testing Macrium Reflect image restore completely

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  1. Posts : 24,461
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #21

    As an aside, 'Patch Tuesday' is a busy time for me when Macrium gets a thorough workout. All my machines get updated, then imaged to their local Data partition, then the whole machine including the Data partition is imaged to an external HDD. As usual, Macrium has performed faultlessly throughout.

    My test machine is more complicated, it gets one of its images restored from its Data partition, then updated with the latest CU, then imaged, before restoring the next and repeating the process. Only when the currently supported builds have been updated and imaged does the whole machine get imaged to the external HDD.

    So far this Tuesday I have done four restores, and made seven images (with one more to set running and leave to complete over night).

    (I hate Patch Tuesdays)
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  2. Posts : 22
    Windows 10 Pro 20H2 19042.804
    Thread Starter
       #22

    cereberus said:
    You could get away with a 600 GB VHDX file but best if you store it in a different partition to C drive.
    Why is it better to not put on C drive? Because then I'd have to delete it after testing, or it will get included in backup images? Creating/deleting VHDX is time consuming?

    Probably best to use second internal drive really to avoid having to partition primary drive.
    If I use the second internal drive, I'd probably forget the VHDX, and just simply use the real drive. I don't like to leave that one connected and powered full time, because read/write access has a chatter sound to it that's a bit annoying to me. A downside of some HDD.

    I'll have to think about where it might make sense to locate a VHDX. In the future, it would save me from having to open my PC case and connect the extra internal drive. It isn't super inconvenient, but certainly easier to not do that. I suppose I could maybe buy an enclosure for it and use it via USB.
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  3. Posts : 13,536
    Windows10
       #23

    grusmarco said:
    Why is it better to not put on C drive? Because then I'd have to delete it after testing, or it will get included in backup images? Creating/deleting VHDX is time consuming?


    If I use the second internal drive, I'd probably forget the VHDX, and just simply use the real drive. I don't like to leave that one connected and powered full time, because read/write access has a chatter sound to it that's a bit annoying to me. A downside of some HDD.

    I'll have to think about where it might make sense to locate a VHDX. In the future, it would save me from having to open my PC case and connect the extra internal drive. It isn't super inconvenient, but certainly easier to not do that. I suppose I could maybe buy an enclosure for it and use it via USB.
    Problem with putting VHD on C drive is what you say i.e. it becomes part of any C: Macrium Backup and hence complicates restores.

    It is true that you can simply restore an image to a spare drive rather than Vhd but you will wipe existing data. A VHD is just another file.

    One thing to bear in mind a VHD cannot be natively updated to a different build.
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  4. Posts : 22
    Windows 10 Pro 20H2 19042.804
    Thread Starter
       #24

    cereberus said:
    It is true that you can simply restore an image to a spare drive rather than Vhd but you will wipe existing data.
    Understood, my spare drive's content is completely disposable. I connected power to it this morning and it looks like just the right size, 700 GB.

    Spare internal drive:
    testing Macrium Reflect image restore completely-screenshot-10_10_2019-11_28_00-am.png
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  5. Posts : 22
    Windows 10 Pro 20H2 19042.804
    Thread Starter
       #25

    I have completed my test restore/checking to spare internal HDD. The bottom line is it worked successfully! What a great feeling to know I can get back to exactly the same point with one image restore in a straightforward manner. 👍 And I have not encountered any weird side effects booting to restored HDD or back to original HDD - what a relief! 😅

    I have a some questions for things I encountered during the restore process:
    1. The drive letter for my external USB HDD containing MR images was not preserved while booting from MR rescue USB. I assign to letter Z and it was E, simply the next available drive letter. Note that this letter is preserved when booting from MR rescue USB when my normal system drive is powered/active. This means I needed to change the "folders to search" to select the image to restore. Not a huge deal, but is there a trick to preserve the MR image drive letter while booting from MR rescue USB when the system drive changes?

    2. The restore took 2-times longer than a full image backup (4 hour restore, 2 hour backup).
    Read/Write rates (Restore via MR rescue USB, Backup via Windows 10 dedicated):
    Restore: 1.5 Gb/s, 589.8 Mb/s
    Backup: 2.1 Gb/s, 689.3 Mb/s
    So, backup has faster read/write rates and it makes sense the read access of normal system HDD is faster than reading from USB 3.0 HDD. Interesting that writing to an older spare internal HDD was slower than writing to USB 3.0 HDD.
    Anyhow, I wanted to check if this datapoint was similar to other's experience? (Obviously SSD's are faster)

    3. Is the MR restore log available somewhere? Would I need to copy/paste/save displayed results into notepad/similar separately on my own? While running from MR rescue USB, MR does not have a Log tab like it does when running from Windows (Backup/Restore/Log tabs).

