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Macrium Reflect for netbook users (recovery on a USB stick!)

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When you upgrade to Windows 7 you will find that there is a recovery program built right in. You make an image of your system and store it some where safe like an external HDD. You make a recovery disk (the recovery disk image to make the bootable disk is provided right inside windows 7) to boot from and then restore the image you saved. You can also just back up folders or files. It's very easy to use and built right in.

 

Another thing with Windows 7 is that system restore is a whole different thing compared to XP. In Windows 7 it literally makes a snap shot of your system and you will roll back to the way your system was when you created a restore point. As you know XP system restore can cause more problems than it causes since it doesn't really image your system when you create a restore point.

 

Point is recovering your system is much easier in Windows 7 than XP. If you want to use Macrium still than you will have plenty of options.

 

I just saw that. Looks like a great option, I just wish they didn't limit its use to DVD and HDD.

 

 

 

 

I have an XPS Ultrabook on the way, which of course doesn't have a DVD drive.

 

I reformat every several months and the idea of not having to re-install AVG, set up my Outlook accounts, etc... would make life so much easier for me.

 

For a PC without a DVD drive - is this the best/most efficient free way? Using Macrium Reflect and the bootable USB?

 

 

Basically, can I get my PC just the way I want it, and then back it up to a USB, install the Yumi pendrive linux thing on the same USB...

 

...and completely restore my PC from the one USB drive?

 

If so, I am ecstatic. But just how in the heck do you use Macrium Reflect? I have been digging through tutorials for hours now and am not seeing anything concrete.

 

Like do I select "clone this disk" or "image this disk"? What's the difference? I clicked image and it said "no disks available".

 

Do I select "clone" and then select my USB drive and then save it to that? Then do the Yumi USB bootable thing on the same drive? Then how do you restore? I can't test any of this out until I buy a 16G USB.

 

Any help will be greatly, enormously appreciated.

 

 

Edit: It looks like I could create a separate partition on my already lacking 128 G SSD and use Windows 7 "Create System Image". Does anyone know if that backs up everything? Like will it save my outlook settings, AVG, installed codecs, etc..?

 

Again, thank you.

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Definitely NEVER EVER clone unless you really understand why you want to do so.

I think I fully understand what is involved and how it goes wrong in the hands of a novice and I am never going to go that way.

 

An image is so much faster and easier and can also restore a shrunk or expanded version to fit a brand new HDD of a different size.

 

Macrium took less than 20 seconds to convert a bog standard 1 GB Flash drive into a Bootable Recovery flash drive, and there remains 800 MB still not used.

I would not recommend saving the image backup files to the Bootable Recovery Flash Drive - but I guess you can if you wish.

 

Image backup files can be sent to an external HDD via eSATA or USB2 (or possibly USB3) or a secondary internal HDD.

Image backups cannot be booted from - you have to restore to a bootable device first.

There is no need for the image backups to be on a bootable device.

 

I clicked image and it said "no disks available".

If you post a screen shot showing the message and what you were doing I will give you my best guess.

It looks like I could create a separate partition on my already lacking 128 G SSD and use Windows 7 "Create System Image". Does anyone know if that backs up everything? Like will it save my outlook settings, AVG, installed codecs, etc..?

Yes, it should backup everything for you. But it may be incapable of restoring anything when you need it to.

 

Quite a few people have paid for Macrium because Windows 7 "Create System Image" let them down.

 

Regardless of whether you use Windows 7 "Create System Image", or Macrium, or any other third party software,

it is very much better to have your image backup files on an external device that will survive any smoke/fire damage within the computer should disaster strike.

 

You may be lucky if you save the backup files on a secondary internal drive;

assuming no fire etc then if a virus or Microsoft Gotcha corrupts the primary drive the secondary should survive.

Backups on a separate partition of the System Drive is the edge of disaster - Windows has no difficulty destroying itself and all partitions :angry:

 

When restoring NEVER EVER consider depending upon anything at all that IS/WAS on your SSD.

 

I have 25 GB used space on a 55 GB SSD

When I restore an image Windows will see the same again,

BUT the Nand cells within the SSD will not only have to hold the restored image,

they will also have to retain the previous information because no TRIM command has relinquished the old data.

