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Can I Just Run Macrium and Do a Restore?

Question: I have one technical question before I try running a backup using Macrium, the free version. Would it be possible to just open this program and go to restore and then run a previous image backup into the PC? Would this restore action, without first reformatting the C: drive, overwrite everything on the hard drive and practically set up the PC the way it was on that backup? The reason for this maneuver is to preserve all kinds of programs obtained (mostly free) and without the possibility of installing them individually again and having them activated again?

To start with, I’m a little concerned about your question. I suspect that some of your assumptions about creating and using an image backup may not be entirely correct.

Let’s start with something that might sound obvious, but I have to be super clear about it.

To restore a back up, you must already have made a backup of your machine. In your case, I assume that you already downloaded Macrium’s free version, installed it, and took a full image backup of your machine.

Now, if that’s the case, what you want to do is possible, if you restore in a certain way.

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Can you just run Macrium and restore a backup?

You can run Macrium from Windows and restore an image if it is of a drive other than your system drive. In other words, if you installed Windows on your C: drive, you cannot restore that drive’s image while Windows  is running. Windows uses files on your C: drive and they can’t be overwritten while they’re in use.

On the other hand, if you’re talking about restoring to a different drive (for instance, you’re restoring an image of your D: drive – one that is not running Windows), then you can fire up Macrium and do the restore without a problem.

Booting from rescue media

Now, the way to do exactly what you’re describing is to boot from the rescue media that you create with Macrium.

In Macrium Reflect, select the Create Rescue Media option. This creates a CD or a DVD that you can then boot from later.

Then, when it comes time to perform a restore you don’t run Macrium from within Windows.  Instead, you reboot your machine from this rescue media.

That rescue media then runs a copy of Macrium and that is what you use to restore this image to your system drive. That would work essentially as you’ve described. It would restore that drive to the state that it was in at backup.

This is typically the exact process that we would go through if we need to restore a PC to some known state for any reason. If the hardware dies, malware infected the machine, or for whatever reason you want, you need to reboot from the rescue media and then use the copy of Macrium Reflect that runs from the rescue media to perform the restore.

Do this

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4 comments on “Can I Just Run Macrium and Do a Restore?”

  1. After reading your article on Reflect I installed the free edition on my Acer laptop running Windows 8. I set up the rescue disk with Windows PE in compatibility mode and tried to boot from the disk, which did not work. I then tried a disk with Windows PE in debug mode which did not boot either. I then tried the Linux versions and they would not boot either from start up. Every time I tried all disks Windows 8 would start up like normal. But when I went to Charms, Settings and press Power, then Shift and Restart , using the Linux versions I got a message saying my CD/DVD drive is blocked by Network Access Protection Agent service. How do I get to boot my rescue disk?

  2. I am a bit confused. These are current articles. Why not use a proper image product that creates an image that is hardware agnostic to put it in clear language. I do not want to mention any brands as I have no reason to push anything and there are many. I paid $25 after a 30% coupon was sent to me during a trial for a workstation business edition single system backup that creates image backups for different hardware if needed. Also does P2V and all the Virtual migrations. But there are many. Additionally the free backup with Windows allows you mount a VHD for restore of individual files and in the higher versions of Win7 and I believe all of Win8 allow you to boot from a VHD backup which is an image backup from the Windows backup built in for free. You can install Win8 with Win7 and migrate over. Using a new machine and a image backup from your old Win7 machine should allow you to boot to either if I understand the Win8 VHD boot policy (I may not sorry).

    Nonetheless you do agree these are viable options that you do not seem to be mentioning and while I may be explain it as well as many would prefer it is no more complex that the methods currently being suggested which are more limited to mount only.

  3. Excellent info and I have a follow up question Leo – I had already performed (2 machines) a full image using Macrium (per your video) and also have a backup using the Media Creation tool. I did not yet run the Rescue Media yet. A: Can the Rescue Media be run on USB or only on DVD/CD? B: Once I get the Rescue Media created and you boot off of that, would you then use the Windows Image (created in Macrium) to restore YOUR own “flavor” of Windows 10 at that point?
    Thank you in advance!



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