Macrium Reflect’s free rescue media will not recognize any of my external
hard drives with my backup on it. What do I do now? Is there any I way I can
rescue my backups?
In this excerpt from
Answercast #47, I look at a case where a backup drive is not being
recognized by recovery media.
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
Accessing your backup
Absolutely! There are a couple of different things that you need to do.
One is… I believe that with the free version of Macrium Reflect you have
the opportunity to create two different kinds of rescue media:
- The easy one is a Linux-based version that is a very simple “works in
most cases” solution.
That is generally what people end up using because it’s there and it’s
quick. And it doesn’t have the big problem that the next item does.
And that is:
There is another alternative that’s available that actually creates what’s
called a “Windows PE” (for Pre-installed Environment).
It’s a Windows version of the Macrium Reflect rescue disc.
The downside is this big, scary, warning they give you that says it may
require a one-point-something gigabyte download from Microsoft! I’m not sure
that’s actually true (that it will take the entire gigabyte), but even if it
does, that would be the first thing that I would point you at.
It’s the first thing that I would have you try.
Macrium support forums
The other thing is to actually go out to the Macrium Reflect forums, their
- One of the reasons that I have switched my recommendation to Reflect is
that they do a much better job of proactively dealing with issues in
their forums and answering questions that are posed there.
I had exactly this problem a couple of years ago, long before I actually
started recommending Reflect. When I went there and submitted my question, what
they ended up doing was:
Pointing me at the alternate version of the rescue media;
An ISO file that I could then download and burn to CD;
And sure enough, that one then recognized my particular hard drive.
It was a scenario that sounds extremely like the one that you’re facing.
Get your rescue disk working
Now, those are all solutions to get the rescue disc working so that you
Boot from it;
And actually restore the entire backup image to a hard disk.
Recover your data
If you can live without a full restore, you can run Reflect on your booted
PC. In other words, on any Windows PC that’s running Windows:
You can access the contents of your images.
You can extract files.
You can extract whatever it is you need from that image;
And in fact, you can restore the contents of that backup image to a second
I don’t believe it’s really all that easy to make that, then, a bootable
hard drive. The steps get a little bit convoluted at that point. But the reason
I mention this is that it’s very, very important to realize that:
Your data is in no way lost!
You can get at it one way or another.
You may or may not be able to get a rescue media that works with your
external hard drives (though I think you can if you try some of the suggestions
I mentioned in the first place.)
But if, for some reason, those suggestions don’t work, then any Windows PC
running the current version of Macrium Reflect will at least be able to
recover the contents of those backup images so that you can absolutely not lose
anything that is stored on them.
Next from Answercast 47 – How do
I get Youtube videos embedded in email messages to work?