incredibly easy, very powerful, but doesn’t do the OS so use Macrium Reflectwth mixed results. -bzj

      • #2291220 Reply
        RockFox
        AskWoody Plus

        I use the windows File History and also the Windows builtin Create System Image.  I have restored the System Image several times and it works just fine.  (I wonder if Microsoft intends to remove this feature because they identify it as Windows 7).

        I just recently using EaseUS ToDo Backup Pro.  I have successfully restored my HDD using it.

        I use both programs to create a system image before I allow the monthly quality update to be installed.

        My external HDD has a convenient power switch.  I turn it on ONLY to create the Windows System Image or the ToDo System Backup and then I power it off.  This is to prevent any malware that I may pickup from destroying my backups.
        How to access a system image and restore individual files using Windows 10’s native VHD support

      • #2291665 Reply
        glstocks
        AskWoody Plus

        I also use Cobian. Works great.

      • #2291892 Reply
        CAS
        AskWoody Plus

        I just downloaded the most recent version of Macrium backup in place of Windows backup and have read a number of articles about how to best set it up and use it. I’ve gotten a number of different versions about how to do this and, quite candidly, I am (as usual) quite confused.

        I would like to run Macrium, manually, before and after the installation of MS updates.  I know that a number of users here have scheduled backups,  but I have so few files on my hard-drive that aren’t already backed up on a USB stick, including all my documents and Photos and my full profile for Firefox, that I don’t think it makes sense to do daily or weekly backups using Macrium.

        My C drive on my Lenovo ThinkCentre has a capacity of 465.16 GB of which 417.76 GB are free. I turn my computer off after I’m done using it and turn it on when I need to. The backups will be stored on a 1 terrabyte external hard drive and I have already made a Rescue Disk using Macrium.

        That brings me to my questions:

        1. Should I set up a schedule and, if so, what should it be and how do I do it? The thing about differential and full backups and grandfather, father son, etc. is still confusing despite the articles I read.
        2. If I only want to run it manually what services do I need to enable? I found settings for Reflect Shell Extension (Reflect UI) and Macrium Service. Do I enable them to run automatically and start them or do I set them to run manually without starting them, if that’s even possible. (I think the level of my  technical skills is obvious.)

        Thank you all for your kindness and patience. Any help you can provide me will be appreciated.

        CAS

        • #2292216 Reply
          PaulK
          AskWoody Lounger

          I just downloaded the most recent version of Macrium backup

          The most recent documentation is the User Guide for 7.2. View on-screen, or pdf download via the link near the top-left corner. It has been expanded and somewhat reorganized from the previous (7.0/7.1) edition.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          CAS
        • #2292696 Reply
          WSkevmeist
          AskWoody Plus

          I prefer to NOT use incremental or differential images. So, I do a Full Image each time I backup. I also do this manually (monthly in my case for PC as data files are kept on a NAS running RAID5).

          I also don’t keep the external drive (8TB WD USB drive for me) plugged into anything while NOT in use. Living in Florida…means lightning…even though most everything is connected via a UPS…having the drive disconnected means that lightning can’t get to it (which is possible when still cable connected).

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2291910 Reply
        Bundaburra
        AskWoody Plus

        I run a full backup in Macrium once a week, or before/after some major change such as installing Windows updates.  But my user data  (documents, photos etc.) on my E drive also get backed up more regularly, using good old xcopy.  I have a scheduled task which runs every 15 minutes, runs a .bat file which contains the following command:

        start /wait xcopy E:\*.* N:\ /C /K /M /E /H /Y /R /G /EXCLUDE:E:\Utilities\Exclude.txt

        It copies all files (*.*) from the E drive to the N drive, which is an external USB, permanently connected (but not the external drive which receives the Macrium backups).  The /M switch says to copy only those files with the archive bit set, and then to turn it off, so only new or changed files  get copied, and only once.  The Exclude.txt  file contains a list of any files or folders which are not to be copied.  (The meanings of the other switches can be looked up by entering xcopy /? at a command prompt.)  The batch file/scheduled task is run by a user who is not logged on (an option when setting up the scheduled task), so the job runs completely in the background, unseen by the current logged on user.  (I have set up a special user to run this, named “Subtask”, because that’s exactly what it does.)

        Windows 10 Pro 64 bit 2004

        • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by Bundaburra.
        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2291915 Reply
        Bundaburra
        AskWoody Plus

        When I run Macrium, I also run it from a batch file which I start manually:

        ::
        :: Enable and start the Volume Shadow Copy service (in case it is not running)..
        ::
        sc config VSS start= auto
        net start VSS
        ::
        :: Enable and start the Macrium service.
        ::
        sc config MacriumService start= auto
        net start MacriumService
        ::
        :: Run Macrium Reflect and pause when finished.
        ::
        “C:\Program Files\Macrium\Reflect\Reflect.exe”
        pause
        ::
        :: Now stop the same service and disable it.
        ::
        net stop MacriumService
        sc config MacriumService start= disabled
        ::
        :: Also stop the Volume Shadow Copy service and set it to Manual
        ::
        net stop VSS
        sc config VSS start= demand
        ::
        pause

         

        Windows 10 Pro 64 bit 2004

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        CAS
      • #2291943 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Should I set up a schedule

        Schedules only work if your backup drive is permanently connected. Your’s is external and should be stored securely when not in use, so a schedule isn’t good for you.

        If I only want to run it manually what services do I need to enable

        Leave the services alone, they aren’t doing anything if you are not backing up and when you are you don’t want to bother with anything except running Macrium.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        CAS
        • #2292697 Reply
          WSkevmeist
          AskWoody Plus

          I wholeheartedly endorse NOT keeping a backup drive plugged when it is NOT being used!

