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Recover a backup image (Windows, Programs, etc…) with Reflect
By James Wise
posted May 25, 2009
TECH TIPS – Last time (see last
weeks column), we talked about how to make an “image backup” with a
program called Reflect. Today, we’ll talk about how to use this
backup including exploring an image, creating a restore CD, and
recovering an image.
If you want to browse a backup or recover just a few files from it, you
can “explore an image”. To do this, use the following steps:
1) Click on start,
all programs, Macrium, Reflect, Reflect
2) On the menu bar, click restore, explore image.
3) Choose the location
of your backup file (e.g. E drive), check the box next to the partition you
want to explore (e.g. C Drive), choose
a drive letter to make this for now (e.g. H Drive), and click OK
Then, you’ll have an extra drive available
with all the contents of your backup file. This drive shows up just
like any other drive (i.e. via My Computer). You can copy files from
this and put them elsewhere if you want to recover some of the data but
not the complete image.
When you are finished using that backup, you can disconnect it by
clicking on restore, detach image from within Reflect. Click the drive
you want to disconnect (e.g. H) and click detach.
If you want to completely recover the backup (e.g. if you replace your
hard drive), you’ll probably want to do this using a Reflect restore
CD. It’s probably a good idea to go ahead and make one and put it away
somewhere just in case. You only need to do this once because no backup
data is stored on this disk. To create a restore CD, use the following
1) Click on start, all programs, Macrium, Reflect,
2) On the menu bar, click Other Tasks, Create Rescue
3) Select Linux and click Next
4) Select your CD drive (this will probably be filled
in already) and click Finish
To restore an image, you’ll want to insert this CD into your CD drive
and boot your computer. Note that your computer has to be setup to try
to boot from the CD before the disk drive. The option for doing this
(normally called something like drive order) can be found in your
computer’s BIOS settings. Typically this is accessed by hitting a key
during startup. The key is normally mentioned on the startup screen as
“Hit X to Enter Setup” where X might be F1 or F2 or DEL or some other
key. If you have questions about how to do this part, just email me
with your computer model and I’ll try to help.
After the computer boots from the CD, follow the steps below to recover
1) Click Next. Note that the CD will be ejected
from the drive at this point. This is okay and you should remove it
when it ejects.
2) Choose the disk where the backup image is
located (e.g. E drive), select the backup name/date, and click Next
3) Click the partition you want to recover
(e.g. C drive) and click Next
4) Select the drive where you want to restore
the image. WARNING
– This drive will be overwritten so be sure you
choose carefully and click Next.
5) If the disk is a “boot disk” (i.e. your
Windows drive), select “Active” and click Next.
6) For partition size, the program will by
default make the partition the same size as the original backup. You
can’t decrease this but if you are replacing the disk with a larger
one, you can drag the slider to make the partition the full size of the
disk (which I would normally recommend) and click Next.
7) Select “no thank you” when asked if you want
the program to verify the image and click Next.
8) For the “master boot record” option, use the
recommended option of using the MBR from the backup and click Next.
9) Select no and click Next
10) Click Finish
11) When the restoration is completed, click OK
Note that it takes a good bit more time to recover a backup than it
does to make one.
If the image you are restoring is an older one and doesn’t contain all
of your data, recover your most recent data backup as well.
If you have more questions, the help option within Reflect might be
able to help you. To access it, just press F1 while running Reflect or
click Help, Help.
I tried to restore my backup to an external USB drive and boot from
there (so that I would have a “hot backup” of my system).
Unfortunately, I didn’t have much luck with this (I got a “blue screen
of death” when trying to boot from the USB drive). I don’t believe XP
supports running from a USB drive (I haven’t checked Vista). I’ve seen
a few tricks on the Internet though about forcing this to work. I just
wanted to mention that if you are wondering about doing this, I don’t
think it will work (at least not without doing something special). If
anyone has successfully done this before, please email me as I’d love
to find out more about what you did!
In any case, if you backup to a normal hard drive, your system should
run fine. If you would like to have a “hot backup” drive available, you
could do this with another hard drive that you swapped in or out as
If you have any questions about this or if I you need any help, just
let me know. I could also provide a document with screenshots and/or a
video if anyone would like this (just email me at
Coming soon…. Tired of reading about backups, don’t worry. I have one
more program to talk about for making data backups. Then in the near
future, I’m going to conclude our backup series by writing a new
article (based also on previous columns) summarizing a complete backup
1) How you should setup your hard disks (e.g.
partitions and data storage)
2) For those with more than one PC - How to backup
all your computers to a central computer (including an image backup for
your operating system and programs and a frequent data backup)
3) How to backup that central computer (e.g. to an
external drive you keep “offsite”).
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