Image your system with free Macrium

  1.    30 Nov 2009 #1
    Join Date : May 2008
    Posts : 2,026
    Vista home premium 32bit
    Local Time: 14:32
    germany us florida

    Image your system with free Macrium

    Image your system with free Macrium

    Over the years I have experimented with different imaging programs. I started out with Norton Ghost which works very well, but is quite heavy handed. Backup and restore cycles are usually approximately one hour and it takes quite some time before you understand the intricacies of the product. I have also used Paragon and Acronis true Image. Both of those are in the same league as Ghost. They do provide though a large collection of function – which, I guess, is part of the reason why they are complex and slow.
    One that is easy is the Maxtor One Touch Manager that comes with the Maxtor One Touch Disks. My wife loves it because once it is set up, all you have to do is push the button on the One Touch Disk and off it goes.
    Not quite the same but very easy is Macrium. Below you find the four steps to set it up and the one step to run it thereafter. You will notice that the handling of Macrium is as easy as can be. To download the free Macrium, you go to this site:

    There is also a paid version with more functions. But for the normal backup/restore, the free version is sufficient.
    I did not document the restore function, in part, because I cannot take any screenshots during that phase. But it is very simple and self explanatory. All you need to do is set your BIOS boot sequence to boot from your CD reader, put the CD in (the one you burnt – see the first picture) and off it goes. The CD loads a Linux based Wizard that will guide you thru a few simple questions.
    Performance when you take the image should be in the 10 minute range for an average system. Restore is about 20 minutes without prior image verification and twice as long with prior image verification

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2.    04 May 2010 #2
    Join Date : Apr 2008
    Posts : 70
    Vista Home Premium 32bit
    Local Time: 06:32


    Re: Image your system with free Macrium

    Wrong thread !
    Last edited by yorkshire lass; 04 May 2010 at 14:27. Reason: Wrong thread !
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3.    05 Sep 2010 #3
    Join Date : Sep 2009
    Posts : 17
    Vista Ultimate x64
    Local Time: 07:32


    Re: Image your system with free Macrium

    Thanks for that info and tutorial, WHS...

    I hope you can clarify some issues for me.

    I used an early version of Ghost for years, but, perhaps through ignorance, I always simply "cloned" the appropriate drives to new hard drives. About once a month, I would make a new clone.

    Whenever I would have a failure, virus, or other problem that I couldn't fix easily, I would simply replace the "problem drive" with the clone. That worked fine for years, and there were a number of times that the having the clone available "saved my bacon".

    For some reason, my original Ghost software quit working, or would no longer perform on future XP machines.

    When I built my first Media Center computer in 2005, It took me over a month to get all the bugs out of the overly-complex monster I had created and getting everything working together smoothly.
    I had a massive failure to the operating system caused by an unfortunate Windows Update, and it took me more than a week the second time to do a fresh install and get everything working again with the complex machine I had built. (Part of the problem is that I'm old, slow, and entirely self-taught.)

    I eventually bought a 750 gb One Touch 4 Plus and started doing automatic imaging of the drive with the operating system and software on a weekly basis. That thing was a life-saver on a number of occasions...

    Unfortunately, that monster machine was destroyed by a lightning strike almost two years ago, and my insurance company, as part of a $20,000-plus damage claim for the electrical damage from that claim gave me $5000 to replace that computer on the condition that I furnish receipts for the replacement (and I figured out how to spend all that and a little more on my latest build).

    The problem I've run into now is that my One-Touch 4 Plus is not compatible with my Vista Ultimate based system (I can't forgive Maxtor for that), so I'm looking for a new way to clone my "C" drive that now contains my software (exclusively) and one of the TB drives that contains irreplaceable business and financial records and some of my treasured personal photos and videos.

    Hard drives have gotten so cheap, and so easy to swap with my esata external dock that it seems to make sense to simply go back to cloning the old fashioned way. (I've got over 7 TB of storage inside the case and another 3 of HD media on external drives, but only am concerned with backing up the two drives I mentioned, about 1.4 TB; the recorded TV isn't what I'd put in the "irreplaceable" category; if I have something I truly treasure, I move it to that 1TB drive I mentioned that I want to keep cloned as a backup, or a different drive that I keep in a separate location and update through the esata dock.

    My question is this:

    I downloaded Macrium Reflect free, but have yet to use it.

    Will it make the byte-for-byte clone that I desire for those two important drives?

    ...and, if it will work to make those clones, is that an intelligent way to go about preserving my important files and backing up my operating system, programs and settings? ...or am I, through ignorance, missing out on a better way to achieve that security?

    What advantage is there to going through the process requiring the "rescue cd" when it's so easy to just swap in a new drive?

    I'd appreciate any help or comments.


      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4.    14 Sep 2010 #4
    Join Date : Jan 2008
    Posts : 2,442
    Vista Home Premium 64 bit SP1
    Local Time: 08:32


    Re: Image your system with free Macrium

    If you want to duplicate the contents of a drive without making an intermediate image file, you may want to check out some of these free programs:

    Free Hard Disk Backup and Restore, Hard Disk Image and Cloning Utilities (

    I believe you can clone with Macrium but I'm pretty sure there are some restrictions as to target drive size etc.. They have a forum you can search as the question has probably been asked there:

    Macrium Reflect Disk Imaging and Backup - Support
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5.    14 Sep 2010 #5
    Join Date : Sep 2009
    Posts : 17
    Vista Ultimate x64
    Local Time: 07:32


    Re: Image your system with free Macrium

    Thanks for the links; I'll check them out.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Image your system with free Macrium

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