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2292015 Reply
        CAS
        AskWoody Plus

        Thank you all for your help. For me, Paul’s reply will work best for me. Once again, the simplest approach is the way to go.

        Paul, when you say to leave the services alone do you mean that I should enable Macrium and  Reflect Shell Services,  leave them as  automatic startup or set them to manual or disable them?

        My best to all of you.

        CAS

        • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by CAS. Reason: added additional content
      • #2292178 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Let Macrium install what it wants and don’t touch the services after that.
        The only time you may not want to install something is the Macrium ransomware protection – only available in the paid version.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        CAS
        • #2292207 Reply
          Alex5723
          AskWoody Plus

          Why does a backup software need anti-rensomware module ? Or any security module ?
          The new Acronis True Image 2021 just did that too.

          • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by Alex5723.
          • #2292315 Reply
            Paul T
            AskWoody MVP

            It is a utility to prevent write access to the backups unless it’s by the backup program itself. This stops ransomware encrypting your backup files so you can always boot from your USB/DVD and restore.
            An elegant solution that removes the requirement to air gap or run a complex NAS – it doesn’t remove the requirement to air gap for other reasons, power, hardware failure etc.

            cheers, Paul

            2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2294553 Reply
            Michael Austin
            AskWoody Plus

            Alex5723:  I could answer from the sea changes I’ve noticed. In my personal conversations with another elder geek, Ron Gravatt of Freelanch Tech, who services lots of Macs and PCs, he noticed that malware miscreants have lately focused their illicit efforts on delivering their dastardley packages via installed programs rather than injectable viruses. If I were to guess at that this means, it could mean that the bad guys are opportunists who are exploiting the sea change that most users know what a virus is, and how to protect against them. But most users I’ve talked with have only the slightest clue how to mitigate against ransomware.

            Finance, social and tech founder. My new, planet-wide talk show, Casual Saints, is happening.

        • #2293011 Reply
          WSkevmeist
          AskWoody Plus

          Agree with PaulT

          Macrium Reflect (Free) gets an update around once monthly also.

      • #2292351 Reply
        Fred
        AskWoody Plus

        This stops ransomware encrypting your backup files

        Sorry, but most Ransomware is able to encrypt anything in it’s reach. So called airgapted backups are very necessary, make sure you can boot from an extern medium and be able to search for the backup files anywhere. And finally take it to the restore test. Only than you can be shure.  What software one uses is not important, as long as the final test: restore bootable (uefi) partitions is correct.

        ~ ~ ~
        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2292482 Reply
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          I assume Macrium and Acronis have tested this and their solution prevents access, otherwise they wouldn’t be advertising is as ransomware protection.

          cheers, Paul

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2294796 Reply
            lmacri
            AskWoody Plus

            The Acronis KB article 65499: Acronis True Image 2021: Advanced Antimalware Protection FAQ has a section titled “Can I Keep My Third-party Antivirus and Acronis at the Same Time?” that suggests users uninstall their third-party antivirus to prevent a possible conflict with the new Acronis antimalware protection:

            “Yes. Acronis will not activate its real-time antimalware protection feature, if Windows Security Center reports that another antivirus is currently active. That ensures that we will not initiate any conflict between two simultaneously running antivirus solutions. To eliminate possibility of that conflict from the other antivirus part, we recommend that you leave only Acronis True Image 2021 and uninstall the third-party antivirus.

            I’m aware of one thread <here> in the Norton Community about a possible conflict (or false positive detection) where the Acronis True Image 2021 malware protection detected a Norton Utilities installer as Malware.CloudGeneric. I use Macrium Reflect Free for creating full disk images, but if I were an Acronis 2021 user and was happy with the real-time protection my third-party antivirus provided I might be more inclined to disable the antimalware protection in Acronis 2021 instead.
            —————
            Win 10 Pro v1909 * Windows Defender * Macrium Reflect Free v7.2.5107

      • #2292356 Reply
        deckie49
        AskWoody Lounger

        Same here. Have used Cobian for years with absolutely no issues. I follow up with Macrium Free image backups as needed.

        • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by deckie49.
        • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by deckie49.
        • #2293013 Reply
          WSkevmeist
          AskWoody Plus

          This describes what Macrium call MIG:

          https://blog.macrium.com/the-importance-of-ransomware-protection-and-mitigation-plans-1a2bd9ab6a89

          BTW, my external backup disks are NOT connected or even powered up when not doing backup tasks.

          My NAS uses RAID5 (3 * 4TB NAS type drives). I take a monthly backup to the 4th drive bay in the NAS and use father/son mechanism with the current backup held at my son’s home.

          I also take a monthly backup to a WD 8TB USB3 drive (which stays in the home).

          I also take PC monthly image backups (3 PCs) to the WD 8TB USB drive covering 3 generations.

          • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by WSkevmeist.
          • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by WSkevmeist.
          • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by WSkevmeist.
          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2292471 Reply
        Fred
        AskWoody Plus

        Dealing with the manufacturer is one thing, making unsubstantiated claims on the web is another.
        We (AskWoody) are trying to provide a quality platform so some evidence is required.

        cheers, Paul

        Thanks [@] Paul-T , I second this statement! , Finally! One cannot burn down a manufacturer product without some described failure or test incident, even if it is some tiny miniscule description what went wrong, or why one’s preferences are different. The laws in your country are quite strickt fortunately

        ~ ~ ~
      • #2292642 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        I use AOMEI Backyoowe and have done for a couple of years.  At one point, I had to restore my system and it worked flawlessly.  I currently perform a full backup of my system every 2 or 3 months or after updates or new versions of the O/S  It works as advertised and I have purchased the Pro version and would recommend it to anyone.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2292653 Reply
        10Ring
        AskWoody Plus

        I’m with bbearren. Been using TeraByte software since Fred Langa recommended it in the early XP days. Image For Windows is super easy, Image For Linux is fast and easy. They can be set up virtually any way you want, and most importantly are absolutely reliable. All of the backups can be restored with all the other versions (IFW backups can be restored with IFL or Image For UEFI, etc). Their BootIt software is also very powerful and reliable as well.

