Macrium for dummies? (basic backup strategy)  


  1. Posts : 231
    Windows 10
       #1

    Macrium for dummies? (basic backup strategy)


    My Windows 10 system is Version 1909.

    I've been a reliable and consistent backer-upper, although until late last year always used Drive-Image. Because Macrium Reflect free edition is more widely-used, and I like it too, I switched to that when I got a new computer.

    But, as straightforward as the whole process is, they confuse me with this or that option about differential/incremental backups, xml files, etc.

    All I want is to image the drive monthly after the monthly updates. My important files are cloud-backed-up, and I figure if I could recapture where I was 4-5 weeks or less ago in terms of OS, browser history, etc., I can live with that.

    So what's a good simple approach to take, and please let me know which options I should pick for my imaging.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 2,068
    Windows 10 Pro
       #2

    In your case, I would just do "occasional" full backups. Don't worry about differential and incremental.

    The .xml file is just a saved backup job, so you could create 1 backup.xml you call "full backup" and once a month you would launch that backup and it does a full backup of all of your drives to an external hard drive (for example).
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #3

    asus2016 said:

    So what's a good simple approach to take, and please let me know which options I should pick for my imaging.
    It shouldn't take you more than a dozen mouse clicks.

    Make sure all partitions on the drive to be imaged have a check mark under them on the first Macrium page. They normally do by default.

    On the 3rd page, you can leave all that stuff about templates, scheduling, and retention rules blank--as shown below. As seen here, Macrium will keep the most recent 2 full images. When a third is made, the oldest will be deleted, leaving 2.

    You can use the XML feature on the next page or uncheck it as well. If you don't use the XML feature, you can just walk through the same dozen mouse clicks each time you want to make a new image.

    The bigger question is restoration---you need to confirm your rescue media will boot the PC and that you know the proper menu choices to make during the restoration process.

    Macrium for dummies? (basic backup strategy)-untitled-1.jpg
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 29,600
    10 Home x64 (22H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #4

    asus2016 said:
    But, as straightforward as the whole process is, they confuse me with this or that option about differential/incremental backups, xml files, etc....


    ....So what's a good simple approach to take, and please let me know which options I should pick for my imaging.

    I have too many machines and too few external drives to make scheduling automatic images practical.

    On each machine I have set up the partitions to be imaged and saved the backup as a .xml. Each month I connect the usb HDD and manually run a Full backup from the Backup Definitions Files tab. I edit the image file name each month to save as an image with the date in its name.

    A Differential (or Incremental if you have paid for Macrium) can be useful if there are minor changes later in the month that you wish to save, such as after an out of band cumulative update. These only save the changes since the last Full image. The same backup definition file can be run as a full, differential or incremental backup. When running a differential or incremental you should not change the file name of the image. Then a small image file just containing the changes will be created in addition to the original Full image. The name will be the same, except the number at the end will go up by 1 (00-00 for the Full, 00-01, etc. for subsequent differentials or incrementals).
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #5

    asus2016 said:
    All I want is to image the drive monthly after the monthly updates.
    I'd suggest you might want to make an image BEFORE the monthly updates---so if the update is bogus/problematic, you can revert to an image perhaps a few days old---rather than 3 or 4 weeks old.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 1,621
    Windows 10 Home
       #6

    "...you need to confirm your rescue media will boot the PC..." ...and make sure the designated external HDs are detected and "approachable" by Macrium. Right now, for awhile, I highly recommend using two backup / restore programs, each backup session consisting of full images of the OS and data partitions made by macrium and one other program onto external media.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 231
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #7

    Thanks for the suggestions here.

    #3 here from ignatzatsonic is sort of what my gut and heart were telling me, and that's what I'll use.

    I have an image of the drive after I'd installed my software on it and little else, so there's a "true baseline" I'd save always. In terms of if an update messes me up, I'm not really worried, because I always have the past month's image to fall back on.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 25
    Windows 10 Pro version 20H2 (OS Build: 19042-985)
       #8

    My 2 Cents-worth...

    I start the year by creating a FULL image backup.
    At this point I remove/delete all of last year's image files (Now that I have captured the new year's FULL backup).

    Each month (Scheduled for the 15th), I create an INCREMENTAL backup.

    Nota Bene: I've been forced to recover when it was well into the year, and REFLECT did a perfect job of recovry!

    Lairbear
    Randy Reist
      My Computer


 

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