There may be some Garbage collection that might sort things out, but I fear that it would slow down the drive horribly.

 

Before Restoring to the OCZ SSD I will use a special OCZ technique known by the name Secure Erase (in no way related to Gutman) which will prepare the entire SSD for a fresh image.

This should make the SSD as good and fast as new.

Your brand of SSD almost certainly needs similar treatment by a similar tool,

and this does NOT target a partition but the entire SSD,

so when you "Secure Erase" Windows from your SSD you will also purge (just before you need them) any image backup files you held on a separate partition of the same SSD

 

These links may be of use to you

http://support.macrium.com/

http://www.sevenforu...ee-macrium.html

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Definitely NEVER EVER clone unless you really understand why you want to do so.

I think I fully understand what is involved and how it goes wrong in the hands of a novice and I am never going to go that way.

 

An image is so much faster and easier and can also restore a shrunk or expanded version to fit a brand new HDD of a different size.

 

Macrium took less than 20 seconds to convert a bog standard 1 GB Flash drive into a Bootable Recovery flash drive, and there remains 800 MB still not used.

I would not recommend saving the image backup files to the Bootable Recovery Flash Drive - but I guess you can if you wish.

 

Image backup files can be sent to an external HDD via eSATA or USB2 (or possibly USB3) or a secondary internal HDD.

Image backups cannot be booted from - you have to restore to a bootable device first.

There is no need for the image backups to be on a bootable device.

 

 

If you post a screen shot showing the message and what you were doing I will give you my best guess.

 

Yes, it should backup everything for you. But it may be incapable of restoring anything when you need it to.

 

Quite a few people have paid for Macrium because Windows 7 "Create System Image" let them down.

 

Regardless of whether you use Windows 7 "Create System Image", or Macrium, or any other third party software,

it is very much better to have your image backup files on an external device that will survive any smoke/fire damage within the computer should disaster strike.

 

You may be lucky if you save the backup files on a secondary internal drive;

assuming no fire etc then if a virus or Microsoft Gotcha corrupts the primary drive the secondary should survive.

Backups on a separate partition of the System Drive is the edge of disaster - Windows has no difficulty destroying itself and all partitions :angry:

 

When restoring NEVER EVER consider depending upon anything at all that IS/WAS on your SSD.

 

I have 25 GB used space on a 55 GB SSD

When I restore an image Windows will see the same again,

BUT the Nand cells within the SSD will not only have to hold the restored image,

they will also have to retain the previous information because no TRIM command has relinquished the old data.

There may be some Garbage collection that might sort things out, but I fear that it would slow down the drive horribly.

 

Before Restoring to the OCZ SSD I will use a special OCZ technique known by the name Secure Erase (in no way related to Gutman) which will prepare the entire SSD for a fresh image.

This should make the SSD as good and fast as new.

Your brand of SSD almost certainly needs similar treatment by a similar tool,

and this does NOT target a partition but the entire SSD,

so when you "Secure Erase" Windows from your SSD you will also purge (just before you need them) any image backup files you held on a separate partition of the same SSD

 

These links may be of use to you

http://support.macrium.com/

http://www.sevenforu...ee-macrium.html

 

Thank you for the reply Alan.

 

Edit: I just re-read.

 

When restoring NEVER EVER consider depending upon anything at all that IS/WAS on your SSD.

 

Are you saying to not make an image of my SSD and back up on an external? If so, that is all that is on the PC, an SSD drive. How would I set the PC up, and then create a back up if not from the SSD?

 

Before Restoring to the OCZ SSD I will use a special OCZ technique known by the name Secure Erase (in no way related to Gutman) which will prepare the entire SSD for a fresh image.

This should make the SSD as good and fast as new.

Your brand of SSD almost certainly needs similar treatment by a similar tool,

and this does NOT target a partition but the entire SSD,

 

so when you "Secure Erase" Windows from your SSD you will also purge (just before you need them) any image backup files you held on a separate partition of the same SSD

 

That sounds way over my head, but I will realistically reformat like every 6 months. Are you saying that if I just back up an image to an external HDD and then reformat/restore the C drive (XPS 13 has like 4-5 partitions)...

 

you are saying that my SSD is going to slow way down?