         

      • #2292685 Reply
        Ayjaydee
        AskWoody Plus

        As mentioned by one other poster, I use SyncBack for file backup. Backups go to a couple of different external drives (which are disconnected when not in use) and also to an old Win10 PC with several disks on my home network. I volunteer with a charity and have recently set up a new Dell Latitude 3410 with standard software. As we plan to but a number of these in the next couple of months, I took a disk image for reuse. We use Clonezilla for this – it’s interface is moderately horrible but it does the job. I used RUFUS to make a bootable USB thumb drive. The Latitude BIOS has the NVMe M.2 SSD set as RAID. Booting with the thumb drive was fine, no legacy boot required, BUT Clonezilla couldn’t see the internal SSD. Switching from RAID to AHCI fixed that but this had to be switched back after the image was finished to enable booting into Windows.

        I’m going to look at Macrium Reflect Home for my home PCs. I have used AOMEI Free in the past but have been put off by the fact that it originates from China (Huawei anybody?). Macrium is a British company based in Manchester UK and this gives me much more confidence! (I am British BTW).

        Arthur J Davis

        • #2292704 Reply
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          Clonezilla couldn’t see the internal SSD

          That will be because the boot image doesn’t have a driver for the RAID controller. Macrium will create a Windows PE image which will have a driver so you don’t need to switch modes.

          cheers, Paul

      • #2292691 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        I have used Macrium Reflect for quite a few years. Very good!

        • #2292698 Reply
          WSkevmeist
          AskWoody Plus

          I wish that when selecting a link from the Premium Newsletter that it would allow one to logon before hitting the “Submit” button. I’m not how or whether that could be done…but sure would be nice!

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2292701 Reply
            woody
            Da Boss

            I’d love to see it, but it’d be deucedly hard to implement.

            • #2292741 Reply
              WSkevmeist
              AskWoody Plus

              I hear you. Just thinking out loud. BUT, it’s what confusers are for, right?  Automating things <VBG>.

      • #2292708 Reply
        Volkstoy
        AskWoody Plus

        I have used Acronis True Image Home for years (since Version 8), but they lost me when I purchased ATI 2020 for 5 systems. The new 2020 version no longer allows me to mount my old .TIB files! 🙁 It also doesn’t mount the new format, and because it was an “upgrade”, I’m not eligible for the free 2021 upgrade than CAN now mount the new files. I’ve used Veeam on a few systems, but what has worked well for me is the OEM versions of Acronis from Seagate or Western Digital (unfortunately, both of which now offer the 2020 version of ATI). Since I usually make full backups each time, the limitations of the OEM versions don’t bother me. The older versions (Seagate v23 or WD Build 33) still allow me to mount my old .TIB files for recovering individual files. I have about a dozen systems that I mostly just play with, and have several older archived .TIB files I want to keep access to! I mostly back up to a Raspberry Pi 4 system set up with OpenMediaVault free NAS software using a USB3 attached external drive for storage over my LAN. I also have a miniITX system setup with OMV to syncronize the RPi drive with duplicate copies of the backups. I’m rather anal-rententive about backups, and usually have more than one copy in various formats. 🙂

      • #2292771 Reply
        casadiego86
        AskWoody Plus

        My worries are mostly about my data and not a full image backup although I have been thinking about that and this thread was very interesting 0n that topic.  I have been using Syncback SE for years to backup my data files (and photos, music, and software installation files, that have been downloaded or copied from the CD/DVD).  Two reasons I really like Syncback SE from 2brightsparks.

        1. It only copies new or updated files so runs very fast and can be scheduled and configured to the folder and file level or categories.
        2. It can be configured to backup to a “named drive”.  ie.  I have two usb 1TB drives that I named identically.  One is always connected to my file server (an old PC running W10) and gets updated every night.  On Sundays I swap the two drives and Syncbackup merrily continues backing up to the new drive.  The removed drive is removed from my home so even a fire does not kill it.  So with very little action by me I always have all my data backed up and offline from no more than 7 days ago.

        I am a retired PC support tech and have multiple desktops and laptops setup in my home so having a computer to run with is not a great worry and at times I like to completely rebuild my computers just to clean out all the old detritus that has accumulated.  Rebuilding from scratch can sometimes clean up old issues and I am experienced at doing the rebuilds.  I have used macrium reflect to clone hard drives as I upgraded from spinning disks to SSDs and that has worked out well.  Like is often said about cameras, the best camera is the one you have with you and USE.  Backup software is the same.  The best is the one you have and that you will USE.  SyncBack does come in multiple versions including a free version.  You need at least the SE version to use “named drives”, but it is not an expensive program.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2292846 Reply
        willgertig
        AskWoody Plus

        When you say backup, I think of this as a daily “copy” of my data.  In that perspective, I use Karen Kenworthy’s Replicator.  Its a simple programmable tool that copies data from a source to a target.  It is highly configurable and reliable, Ive used it for years, and as of about 2 years ago, is being updated as needed.  I backup my internal data drive to a portable external drive and a NAS nightly.

        Imaging is a totally different animal.  I do full images monthly of my OS and data drives using Macrium Free.  Again, been using it for years and i have had to restore before.  Soooo nice reimaging a drive in less than an hour!  For safekeeping, I use Replicator to copy my images to the cloud.  And then I disconnect the cloud connection in case something nasty shows up, that way I have good images, and daily backup to cover me.  In times of high demand on my system, I might do weekly images of my OS drive and nightly images of the data, retaining no more than 8 copies to manage space.

