How to Use Macrium Reflect Free

Free Data Backup Software

Looking for free data backup software? Learn how to use Macrium Reflect - a free backup program - here! Backup computer files easily using this free hard drive backup software.

Macrium Reflect Free is a disk imaging program. Its job is to create a copy of EVERY file on your computer. This gives you the ability to restore files and folders from the backup at a later time, should you ever need to.

Also, if your computer starts to malfunction - or if it ever entirely fails to load - you'll be able to restore everything back to how it was at the time of the backup.

You can learn more about Macrium Reflect by following the link. This guide is about how to download, install and use Macrium Reflect Free.

I've broken this guide into sections:

  1. Download & Install
  2. Create a Backup
  3. Create a Rescue CD/DVD/USB Disk
  4. Test a Rescue CD/DVD or USB Stick
Learn how to restore files from a Macrium Reflect image here:

Restore files from a Macrium Reflect image


How to Use Macrium Reflect: Download & Install

1. Click this link to download a copy of Macrium Reflect FREE edition (a new window will open). Follow the download links and save the file onto your computer.

2. To install Macrium Reflect Free, find the file you just downloaded and double-click it. The file will be called reflect_setup_free (or similar).

macrium reflect setup file

3. Click "Next".

macrium reflect installer

4. Click "Next".

welcome to the macrium reflect free edition setup wizard

5. Select the "I agree..." button and click "Next".

macrium reflect free edition license agreement

6. Click "Next".

macrium reflect free edition license key

7. Click "Skip" (unless you want to register your details with Macrium).

macrium reflect free edition registration

8. Click "Next".

macrium reflect free edition custom setup

9. Click "Install".

macrium reflect free edition ready to install

installation of macrium reflect free edition

10. Click "Finish"

completing the macrium reflect free edition setup wizard

11. Open Macrium Reflect by double-clicking the "Reflect" icon from your desktop.

macrium reflect icon

Or click Start > Programs > Macrium > Reflect > Reflect

Macrium Reflect Free should then open.

macrium reflect free edition main screen

Congratulations, you now have free data backup software installed!

How to Use Macrium Reflect: Create a Backup

Now that you have free hard drive backup software, let's create a backup of your computer using Macrium Reflect Free Edition.

It's a good idea to back up regularly, so that you have a copy of all your latest files (photos, music, etc) in case you need them.

How to Use Macrium Reflect

If you have just re-installed Microsoft Windows and everything is running beautifully, now is a GREAT time to create a backup of your computer.

Why?

Because the next time your computer starts slowing down and producing lots of errors, you can return it to this perfect set up in minutes rather than hours or even days!

Although Macrium Reflect Free can backup to CD/DVD writers and to other computers on a network, this guide assumes you're backing up to an external USB hard disk.

To create a backup image:

1. Connect your USB disk to the computer. (Make sure it has enough space on it to store the backup!)

portable usb hard disk

2. Click "Image all local drives on this computer" (top left).

macrium reflect backup tasks

3. Choose a destination folder. This is where your backup will be stored. So you'll want to select somewhere on your USB disk.

If you want to give the backup file a specific name, untick the "Use the image ID as the file name" box and enter a name. Leave it ticked if you're not sure what to do.

Click "Next".

macrium reflect select source drives and image destination

4. Click "Finish".

macrium reflect imaging summary

5. Click "OK".

macrium reflect backup save options

The backup process should now run and eventually your backup file will be created on your USB disk.

If you want to, you can hide the backup process while it's running and use your computer for something else. Click the "Hide" button to do this.

macrium reflect backup process

How to Use Macrium Reflect: Create a Rescue CD/DVD/USB Disk

This step explains how to create a Macrium Reflect Free rescue CD or DVD. If you ever need to completely restore your computer (i.e. send your computer back in time to how it was at the time you created a backup image) then you'll need to use this disc.

How to Use Macrium Reflect: Create a USB Rescue Disk

If your computer doesn't have a CD/DVD writer, create a USB Rescue Disk instead.

Follow these steps to create a Macrium Reflect Free rescue CD or DVD:

1. Open Macrium Reflect Free and click "Other Tasks", then "Create Rescue Media".

macrium reflect create rescue media

2. Select the type of rescue CD you want to create.

To simplify this How to Use Macrium Reflect guide, we'll only look at the Linux option. This is the quickest way of creating a rescue disc and it offers the easiest method of restoring a disk image if you need to.

