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Macrium Reflect V8

Macrium Reflect is an excellent safety precaution. Here's how to get the new version, both paid and free, for home and business.

What is imaging software?

Macrium reflect has a new version 8 and I recommend all Macrium Reflect users upgrade. Reflect 7 is now in extended support and will cease receiving updates after May 18, 2022. Macrium Reflect is the backup and imaging software I recommend. Basically, imaging software builds a file of your entire drive.

The program can open that file and restoring any file you'd like. It can also take that file and place it on a brand new disk, or the original disk, perfectly replicating the way the computer was with Windows, all updates, all programs and data, printer drivers, everything restored to the way they were when the file was made. This is useful if a drive needs to be replaced. It is also useful if Windows goes crazy and won't boot or otherwise misbehave. That file is called an image.

What an image file is not

Clients often get confused about exactly what the image is. It is only a file. It can't restore itself. It cannot boot a computer. To restore to a new disk, or a Windows computer that won't boot, you need a rescue disk in addition to the image.

What is a rescue disk?

A rescue disk has the files needed to boot your computer if your boot disk dies or Windows won't boot. It has two parts.
  1. Windows PE. Windows PE is a tiny version of Windows that can boot and is used to install or repair Windows.
  2. Macrium Rescue software which can find your image file and restore it to a new disk or over the messed up old disk.

When versions of Macrium change, you need to change your rescue disk. There is no reason to believe that a Macrium 7 rescue disk will restore a Macrium 8 image.

Macrium Reflect will create a rescue disk for you, but you'll need either a thumb drive or a DVD or CD drive. Whichever you choose, use good media. This is the linchpin of the recovery. Trying to use a decade old store brand CD is imprudent. Also, a decade old thumb drive that's been sitting in your desk drawer is a mistake. Use high quality name brand media.

Macrium Versions, which is right for you?

I will not cover the server versions, just the individual computer versions.

Business or Personal? Use the business version for any commercial purpose. If you are making money with that computer, then get a business version.

Free or Paid, Home or business? Macrium offers free versions for both personal and commercial use. So there is a:
  • Reflect 8 Free Commercial.
  • Reflect 8 Free (for personal use)
  • Reflect 8 Commercial Workstation (Paid)
  • Reflect 8 Home (Paid)

The biggest advantage of the paid versions (which I use), is that the paid versions, both home and business, offer their Guardian software. This prevents Ransomware from writing to your image files. So, if a ransomware attack hit you, your image would remain and you could restore your system.

The business paid version (commercial workstation) offers a 1 year maintenance agreement. It is best to continue to pay the small annual fee to maintain their maintenance agreement. The free versions do not offer maintenance contracts.

Making and storing you rescue disk

  1. Get your high quality unused CD, DVD disk, or thumb drive. This disk or drive will be stored and will not be able to be used for anything else.
  2. Write on a piece of paper something like, Macrium Reflect Rescue disk. Version 8. Dec 2021.
  3. Get a zip locking sandwich bag to hold the paper label and the rescue disk.
  4. Decide where you will store it. It will do you no good at all if you can't find it when you need it. For tower computers, I recommend taping it to the side of the computer. Not the side with the air vent, the other side.
  5. Open Macrium Reflect version 8
  6. Pull down the Other Tasks tab
  7. Select Create rescue media
  8. Follow the instructions.
  9. When successfully completed, remove the media, insert into bag with label and store.

Useful Macrium Links:

Link to free version.

Announcing Reflect 8 free release

Link to renewal wizard here:

Version Comparison

Date: December 2021

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