        Ive messed with File history and while I have it enabled, I dont even think about it if I need an older version of a file.  Since I use a date format every time I save a file, I always have a version kept.  Storage is cheap, and it nearly costs nothing to save each version.

        Ive never been a fan of any backup utility that compresses the data – how do you know that it really can restore it?  How do you know that its really working?  With Replicator, I just look at the data and can open any file I choose, there by validating that the backup works.  I guess its a leap of faith, but one I got burned on many years ago.  Fool me once, shame on me.  And there wont be a second time because after the first failure, its bye-bye.

      • #2292858 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        A little known utility is Karen’s Replicator.  Google it, free, works very well and you can set up numerous scenarios.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2292862 Reply
        PKCano
        Da Boss

        I have been using Karen’s Replicator for years for data backup.
        There is a tutorial on Karen’s Replicator here.

        https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/karens-replicator-basic-file-folder-backup-replication-for-win7-and-win8-1/?view=all#post-243752

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2292920 Reply
        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        I have used Acronis True Image Home for years (since Version 8), but they lost me when I purchased ATI 2020 for 5 systems. The new 2020 version no longer allows me to mount my old .TIB files! 🙁 It also doesn’t mount the new format

        I was just reviewing the user guide today for Acronis True Image 2020, and I was surprised to see that mentioned there.

        I have used PowerQuest Drive Image, Norton Ghost, Acronis True Image, Windows 7 Backup and Restore (image utility in Control Panel, which still works in Win 10), and Macrium Reflect (free). Learn to image your drives, it will set you free from the anxiety of updating your computer! 🙂

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2292916 Reply
        Garry Frocklage
        AskWoody Plus

        For imaging Macrium is the best. Not sure about simple backups. Probably overkill. I would use  some free backup util for data and Macrium for imaging.

      • #2292984 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Ive never been a fan of any backup utility that compresses the data – how do you know that it really can restore it?

        Compressed data is potentially more reliable than a straight copy because ECC is part of the compression. Any anomaly in the backup file can be corrected by the ECC.

        cheers, Paul

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2292985 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        The new 2020 version no longer allows me to mount my old .TIB files! It also doesn’t mount the new format

        I’d be screaming at them for my money back, or a free update. Losing access to your existing data in not acceptable.

        cheers, Paul

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2293088 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        Macrium Reflect is the best in my experience, for years. (Acronis and Windows own backup system were less satisfactory). Macrium is often updated.

        Free, Home or Pro – works without problems. Have been making monthly backups for years on Win7 and Win10. One feature I’d like to highlight is Automatic Verification just after completing a full image. (In the free ed. you have to set this feature every time, whereas in the Home version it saves the setting – but hey, it’s just one click!). I’ve even cloned a Win7 system to a larger SSD drive. It worked – though afterwards Microsoft told me I was not running a genuine Windows! (The message can just be ignored).

        You can have multiple backups of several OS’s on the same external drive (in separate folders). I have backups of two pc’s with Windows 7, Windows 10, two Linux distros. And again on several external drives, just in case 😉

        • #2294299 Reply
          alphacharlie
          AskWoody Plus

          Since I was using AOMEI this afternoon to make a system image, I verified that it also did an automatic verification immediately after the backup;  probably an option that I checked years ago.

      • #2293103 Reply
        JustAsking
        AskWoody Plus

        addition to the previous post (anonymous – guest – forgot to log in 😉

        Macrium Reflect can restore individual files or foldes from full image backups.

        I agree with the opinion of others that you should not keep the external backup drives permanently connected!

        Image Guardian” is a feature in Macrium to protect agains ransomware. It is not available in the free edition, however.

         

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2293116 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        My approach to backup is to consider the recovery – as in recover from what disasaster.

        So – I have spideroak to monitor the files I manually enter data – accounts, notes re loginid;s and passwords.
        Spideroak – 2GB free cloud storage, encrypts on your system you decrypt recovered files, and it can sync or download to other systems – re the 2 GB, it only uploads changed blocks, and maintains an incremental set,  although you have to manually remove entries you no longer want  in many years I am up to 500MB   – so cryptomalware will not kill the previous unencrypted versions.
        Also can have it start with the OS and run as a service, or manually started, and also manually stoppable , so I run it when I consider what I am. or have done needs backing-up.

        Daily, or as I deem appropriate  backups of changed files to a separate hard drive – and cycle through a set –

        Incremental updates of the OS and programs etc – again, as I deem appropriate rather than scheduled.

        Full OS partition backup when I deem appropriate – that will be a new start for the incrementals.

        Now – I indicated using a cycle of drives – I’ve been caught by a motherboard failure taking all internal, and the attached backup drive.

        Current process – the full backup goes to the internal drive, gets copied to the selected external drive, and also uploaded to cloud (The Office Onedrive free 1TB)  That can be downloaded onto a replacement hard drive  – and with the install onto new hardware option of the backup facility, put onto a replacement system.

        But do check if the incremental update has changed any files in the base, or earlier incremental set

        MS will update the system with changes  it applied

        I will have done an incremental if I changed any software

        That leaves downloaded data – well you should be able to get that back – providing you backed-up the key or usage permission files/

        So – separate your files by type of usage and do immediate, daily, incremental or full backups as you consider appropriate

        Restore – fix lost/damaged files from the backup – either your file level, or the OS’ mountable backup image set

        Cryptomalware – to cloud – but not automated – current malware will do in the main file, the file-history, all attached USB devices, and any accessible network or cloud backups.

        Anticipate that a thief will take the system, the backup devices, and all the paperwork they can find.

        A ‘natural’ or ‘act of god’ disaster will do the same.

