Macrium Relect Free recovery drive allow system files?


  1. Posts : 54
    Win 10 Home x64 Ver 1909 Build 18363.900
       #1

    Macrium Reflect Free recovery drive allow system files?


    On a learning curve for making disk images (not clones) for my desktop and wife's laptop, both Windows 10.

    I need to determine a storage size for the recovery drive USB using the Macrium Reflect tutorial, but there's a variable I'm unclear on. Will be ordering USB's when this gets cleared up.

    While boning up, I noticed the Windows 10 method for creating a recovery drive has an option to include, or disregard, system files. Including system files necessitates a large USB (32 to 64GB recommended). If disregarding system files, the USB size can be much smaller.
    Ref tutorial: Create Recovery Drive in Windows 10

    While reading the Macrium Reflect tutorial, I can't find an obvious option for adding or excluding system files.
    Ref tutorial: Backup and Restore with Macrium Reflect

    Does Macrium Reflect recovery drive deal with system files, or no?
    Last edited by Figfig; 24 Jun 2020 at 21:25. Reason: Corrected spelling of 'Reflect' in title.
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  2. Posts : 25,024
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #2

    Figfig said:
    On a learning curve for making disk images (not clones) for my desktop and wife's laptop, both Windows 10.

    I need to determine a storage size for the recovery drive USB using the Macrium Reflect tutorial, but there's a variable I'm unclear on. ... Does Macrium Reflect recovery drive deal with system files, or no?
    No, it doesn't. The Macrium recovery usb contains a minimal WinRE system, sufficient to support running Macrium Reflect. It is customised to suit use by Macrium, for example the WinRE Macrium Recovery drive supports WiFi and can include your WiFi profile so that it can connect automatically.

    The whole WinRE + Macrium package requires less than 1GB, so virtually any USB will do. I find it's a good use for old small USBs.

    The USB must be a Fat32 format, but most are already. When you create the recovery usb Macrium will offer to reformat the USB if it is not already Fat32, but if it is then Macrium just copies the required files to the USB. If there are already files of your own on the USB, as long as there's 1GB free for Macrium to use then they will still be there after making the recovery USB.


    It is not a full Windows recovery drive (with or without system files). For that you should separately Create Recovery Drive in Windows 10
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  3. Posts : 54
    Win 10 Home x64 Ver 1909 Build 18363.900
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Bree said:
    No, it doesn't. The Macrium recovery usb contains a minimal WinRE system, sufficient to support running Macrium Reflect. It is customised to suit use by Macrium, for example the WinRE Macrium Recovery drive supports WiFi and can include your WiFi profile so that it can connect automatically.

    The whole WinRE + Macrium package requires less than 1GB, so virtually any USB will do. I find it's a good use for old small USBs.

    The USB must be a Fat32 format, but most are already. When you create the recovery usb Macrium will offer to reformat the USB if it is not already Fat32, but if it is then Macrium just copies the required files to the USB. If there are already files of your own on the USB, as long as there's 1GB free for Macrium to use then they will still be there after making the recovery USB.


    It is not a full Windows recovery drive (with or without system files). For that you should separately Create Recovery Drive in Windows 10
    Straight up answer and some amplifying information. Thank you, Bree.

    Quick side question. From my reading, MS has given up work on the built-in imaging and recommends using third-party programs. Would that imaging deprecation include the Windows 10 created recovery drive function also?
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  4. Posts : 25,024
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #4

    Figfig said:
    Quick side question. From my reading, MS has given up work on the built-in imaging and recommends using third-party programs. Would that imaging deprecation include the Windows 10 created recovery drive function also?

    No. MS have specifically deprecated just the 'System Image Backup' that is part of 'Backup & Restore (Windows 7)'.

    The 'recovery drive (including system files)' is a standard part of W10 and set to stay. In fact, if you make a recovery drive on an OEM pre-installed system it will include not just the W10 system files, but also the OEM customisations, utilities and drivers. OEMs no longer supply a 'reset' DVD or USB with their systems (as was common for W7) nor do they have a hidden 15-20GB OEM recovery partition containing an image to be restored (typically seen on W7/W8 machines). Standard advice these days from OEMs is that if you want a W10 'factory reset' USB then make a recovery drive including system files.
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  5. Posts : 54
    Win 10 Home x64 Ver 1909 Build 18363.900
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Bree said:
    No. MS have specifically deprecated just the 'System Image Backup' that is part of 'Backup & Restore (Windows 7)'. The 'recovery drive (including system files)' is a standard part of W10 and set to stay. ...Standard advice these days from OEMs is that if you want a W10 'factory reset' USB then make a recovery drive including system files.
    Great to know! Thanks for clarifying.

    My system is OEM and was aware I'd be getting the 'extras' back. Would give me that "new computer with attendant irritations" feeling LOL.

    I've appreciated your time, clarity, and schoolin', Bree.

    I'm a happy camper so consider this solved.

    Think I'll celebrate with a beer...
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  6. Posts : 7,116
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #6

    Bree said:
    No. MS have specifically deprecated just the 'System Image Backup' that is part of 'Backup & Restore (Windows 7)'.

    The 'recovery drive (including system files)' is a standard part of W10 and set to stay. In fact, if you make a recovery drive on an OEM pre-installed system it will include not just the W10 system files, but also the OEM customisations, utilities and drivers. OEMs no longer supply a 'reset' DVD or USB with their systems (as was common for W7) nor do they have a hidden 15-20GB OEM recovery partition containing an image to be restored (typically seen on W7/W8 machines). Standard advice these days from OEMs is that if you want a W10 'factory reset' USB then make a recovery drive including system files.
    What can you do from a recovery drive you can't do from the command window in a Reflect recovery drive or a clean install from the Media Creation Tool?
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  7. Posts : 25,024
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #7

    Steve C said:
    What can you do from a recovery drive you can't do from the command window in a Reflect recovery drive or a clean install from the Media Creation Tool?

    Well, specifically for a recovery drive made by an OEM pre-installed machine, you can do a factory reset with all the OEM custom utilities and drivers included. Should your hard drive die it would the only way to get back to 'out of the box' condition, bar buying install media from the OEM.

    For a machine with a clean install from the MCT media, then I would agree that a recovery drive may not offer anything you can't do with the MCT media.
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