    Thanks!
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  6. Posts : 24,461
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #26

    grusmarco said:
    I have completed my test restore/checking to spare internal HDD. The bottom line is it worked successfully!
    Well done, doesn't it feel good to have proved it to yourself by actually going the extra mile

    I have a some questions for things I encountered during the restore process:
    1. The drive letter for my external USB HDD containing MR images was not preserved while booting from MR rescue USB. ... is there a trick to preserve the MR image drive letter while booting from MR rescue USB when the system drive changes?
    Not that I know of, but then I've never been troubled enough by it to look hard....

    2. The restore took 2-times longer than a full image backup (4 hour restore, 2 hour backup).
    Mine takes about the same for a backup and a restore, but then I slow the backup down a bit by going for Maximum compression, and tick the 'verify after backup' box (which can add quite a bit of time to the backup).

    ...Anyhow, I wanted to check if this datapoint was similar to other's experience? (Obviously SSD's are faster)
    Difficult to say without knowing the size of the used space on the partition(s) you backed up, but sounds in line my experience with relatively full HDD machines.

    3. Is the MR restore log available somewhere?
    Yes. It's obviously available in Macrium, but the individual log files are .html files stored in C:\ProgramData\Macrium\Reflect

    You may well have already noticed that the backup definition files are .xml files in your Documents\Reflect folder.
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  7. Posts : 22
    Windows 10 Pro 20H2 19042.804
    Thread Starter
       #27

    Bree said:
    Well done, doesn't it feel good to have proved it to yourself by actually going the extra mile
    Sure does! 😊

    Mine takes about the same for a backup and a restore, but then I slow the backup down a bit by going for Maximum compression, and tick the 'verify after backup' box (which can add quite a bit of time to the backup).
    I'm using default medium compression and no verify.

    Difficult to say without knowing the size of the used space on the partition(s) you backed up, but sounds in line my experience with relatively full HDD machines.
    600 GB

    Yes. It's obviously available in Macrium, but the individual log files are .html files stored in C:\ProgramData\Macrium\Reflect
    This is my experience within Windows 10, but not MR rescue USB environment - how about there?
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  8. Posts : 24,461
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #28

    grusmarco said:
    This is from the imaging log on a machine that only had USB2 ports (System One in my specs below). The verify took nearly as long as the backup.

    Total Selected: 226.43 GB
    ...
    I/O Performance: Read 470.7 Mb/s - Write 202.8 Mb/s
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Image and Verification Completed Successfully in 05:05:40
    (not my fastest machine, so that one I leave to run overnight)

    This is my experience within Windows 10, but not MR rescue USB environment - how about there?
    Yes, even when you boot from the USB to do a restore, Macrium will write a restore log file to C:\ProgramData\Macrium\Reflect

    I've just tested that to make sure (don't worry, it was a PC with a very small image so it only took a few minutes). Mind you, that PC did have Macrium installed before it was imaged, so the folder already existed. I haven't yet tested restoring an image without Macrium installed in it, so I can't be sure what it would do in that case.
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  9. Posts : 22
    Windows 10 Pro 20H2 19042.804
    Thread Starter
       #29

    Bree said:
    This is from the imaging log on a machine that only had USB2 ports (System One in my specs below). The verify took nearly as long as the backup.
    Total Selected: 226.43 GB
    I/O Performance: Read 470.7 Mb/s - Write 202.8 Mb/s
    Image and Verification Completed Successfully in 05:05:40
    Thanks for the data point. I'm actually pretty happy with the 2 hour backup runtime, compared to what I've experienced in the past with other imaging software. I'm just not sure the 2x restore made sense. 🤷

    Yes, even when you boot from the USB to do a restore, Macrium will write a restore log file to C:\ProgramData\Macrium\Reflect

    I've just tested that to make sure (don't worry, it was a PC with a very small image so it only took a few minutes). Mind you, that PC did have Macrium installed before it was imaged, so the folder already existed. I haven't yet tested restoring an image without Macrium installed in it, so I can't be sure what it would do in that case.
    I see, maybe if the path happens to exist. In my case, C drive before restore does not have Macrium installed, and that same drive is the restore destination. The Log tab in Reflect doesn't even exist within USB rescue environment.
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  10. Posts : 24,461
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #30

    grusmarco said:
    In my case, C drive before restore does not have Macrium installed, and that same drive is the restore destination. The Log tab in Reflect doesn't even exist within USB rescue environment.
    Well then (unless you've already wiped that second drive) you are in an ideal position to look and see if Macrium created that folder path and put a log there. If not, look on the root of the C: drive.

    No, the restore environment doesn't have a log tab, but as I said, it still creates a log file that can be displayed by my installed Macrium after the restore.
    testing Macrium Reflect image restore completely-image.png
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