        BUT – a cloud service should be considerable as a dual backup – your accessible files, and the organisations backups – unless they cease trading – then whatever you had uploaded will most likely be sold on  so encrypt what you upload

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2293175 Reply
        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        Macrium Reflect is the best in my experience, for years. (Acronis and Windows own backup system were less satisfactory). Macrium is often updated. Free, Home or Pro – works without problems. Have been making monthly backups for years on Win7 and Win10. One feature I’d like to highlight is Automatic Verification just after completing a full image. (In the free ed. you have to set this feature every time, whereas in the Home version it saves the setting – but hey, it’s just one click!)

        Agree on Macrium Reflect. It has been my main backup system for 3 years.

        But I will add that the Automatic Image Verification works in the free edition. If you create a backup definition file with that setting checked it will remain enabled for every run of that backup definition.

        And even though the free edition fully meets my needs, I was thinking about buying the paid version just to thank the developers for their hard work and all of the good use I have had with their free product! 🙂

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2293186 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        One advantage of the paid edition of Macrium Reflect is the ability to migrate the backup to a new computer if necessary.  That capability is not available in the free edition.

         

      • #2293193 Reply
        Bundaburra
        AskWoody Plus

        In Macrium (free) you don’t need to create a backup definition file in order to enable automatic image verification.  Go to Other Tasks > Edit Defaults > Auto Verify Image, and enable it there.

        Windows 10 Pro 64 bit 2004

      • #2293220 Reply
        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        In Macrium (free) you don’t need to create a backup definition file in order to enable automatic image verification. Go to Other Tasks > Edit Defaults > Auto Verify Image, and enable it there.

        You may not want to verify all of your images. Takes a bit of extra time. I have a couple large large jobs for data drives that take almost 2 hours to create the image itself. I prefer to limit the verification to my OS drives only, so I select that on a per definition basis rather than the global setting.

      • #2293221 Reply
        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        One advantage of the paid edition of Macrium Reflect is the ability to migrate the backup to a new computer if necessary.  That capability is not available in the free edition.

         

        You make a good point, but I usually clean install the OS when setting up a new system.

      • #2293246 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        that take almost 2 hours to create the image itself

        I am using Acronis true image and it takes ~20 minutes to create a full PC image of ~200GB of data (out of total 1.25TB storage) into ~75GB image file.

        • #2293258 Reply
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          I think it depends on several factors – are backing up through USB / Ethernet ? Are backing up ond SSD / HDD? Do you backup SSD / HDD? Do you backup “completely” including free space, or are you using “shrinked” image?

          NVME disks through USB 3 takes about 15 minutes for me (250 GB, approx. 80 GB used).

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          • #2293265 Reply
            Alex5723
            AskWoody Plus

            I backup a NVNe SSD (OS drive 256GB + internal HDD 1TB) to an external USB HDD.
            I create a full image (backups only the data) not a clone (including free space).
            After the full image I create a daily incremental backups for the month.

            • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by Alex5723.
            Attachments:
            1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2293269 Reply
        WSruosChalet
        AskWoody Lounger

        Macrium Reflect can also put images of multiple PCs on the same external HD. I use an 8TB WD USB drive to backup PCs monthly and keep 3 backups of each PC on that drive. I also take a backup of my NAS on to that same WD drive. All backed up to date named folders.

        I use FullImage backups only when doing this.

        • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by WSkevmeist.

        Another +1 for Macrium Reflect (Free version).  I, too, use FULL Image backups from my Win10 desktop and a Win10 laptop.  I still use TeraByte Image for Windows (Paid version) on my old XP-Pro desktop, which I still use daily.

        All three machines have scheduled backups daily/weekly to secondary disks (in each machine).  I manually create images (or copy the internally stored images) at least monthly from all three machines to an external USB drive.  Macrium Reflect automatically maintains a set number of images in whatever location you set up.  On my external drive, MR happily keeps images for the two Win10 machines in separate folders, while the Terabyte backups are in a separate location.  When I manually add an image, or copy an image from an internal drive to external, MR never gets confused.  It keeps track of which images are where and how old they are etc.  MR’s warnings and dialogs are very intuitive and give great confidence.

        MR also has File and Folder back up functions, although I prefer the Full Image method.  MR also allows for “mounting” an image file as a drive, but you can also just “browse” an image to copy individual files.

        I didn’t install Terabyte on my Windows machines because, at the time, Terabyte had acknowledged problems with Windows “Fast boot” or “secure boot” or something.  They recommended disabling whatever the new Windows 10 feature was that was causing the problem.  Fred Langa would know what I’m talking about, and I believe he may have written about it.  In any case, I wasn’t comfortable using Terabyte for Windows 10.

        So, I installed the free version of Macrium Reflect.  I’ve never had any issue with it, and I’ve restored my system more than once — flawlessly.  The free version does everything I need and is more robust than my older paid-version of TeraByte.  Macrium Reflect is a definite thumbs up from me.  ~RonR

         

      • #2293345 Reply
        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        that take almost 2 hours to create the image itself

        I am using Acronis true image and it takes ~20 minutes to create a full PC image of ~200GB of data (out of total 1.25TB storage) into ~75GB image file.

        The 2 hours that I was referring to was actually more like 1:35 hh:mm elapsed, according to the log. Seemed like 2 hours, LOL! Was imaging my internal D: (data) drive with about 550GB used on a 1TB SATA SSD with medium compression. Image size 505GB.

        Macrium images my 500GB C: (system) drive SSD with 225GB used space in about 00:41 mins with medium compression, image size 172GB. Adding image verify upped it to 1:08  elapsed.

        The internal SSD drives are limited to SATA II (up to 300MB/s) interfaces by my motherboard, although they are actually SATA III (up to 600MB/s) capable drives . All images are written to external USB 3.0 external 5400 rpm HDD drives.

