Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Create a system image

  1. #21


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    Is Macrium the best free version? I see these others:
    The factor that often decides the issue is hardware or format support. The first HD imaging program I used was Paragon Drive Backup Personal(paid) in XP. Worked great. It had issues with Vista. I switched to Macrium Standard. I got a 64 bit Vista machine that had a "fake raid" controller. Mcrium had problems with it. I switched to EaseUS ToDo Backup Free. EaseUS also worked well on my Windows 7 PC. Now I have a Windows 8 Laptop. Macrium Free seems to do the job.

    There's no one right answer. For Windows 8 though, I think Macrium Free may be an early adopter of GPT and UEFI support. But I'm sure the others are catching up. Generally the more established and vanilla the hardware and protocols, the more choices you have. For instance if you have an MBR based system with Sata II HD and ordinary Sata II controller you're likely to have more choices that will actually backup, boot, support USB 3.0, and Restore than any of the newer systems.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #22


    St. Augustine
    Posts : 388
    windows 8.1 64, LT -Windows 10 Home 64


    Quote Originally Posted by MilesAhead View Post
    There's no one right answer. For Windows 8 though, I think Macrium Free may be an early adopter of GPT and UEFI support. But I'm sure the others are catching up. Generally the more established and vanilla the hardware and protocols, the more choices you have. For instance if you have an MBR based system with Sata II HD and ordinary Sata II controller you're likely to have more choices that will actually backup, boot, support USB 3.0, and Restore than any of the newer systems.
    +1

    I am certainly not qualified to say that any particular back-up program is the best. I think there are more than a few stable programs available that will do a good job. I picked Macrium largely because of what I read on this forum and others. Some of the IT Security forums are good places to find out about things like backup programs as well as malware protection. I don't necessarily go for just the free stuff either. If I think a program is worthy I will do the paid version but never at listed price. When I decided on Macrium I searched around and identified some discount codes and purchased the paid version at a substantial discount off list. My experience with Macrium is all of about 4 months and I have found it very easy to use. I have also been impressed with the continued evolution of the software in a short period of time. Just in the last couple of months they have made significant enhancements and Macriuim has a very good forum that they actually participate in. Only paid version users can post but everything else is open to the public and questions and solutions to problems are generally solved within 24 hours. Paid version users also get direct email support for the first year which actually works. Immediately after install I had some problems and I was exchanging emails with Macrium Support within hours and issue was solved within 24 hours. Turned out I had a hardware issue with my external HDD.

    Like I stated earlier, there are numerous good options available and I think Macrium is just one of them.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #23


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    I signed up for the Macrium Forums before the free user cutoff date. The response to questions there is excellent. They also have a free tool that takes a backup image as input and outputs a VHD. I don't know if it's still under development:

    How to create a Virtual machine from a Macrium image backup (ImgToVHD, VHD, virtual machine)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #24


    Posts : 93
    Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit


    From reading around:

    Win 7 File Recovery / Disk image is no longer a supported feature of the Win 8 OS. It's included so that people who used it on Windows 7 can continue to use it. If you have gone straight to Windows 8 and have never used Windows 7's backup features, you're supposed to move straight on to File History, and never touch it.

    File History only saves copies of files in your libraries, contacts, favorites and on your desktop - so this is not something I can use to back up the OS.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    You can boot immediately from a clone, and test that it works - this seems like the best choice.

    An image can take many hours to Restore. You can't test that it works. Sometimes the data can become corrupted (but this only happens once in 100s of times).

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    I have one mini-tower with a 160GB C: drive to backup - it's currently at 42GB used of 148GB

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Extra IDE drives sitting around that I want to use, to make two backup clone copies of the OS at a time:

    160GB IDE . . . currently has two equal sized partitions of about 75GB . . . M: and N:
    160GB IDE . . . currently has two equal sized partitions of about 75GB . . . P: and Q:

    Backup plan:
    1st time: Put a backup copy in M: and P:
    2nd time: Put a backup copy in N: and Q:
    3rd time: Ctrl+A and delete everything in M: and P: - and put the next backup copy here
    4th time: Ctrl+A and delete everything in N: and Q: - and put the next backup copy here
    5th time, 6th time . . . repeat 3 and 4

    I could do this with Macrium, but not Clonezilla (the destination partition must be equal or larger than the source one, Clonezilla - About)

    Question #1: Does Macrium charge somehow to use the clone? It looks like there's a $40 fee to use a Windows PE disk, and restore from an image.

    Question #2: Could I put either drive in the mini-tower, and specify it to boot M:, P:, N:, Q:? I would have to change the drive letter to C: somehow.

    Question #3: If I connected one of the drives through USB in an enclosure, and I went to the BIOS Boot Order, would I be able to boot to a C: that way, somehow?

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    If I had to use one of these clones, I think that it's at this time that I would get a new hard drive, re-clone the OS to it, and then use that as the new hard drive.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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