Windows 10 System Image Tool vs. Macrium Reflect 7 Free?

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  1. CluelessInSeatl's Avatar
    Posts : 114
    Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows XP, MS-DOS
       #1

    Windows 10 System Image Tool vs. Macrium Reflect 7 Free?


    Windows 10 version 20H2

    My refurbished PC crashed last month and I had to have the hard drive replaced. And now I'm tasked with the tedious chore of trying to restore my system's settings and all my lost software. Thankfully most of my important data files were on my (also refurbished) laptop.

    So at this late stage in my life (I'm nearly 80) I've finally realized I'm going to have to learn how to create and restore full system backups on both computers.

    I've looked around here in this forum, and found that Windows 10 has a built in option for making and restoring full system backups. And that there is also a third party app called Macrium 7 Free. From what I've read from Googling, both options are easy to use.

    But when I posted on a local BBS about my intention to create a full system back up I got this response from the SYSOP:

    "A disk image backup is possible, and restore of same. But my concern is that
    it may be beyond your abilities. I don't want to seem hostile or insulting but
    the combination of physical health and mental health etc is just that right now
    I think that a lot of stuff that COULD BE DONE -- well, it's just so far
    beyond where you are at. IMHO.

    I'm deeply sorry if those words hurt you, Will, but I am trying to be
    realistic about your abilities and your disabilities. The latter being severe.
    Physical health and mental health disabilities. ...

    Again trying to NOT be insulting but really just very frank and honest about
    where you're at right now, as seen from my perspective....I wish I could help,
    but a LOT of the things I could suggest or recommend just feel WAY beyond
    what you can manage. :-( I wish really bad that thingswere different. :-("
    Of course that made me worry that perhaps I should instead take my laptop to a computer repair shop to have a disk image created. But, as I'm getting by on Social Security, I'd like to try to avoid the expense if I can learn how to do it myself.

    What do you think? Is creating a full system back-up something that's beyond the capabilities of an old guy in failing health? Or would you encourage me to take a stab at it? I guess the main question is "What's the worst that could happen if give it a try and I find I'm incapable of doing it correctly? Could I end up messing up my system so I would end up having to take the PC to the shop anyway?"
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  2. Paul Black's Avatar
    Posts : 15,099
    Win 10 Pro 64-bit v1909 - Build 18363 Custom ISO Install
       #2

    Hello @CluelessInSeatl,

    CluelessInSeatl said:
    So at this late stage in my life (I'm nearly 80) I've finally realized I'm going to have to learn how to create and restore full system backups on both computers.

    I've looked around here in this forum, and found that Windows 10 has a built in option for making and restoring full system backups. And that there is also a third party app called Macrium 7 Free. From what I've read from Googling, both options are easy to use.

    Of course that made me worry that perhaps I should instead take my laptop to a computer repair shop to have a disk image created. But, as I'm getting by on Social Security, I'd like to try to avoid the expense if I can learn how to do it myself.

    What do you think? Is creating a full system back-up something that's beyond the capabilities of an old guy in failing health? Or would you encourage me to take a stab at it? I guess the main question is "What's the worst that could happen if give it a try and I find I'm incapable of doing it correctly? Could I end up messing up my system so I would end up having to take the PC to the shop anyway?"

    [1] There is NO need to lay out good money and take it to a repair shop, they are NOT cheap.
    [2] What will happen if you need to Restore the Image?
    [3] It will mean another trip to the repair store for at an additional un-needed.
    [4] You are NEVER too old to learn.



    Firstly. Personally, I would stay clear of the Windows Built-In Imaging & Backup option for the reasons I have given below.

     Windows Built-In - Imaging & Backup

    DOWNSIDE:

    It is common knowledge that most of the time you CAN'T trust ANY of the MS built-in Backup or Image facilities because they just DON'T work. The System Imaging facility is a deprecated feature which is NO longer being developed or updated [ it used the same executables in every version of W10 ]. Even MS say that the built-in System Imaging facility should NOT be used . . .

    System Image Backup (SIB) Solution
    We recommend that users use full-disk backup solutions from other vendors.

    SOURCE: > Features Removed or Deprecated in Windows 10



    UPSIDE:

    If you do use the built-in MS System Imaging facility, then a Recovery Drive USB from almost any version of Win 10 is capable of restoring any other version of a Win 10 MS System Image. A Recovery Drive USB and the System Repair Disk DVD are functionally identical. The only requirement is that it is the same Win 10 bit type [ x86 or x64 ] as the System Image to be restored.



    Secondly, Macrium Reflect is a trusted and recommended source that is widely used in this forum, therefore, there is plenty of help available for ANY questions or advice if needed.

    Quote from their website . . .

    FREE Edition

    A free back up, disk imaging, and cloning solution capable of meeting the needs of both commercial and personal users.

    Protect your data, upgrade your hard disk or try new operating systems safe in the knowledge that everything is securely saved in an easily recovered backup file. Macrium Reflect supports back up to local, network, and USB drives, and is licensed for both home and business use.

    Have a look at these . . .

    > How to Create and Restore a System Image Backup with Macrium Reflect - TenForums
    > How to Use Macrium Reflect Rescue Media to Fix Windows Boot Issues - TenForums
    > Macrium Reflect KnowledgeBase
    > Macrium Reflect User Guide - PDF

    Macrium Reflect can also be used to Backup Files and Folders . . .

    > Files and Folders Backup - Screenshot

    NOTE: The FREE version also provides the ability to Mount the Image File and Explore the contents.



    I hope this helps.
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  3. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 9,689
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1348
       #3

    CluelessInSeatl said:
    … Windows 10 has a built in option for making and restoring full system backups. ..
    Will,

    Don't use Windows imaging - part of "Backup & restore (Windows 7)".

