"Free Disk Imaging and Restore Software"
It is a wise decision to maintain backup of important data stored in personal or office computers as it can save your day in times of hardware failure. However, it can become a tough task to choose the right program which is user-friendly and proves to be an ideal data backup solution. Macrium Reflect is one such software which exhibits both these characteristics and is a reliable disaster recovery solution that can create exact images of your hard disk to recover the important data in case of system failures. In addition, it supports backup of your data including files, documents, images, and audio files to local or network drives, USB drives and even allows burning them to all CD/DVD formats.
Installation procedure for Macrium Reflect is a bit lengthy and complex. The setup is installed via a download agent which downloads a large file (162.9 MB) containing Microsoft WinPE components, hence it takes a lot of time and free system space than is usually required. The software installer will show you the license key and you will be asked to register your free version of the software to receive information about new features and offers (we chose to skip this step). Apart from that you only need to confirm its installation destination path. It is supported by following operating systems: Windows XP/Vista/7/ 8 (32-bit and 64-bit).
Macrium Reflect has a clean, modern, and intuitive interface. Unlike other similar softwares that have complex interface, this software is easy-to-use and even inexperienced users can easily take hard disk backups. The main area of the window is kept for displaying the hard disks on your system and their information is shown in the left panel under ‘Details’ section. The main area basically has three different tabs to perform actions such as – Create a Backup (displayed by default), Backup Definition Files, and Scheduled Backups.
- It lets you create precise image of your system hard disk or partitions on a disk and in situation of complete or even partial system failure, this disk image can help you restore the entire disk, partitions or individual files and folders
- In order to optimize backup speed and disk space requirements, it lets you create full, incremental, and differential disk images
- This versatile software lets you store the images on local or network drives, CD or DVD media, and removable drives connected using USB, eSATA, or Firewire (IEEE1394)
- It supports drag and drop of partitions making it a lot easier to perform backing up or restoring of hard disks and partitions
- You can clone your hard disks with this software so that if a situation occurs where your system disk fails, you can simply swap it with the clone disk after which your system will be up and running straight away
- Another useful feature is that it allows backup of individual files and folders in a single compressed archive file, plus you can filter out which files and folders to include or exclude for backup
- For the selected files and folders, you can perform various types of backups such as Full (creates a new full backup file), Differential (copies only those files that have changed since the last full backup), and Incremental (copies the files changed since the last backup of any type)
- Backing up disks can take a lot of time to complete and doing it manually can eat up your valuable time. No need to fret about that anymore as this software lets you automate this task by scheduling the backup at any time according to your preference
- Scheduled backups are a bit challenging for novice users
- Installation process is complex
Programs that can be used as alternatives for Macrium Reflect are – Clonezilla, Redo Backup and Recovery, and Acronis True Image. Clonezilla is a reliable partition or disk cloning program that can save and restore used blocks in a hard drive. Redo Backup and Recovery is an open-source disk imaging program that allows backup and recovery of partitions or entire hard disks and computers. Acronis True Image is capable of creating exact disk image of operating systems, applications, user data, and even backup Outlook data (contacts, emails, and tasks).
Macrium Reflect not only lets you backup your important documents, files, music, and videos but it is also capable of upgrading your hard disk. Since all your data is safely saved in its easily recoverable backup file, so you can even try working on new operating systems. It is a must-have program for all those users who take the matter of taking data backup seriously.
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