      • #2293363 Reply
        Sueska
        AskWoody Lounger

        One advantage of the paid edition of Macrium Reflect is the ability to migrate the backup to a new computer if necessary.  That capability is not available in the free edition.

         

        Does the free version allow restoration to a new hard drive in the same computer?

      • #2293369 Reply
        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        One advantage of the paid edition of Macrium Reflect is the ability to migrate the backup to a new computer if necessary.  That capability is not available in the free edition.

         

        Does the free version allow restoration to a new hard drive in the same computer?

        Yes, it does!

        I recently replaced both of my internal C: & D: drives with larger Samsung SSD drives.

        I used the Samsung Migration Wizard for cloning the C: boot drive to a new larger replacement drive, and then relied on Macrium Reflect free for restoring the D: drive image to a new larger replacement.

        I probably could have just re-imaged the boot drive with Macrium Reflect free, but the simple Samsung wizard has previously worked well for me, so I used that instead.

        That brings up a good question though, how does Macrium know when you are trying to restore to a different system vs. a replacement drive on the same system?

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2293380 Reply
          Sueska
          AskWoody Lounger

          Sometimes software can be tied to a component on the device. This happened to us many years ago with a paid version of a backup program. We had recently changed out a failing cd rom drive. When we went to do a restore, it would no longer work stating that this was a different computer. Called the manufacturer. They said the program was tied to the cd rom and basically we were out of luck since the original cd rom was dead.

          Thank you for your answer to my question, however I should have been more specific. What I needed to know was if I had a harddrive failure and only  had the backup image from Macrium Reflect & Macrium Reflect recovery disk (no clones or windows software to re-install available) could I restore using the free Macrium Reflect?

      • #2293412 Reply
        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        What I needed to know was if I had a harddrive failure and only had the backup image from Macrium Reflect & Macrium Reflect recovery disk (no clones or windows software to re-install available) could I restore using the free Macrium Reflect?

        Good question!

        I would hope so, and hopefully there should be someone in this community that can specifically verify that from personal experience!

        If I had a spare drive (maybe I have one sitting around somewhere, will have to check) I would test that out for sure!

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2293416 Reply
        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        What I needed to know was if I had a harddrive failure and only had the backup image from Macrium Reflect & Macrium Reflect recovery disk (no clones or windows software to re-install available) could I restore using the free Macrium Reflect?

        From the Macrium Reflect v7 user guide:

        ReDeploy

        From the rescue environment you can launch Macrium ReDeploy to adapt the recovered Windows system to its new environment whether that is a virtual machine or a different computer.

        With Macrium Reflect ReDeploy, you can restore an image to a replacement computer or even create virtual hard drives to virtualize the machine, a technique sometimes called Physical to Virtual or P2V.

        Macrium ReDeploy is now included in all paid editions of Macrium Reflect. This excludes the Free Edition and 30 day trials.

         

        • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by JohnW.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2293482 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Hard drive failure = the same machine. Booting from the MR USB will allow you to restore to the new hard drive, just as it would the original. This is one way to clone a disk when upgrading.

        cheers, Paul

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2293527 Reply
        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        Hard drive failure = the same machine. Booting from the MR USB will allow you to restore to the new hard drive, just as it would the original. This is one way to clone a disk when upgrading.

        You know, I have heard that Windows 10 is much more forgiving than previous versions of Windows, in the sense that it is apparently capable of adapting itself to a new motherboard, CPU, RAM, etc.

        That is essentially a whole new computer, except for maybe the case, power supply, and drives. This I’ve heard from several people that have done major system upgrades. No Windows re-install or special prepping required. Windows 10 settled into its new home without complaining, and supplied any needed drivers all by itself.

        So I’m not convinced that you would even need something like Macrium ReDeploy to “adapt” your existing Windows 10 image to a new system, unless there is a block built into Macrium Reflect free somewhere. It just says that ReDeploy is only included in paid editions of Reflect.

        However, this probably would not apply to Windows 7.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2293528 Reply
        Microfix
        AskWoody MVP

        You know, I have heard that Windows 10 is much more forgiving than previous versions of Windows, in the sense that it is apparently capable of adapting itself to a new motherboard, CPU, RAM, etc.

        Taken a leaf from linux distro’s, from years ago, where you could install a distro on one device and phyisically remove the hdd/ssd and place it in another device and just boot it up.
        The linux system then reconfigures itself activating drivers for the changed hardware and all is well. Although not sure that’s the same these days..

        Win8.1 Pro x64 + Linux Hybrids x86/x64 + Win7 Pro x86/64 O/L
      • #2293530 Reply
        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        Taken a leaf from linux distro’s, from years ago, where you could install a distro on one device and phyisically remove the hdd/ssd and place it in another device and just boot it up.

        I heard that it had something to do with a new HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) for Windows 10.

        But the details are over my head. More here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardware_abstraction

      • #2293575 Reply
        10Ring
        AskWoody Plus

        I didn’t install Terabyte on my Windows machines because, at the time, Terabyte had acknowledged problems with Windows “Fast boot” or “secure boot” or something.  They recommended disabling whatever the new Windows 10 feature was that was causing the problem.  Fred Langa would know what I’m talking about, and I believe he may have written about it.  In any case, I wasn’t comfortable using Terabyte for Windows 10.

        This was due to the new-at-the-time UEFI firmware in Win10 and only applied to TeraBYte’s “BootIt” boot manager and partition managing software (BootItNG, BootItBM) until they developed BootItUEFI. I’m not trying to sway anyone from a backup system that works for them. But just to clarify, the imaging software was unaffected by the switch from BIOS to UEFI.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2293578 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        So I’m not convinced that you would even need something like Macrium ReDeploy to “adapt” your existing Windows 10 image to a new system

        Redeploy is designed to allow replacement of disk drivers when an image is restored to new hardware.

