Macrium Reflect - paid vs. free version...

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  1. Posts : 17,720
    Win 10 Home 10.0.19044.1706 (x64) [21H2]
       #1

    Macrium Reflect - paid vs. free version...


    About a week or so ago, I finally got the paid version of Macrium Reflect.
    Mainly for the Image Guardian that the paid version adds.

    Today I was testing, backing up and restoring from a USB stick (fast one). It works.
    However, I noticed that with the paid version, I also get Rapid Delta Restore.

    I'm not sure how I feel about that yet.

    Without Rapid Delta Restore, (delta means change), restoring from a backup took the entire backup and replaced whatever was on the OS drive, with the backup. Restoring takes 1:36 or approx. 1.5 minutes on my computer.
    18GB backup.

    With Rapid Delta Restore, Macrium only replaces the differences (what has changed) between the backup and what is currently ON the OS drive. RDR is FAST. Completes in 24 seconds on my computer.
    18GB backup.

    Both methods do replace MBR (which I use) on the OS drive, which is good.



    Generally I use backups to be able to eradicate any OS corruption or infections, should they occur.
    I wonder if RDR does this as well as restoring the old fashioned way.
    RDR "seems" good on the surface, but I will have to ponder this for a while.
    Maybe keep an eye on the results others get from RDR.






    On a side note...

    Restoring from the Corsair 3.1 GTX 256GB USB thumb drive, was just as fast as restoring from a WD Black internal HDD.


    Macrium Reflect - paid vs. free version...-image1.png
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  2. Posts : 24,612
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #2

    Ghot said:
    About a week or so ago, I finally got the paid version of Macrium Reflect.
    Mainly for the Image Guardian that the paid version adds.

    Interesting what Premium features we each value the most. I have a frequent habit of moving/renaming/deleting images and turned MIG off as it got in the way too often

    For me the two I value the most are Incrementals and Changed Block Tracking (backup's 'speed boost'). Oh, and RDR....

    ....With Rapid Delta Restore, Macrium only replaces the differences (what has changed) between the backup and what is currently ON the OS drive. RDR is FAST. ...

    ...Generally I use backups to be able to eradicate any OS corruption or infections, should they occur.
    I wonder if RDR does this as well as restoring the old fashioned way....
    For rapid delta restore Macrium is looking at which sectors are different in the image and just restoring those. I can't see how that would be any different from restoring all the sectors, whether they are different or the same as what's already on the drive. I've been using RDR for well over a year now and not seen anything to make me think the end result is any different from a full restore of all sectors (just faster).


    On a side note, a few year back Macrium accidentally left RDR enabled in Free for just one build (they quickly corrected that in the next update). I still have the installer for that build, and use it on my machines that don't have a paid-for version.
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  3. Posts : 17,720
    Win 10 Home 10.0.19044.1706 (x64) [21H2]
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Yeah, I understand what RDR does. I'm wondering things like... what happens if some infection takes over a .dll file or something. If it's the exact same size, would RDR catch that.
    Another concern is what if the "relationship" between two Windows files changed, but the files themselves didn't change. Would RDR be able to pick that up.

    Then I think what about computer "ne're do wells"? Could they make use of the fact that we are all using RDR now?


    Also, RDR is ON by default. It seems if I turn it OFF it doesn't stay OFF for the next time.
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  4. Posts : 24,612
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #4

    Ghot said:
    Yeah, I understand what RDR does. I'm wondering things like... what happens if some infection takes over a .dll file or something. If it's the exact same size, would RDR catch that.

    Another concern is what if the "relationship" between two Windows files changed, but the files themselves didn't change. Would RDR be able to pick that up.
    Then I think what about computer "ne're do wells"? Could they make use of the fact that we are all using RDR now?

    Yes, all such changes would be picked up.

    RDR does not take into account the file structure, it's only looking for sectors that have had their contents changed. In fact, just defraging an HDD is going to change the contents of sectors by rearranging them, even though the files themselves haven't been altered. That would count as a 'change' that both a Differential or Incremental would have to back up, and that RDR would have to restore.

