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: Creating desktop shortcuts for full, incremental and differential backups

TechieTuesday

Creating Desktop Shortcuts for your backups enables quick and easy execution without the need to start Macrium Reflect or choose the backup type (Full, Diff or Inc).

Pre-requisite: To create a desktop shortcut for your definitions files you must already have a backup definitions file. If required, follow the instructions in  Creating a backup image of your computer, drive or partitions.

  1. Select Backup Definitions Files tab.
    Backup Definition Files Tab
  2. Select the backup definition file and Click the Create Desktop Shortcut button on the Backup Definition File View toolbar.
    Create Desktop Shortcut
  3. Select the Backup Type and enter the shortcut name that appears on the Desktop.
    For easy reference to the backup type you could add a Full, Diff or Inc suffix to the shortcut name.
  4. Click OK.

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

Techie Tuesday: Converting a Physical machine to Virtual Machine

TechieTuesday

This article will guide you through the steps needed to convert a physical machine to a virtual machine, using any hypervisior.

  1. Using Macrium Reflect take an image of your physical machine.
  2. Once you have an image, create a Rescue Media ISO image.
  3. Create a Virtual Machine using your preferred hypervisor (Hyper-V, VMware, Virtual box…), assigning to it a vCPU, Memory and a Virtual Hard Disk.
  4. Boot the VM using the created Rescue Media ISO image.
  5. From the booted Rescue Media restore your image on to the Virtual Hard Disk attached to your VM.
  6. Without exiting the Rescue Media, run the ReDeploy option.
  7. Detach the ISO from your VM and reboot it.

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

Techie Tuesday: Standalone backup set consolidation

TechieTuesdayIt can be useful to independently consolidate multiple files in a backup set into a single Full or to consolidate a group of Incremental backups. This helps to conserve disk space and can be used when archiving your backups to optimize the number of backups being copied.

Independent consolidations can be run without creating a backup or launching Macrium Reflect by running a small utility Macrium Image Consolidation:

Download: http://updates.macrium.com/reflect/utilities/consolidate.exe

Using Macrium Image Consolidation

To Launch Macrium Image Consolidation double click ‘consolidate.exe’ in Windows Explorer.

‘consolidate.exe’ is a standalone executable that does not require installing.

Area Description
1 Enter the ‘From’ backup file for the consolidation process, or click ‘…’ to browse. This is usually the Full backup, ending in ’00-00.mrimg’, but can be an Incremental file.

Valid Macrium backup file types are:

Image files: .mrimg
File and Folder backup files: .mrbak
Exchange backup files: .mrex

2. Enter the ‘To’ file for the consolidation process, or click ‘…’ to browse. This must be in the same backup set as 1. and must have been created after the backup in 1.

Click ‘Consolidate’ to begin the consolidation process.

3.Basic information about the backup files.4.The output Window. This is populated after clicking ‘Consolidate’ and contains detailed information about the consolidation process.

Note: Selecting a ‘Full’ image for the ‘From’ backup file will create a consolidated ‘Synthetic Full’ image.


Restrictions when choosing the ‘From’ and ‘To’ backup files.

  • Each file must be from the same backup set. See How backup sets are created and maintained for more information on sets.Error output:
    From and To files are from a different backup set.
  • The ‘To’ file must have been created after the from file.Error output:
    From file is more recent than the To file
  • The backup set cannot contain any Differential backups.Error output:
    The backup set contains Differential backups

http://knowledgebase.macrium.com/display/KNOW/Standalone+backup+set+consolidation

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.

viBoot Released!

Macrium-viBootToday we release a new update to our popular Macrium viBoot product. Macrium viBoot has been created to allow you to answer some important questions about your disaster recovery plan… Will my backups allow me to successfully boot into Windows if I needed to restore from them? Are new applications or updates safe to install? How long would it take to recover data should a disaster strike?

Macrium viBoot not only ensures that you have an incredibly effective disaster recovery tool, but also that your live environment is free from risk.

Create a replacement virtual machine in minutes

Macrium viBoot provides a simple and efficient route to creating a Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machine from one or more Macrium Reflect image files. Within minutes you will have an almost identical replica of the computer from which the image was taken; allowing you to continue working as though you were sitting at the original computer. When coupled with Macrium Reflect, all of the changes made while the viBoot virtual machine session is running, can be added to the existing backup set or a new backup set can be created.

Verify the integrity of your backups

In addition to its disaster recovery capabilities, Macrium viBoot can also be used to test the integrity of your backups. By creating and starting a virtual machine from your image file(s), you can demonstrate that your backups will function correctly if the need arises to restore to new or existing hardware.

Test upgrades before deployment

Macrium viBoot can also be used to test application and system upgrades before deploying them onto real hardware, without the risk of contaminating your live environment. Some customers have even performed a full upgrade of their Windows 7 environments to Windows 10.

Main Features

  • Start a Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machine from any bootable Macrium Reflect full, incremental or
    differential image file stored locally or on a network share.
  • Mix and match drives from various image files to ensure access to all of your data.
  • Eliminate business downtime caused by lengthy physical to virtual conversions or restore processes.
  • Supports UEFI and drives over 64TB in size.
  • viBoot is completely FREE.

Minimum System Requirements

An AMD64 compatible computer running Microsoft Windows 8 or Microsoft Window Server 2008 or later, capable of running Microsoft Hyper-V.

Macrium Reflect is required to save any changes that are made while the VM is running, but not required to launch a viBoot virtual machine.


Download viBoot now:

http://www.macrium.com/viboot.aspx