        With the advent of UEFI the machine provides a basic disk subsystem that allows the OS to find its boot files. This makes it easy for any OS to check the disk drivers at boot to ensure the correct one is used.

        When Fast Boot is used the OS doesn’t boot from scratch, it boots from an image that already contains the disk drivers. If these drivers are not correct the machine crashes / corrupts data.

        Instead of using Fast Boot, install an SSD. Better all round.

        cheers, Paul

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2293635 Reply
        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        Instead of using Fast Boot, install an SSD. Better all round

        Best advice, ever! 🙂

      • #2293652 Reply
        WSruosChalet
        AskWoody Lounger

        I prefer to NOT use incremental or differential images. So, I do a Full Image each time I backup. I also do this manually (monthly in my case for PC as data files are kept on a NAS running RAID5).

        I also don’t keep the external drive (8TB WD USB drive for me) plugged into anything while NOT in use. Living in Florida…means lightning…even though most everything is connected via a UPS…having the drive disconnected means that lightning can’t get to it (which is possible when still cable connected).

        Keeping external media disconnected not only protects against lightning and other surges, it also provides for “air-gap firewall” protection against ransomware and other hacks.

        For even more protection, the disconnected back-up media can be physically moved to a remote location or placed in a safe, or rotated with other media.  Then, even with a total loss of your pc as in a house fire, you may have a backup.

        To me, going to all that trouble only makes sense with FULL IMAGES, not just file/folder backups.  -RonR

        • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by WSruosChalet. Reason: Format correction
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2293661 Reply
        WSruosChalet
        AskWoody Lounger

        Learn to image your drives, it will set you free from the anxiety of updating your computer! 🙂

        If you only get ONE takeaway from this fantastic thread, THAT would be it!
        Regardless of method or software used — IMAGE YOUR DISKS!

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2293664 Reply
        Bundaburra
        AskWoody Plus

        The disk where my Macrium image backups are kept is never connected to the PC, except when actually doing the backup (or if I need to restore something).    Additionally, when in use,  the internet is always disconnected first.

        I have used Macrium for years, and only once have I seen the error “Verification Failed” at the end of a backup.  On that occasion I just ran the backup again, and then it worked, but if you don’t do the verification then you will not know if a backup you may need to recover from is no good.  That’s why verification is vital, even if it takes longer.

        Windows 10 Pro 64 bit 2004

        • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by Bundaburra.
      • #2293666 Reply
        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        The disk where my Macrium image backups are kept is never connected to the PC, except when actually doing the backup (or if I need to restore something).

        I keep the disk that does the daily full images connected to run on schedule, and another drive offline that I only connect for weekly full images.

      • #2293673 Reply
        WSruosChalet
        AskWoody Lounger

        This was due to the new-at-the-time UEFI firmware in Win10 and only applied to TeraBYte’s “BootIt” boot manager and partition managing software (BootItNG, BootItBM) until they developed BootItUEFI. I’m not trying to sway anyone from a backup system that works for them. But just to clarify, the imaging software was unaffected by the switch from BIOS to UEFI.

        With the advent of UEFI the machine provides a basic disk subsystem that allows the OS to find its boot files. This makes it easy for any OS to check the disk drivers at boot to ensure the correct one is used. When Fast Boot is used the OS doesn’t boot from scratch, it boots from an image that already contains the disk drivers. If these drivers are not correct the machine crashes / corrupts data. Instead of using Fast Boot, install an SSD. Better all round.

        Thanks @10Ring and @Paul T.  As I recall it was “Fast Boot” that TeraByte recommended be disabled when Windows 10 debuted.  That issue is what prompted me to try Macrium Reflect Free.  Fast Boot is enabled and to my knowledge never been an issue with MR.

        But Paul_T brings the issue back to the forefront.  If Fast Boot is enabled when MR images are created, are we indeed restricted to restoring ONLY on the original (or nearly original) hardware?

        I am wanting to update to SSD for my system C: drive.  I am assuming I will be able to “restore” my MR image to the SSD drive using an MR bootable recovery media (DVD or USB).  Will I have problems with Windows drivers as suggested by Paul_T?  Is there a way around the issue short of disabling Fast Boot?

        • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by WSruosChalet. Reason: Minor correction
      • #2293685 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Is there a way around the issue short of disabling Fast Boot?

        Fast Boot makes no difference to a disk upgrade.

        1. Image the old.
        2. Install the new.
        3. Boot from backup USB.
        4. Restore to the new.
        5. Reboot to joy and wonderment.  🙂

        Once your SSD is installed, turn off Fast Boot, it is no longer needed.

        FWIW, I hibernate my system to SSD and only reboot for patching – unless something goes really pear shaped. I return to my last desktop in less than 10 seconds.
        Hibernation is really just extended Fast Boot, but under user control.

        cheers, Paul

        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2293695 Reply
        10Ring
        AskWoody Plus

        Hibernation is really just extended Fast Boot, but under user control.

        Nice explanation Paul. This is really the heart off the matter to my thinking. MS should have called this something like Faux-Shutdown instead of Fast Boot, it could have saved a lot of confusion. People intuitively think if they turn their computer “completely” off instead of merely restarting it, they’re getting a more complete shutdown. The opposite is true if Fast Boot (now called Fast Startup) is enabled. I completely agree, especially with an SSD, disable Fast Boot and enjoy controlling the power state yourself. I also think it’s essential if you are going to dual-boot your machine.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2293708 Reply
        WSruosChalet
        AskWoody Lounger

        Fast Boot makes no difference to a disk upgrade. Image the old. Install the new. Boot from backup USB. Restore to the new. Reboot to joy and wonderment.  🙂 Once your SSD is installed, turn off Fast Boot, it is no longer needed.

