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Old 23. Nov 2010, 11:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Macrium Reflect Free & Vista licensing

Hi,
I am new to this forum. And Macrium Reflect Free - latest version. On Vista Home Premium 32. Have just made my first system partition image and put it on a external USB WD HDD (NTFS). Message: Successfull. I have tested the Linux CD, it works like a dream. I have read in "comments" that one should test if the image works at a restore situation. How do I do that? (Without really restoring the whole partition?).

My main Q: My actual running system disk (WD, NTFS) works fine, no problems according to Crystal HDD-info. But it has run a lot of hours and sooner or later of course it will start to die. Then I want to have restored my image to a brand new WD HDD.
Will this work?

I understand from reading the comments that licensing is connected to the mainboard, so should I expect any problems with my Vista license (OEM)? I plan to restore the image to the new HDD while the system is in a good shape, put it in the case and *not* connect it before I eventually get warnings about my actual, now running system HDD.

Am I thinking right here?
Gratefull for any advice/answer on this subject.
Thank you for reading my question!
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Old 23. Nov 2010, 12:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thank you too and welcome to the forum after following our advice to register and post here

I'm sure someone will be able to help you and their responses will be much easier for you to track here instead of becoming lost amongst the main site comments.
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Old 23. Nov 2010, 12:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi MidnightCowboy,
yes I had lost my orientation after reading a million comments for a couple of hours - I had a feeling of using a forum. Which I wasn't. Now I am.
Thanks for your advice!
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Old 23. Nov 2010, 01:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I have read in "comments" that one should test if the image works at a restore situation. How do I do that? (Without really restoring the whole partition?).
If you wanted to do a thorough restore test you probably should actually restore the whole image but it would be safer to do this on a different HDD to your operational one. I suspect most people are happy with an image that has verified ok and a rescue disc that boots as expected.

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I want to have restored my image to a brand new WD HDD.
Will this work?
Yes, it should do. Make sure when you create your image it includes all necessary partitions and MBR.

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Originally Posted by rm_rib View Post
I understand from reading the comments that licensing is connected to the mainboard, so should I expect any problems with my Vista license (OEM)?
Replacing a HDD alone shouldn't require reactivation of Windows.

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Originally Posted by rm_rib View Post
I plan to restore the image to the new HDD while the system is in a good shape, put it in the case and *not* connect it before I eventually get warnings about my actual, now running system HDD.
I suppose if you are planning on getting a new HDD now, you could install it, clone your current drive to the new one, swap places and boot from the new HDD. Then when you're ready to save another image, clone the new HDD back to the old HDD and swap places once more.........and so on.
This would test your images each time but it's not really the most convenient way of doing things.

Personally I'm happy with a succession of verified images kept on an external HDD (or secondary internal HDD) and some supplementary backups of my personal irreplaceable files and photos on DVD. To be extra safe you could also consider using an online backup service to store yet another copy of your personal files.

I'm sure others will chip in with their own preferred methods. Choose whatever method feels secure, is convenient enough, and makes sense to you.
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Old 23. Nov 2010, 02:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi Sope!

Thank you very much for you detailed answer and advice!

"Make sure it includes all necessary partitions and MBR": My image is only of the System partition (C - my data-partition's contents are backed up by simple copying to 2 external HDDs + DVDs (actually BDs) for the most important files, so that should be good enough, i think.

Q: How do I know if the MBR is backed up with the system partition image? I thought it allways was? By default? I guess I have to make a "rehersal" and see if it starts...

Thanks also for your suggestions. You are suggesting a clone - do you mean this in an exact way? With all empty spaces an probably halfhidden junk it might include? Isn't an image sufficient? If you mean "clone", please confirm and I will consider a clone instead.

Thanks again for your very concerned engagement and your time!
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Old 23. Nov 2010, 04:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Q: How do I know if the MBR is backed up with the system partition image? I thought it allways was? By default? I guess I have to make a "rehersal" and see if it starts...
I'm not familiar with Macrium (didn't work for me) or indeed Vista (skipped it), but I believe features contained in some imaging programs have the option to exclude/include MBR and other hidden system partitions that may be present. I was just covering all eventualities as one would assume the default settings would sensibly include these. Basically i'm saying, if you're given the choice, you just need to be sure everything is covered.

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You are suggesting a clone - do you mean this in an exact way? With all empty spaces an probably halfhidden junk it might include? Isn't an image sufficient? If you mean "clone", please confirm and I will consider a clone instead.
Sorry, I actually meant "clone" more as "duplicate". You could choose either to do an exact clone as you describe, or recover a previously created image to the chosen HDD. I chose the word "clone" primarily to make the distinction that if you just save an image of your operational HDD onto your second HDD it will not be bootable. Another difference of course is that cloning would take one operation whereas imaging and subsequent recovery would require two. As you suggest, I believe imaging would be the "cleanest" option. I would also say it would be desirable to run CCleaner, chkdsk and defragment before either operation.

Last edited by Sope; 23. Nov 2010 at 04:04 PM. Reason: correction
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Old 23. Nov 2010, 04:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you for your fast reply!

I will look into the defaults of Macrium just to make sure all is included - thanks for pointing it out!

(I understand your Vista thoughts - I'm planing a dual boot with Ubuntu - or on a key, just to try it first)

I will stick to my image then, for now, and eventually run a rehearsal - just to ensure a good night's sleep

Thank you so much for all your help - it's very much appreciated!!!
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Old 23. Nov 2010, 06:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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(I understand your Vista thoughts - I'm planing a dual boot with Ubuntu - or on a key, just to try it first)
I don't believe Vista is as bad as many people suggest, just as long as your machine is powerful enough. I went straight from XP to Windows 7 so haven't a great deal of Vista specific experience.

Yup, it's certainly advisable to save a system image before you go ahead and set up a dual boot with Linux. Bootable USB drive is a nice safe option to try Ubuntu before you take the plunge.

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Thank you so much for all your help - it's very much appreciated!!!
You're welcome.
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Old 29. Nov 2010, 03:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Just for information on Macrium MBR defaults, in case someone is interested:

It seems like Macrium Free always is backing up the MBR in the image.
But one is left with 3 options when restoring the image to a HDD:

1. Do not replace.
2. Replace with the MBR from the backup (Recommended)
3. Replace with the standard XP MBR
---
Might be handy in case of a virus contamination, but unfortunately I don't know if XP and Vista MBR are the same. Anyone?

A nice weekend to all!
This and the related posts about the MBR have now moved to a separate thread MBR and Boot Process.

Last edited by Jojoyee; 30. Nov 2010 at 11:01 AM. Reason: added an opening quote sign.
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