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Wise Tech Tips

Recover a backup image (Windows, Programs, etc…) with Reflect

By James Wise
web posted May 25, 2009
TECH TIPS – Last time (see last weeks column), we talked about how to make an “image backup” with a free 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 steps:

1)    Click on start, all programs, Macrium, Reflect, Reflect
2)    On the menu bar, click Other Tasks, Create Rescue CD
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 a backup:
 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 necessary.

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 edgefieldtechhelp@gmail.com).

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 strategy including:
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”).

For all past articles please visit our Archives

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WEBNEWS –  Send in your favorite or favorites. There is no limit to the number of recipes you can send in. With the Editor’s wife being the driving force behind her own personal section, help her create an exchange of local favorites, home cooking, grilling, sauces, and deserts!  Send in your submissions here.