Macrium Reflect Free Edition is being retired soon

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  1. Posts : 27,018
    10 Home x64 (22H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #21

    pliskken said:
    Does the paid version allow to make backups that omit certain folders?
    No, neither Free or paid for have an option to exclude folders from a system image.

    There is however a way to do that that works for all versions, Free or paid. It does require editing the registry though.

    How to exclude files from a Disk Image - Knowledgebase 8.0 - Macrium Reflect Knowledgebase
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  2. Posts : 1,019
    11 Home
       #22

    pliskken said:
    Does the paid version allow to make backups that omit certain folders? I want to backup my OS drive but omit the potentially very large games folder. They can always be redownloaded so are not critical.

    On my current system I have the OS on a separate small partition but would rather have everything on one for my new build.
    While it certainly is possible to specify file/folder exclusions via the Windows registry, the Shadow Copy Optimization Writer still has a limitation that causes the file/folder exclusion mechanism to fail if the number of files to be excluded from image is large (thousands). Most users will never encounter such a failure, but nevertheless it is still worth noting, that the mechanism is unreliable. By comparison, Acronis True Image 2021 does not suffer from this shortcoming, at least not if you instruct it to not use the VSS, and in fact it still also lets you specify exclusions, even, if you boot into the bootable Rescue Media ISO file to create your image file by using that environment. This bootable Rescue environment offers a huge benefit, at least to me, as it is the only way to make 100% sure that the image file will be always reliable (with the sole exception of errors caused by a hardware failure). This is due to taking Windows offline before the new image will be created so, it effectively eliminates any and all potential interferences that may result from having the OS still actively running on the system during the process of image creation (what they call a hot image). Hot images can still be useful of course. They are a convenience type thing. It's just that, without a cold image the integrity of which has also been verified immediately after it was created, you are in the dark zone when it comes to strict reliability. Unreliable backups are not backups. They're accidents waiting to happen. With the bootable Rescue environment of Acronis, there's a simple checkbox for verification that you can tick whilst the image creation is in progress. And, because the bootable Rescue environment of Acronis lets you choose not to use the VSS service to create a new image, file/folder exclusions will work, reliably, and without the need to fiddle with the registry like I said earlier. Try fiddling with the registry after you booted into the bootable Rescue environment of Reflect. Immediately it becomes clear that Reflect is not exactly among practical solutions to create reliable system backups. (Even, if you decide to pay hard earned money for it.) The fact that the Linux based bootable Rescue Media ISO file of Acronis True Image 2021 is actually a free download is not very widely known I would guess. But it's still a fact.

    On a side note... personally, I, don't very often create a system backup. The only real purpose of having such a backup available is just to avoid the long hassle that is to install Windows and all your programs again from scratch, potentially also losing a bunch of important settings that might take a lot of time and effort to redo. So, there is almost no additional system downtime. I have a 2TB Samsung 980 Pro inside my laptop, the main benefit of file/folder exclusion is not so much the fact that it makes the image file smaller. It just goes so much faster... I am also fairly allergic to unnecessary booting, BTW. But it's always a joy to boot with Ventoy. lol To backup any other type of critical data, I use a completely separate strategy. Image file creation has no place in it whatsoever, and, neither do imaging software solutions.
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  3. Posts : 3,359
    several
       #23

    pliskken said:
    I want to backup my OS drive but omit the potentially very large games folder. They can always be redownloaded so are not critical.

    On my current system I have the OS on a separate small partition but would rather have everything on one for my new build.
    If you only want to image a partition e.g. the os partition, diskgenius free version can do exclusions and it is very easy to do
    If you want to do that manually every now and again, it might be suitable.

