How to Back up with Macrium Reflect Free Edition

How to back up a system partition using Macrium Reflect Free Edition. Install the program and prepare the partition for backup

Macrium Reflect 7 Free Edition is a software package for backing up and restoring hard disk partitions.

Macrium Reflect 7 System Requirements

  • At least 512 MB of RAM (1 GB or more recommended).
  • CD-RW/DVD-RW drive or USB flash drive to create bootable media
  • mouse or other pointing device (recommended).

Supported Operating Systems

  • Windows XP SP3
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10

Windows server operating systems are not specified, as the article discusses the free edition of the Macrium Reflect program.

Supported file systems

  • FAT16/32;
  • NTFS;
  • Ext2/Ext3/Ext4.

Comparison of Macrium Reflect 7 Editions

There are 7 editions of Macrium Reflect 7, namely Free, Home, Workstation, Server, Server Plus, Technicians, and Deployment Kit. The table below provides information about comparing some of the features of the Free, Home, Workstation, and Server edition programs.

Program functionalityFreeHomeWorkstationServer
Back up++++
View the contents of a backup++++
Differential backup++++
Backup schedule++++
Disk cloning++++
Incremental backup+++
Back up files and folders+++
Encrypt backups+++
Ransomware protection+++
Windows Event Log –++
Centralized management with Macrium Site Manager++
Back up and restore server operating systems.+

Install Macrium Reflect 7 Free Edition

  • Run Macrium Reflect 7 Free file

Fig.1 Launch of Macrium Reflect 7 Free Edition

In this window, you can select the edition of the program to be installed. The article is about Macrium Reflect 7 Free, so the Select Installation Package section remains unchanged. In the Download Location & Options section, you can specify the folder where you want to download the program’s installation file. If you leave the checkbox Run installer directly after downloading the checkbox by default, the program’s installation will automatically begin when the download is complete. Click the Download button.

Fig.2 Download Macrium Reflect 7 Free Edition

After downloading, the installation window of the program will automatically open. Click the Next button.

Fig.3 Installing Macrium Reflect 7 Free Edition

Fig.4 Acceptance of the license agreement

To accept the license agreement, install the radio button. I accept the terms in the License Agreement and click Next.

Fig.5 Choosing a Use Case for Installing Macrium Reflect 7 Free Edition

In the License key window, install the Home radio button and click Next when installing the program for personal use.

Fig.6 Installing Macrium Reflect 7 Free Edition

You can clear the checkbox in the Register this installation of Macrium Reflect checkbox in the following dialog box and click Next.

Fig.7 Installing Macrium Reflect 7 Free Edition

In the next dialog box, you can leave the default values (if you want a shortcut to the program on the desktop, and if you do not need to change the path to install the program) and click Next.

Fig.8 Installing Macrium Reflect 7 Free Edition

Fig.9 Completing the installation process of Macrium Reflect 7 Free Edition.

When the program is installed, click the Finish button.

To back up a system partition in a production operating system environment

Before you run the System Partition Backup Tool, you must ensure that you have storage space for the backup. This can be a separate partition of the hard disk, external storage, network storage.

In my example, the backup will be created in the backup partition of the second hard drive.

  • Run the Backup Wizard

There are several ways to run the Backup Wizard:

  • In the main Macrium Reflect window, select Image this disk.

Fig.10 Running the Backup Wizard

  • In Explorer, right-click the context menu of the system partition, select Macrium Reflect > Create a Macrium Image of this partition.
  • In the main Macrium Reflect window, on the Backup tab of the Backup Tasks section, select Create an image of the partition(s) required to backup and restore Windows.

Fig.12 Running the Backup Wizard

  • In the Backup Wizard that opens, the backup partitions will be defined depending on the Windows operating system that you have installed. In this example, there are 3 hidden partitions (Windows recovery partition – 517 MB, MSR partition – 16 MB and encrypted (EFI) partition – 100 MB), as well as the system partition itself.

Fig.13 Backup Wizard window

In the Destination section, you must specify the path to save the backup. To do this, click on the appropriate icon and specify the path to the partition (folder) where the image will be saved. If you plan to burn the backup copy to a CD/DVD disc(s), you must install the CD/DVD Burner radio button.

Also, in this window, you can change the name of the backup in the Backup field (by clearing the checkbox, Use the Image ID as the file name). You can leave the default value as recommended by the program.

If you want to fine-tune the backup, you are creating. You can configure additional settings by selecting Advanced Options in the lower-left corner of the interface. For more settings, see Advanced Backup Settings. As a rule, for most cases, the default settings are suitable.

  • In the next window of the Edit the Plan for this Backup wizard, in the Select a Template for your Backup Plan section, you can select the desired schedule template and backup method from the drop-down list, or leave the default value of None.

In the Add/Edit Schedules section, you can create your schedule and backup method template by selecting Add Schedule.

In the Define Retention Rules section, you can configure backup retention rules.

In my example, this wizard window will apply the default settings. Click the Next button.

Fig.14 Backup Wizard window

  • In the next window with the output of the summary information on the backup settings, click the Finishbutton.

Fig.15 Backup Wizard window

  • To start the backup process, in the What do you want to do now window that opens, check that the run this backup now checkbox is selected and click OK. If the Save backup and schedules as an XML Backup Definition Filescheckbox is selected, you can save the specified settings for backup to a separate .xml file so that you can run a backup with the specified parameters on demand, edit, etc.

Fig.16 Starting backup

The backup process starts. Its duration depends on the size of the partition.

Fig.17 Creating a backup copy

  • When the backup is complete, the system will notify you that the backup has been completed. Click OK > Close.

Fig.18 Result of successful backup completion

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