Techie Tuesday: Restoring and browsing

#TechieTuesday

Macrium Reflect can restore disk partitions exactly as they were when the backup was taken. With File and Folder backups you can restore all or selected files and folders to their original or new location.

You can also explore any backup or image file in Windows Explorer. This powerful feature enables you to restore individual files or folders by simply using copy and paste.

To restore whole computers, including boot partitions, Macrium Reflect uses Windows PE, a cut down version of Windows. On a working system, when you restore to an earlier time, Macrium Reflect reboots into the Windows PE operating system, carries out the requested restore, then boots back into the restored operating system. On a system that is not working, to restore to an earlier time, you need to boot from your Windows PE rescue media, whether that is a CD, DVD or USB-stick. The rescue media contains Macrium Reflect so that you can carry out the restore, then boot back into the restored operating system.

Although this all sounds complex, it really is very simple to perform with Macrium Reflect leading you through each step.

Finally, if you have Macrium Reflect Server Plus, it has a rich feature set for restoring backups of SQL databases and Microsoft Exchange Servers while giving you the power to restore to any time and granularity right down to an individual email.


Further reading:


Download a 30-day Trial of Macrium Reflect for Home or Business use.

Techie Tuesday: Macrium Rapid Delta Clone (RDC)

TechieTuesday

As with Rapid Delta Restore (RDR), which we looked at last week, the concept of RDR has been something that has been thought about for quite some time here at Macrium Software. We wanted to build a clone solution that would effectively and rapidly copy only the differences between the source and target file systems. The advantage of this is obvious, RDC offers similar a performance increase as an Incremental disk image offers over a Full image and enables regular clones to be a viable and fast DR solution.

How does it work?

The NTFS file system resident on the clone source is compared with file system on the target disk. The two file systems are first verified that they originated from the same format command and then the target NTFS file system structures are analyzed for differences. All the NTFS file system structures are copied to the target disk and any that do not exist or have been modified on the target disk cause the data records for each NTFS file or object to be copied as well. The result is an ‘Incremental’ clone applying only file system changes detected between the source and the target.

Note: RDC works with NTFS file systems only. All other file systems will perform a full clone

Note: RDC is not available when shrinking partitions during a clone.


See also New in Version 6 and New in Version 6.1


Download a 30-day Trial of Macrium Reflect for Home or Business use.

Techie Tuesday: Macrium Rapid Delta Restore (RDR)

TechieTuesday

The concept of RDR has been something that has been thought about for quite some time here at Macrium Software. We were aware of competing technologies that offer fast restore capabilities but wanted to build something better…

Known state restore
This method performs a restore of an incremental image to a file system at a known state. The problem with this method is that the the ‘know state’ must be prepared before hand and the target disk cannot be accessed before the final ‘rapid’ restore. This means that the target disk for the restore cannot be the original ‘live’ disk and a previous restore of the same backup set must have been performed beforehand and the disk taken offline. Not very flexible.

Snapshot restore
Another method is to rely on an open Microsoft Volume Shadow copy Service (VSS) snapshot and use this to restore back to the state when the snapshot was created. Very quick, but only allows restoration back to the same disk and the image must have been created with VSS. Again, not flexible enough for real world DR.

Macrium RDR
Where Macrium RDR differs is that it isn’t dependent on VSS and a delta restore can be perform to any disk that has a previous copy of the imaged file system, no matter what it’s current state. This means that you can restore quickly back to the original disk (similar to the Open Snapshot) method, and have the flexibility to restore to a different disk that contains the same file system on it in any state.

How does RDR work?

Unlike ‘Known State’ and ‘Snapshot’ restore, the only dependency for RDR is that the target file system contains a formatted  NTFS file system that is the same file system as was originally imaged.  When the restore starts the disk image is loaded, again this can be an image taken at any time, and the target NTFS file system structures are analyzed for differences. All the NTFS file system structures are restored to the target disk and any that do not exist or have been modified on the target disk cause the data records for each NTFS file or object to be restored as well. The result is an ‘Incremental’ restore applying only file system changes detected between the image and the target.

Note: RDR works with NTFS file systems only. All other file systems will perform a full restore

Note: RDR is not available when shrinking partitions during a restore.


See also New in Version 6 and New in Version 6.1


Download a 30-day Trial of Macrium Reflect for Home or Business use.

Techie Tuesday: Restoring emails with Mailbox Restore

TechieTuesday

In Macrium Reflect Server Plus you can use Mailbox Restore to restore individual emails from a backup of Microsoft Exchange. This is useful if your backup contains some vital emails or attachments, but you don’t want to have to restore the whole MS Exchange server in order to access them .

Mailbox Restore can restore emails, appointments, contacts, journal entries, notes and tasks in the same way.

Before you begin:

For Mailbox Restore to function, Microsoft Exchange MAPI and CDO must be installed on the server. These are present by default on Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. For Exchange 2007 or later, they can be downloaded from the following link:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42040

To restore an email using Mailbox Restore, the edition of Microsoft Exchange running on the target server must be the same as the original server. An email backed up on a server running Exchange Server 2007, for example, can be restored onto other servers running Exchange 2007, but not to a server running Exchange 2010.

Note: A mailbox needs to exist on the target server, with the same name as the original mailbox.

The user running Macrium Reflect must have full access permissions for the mailbox being restored to.

  1. In Restore, select Microsoft Exchange Restore.
  2. Select Restore Exchange Mailboxes.
    The Exchange Mailbox Restore Wizard appears.
  3. Select the required message store / database to restore from and click Next.
  4. Select required folder, or click appropriate folder to select required individual email to restore.
  5. Click the filter button to filer the email list by Sender, Recipient, Subject, Between dates, or whether there are attachments.
  6. When you have made all the required selections / deselections, click OK.
  7. Click Restore.

Macrium Reflect Server Plus is available here.

Techie Tuesday: Understanding partition alignment

TechieTuesday

This week for Techie Tuesday we’re covering partition alignment.

Partition alignment refers to the physical sector offset of partitions. There are two alignment possibilities used by Windows:

  1. 1MB alignment. Beginning with Windows Vista/Server 2008 partitions are aligned on 1MB boundaries. For a disk with 512 bytes per sector this equates to 2048 sector alignment.
  2. Cylinder, Head, Sector (CHS) alignment. This is the alignment used by all Windows versions, up to and including Windows XP/Server 2003. Disks are described as having sectors, heads and cylinders, typically 512 bytes per sector, 63 sectors per head  and 255 heads per cylinder. A head is often referred to as a track. Partitions start on a head (or track) boundary and end on a cylinder boundary.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cylinder-head-sector

Partition alignment and Solid State Disks (SSD)

Solid State Disks require partition alignment to 4KB boundaries for optimum performance and life. 1MB aligned partitions are aligned on 4KB boundaries so present no problem, however, CHS aligned partition are often aligned on 63 sectors (31.5KB) degrading SSD performance and life time considerably.


Partition alignment and the Macrium Reflect cloning and restore function

To preserve the source partition alignment either…

  1. Select the source partition check box(es) and click the ‘Copy selected partitions’ link.
  2. Drag and drop the source partition(s) to free space on the target disk

To use the target partition alignment.

Note: This could be used to ‘convert’ and XP aligned partition for SSD alignment

  1. Drag and drop the source partition to an existing partition on the target disk

These defaulted alignment possibilities can be overridden in the Partition Properties dialog by selecting the ‘Alignment’ drop down control.

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For more information why not visit our Knowledge Base.