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Upgrade Macrium Reflect v5 to v6


Macrium Reflect v6 includes powerful industry leading technologies to reduce recovery time and time to first backup. The user interface changes from v5 have been kept minimal and upgrading from v5 will be an easy process.

The main new features are listed below:

Rapid Delta Restore (RDR)

Using advanced delta detection technology RDR can rapidly recover data from Disk Images. This cuts restore times by 90% or more.

Note: RDR is not available when shrinking partitions during a restore.

See here for more information on how RDR works

Rapid Delta Clone (RDC)

Improving further on the cloning capabilities using technology based on RDR to speed up disk cloning activities by 90% or more.

Note: RDC is not available when shrinking partitions during a clone.

See here for more information on how RDC works

Scheduled Cloning

Clones can now be scheduled to run unattended using the task scheduler. In conjunction with RDC this makes keeping an up-to-date clone of your system an easier process.

Backup Plans and Retention Rules

Backup plan support allows administrators the flexibility of creating custom backup plans to provide the level of protection they require. Backup Plans can be saved to re-usable templates making backup plan creation a cinch. 

The Disk Space Management (DSM) in Macrium Reflect version 5 has been substantially improved in version 6 to provide retention and consolidation of Full, Differential and Incremental backups. The new deletion logic maintains backup-set integrity by ensuring that the backup chain is never broken. 

  1. Full Backup Deletion - As with v5, entire backup sets will be deleted when the specified number or age is reached.
  2. Differential Deletion  - When the specified number or age of backups is reached, Differential backups are removed to together with subsequent linked Incrementals. 
  3. Incremental Deletion - When the specified number or age of backups is reached, Incremental backups are removed. If by removing Incremental backups the backup chain is broken then the oldest retained Incremental is automatically consolidated with the deleted Incremental backups to ensure backup set integrity.  

Temp files during backup creation

A common problem with Macrium Reflect v5 customers was that incomplete backups could be left in the backup folder taking up valuable disk space. This could happen if your network dropped, your external drive was unplugged or PC turned off before the backup completed. In v6, all backups are created with an.'mimg.tmp' or 'mrbak.tmp' file extension and only renamed to .mrimg or .mrbak after successful creation. To recover space, Macrium Reflect will now automatically delete .tmp files when starting or when creating a new backup to the same folder.

Note: To prevent multiple PC's backing up to the same folder and causing problems with retention rules, consolidation and .tmp file deletion, a mutex file ''backup_running" is created and locked in the backup folder. If an existing locked mutex file is found in the folder then a backup cannot proceed.


File and Folder backup matching logic

When creating an incremental or Differential File and Folder backup the backup target folder is scanned for backup set candidates that the new Incremental or Differential backup can be appended to.  If none can be found then a new backup set is created by creating a Full backup. In v5 the matching logic checked for existing backup sets that had exactly the same root folders to backup and exactly the same selection/filter criteria. This caused a problem if a folder was added to a backup definition or if the include/exclude filters were changed. A new Full backup would always be created. In v6 there are now 3 types of matching logic that can be applied to backup definitions:

  1. Similar - Match on backups with at least one matching folder. Select this option to match if a backup set is found with at least one folder that is selected in the current backup. This option allows you to add and remove folders to your backup definition and still maintain a single backup set.
  2. Strict - Match on backups with the same folders and filters (As Macrium reflect v5). Select this option to match only existing backups that have exactly the same Folder and Include/Exclude Filters. This is similar to the way Macrium Reflect v5 worked.  Retention rules will only be applied to exact matched backup sets.
  3. All - Match on any backup. Select this option to match on any existing File and Folder backup set in the target folder. When selected, the most recent backup set will be appended to regardless of the folders in the set. Retention rules will be applied to all File and Folder backups.


Improved start up time

Macrium Reflect now scans local disks much faster at startup. This significantly reduces the startup time if large (Multi Terra Byte) disks are attached to your system.

SSD TRIM support

This features provides automated SSD optimization resulting enhanced SSD performance and longevity. Writing to an unused block is much quicker than an in-use block as it avoids both the slow erase operation and the read-modify-write cycle. This results an increase of both the lifetime and the performance of the device. It is effective for all windows operating systems, even those that support SSD trim natively as the file system driver can only TRIM blocks on de-allocation; it cannot TRIM blocks written by another process. It is also effective for USB attached SSDs.

Increased maximum partition size when imaging

The maximum partition size that can be imaged is increased from 53.3TB to 3413.3TB.

Note: While we can never guarantee 'Future Proofing' of Macrium Reflect, the new limit means that Macrium Reflect should be able to handle the steady increase in available disk sizes for quite some time.


Automatic VSS Fall-back

The Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service framework (VSS) can sometimes become unreliable and cause backups to fail with VSS Writer errors. While VSS Writers provide additional support for VSS aware applications, in many cases, a perfectly valid Image can be created without using them. In v6, if a shadow copy fails then another shadow copy is automatically tried without using writers. This is configurable in the program defaults.


iSCSI and BitLocker support in Windows PE

Support has been added to automatically download and include support for iSCSI and BitLocker encryption in Windows PE.