        Just the answer I was hoping for.  Beautifully succinct, too!  Thanks, Paul.

      • #2293714 Reply
        WSruosChalet
        AskWoody Lounger

        People intuitively think if they turn their computer “completely” off instead of merely restarting it, they’re getting a more complete shutdown. The opposite is true if Fast Boot (now called Fast Startup) is enabled. I completely agree, especially with an SSD, disable Fast Boot and enjoy controlling the power state yourself.

        Excellent explanation!  Between you and Paul_T, I now have a better understanding of what Fast Boot is — and more importantly why I might not want it enabled.  Kudos to you both.

      • #2293817 Reply
        dg1261
        AskWoody_MVP

        As I recall it was “Fast Boot” that TeraByte recommended be disabled when Windows 10 debuted. That issue is what prompted me to try Macrium Reflect Free. Fast Boot is enabled and to my knowledge never been an issue with MR.

        But Paul_T brings the issue back to the forefront. If Fast Boot is enabled when MR images are created, are we indeed restricted to restoring ONLY on the original (or nearly original) hardware?

        I am wanting to update to SSD for my system C: drive. I am assuming I will be able to “restore” my MR image to the SSD drive using an MR bootable recovery media (DVD or USB).

        @wsruoschalet to add some context to your observations …

        10Ring and PaulT have already explained how Fast Startup is a kind of hybrid hibernation technique, but keep in mind that when Windows is running, it’s not in hibernation. That’s obvious, of course, but is a salient point here.

        If Windows has been shutdown with Fast Startup enabled, when you boot Macrium from external boot media and make a clone or image, it will be copying a hibernated OS. If Macrium makes the clone or image from within a running Windows, it will not be copying a hibernated OS. (I have a video explaining this — skip to the section from 21:10-22:30.)

        Note that earlier 10Ring pointed out Terabyte’s warning “only applied to TeraByte’s “BootIt” boot manager and partition managing software (BootItNG, BootItBM)“. Those are software that operate outside Windows. When you switched to Macrium Reflect, I imagine you were probably imaging from inside Windows. “Inside” vs “outside” is the key difference.

        So the rule of thumb is:

        If you create an image from inside Windows, it doesn’t matter if Fast Startup is enabled and you can restore it from external boot media. If you create an image from outside Windows, you should disable Fast Startup before Windows is shut down.

         
        EDITED html to txt (@ link to Lounger incorrectly formatted)

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2294039 Reply
        krism
        AskWoody Plus

        I have used free Macrium for a long time – do a full backup of my SSD every so often on an external(USB3 Sabrent 1-to-4 to Sabrent internal drive adapter) internal drive. Only caveat is when I am running a mixed windows/linux system, Macrium, though it will correctly restore the linux partitions, will not restore a grub bootable drive (easily fixed with boot repair) – I used clonezilla for that, and Macrium if I needed to grab a file. But thankfully at the moment my SSD is only windows so I can use just Macrium. Easeus will NOT correctly back up a linux partition, though for a clean windows drive it is fine. Be aware that if you boot a bootable for these, Macrium or whatever, that the restore speed is slower than if you were booted to windows, but that happens so rarely for me that I ignore it.

        – ThinkPad T530-2394-3J8, i5-3380M 2.9GHz, UEFI/GPT: Win10 2004 Pro x64, 8GB(15GB/s), Sammy 500GB SSD. –

        - ThinkPad T530-2394-3J8, i5-3380M 2.9GHz, UEFI/GPT: Win10 2004 Pro x64, 8GB(15GB/s), Sammy 500GB SSD. -

      • #2294757 Reply
        WSruosChalet
        AskWoody Lounger

        If you create an image from inside Windows, it doesn’t matter if Fast Startup is enabled and you can restore it from external boot media. If you create an image from outside Windows, you should disable Fast Startup before Windows is shut down.

        Great advice, and your full answer nicely explains the reasoning behind it!

        • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by WSruosChalet.
        • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by WSruosChalet.
      • #2294829 Reply
        Michael Austin
        AskWoody Plus

        but if I were an Acronis 2021 user and was happy with the real-time protection my third-party antivirus provided I might be more inclined to disable the antimalware protection in Acronis 2021 instead.

        Indeed that’s what I did, and disabled the Acronis malware protection. You can see in my screenshot that it looks to me like Acronis gave me a false positive immediately after I installed its 2021 True Image. So right outta the wrapper it did that and from experience I know that bodes poorly. Software and hardware need to work immediately without incident. Just like a new car or anything else new.

        Between around the year 2000 and 2018 I ran versions of Symantec’s AV on the machines I administered (Enterprise or Norton) including my LAN’s client machines. When Symantec’s support progressively worsened, including its’ configuration problems and false positives, I switched to Bitdefender.

        I estimate that Bitdefender is better at anti-malware protection than Acronis, because that’s Bitdefender’s primary business. And I’ve also had good experiences with their telephone techs, who have always been available the several times I’d wanted them. Me switching my security biz to a company located in a (formerly Communist) foreign nation was a sea change for me. The world changes. My chief technology officer for one of my startups is Texan living and working in Budapest. The software dev company I hired is in India although it’s also domiciled in Delaware. Its’ Indian founder is currently stuck in Toronto with his family. I hired a native Indian advocate who lives and works in India.

        Looong timmago, when I was but a young-un, there was a sign on the wall of the pizza joint my parents favored, Shakey’s Pizza Parlor. It read something like, “Shakey’s made a deal with the bank. The bank doesn’t make pizza and we don’t take checks.” I prefer that my publishers and manufacturers have long and deep experience in their fields.

        Acronis-false-positive

        Finance, social and tech founder. My new, planet-wide talk show, Casual Saints, is happening.

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