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Using Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) Macrium Reflect creates 'point-in-time' persistent images of your system. In Addition to creating backups of all partitions required to backup and restore Windows, you can backup all or selected drives and partitions on the PC.

 


Starting the Image Wizard

The Image Wizard can be started in multiple ways...

  1. By selecting 'Image selected disks on this computer'.
    Using this option will populate the Image Wizard with all selected disks and partitions in the application main Window.



  2. By selecting 'Create an image of the partition(s) required to backup and restore Windows'.
    Using this option will choose all the partitions required to boot Windows. This may include hidden system partitions that are essential for Windows to start and run.
    See: Windows Partitions



  3. By Selecting a disk in the application main Window and click 'Image this disk...'.

  4. By Selecting a disk in the application main Window, click on a partition, then click 'Actions' and select 'Image this partition only...'



Setting the Image destination

The first page of the Image Wizard shows the selected disks and partitions to be included in your Image and allows you to choose a destination.
 

  1. In the Destination section, enter the target backup folder.
    You can type the destination path or click the browse button to choose a folder.  The destination path can be on a local drive or network share.

    Alternative Locations can be used to provide backup rotations or as a fail safe for temporary unavailability of the primary backup destination.

    Note: You cannot enter a path that is located in any of the partitions included in the Image.

    The recommended name for your Image file is the unique backup set identifier {{ImageID}}. We recommend that you always use this recommended setting as choosing your own name can cause file name collisions. Please see How backup sets are created and maintained for more information on backup file naming.

 

Click 'Next'. to edit the Backup Plan for this image or click 'Finish' to save and/or run the Image now.


Adding and Editing the Backup Plan

The second page of the Image Wizard is where you create or edit your 'Backup Plan'. This defines the backup schedules and retention rules for your backup.

The new Macrium Reflect retention rules provide a powerful and flexible way to manage the lifetime and storage space used by your backups.

Choose how backups are matched and retention rules are applied to the target folder

Retention rules are applied to the target folder of the backup by selecting one of two options:

  1. Apply retention rules to matching backup sets in the target folder.

    Disk Images are purged if they contain exactly the same Partitions as the current Image. Partitions are identified using the unique Disk ID stored in sector 0 of the disk and the Partition sector offset.

    Note: For GPT disks the unique GPT disk GUID is used instead of the Disk ID


    For File and Folder backups retention rules are applied according to the 'Backup Set Matching' option select in the 'Advanced Properties' for this backup.

  2. Apply retention rules to all backup sets in the target folder. All backup sets in the target folder of the same type (Disk Image or File and Folder) are purged according the retention rules. 

    Note: This option uses the same logic as Macrium Reflect v5

Select the age or number of backup types that you wish to keep

OptionDescription
Full When deleting Full backups all linked incremental and Differential backups in the same backup chain (set) are also deleted This operation will delete the entire backup set.
DifferentialWhen deleting Differential backups all linked incremental  backups in the same backup chain (set) are also deleted.
Incremental

When deleting Incremental backups the integrity of the backup set is maintained by ensuring that the chain is never broken. This is achieved by merging older Incremental backups when required.

In the example below,  before retention, there is 1 Full backup, 1 Differential backup and 6 Incremental backups. The retention rules are set to retain 4 incremental backups. After retention, the most recent 4 incremental backups are retained. Deleting the oldest 2 incrementals would cause the backup chain to be invalid as the oldest retained incremental requires the previous 2 incremental backups to complete the chain. To ensure backup integrity the 2 older incremental backups are consolidated with it to create a new incremental backup.
 

F = Full
D = Differential
I = Incremental

MTWTF  MTWTF  MTW
F      IIII  FII
        --->I      


Create a Synthetic Full if possible

When purging Incremental backups, if the backup folder only contains a Full backup followed by Incremental backups, then this option causes the Full backup to be 'rolled forward' to create a Synthetic Full backup. This is also known as Incremental Forever. 

Run the purge before the backup

Select this option to run the retention rules before the current backup.

Note: in Macrium Reflect v5 the current backup set wasn't included in the purge calculation when purging before the current backup. In v6 the current backup set IS included. This means that if you set the retention count to 1 Full backup then all of your backups will be deleted and a new Full backup created.
Delete oldest backup set(s) if less than n GB

Automatically remove the oldest backup set(s) in the target folder if the free space on the drive drops below the GB threshold.

Note: The free space threshold is actioned dynamically. If the free space available drops below the threshold then the running backup is temporarily paused while older backup sets are purged.

 

 


 

 



Click 'Next'. to view a summary of all settings for this image or click 'Finish' to save and/or run the Image now.


Displaying the Image settings

The final page of the Image Wizard displays all settings used for creating this image. 


Click Finish to Run and/or save your Image definition.


Saving the backup definition

You are now given the opportunity to save the backup options.

The backup Save Options Dialog enables you to save your backup options as a re-usable XML definition file.

This is essential for many operations in Reflect including Scheduling and creating Incremental and Differential backups

OptionDescription
Run this backup nowCreate a 'Full' backup now using the backup definition
Save to an XML file

Saving your definition enables you to:

  • Re-run the same backup without stepping through the wizard
  • Run Incremental and Differential backups
  • Schedule your backups
  • Create a Desktop shortcut for running with one click
Name for this backup definitionEnter a meaningful name for this definition
Choose a folder to save the XML definition to.
Always save to a local folder. It isn't necessary to save the definition to the same folder as your backup target

See also: Retrieving a saved XML backup configuration

If you want to run the backup at this point, select 'Run this backup now' and click OK.

 




Create a Disk Image video