Friday, October 19, 2012

Macrium Reflect Free - bootable rescue media

A day may come when your old hard disk might crash - or if like me, you might break things :-) - and you’d need to restore your system. The nice thing about disk / partition backups is that you can restore your system very quickly to the previous state with contents and all, rather than reinstall Windows and the rest of your applications.

For that, we’ll be preparing a boot disk with the Macrium Reflect software – the software creates an .iso image you can write to a CD/DVD, or my preference is for a USB flash drive. If you only got a computer around the house, might want to do that early while your system is still usable, otherwise you can do that later when you need it.

1. Macrium Reflect - Rescue Media - Main

You have a choice between a Windows PE and Linux based disk – I tried the Linux image earlier and unfortunately didn’t seem to be able to connect to my Seagate GoFlex Home NAS. I can imagine the Windows PE supports a lot more network devices, so I’ll go for that.

2. Macrium Reflect - Rescue Media - Wizard Step 1

This option requires Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) – if you already have it downloaded somewhere you can just point to it (have used it before for Windows 8 PXE boot), otherwise the application will download it for you (1.7 GB).

3. Macrium Reflect - Rescue Media - Wizard Step 2

WAIK and image preparation finished, you can choose to burn it onto a CD/DVD or a USB flash drive.

4. Macrium Reflect - Rescue Media - Wizard Step 3

If you get the error message below when writing the image to the USB flash drive, follow the directions in this Macrium KB entry to prepare the drive and then try again.

5. Macrium Reflect - Rescue Media - USB drive error

I will go through the restore process using this newly created rescue disk in a new post soon.

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