If you encounter any problems using the "Linux" option, try the "Windows PE" option instead. But "Linux" should be your preferred option.

So, select "Linux" and click "Next".

macrium reflect rescue environment type

3. Make sure your CD/DVD writer has been selected in the "Select your CD/DVD burner and click" drop-down. It should be selected by default.

Also, put a blank CD or DVD into your CD/DVD writer drive.

Finally, click the "Finish" button.

macrium reflect rescue cd burn

Your Macrium Reflect Free rescue CD should then be created.

Click here to continue.

macrium reflect rescue media successfully created

How to Use Macrium Reflect: Create a USB Rescue Disk

Follow these steps to create a USB rescue disk:

1. Open Macrium Reflect Free and click "Other Tasks", then "Create Rescue Media".

macrium reflect free edition create rescue media

2. Select the type of rescue disk you want to create.

To simplify this How to Use Macrium Reflect guide, we'll only look at the Linux option. This is the quickest way of creating a rescue disk and it offers the easiest method of restoring a disk image if you need to.

If you encounter any problems using the "Linux" option, try the "Windows PE" option instead. But "Linux" should be your preferred option.

So, select "Linux" and click "Next".

macrium reflect rescue environment type

3. Select "Create ISO image file" from the "Select your CD/DVD burner and click" drop-down. Then click "Finish".

macrium reflect create iso image file

4. Choose a location on your computer to store this file, then click the "Save" button.

macrium reflect save iso image file

5. Click "OK".

macrium reflect rescue media successfully created

That's the preparation step done. We must now burn the file we just saved onto a USB disk. Don't worry if this doesn't make sense to you, just follow the instructions. This is simply the step where we actually create the USB rescue disk. To make life easier, we'll be using a program called "UNetbootin".

6. First things first, insert a USB disk into your computer.

usb flash disk drive

7. Download UNetbootin (click and a new window will open).

8. Find the UNetbootin file you just downloaded and double-click it:

unetbootin file

9. The UNetbootin interface should now be open. Click the button that has "..." on it and find - and select - the file you saved in Step #4.

Next, in the "Drive" drop-down, select the drive letter of your USB disk.

Finally, click "OK".

unetbootin

Your bootable USB rescue disk will now be created. Click "Exit" when the process has completed.

unetbootin burning image to disk

How to Use Macrium Reflect: Test a Rescue CD/DVD or USB Stick

It's important we test your rescue disc, because it would be a real shame if you try and use it in an emergency only to discover it doesn't work!

To test the disc:

1. Insert the Macrium Reflect rescue CD/DVD or USB disk into your computer.

2. If you intend to store a Macrium Reflect backup file on a USB disk, connect that USB disk to your PC now. We need to make sure the rescue software can access this disk, otherwise there's no point storing backups on it later.

external usb hard disk

3. To use the rescue disk, your computer needs to be able to "boot" from it. This means that when your computer is switched on, it will open the software that's on your rescue CD/DVD or USB stick, instead of booting your computer's hard disk and loading the operating system that's installed on it (e.g. Windows XP).

Follow this link to learn how to boot from CD/DVD or USB disk.

4. Once your computer has been configured to boot from CD/DVD or USB disk, you just need to restart your PC and it should open the rescue software from the rescue disk.

The following screen should appear. Wait a few seconds, and the Rescue Wizard should then load.

gnu grub version 0.97

5. The Macrium Reflect Free rescue software should then open and a wizard will greet you. Click "Next".

macrium reflect restore wizard welcome screen

6. Now check that you can access the disk where you intend to store a backup image file.

For example, if you plan to store your backup file on a USB hard disk, make sure you can access that USB disk now. If you intend to back up your hard disk onto DVDs, make sure you can access the DVD drive.

If you connect a drive, such as a USB disk, to your PC, be sure to press the "Rescan" button.

macrium reflect restore wizard locate image

That's it! If the rescue software loads and you can access wherever you intend to store backup files, you should be able to perform an image restoration without issue.

To exit the rescue software and get back into Windows, simply remove the rescue CD/DVD or USB disk and restart your PC.

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