 

 

Re-Edit: Sorry. I keep reading and researching. So basically, is this what I would need to do?

 

Use Reflect free and back up all partitions to external drive. Then use some third party software that uses the drive's secure erase function.

 

Then, according to Macrium, I just plug my external drive in, select the "restore image" and select to replace all of my partitions.

 

Macrium doesn't say anything about a boot disk in their restore instructions. Are they just assuming that you are smart enough to assume this step? if so, then I just make the boot USB from this thread, plug that in to my PC with a wiped HDD and follow instructions?

 

 

Edit: Now I'm reading all of this stuff about alignment. So basically you need a 4 year college degree to properly reformat an SSD? I honestly think I may just sell the Ultrabook as soon as it gets here. My favorite thing to do when I get massive PC errors is just reformat. Everything I am reading on how to do this assumes you are an advanced user and understand the jargon, etc... I'm probably 5 hours in at this point.

 

 

 

 

 

Below is the OP, which can mostly be ignored.

 

Awesome! Thanks Alan. I think I finally am getting the message and am just going to buy an external closure for an old 60 Gig I have laying around, and back up to that.

 

I am planning on showing some other family members how to do this as well (they all have ext HDD's). They almost never format and their PC's are always so bogged down.

 

I am trying to find a simple and easily replicable way, so I am thinking of just going the Windows 7 route. What kind of problems have you heard with this method?

 

My fear with Reflect is that it's too hands on, and lacks good instruction. For instance, on my Dell 1012, it is showing 3 drives: My main, recovery, and some Dell utility drive. Do I need to back them all up for a system recovery? (My XPS 13 will have 4-5 partitions from the factory.) And then how do I restore? And how do I restore without deleting other partitions? I know that 7 will only reformat the main c drive, and I know [think] that I don't need a third boot device (the USB). I can just go into "back up and restore", and select "restore from previously made image" as easily as doing a factory image restore...and so on...

 

The tutorials that Macrium puts out are just so awful. I have read the entire help how to section and they assume that you know how to do most everything; I do not.

 

Again, thanks Alan. You talked me out of possibly making a big mistake with the partition back up.

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Guysakar lots of people including myself use Windows 7 built in imaging to an external hard drive and have no problems (although I don't use an SSD drive).

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Edit: Do I need to do all of this to restore from an image?

 

In other words, say I create an image of my system on my external HDD, can I just do an image restore from that, without all of the secure erasing and formatting?

 

That would be a game changer.

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I endorse Hazel's statement that there will be no problems when using an external hard drive for the backups,

and that many people are content with Windows 7.

 

You may find useful information about Windows 7 and other third parties including Macrium on this forum

http://www.sevenforu...backup-restore/

 

The most important point I wish to explain/clarify is :-

 

When restoring NEVER EVER consider depending upon anything at all that IS/WAS on your SSD,

Because if the SSD is securely erased BEFORE the Restore commences,

then all its files, partitions, partition tables, MBR, MFT, the whole lot of contents,

will not be there for the Restoration to use.

 

Yes, you can depend upon everything that WAS on the SSD after it has been restored,

unless restoration failed because it was not present when needed.

 

First Generation SSD's were notorious for massive reduction of speed after all the empty NAND cells had been written to.

Second Generation SSD's suffer far less when running under Windows 7 with the TRIM command, but ONLY if the hardware/firmware/drivers support TRIM.

 

When you tell Windows to delete a file it does NOT remove the file from your HDD/SSD,

it merely consigns it to free space,

and hopefully issues a TRIM command to tell the SSD that the file is not needed and can be forgotten and its efficiency can be improved.

 

When you restore an image to the SSD without first doing a Secure Erase then it will not know that all the previous data may be forgotten,

and the burden of remembering all the restored data as well as previous data will result in lower efficiency and write speed.

 

I do not know if your PC will have a third generation SSD that has no need for anything such as Secure Erase.

 

Before I restore an image I need "Secure Erase" for my OCZ Vertex2 SSD,

your needs may differ.

 

I suggest that you identify the exact make and model of SSD that is being supplied,

and then obtain relevant advice from the manufacturer and/or user forum.

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hazel, I never thought of redirecting vss to an external, good show

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