    Another way is to make .wim images, using an exclusion list. Wim images have a number of advantages over proprietary formats.

    dism++ makes it simple, though there is no scheduling. If you want to add something to task scheduler then wimlib-imagex would be a good choice. Something like this:

    wimlib-imagex append C:\ "U:\backup.wim" "somename" --snapshot --create --compress=fast --config="path_to_wimscript.ini"

    that will create u:\backup.wim if it doesn't exist or append any changes since the last backup if it already exists.
    wimscript.ini contains a list of exclusions.
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  4. Posts : 579
    Microsoft Windows 10 Professional (x64) Build 19045.2486
       #24

    Phone Man said:
    It means there will be no updates to the free version after Jan 2024. It will still work but no updates.

    Jim
    Yes, I understand, but am I incorrectly assuming there's a risk of using it after Jan 2024 with no security patches?
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  5. Posts : 13,737
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.2364
       #25

    kitpzyxmsir said:
    ... am I incorrectly assuming there's a risk of using it after Jan 2024 with no security patches?
    Strictly-speaking, the answer is, Yes.
    But malware would have to get through the OS's defences first before it could exploit any weaknesses in a non-updated Macrium reflect free.
    I'm still using MSOffice 2007 so I am taking the same risk.


    All the best,
    Denis
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  6. Posts : 27,018
    10 Home x64 (22H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #26

    kitpzyxmsir said:
    Yes, I understand, but am I incorrectly assuming there's a risk of using it after Jan 2024 with no security patches?
    It's hard to see what security risk there could be in using it. Reflect does not use any internet connectivity while making or restoring images.

    In the release notes for v8 the only mention of any patch since v8 was released in May 2021 that was in any way security related was improvements to Image Guardian - which is a Premium feature and not available in Free anyway.

    Macrium Reflect Patch Details
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  7. Posts : 32
    Windows 10 Pro. x64 22H2
       #27

    hdmi said:
    Hot images can still be useful of course. They are a convenience type thing. It's just that, without a cold image the integrity of which has also been verified immediately after it was created, you are in the dark zone when it comes to strict reliability. Unreliable backups are not backups. They're accidents waiting to happen.
    Totally agree. I have used TeraByte Drive Image Backup and Restore Suite (TBI) for imaging for years via its excellent bootable Image for Linux (even though I'm on a Windows system). Having just looked at the pricing for Reflect I think that TBI is priced better and is something that I know to be reliable. If anyone is thinking of abandoning Reflect then give TBI a whirl, I don't think you would be disappointed. The bootable Image for Linux is a work of art. I first transferred to TBI years ago when Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image became unaffordable as far as I was concerned. I haven't regretted the switch.
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  8. Posts : 14,410
    Windows10
       #28

    LastUnicorn said:
    Totally agree. I have used TeraByte Drive Image Backup and Restore Suite (TBI) for imaging for years via its excellent bootable Image for Linux (even though I'm on a Windows system). Having just looked at the pricing for Reflect I think that TBI is priced better and is something that I know to be reliable. If anyone is thinking of abandoning Reflect then give TBI a whirl, I don't think you would be disappointed. The bootable Image for Linux is a work of art. I first transferred to TBI years ago when Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image became unaffordable as far as I was concerned. I haven't regretted the switch.
    I think you rather miss the point - people who do not want to pay for paid versions of Reflect will not pay for any other tools either.

    There are plenty of quality free tools e.g. AOMEI Backupper or Easeus Todo

    As an aside, I rather disagree about TBI being priced better - it does not have features like Rapid Delta Restore or Macrium Image Guardian, or restore to different hardware without buying a separate tool. It is slightly cheaper but lacks some of Reflect's best features and does not offer much over free versions of other tools above.
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  9. Posts : 557
    Windows 10 Pro
       #29

    For people still looking for a free option, maybe give Paragon Backup & Recovery Community Edition or Hasleo Backup Suite a try.

    You may be pleasantly surprised.
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  10. Posts : 86
    Windows 10 Home v22H2 OS Build 19045.2546
       #30

    Stigg said:
    For people still looking for a free option, maybe give Paragon Backup & Recovery Community Edition or Hasleo Backup Suite a try.

    You may be pleasantly surprised.
    Thanks for those links.
      My Computer


 

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