How to install Macrium reflect free to clone a hard drive?

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Even the free version of this backup is enough powerful to quickly perform the backup tasks. There is no limitation by performance or size of data backup. Wide range of options makes Macrium Reflect Free one of the best free recovery software for Windows 10/8/7.

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Here is this Macrium reflect free tutorial & quick review; we will clone the Windows 10/8/7 system and then perform a system restore using backup Macrium image file.  

There are almost endless possibilities to protect your data from loss, the reason could be anything but you have to prepare for it. Like the reasons, there are dozens of free & paid software to backup PC’s drive data stored on SDD or HDD. The Macrium Reflect Free backup software is one of them. It is available as both free and paid version and also its features make cloning of system or backup of data easy even for inexperienced users.

In the event of data loss or even damage to the hard disk, it is crucial that the entire files are backed up. This is exactly what the small Windows Backup program Macrium Reflect Free can do. It quickly and easily creates a comprehensive backup copy of the entire hard disk.

How to use Macrium Reflect Free to back up PC

Step 1: Macrium Reflect Download Agent

As said above it offers free and paid versions, thus, before buying it for using pro features, it will be wise to start with the free version. So, for that first, we download the free version of the Macrium Reflect from its official website. On the Download page, you will see Home and  Business options for Downloading. Click on Home button for a free version. The file which downloaded would be ReflectDHL.exe. It is an agent program to download actual Mcrium Reflect program installer for PC using internet connection.

Macrium Reflect Download Agent

Step 2: Run Macrium reflect offline installer

Using agent you can download the Macrium Reflect installer to use for portable offline installation on any Windows operating system. By default, the offline setup goes into Downloads folder, thus open that and double click on the file, in our case it was v7.2.4325_reflect_setup_free_x64.exe and perhaps different in yours, depending on the version you have downloaded.

Macrium reflect offline installer

Step 3: Macrium Reflect 7 free edition setup wizard

The installer Wizard will appear, click on the Next button to move forward.

welcom to Macrium Reflect setup wizard

As we are installing the free version of this backup software, thus, we will select Home edition and then click on the Next button.

License key

Step 4: Macrium ViBoot Custom setup- optional

If you want to use the backup images created of your Windows OS using the Macrium Reflect free in virtual machines then you can enable the option Macrium ViBoot in this step. It allows instantly creating and starting of Microsoft Hyper-V Virtual machines based on Macrium backup as Microsoft Virtual Disk (.VHDX) file… For this feature, the Hyper-V feature must be enabled in your system.

However, we don’t need this right now because we are going to use it for personal usage and this is more useful for enterprises. Indeed you can try it if you want. Otherwise, just leave the default settings as it is and click on the Next button.

Complete installtion

Step 5: Registration of free Copy

Enter your email address and click on Get My Code button, in case you yet haven’t got the registration code. Enter the code and move to the next step. Keep following the Wizard and in few seconds the installation will be done.

Macrium registration code

Step 6: Create bootable Rescue Media

The first thing first, a thing which should set up first is bootable Rescue Media using Macrium Rescue Media Builder. It is becuase, failing of our system should happen anytime, in such when we would not be able to boot our OS, rescue media created by this software should be really helpful to boot the Macrium system recovery images for restoring our created backup.

Click on the CD icon given on the top left side:

create rescue media for Windows

Select Device: 

You can Add rescue media booting to the existing Windows installation directory or use other options such as USB drive, CD/DVD drive and ISO file. Here we are selecting the first one i.e Windows Boot Menu, it adds recovery option in the boot menu of Windows. After selecting click on the Build button. If you want a Macrium Reflect portable environment then use a USB drive.

Select the Resuce media

Step 7: Create an Image of partition for Windows backup and restore

To create a rescue bootable backup image of your Windows OS, click on the option “Create an image of the partition(s) required to backup and restore Windows” and a pop-up Window will appear for selecting Source Drive(s) and Image Destination.

By Default, the C: drive that holds our Windows 10/7/8/ installation will be selected that are the first partition we needed after any failure unless it is not a hard drive one… You can also select other drives as well for backup.

In the Destination, select the drive where you want to save the backup image. It is recommended to use some external drive for more reliability.