    For that reason I have scheduled optimisation turned off for my HDD machines, only manually defraging them immediately before the next Full image. It keeps down the size of subsequent differentials and Incrementals.
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  5. Posts : 17,720
    Win 10 Home 10.0.19044.1706 (x64) [21H2]
    Thread Starter
       #5

    I would expect backup software to be cognizant of changes in blocks, sectors, etc., but I wonder if if could do the same for a few bits in a .dll or .exe. file?

    I also wonder why every backup software doesn't do this, and hasn't done this for years and years.
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  6. Posts : 24,612
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #6

    Ghot said:
    I would expect backup software to be cognizant of changes in blocks, sectors, etc., but I wonder if if could do the same for a few bits in a .dll or .exe. file?
    If you change a few bits in a file, then you will have changed the sector that it's stored in - and RDR will recognise that the sector has been changed.
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 17,720
    Win 10 Home 10.0.19044.1706 (x64) [21H2]
    Thread Starter
       #7

    Bree said:
    If you change a few bits in a file, then you will have changed the sector that it's stored in - and RDR will recognise that the sector has been changed.


    I think sectors are a bit larger than that.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm still a huge fan of MR. I'm just not sure that I feel the same about RDR.
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  8. Posts : 24,612
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #8

    Ghot said:
    I think sectors are a bit larger than that.

    Yes, but to change just one bit you have to re-write the whole sector that contains it

    Don't get me wrong, I'm still a huge fan of MR. I'm just not sure that I feel the same about RDR.

    As I said, I've used RDR for years on all my machines and never found fault with it.
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 17,720
    Win 10 Home 10.0.19044.1706 (x64) [21H2]
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Bree said:
    Yes, but to change just one bit you have to re-write the whole sector that contains it




    As I said, I've used RDR for years on all my machines and never found fault with it.



    Well, I'm gonna take a wait and see approach with RDR on backups that are... mission critical.
    Again, I wonder why every other backup software doesn't employ this.
    Last edited by Ghot; 19 Apr 2021 at 06:16.
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  10. Posts : 11,177
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #10

    Hi folks
    With faster and larger drives - whether you need mega fast restore IMO is a moot point these days - especially if you keep the OS on its own SSD / NVme device and keep user data e.g multi-media, documents, emails etc on separate drives or certainly partitions.

    Data backup / archiving is another whole issue and there's probably no simple strategy that adequately can cover that. These days there's all sorts of ways of storing data for archiving -- cloud servers, NAS systems etc.

    A few here won't agree - but my own view is that for most domestic users who don't have TB of data is that the FREE version is perfectly good enough -- for backing up the OS if the OS is on an SSD shouldn't take more than 15 mins even on quite old equipment. The simplicity of not having to store all intermediate backups if just doing incremental isn't worth the terouble IMO. Imaging the OS and any data partitions allows you to browse those if you need to recover data.

    I though simply run an automated job on a NAS server every so often (rsync -- you can use a graphical version GRSYNC if you don't like CLI's) which backs up data directories to NAS). I then also every so often also back those up again to an external HDD. Don't forget data on NAS servers should also be backed up regularly.

    The whole issue is here the volume of data you have and whether you want the whole thing to be automated with as little as possible user interraction.

    The Paid version of Macrium IMO is great for businesses or if you want to backup more than just your own computer -- e.g kids, other users etc. It also has facilities for direct booting of VM Images if you use HYPER-V, and both incremental / differential backups plus one or two more things. Only you would know if those things are valuable to you.

    It also includes Image Guardian if that's your thing too.

    However everybody whatever method they use should ALWAYS backup valuable data and the OS regularly.

    If stuff really is mission critical (I doubt whether most home installations would come under that category though) then using various RAID and Mirroring techniques with HDD Hot Swapping capability you can keep systems usually running 24/7 even on HDD hardware failures. The only problems here would be by accidental data loss or sabotage via hacking, malware etc -- but truely mission critical systems should have the best possible security systems in them to mitigate these threats.


    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


 

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