Using Macrium Reflect you can backup whole partitions or individual files and folders into a single compressed, mountable archive file. You can use this archive to restore exact images of the partitions on a hard disk so that you can easily upgrade your hard disk or recover your system if it breaks. You can also mount images as a virtual drive in Windows Explorer to easily recover Files and Folders using Copy and Paste.
If you consider yourself non-technical this article should help you to start understanding the terminology, workings and concepts of imaging, backup and Macrium Reflect.
Inside a PC, the operating system, applications and all your files need to be kept somewhere when the power is off. This permanent storage is usually a hard disk drive containing a spinning magnetic platter. The information on the platter is recorded and read by read-heads. So that the read-heads can store and find recorded data, the disk is split into blocks, usually of 512 bytes, which are numbered from the start to the end of the platter.
So that the operating system can use different file systems or provide multiple volumes (like the C: drive, D: drive and recovery area), it partitions these blocks into volumes (sometimes also called partitions). These volumes and their file systems are the first thing you'll see when you start Macrium Reflect.
Figure: Macrium Reflect showing the volumes and file systems on a system disk
More recently, magnetic disk drives have been replaced or augmented by other technologies like Solid-State Drives (SSD). These devices have slightly different restore requirements which Macrium Reflect handles seamlessly using features like SSD Trim support.
We strongly recommend that you create an image of your system at regular intervals.
You can read more about how to use Macrium Reflect to image your PC in our KnowledgeBase article Creating a backup image of your computer, drive or partitions.
Macrium Reflect can help you create regular images by scheduling them for you. It can even tidy up after itself - see Scheduling retention and disk space.
If you want to learn how to create differential or incremental backups using Macrium Reflect, please see Differential and incremental disk images.
To learn more about backup sets, please see Backup, imaging and cloning.
More information on how to backup files and folders is in our KnowledgeBase article Creating a backup image of your computer, drive or partitions.
More information on how to clone your disk is in our KnowledgeBase article Cloning a disk.
You can find more information in Restoring a file and folder backup and Browsing Macrium Reflect images and backups in Windows Explorer.
The restore process is documented in the article Restoring a backup system image from Windows.