In short, we are cloning our system using Macrium.

At last click on the Next button.

Create a bare metal recovery image of Windows 10 using MAcrium Refelct

Creating backup using Macrium Reflect

Step 8: Updating Backup- Full, Differential and Incremental (optional)

Now, once you have created a backup and in future, if you want to update the same with some additional files present on your system’s partition then you can simply do it by right click on the backup XML file. Select Run Now and the type of update you want to implement on existing backup using Macrium Reflect free.

Full Image backup will again copy the entire system including old and new files present in the destination folder or partition.

Differential backup Update: It copies and updates only file system clusters that have changed since the last full backup. It requires a previous full image to be present. The differential backup image will be larger than incremental files, however, it also has an advantage that while restoring we only need the latest full image and the latest differential.

Incremental backup update: In this backup process, the Macrium only copies the file that has changed since the last image. Means the previous image backup by it. As it only backup things that added in the destination backup partition since the last backup, it reduces imaging time and the image file size as well. The downside of this kind of backup is to restore, we need the most recent full image along with all incremental backup created by it every time since the last full backup which is a time-consuming process.

To know more about above given backup types see out the article: Types of Backup and restore in Computer systems

Update backup image

If you don’t want to it manually then you can schedule the same using Schedule option that appears when you right click on the backup XML file in Macrium Reflect.

Step 9: Explore Backup Image: Restore

Before telling you how to restore the backup image using Macrium Reflect free version, let’s see the option to explore the image. I mean suppose, you just want to extract some particular folder or file from the image you have backed up; then for that simply select the backup XML file and after that click on the Restore option from the Menu and then select Explore image.

Explore backup image in Macrium Reflect

Select the backup drive and then click on the OK button. It will open a file explorer from where simply copy the file you want.

Copy files or folder from backup image

Step 10: Full image Restore

Well, this restore is the main one you might be looking after some kind of Windows or hard disk failure has happened. To perform this make sure you must have created Rescue Media using Macrium Rescue Media Builder mentioned at the beginning of this article. This kind of restore will roll back your entire Windows 10/8/7 system to the point when you have created the backup image while erasing all existing data from the destination drive which you are restoring.

So, to restore system image restart your system, if you have used some USB drive or CD/DVD for creating Rescue Media then boot your system with that and for users, those have added the rescue media boot in the Windows installation directory itself; they will get the Macrium Reflect System Recovery in the Windows 10/7 boot menu.

Macrium Reflect System Recovery in the Windows 10-7 boot menu.

Step 11: Select the Image to restore

Once you booted your system using Macrium Reflect System restore option, you will get something interactive like shown in below screenshot. Click on the Cloned backup image of your system and then on Restore Image option given on the right side. Moreover, if you have some Windows booting problem, it is recommended to try the Fix Windows boot problem option before hopping into system restore. The Fixing of boot problem option is available on the left side of the software.

Restore system image after clone windows 10

Quick Macrium Reflect Free Review dictum

The clear user interface even backup newcomers can find their way quickly with this software. For example, it is easy to define in the scheduler whether and when the software should automatically create a backup. Another extra feature: The software makes it possible to specify the size and classification of the cloned hard disk contents thanks to a partitioning function.

In addition to these functions, it is also possible to create a rescue CD with the program. Should the system no longer start up on its own, a Linux based system with a graphical user interface can be started, through which all data can be restored?

If you are looking for a good back up and recovery software method that reliably protects you from frustration through data loss, Macrium Reflect Free is definitely worth a look. The software brings everything you need for a system backup together on a clear interface.

Even the free version of this backup is enough powerful to quickly perform the backup tasks. There is no limitation by performance or size of data backup. With a wide range of options and one of the best free recovery software for Windows 10/8/7.

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2 thoughts on “How to install Macrium reflect free to clone a hard drive?”

  1. Reflect is okay, but much better software exist, particularity TeraByte’s Image Suite (#1) and Acronis (#2).

    • Yes, Indeed Terabyte and Acronis are better software, however, Reflect is one of the best options for those can’t or not want to shell out money on some backup solution as it is available as the free version without any time boundation.


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