How To Create a Disk Image with Macrium Reflect

Macrium Reflect is an award winning backup solution for Windows XP and Vista. Reflect has some innovative features designed to make the chore of protecting your PC a little easier.
Published: Mar 25, 2008
Author: Annette McGrath
Related OS: XP / 2003 / Windows / Vista
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Create a Disk Image with Macrium Reflect

by Annette McGrath

Creating an image of your hard disk is the best way to protect your data and operating system from disk failure or accidental deletion of critical system files. Fortunately, with Macrium Reflect this process is not only incredibly fast but also extremely easy.

Macrium Reflect can create file backups as well as disk images. However, for this tutorial I'll take you through the steps required to create a full image of 'Drive C' using the backup image wizard. After completing these steps you will have created an image and saved your options as a XML definition file for easy re-running.

XML definitions provide a convenient way to store your backup options. Using an XML definition you can schedule a backup, generate a VBScript file for complex scenarios or simply create a desktop shortcut for instant running of your backup by clicking the shortcut icon.

OK, let's begin!

  1. Start Reflect and take the option "Create a backup image" to start the backup wizard.
  2. Click "Next" on the first introductory wizard page. On the second wizard page, select "Full" as the image type and click "Next"

  3. I'll cover the other options, "incremental" and "differential," in a future tutorial.

  4. The next page shows your disk partitions (drives). You can save multiple partitions from multiple disks in the same image file but for this example click drive (C:) in your list then click "Next"
  5. You now need to select where you want to store your image file.

    Reflect can store images on one or many DVDs but it is far better to choose a local or network drive. By using a local or network drive you can easily access your image files for restoring and you can browse your images in Windows explorer. This isn't possible if the image file spans more than one DVD.

    It's best to create a new directory for your images. Click the dropdown list for "Local Hard Disk" and select "Browse for folder". This opens a standard windows directory selection dialog. Navigate to the drive where you want to store the image file and click the "Make New Folder" button. Name this folder something meaningful, such as "Drive C Images" and click "OK" in the dialog to select it.

  6. Leave the "Use image ID as the file name" option checked and click "Next".

    An image ID is used to identify a backup set. A backup set comprises of a full backup and all subsequent Incremental and/or differential backups. It is a unique 16 byte Hex value (128 bit) and guarantees that you won't have any file name conflicts when creating multiple backups in the same directory.

  7. The final page shows a summary of your selections. The "Advanced" button allows you to configure compression level, password / encryption and many other options. For this example we'll just leave them as the defaulted values and click "Finish"
  8. You now have the option to save this definition and / or run this image now. Change the file name to "C Full Image", leave both options checked and click "OK".
  9. That's it! Your backup will now start and you have saved the definition of this backup as "C Full Image.xml".

    To re-run this backup simply select the XML definition and click the "Execute" button.

    You can also create a desktop shortcut to run the backup by clicking the shortcut icon. Simply click the "Create Desktop Shortcut" button

    In the next tutorial we'll create an incremental image of this full image and schedule these to run automatically to keep your PC protected.

About Annette McGrath

Annette is a senior programmer at Paramount Software UK Ltd. She has been responsible for much of the coding and design of Macrium Reflect and has many years experience in software design and C, C++ programming languages.

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