    MS said not to in their announcement of Windows 10 Version 1709 and have never withdrawn that warning

    imaging deprecated in Ver 1709 - TenForums



    Macrium Reflect [free edition] is often recommended in this forum for making system images. Other utilities are available but this one is so commonplace that you can get plenty of help for it.
    - I understand that many TenForums members use the free version and find it perfectly satisfactory.

    Backup and Restore with Macrium Reflect - TenForumsTutorials
    Macrium Software Macrium Reflect Free
    Macrium USB - TenForums
    Macrium Reflect KnowledgeBase - user guide [version-independent link]

    Its viBoot facility can make bootable system images. Or, more precisely,
    viBoot enables you to boot into the images you have made using Macrium Reflect, for validation purposes, or to retrieve data from old applications stored on a bootable image.
    Macrium viBoot enables you, to instantly create, start and manage Microsoft Hyper-V and Virtualbox virtual machines using one or more Macrium Reflect image files as the basis of the virtual machine storage sub-system.
    Macrium viBoot - Macrium KB
    Macrium viBoot - Create Virtual Machine using Macrium Image - TenForumsTutorials



    Amongst the other system imaging utilities are:

    1 Acronis True Image - Normally paid for but
    - Owners of these disk brands can get free limited-capability versions from those companies.
    Seagate, Samsung, Maxtor disks [they call their version DiscWizard] - online help index with user manual download link
    WD, SanDisk, G-Technology disks - their download includes a copy of the user manual - online help
    - These free versions depend on the presence of that brand of disk both to make system images & to restore system images.
    - The free versions allow full system imaging but not the incremental/differential imaging that the paid-for version allows.
    - Their own-branded USB stick can be enough to allow them to work but an SD card is not.
    - They cannot necessarily detect a branded disk connected in a non-standard way [such as in a caddy in a DVD bay] and the only way to find out is to try it. This has varied over time/versions.
    - Their willingness to restore images in the absence of a branded disk has also varied over time/versions.
    2 AOMEI Backupper Standard Edition - Free Backup Software for Windows - Free version
    3 EaseUS ToDo Backup - Free version
    4 Paragon Backup & Recovery - Free version
    [Links 2-4 provided by Paul Black]



    While you're thinking about backups, consider Backup and Restore Device Drivers - TenForumsTutorials as well.

    All the best,
    Denis
      My Computer

  4. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 9,689
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1348
       #4

    CluelessInSeatl said:
    … that made me worry that perhaps I should instead take my laptop to a computer repair shop to have a disk image created. But, as I'm getting by on Social Security, I'd like to try to avoid the expense if I can learn how to do it myself.
    What do you think? Is creating a full system back-up something that's beyond the capabilities of an old guy in failing health? Or would you encourage me to take a stab at it? I guess the main question is "What's the worst that could happen if give it a try and I find I'm incapable of doing it correctly? Could I end up messing up my system so I would end up having to take the PC to the shop anyway?"
    Will,

    A system image can turn a disaster into a mere inconvenience.

    I think you should give it a go using Macrium Reflect, free version [which is now on v8]. The TenForumsTutorials on the subject can take you through each step and you can post requests for additional advice in the tutorial threads or here in your own thread.

    The problems you have described make me veer much more towards suggesting Macrium Reflect because its TenForums users are so ready to help people.
    - Whilst I use a different application for my system images, it attracts nothing like the level of enthusiasm you'll find about Macrium Reflect.

    [Note that Paul & I posted at the same time so you'll see a lot of repetition in our posts].

    Making your own system images would be your best option even if you were rich. You'll want to update the system image frequently [probably monthly or at the very least twice a year] and you don't want to spend your life travelling to a computer shop & back.

    Best of luck,
    Denis
      My Computer

  5. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 33,692
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #5

    There are helpful videos on using Macrium Reflect on Youtube, including some posted by Macrium.

    Free is good enough for most people- paid for adds some good features.

    However as a free user you can not post on Macrium's forum.
      My Computers

  6. Digmor Crusher's Avatar
    Posts : 124
    Windows 10
       #6

    You should try Aomei first, I find it much easier to use than Macrium.
      My Computer


  7. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 33,692
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #7

    You can get Aomei Pro free for a year here:
    Software Giveaway & Coupon Code | WinningPC
      My Computers

  8. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 2,364
    trying to install win10
       #8

    Can you find somebody - neighbour or relative who can do it for you to show you how it is done?

    Probably a good idea to use the simplest method. Windows built in imaging is quite straightforward and works fine. It also has the advantage of creating images in a format that can be accessed by other programs.

    If you want to use a 3rd party program, choose one that is very simple to use. Not macrium, acronis or paragon.
    Aomei Backupper is quite easy, and last time I looked at hasleo that seemed easy too, though I didnt see any way of mounting the image or scheduling - but it seems to have added extra functions since then.
    2021 Best Free Backup Software for Windows 11/10/8/7 - Hasleo Backup Suite Free
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  9. CluelessInSeatl's Avatar
    Posts : 114
    Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows XP, MS-DOS
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Thanks folks, for those speedy and helpful replies!

    And especially thanks for warning me off of the built-in Windows back-up utility.

    So, with your encouragement, I'm going to give it a go. I've got a ginormous external USB drive that I luckily bought before the pandemic hit and drove electronics prices sky high. Now my next step is to study those tutorials.
      My Computer

  10. Steve C's Avatar
    Posts : 6,973
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #10

    Don't use the built in backup but do use Reflect. Set up scheduled backups when you know how to use and note the useful facility to mount any backed partition as a virtual drive.
      My Computers


 
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