Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Boot recovery CDs with UEFI: Free Macrium Reflect vs Aomei

  1. #1


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10

    Boot recovery CDs with UEFI: Free Macrium Reflect vs Aomei


    I'm just been playing with free backup tools; Macrium Reflect and Aomei Backupper, and working out which works best for me for those times when you need to boot from a Recovery CD.

    I'm posting in case it helps someone else.

    I've been using a Toshiba PC which has 64-bit Windows 8 preinstalled, and is using a GPT file system. I changed the boot order so that the CD/DVD drive comes before the main HDD, if it finds a valid bootable source.

    The BIOS options on the PC also include:
    * Secure Boot: enabled or disabled
    * Boot mode: UEFI or Legacy (CSM)

    I tried both Secure Boot enabled and disabled; this didn't seem to affect the findings below.

    However the differences some on switching between UEFI mode and Legacy mode in the BIOS settings.

    My question was whether I can boot from a Recovery CD in UEFI Mode; although the PC can access bootable CDs in Legacy Mode, it won't boot itself.

    • Aomei Backupper 1.6

      CD was created using the Windows PE option rather than Linux. By changing to Legacy boot mode, I can boot from the Aomei CD, and it then could backup my HDD to an external USB drive. But I had to change back to UEFI boot to make the computer boot again.

    • Macrium Reflect Free v5.2.6444 - 32-bit.

      This is similar to Aomei. I selected the option to create a CD using Windows PE (version 4). By changing to Legacy boot mode, I can boot from the Macrium CD, and it then could backup to an external USB drive. But I had to change back to UEFI boot to make the computer boot again.

    • Macrium Reflect Free v5.2.6444 - 64-bit.

      This works! I selected the option to create a CD using Windows PE (version 4), 64-bit this time. This creates a CD which will boot in UEFI mode. I think this is because it uses the 64-bit version of Windows PE 4 rather than 32-bit.



    So on this basis, I prefer Macrium Reflect Free, because it creates a CD which I can boot in UEFI mode without needing to get into the BIOS settings. It also works in Secure Boot mode.

    Although this particular Toshiba seems to allow me to get into the BIOS without too much trouble by repeatedly hitting the F2 key on startup, I know not all PCs are so easy and some times when you need a recovery CD, the PC may not be functioning well enough to let you get into the BIOS easily.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    You can use this to make efi bootable recovery media. It will include a whole bunch of tools, depending on what you already have installed.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    Aomei is the best free imaging tool. It has to be. They are unknown, so they offer more than anyone else.

    Macrium is good, but the newcomer has to give more to get noticed.Aomei has Lots more functions, easy to use, small and very fast. I have used it for some time.

    Just did a test using identical source and destination .

    Macrium 10.31 mins image size 17.3gb

    Aomei 6.42 mins image size 17.7gb

    FREE Backup software for Windows 7, 8 and Server 2008 R2, 2012
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    I suggest buying the factory recovery disks also.
    When nothing else will boot, they will.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    I suggest buying the factory recovery disks also.
    When nothing else will boot, they will.
    True enough-1st thing I did last time I got a PC was to make the Recovery Disks.

    But if you want to restore a broken disk to a later state (eg. after upgrading to 8.1), one of these tools is more help.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Quote Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
    Aomei is the best free imaging tool. It has to be. They are unknown, so they offer more than anyone else.

    Macrium is good, but the newcomer has to give more to get noticed.Aomei has Lots more functions, easy to use, small and very fast. I have used it for some time.
    Yep I'm sure you're right about the extra features they have in Aomei, and why they have them.

    But the lack of efi-bootable media (at least without using techniques such as what you did in the 7Forums post) mean I used Macrium to make my 'back-to-when-8.1-was-just-installed' backup, in case of disaster.

    Looking at your other post I gather that Aomei's partition product boots in 64-bit as well? Hopefully they'll bring this to the backup product soon.

    Another benefit of Aomei is that it's free for all users, not just personal use.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    I am not sure why the aomei backupper created iso is not efi bootable for you. Perhaps because you have installed wadk. Aomei does not use wadk normally, maybe that confused it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Quote Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
    I am not sure why the aomei backupper created iso is not efi bootable for you. Perhaps because you have installed wadk. Aomei does not use wadk normally, maybe that confused it.
    It's entirely possible I did something stupid.

    However... while I *did* have WADK on the PC, I then clean-installed Windows 8.1 Preview, then Windows 8.1, which I'd have thought would remove most things that would affect Aomei.

    I then reinstalled Aomei, on what is now a fairly cleanish 8.1 install, then tried making the Aomei CD again, with the same result. Once again it won't boot in UEFI mode, although it does boot in Legacy mode.

    There's an EFI folder on the CD too, but that doesn't seem to help.

    If you assume I did something dumb, then Macrium still gets my vote by being more idiot-proof!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    Thanks, I suspect I know what the issue is and will pass it on to them. The free partition manager also makes winpe recovery media - it may be the same.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Just a quick bump for this thread as i have a Windows 8 Asus laptop with the the newish UEFI,i have used Macrium free edition to make the PE 5.0 rescue usb,but when rebooting the pc to utilize the rescue media when attempting a live system image restore, the PE 5.0 usb is not recognised and the pc loads back into the windows desktop.My question is this:
    Do i still need to enter the Bios and change the 1st boot order to usb even when using the PE 5.0 rescue environment,all the research i have done so far seems to say that the newer PE 5 rescue media will boot to Macrium without any other intervention,or have i got this completely wrong?As you can probably tell i am not at all pc literate so would welcome all help/comments.

    Regards
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Boot recovery CDs with UEFI: Free Macrium Reflect vs Aomei
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