Creating fail-safe system backups is an easy way to ensure that you don’t lose all data if an error or disaster befalls your PC, and scheduling them on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis means the level of data loss is minimal.
Macrium Reflect Free provides a speedy solution that takes mere minutes to set up and offers backups that are only performed at the times specified by you and only for partitions and volumes that are system critical.
When opening Macrium Reflect for the first time, it will have automatically detected all the partitions in use on your machine, and they can be backed up from there. The best part about that is you can get to work on creating backups right away.
If you have more than one partition displayed here, you are able to just pick the ones that need backing up by ticking the box next to each one before choosing to image or clone them. Imaging creates a backup that can be saved to either the computer or an external disk, whereas cloning allows a partition to be completely copied and saved onto another part of the hard drive.
Each one has an easy to follow wizard that allows you to, in the imaging case, specify the location of the backup and the partitions that should be backed up. When it comes to cloning, you can choose the size and location of the target partition, but be careful here as the target partition will be automatically wiped and replaced with the cloned drive. After creating a backup you can schedule daily, weekly, or monthly backups by using the XML Backup Definition Files tab from the main window and clicking the Schedule icon.
Should the unthinkable happen and your system fails, then it’s time to get acquainted with the Restore tab. From here, go to the Image Restore tab, where a list of all the disk images is displayed and it’s as simple as clicking Restore Image to get the process started. The next window asks you to choose a disk to restore to, and from there tick the box next to Copy Selected Partitions, choose Next and, voila, your system will begin to return to normal.
Macrium Reflect goes even further with the option to create a Windows rescue disk that can be used should the system completely lose the ability to load Windows. Select Create Rescue Media from the Other Tasks option, and then follow the wizard to create such a facility, and insert the rescue disk to perform a restore.
Macrium Reflect is available completely free for all Windows users. Further options are available from within the program, although these can only be used by owners of paid-for versions.
Verdict: Bring your system back from the dead regardless of how bad a state it is in with this backup and cloning program.