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15 MILLION T-Mobile US customer records swiped by hackers

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Microsoft sabotages own Lumia smartmobe flagship launch

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Verisign opens up its DNS

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Windows 8/Server 2012 Network Connection Issues under WinPE

The Windows 8 product family has implemented the SMB Secure Negotiateprotocol, this requires connections to Windows 8 network shares to besigned or connection will be refused.

This can result in a failureto connect to a Window 8 network share when booted into WinPE. Followthe steps below to attempt a resolution:

1. Boot into Windows 8/Server 2012.

2. Run the registry editor and modify the following entry (create if it does not exist):
KEY: HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanWorkstation\Parameters
Value: RequireSecureNegotiate = 0 (DWORD)

3. Boot back into WinPE and attempt to map the share again.

Further information can be found under Microsoft KB?2686098

Posted on 14 February 2015 | 12:00 am

v5 - Preparing a USB pen drive for WinPE

This article outlines the steps needed to get a USB pen drive ready for create WinPE rescue media

Why do I need to prepare my USB pen drive for WinPE ?

Some USB pen drives are shipped without a master boot record (MBR) and with just a single partition. In order for the USB pen drive to be used as a boot device, it will require an MBR. Formatting the USB pen drive using the standard Windows format option will not prepare the disk correctly by creating a master boot record. You will need to prepare the USB pen drive using other tools, e.g. Windows diskpart.


What steps do I need to perform to prepare the USB pen drive ?

There are many tools available that can perform this process but we will focus on the free Windows tool diskpart in this article.
    1. Run a command prompt session as an elevated user. Do this by clicking Start > Run > type in cmd and then hold and press the following key combination left shift + left control + enter (For further information see here).

    2. Type in diskpart and press enter.

    3. Type in list disk and press enter.

    4. Identify the disk number of your USB pen drive. Caution should be taken with this step as incorrectly identifying a drive may attract unwanted consequences further in this solution.

    5. Type in select disk <n>, where <n> is the number of the disk previously identified as being the USB pen drive. In the screenshot above, it can easily be seen that disk number 6 is the one we are after. Confirm that the current disk selection is correct by typing in detail disk, this will show information relating to the currently selected disk.

    Please be certain you have the disk selection correct before proceeding to the next step.

    6. Type in clean. This will erase all data on the USB pen drive.

    7. Type in create par primary. This will create a primary partition on the USB pen drive using the maximum size available.

    8. Type in active to make the primary partition active.

    9. Type in format FS=FAT32 LABEL="Macrium WinPE" QUICK. This will format the newly created partition on the USB pen drive.

    10. Type in exit once the format command has completed to exit diskpart.

    11. Type in exit again to close the command prompt session.


    Search terms
    tag:restore
    tag:image

    Posted on 11 February 2015 | 12:00 am

    v5: My CD/DVD Rescue Media will not boot.

    This article explains how to diagnose and fix non-booting Rescue media issues.

    Notes:

    For brevity, CD will refer to either CD or DVD.
    Except where stated, it is equally applicable to linux or PE based rescue CDs.


    Introduction

    The causes of non-booting rescue CD fall into one of two broad categories, either it is an issue with your CD or with your PC.


    Verify your CD

    Try as many of the following steps as possible:
      1. Try booting the CD on a 2nd PC.
        If it boots, this indicates a configuration or hardware issue with your PC. Please see Verifying your PC later in this article.
      2. Try a different brand of CD media.
        We have found that CD recordable media is of variable quality. Often, using different media will resolve your issue.
      3. Try creating the rescue media on a 2nd PC.
        If Reflect is installed on the 2nd PC, please try creating rescue media there.
        Alternatively, following the same CD creation steps as before, select Create ISO image file on the last page of the wizard. Transfer this to the 2nd PC and us a third party utility such as ImgBurn to burn the CD.
        In each case, try booting the 1st PC with the new CD.
    Note: Booting from DVD and CD can take a while due to the time to load the large boot image, CD in particular can take up to 5 minutes. Unfortunately, on some hardware PE 4 does not show a progress bar during the loading period. Therefore, with a PE4 CD, please give the media chance to finish loading before concluding that it is not bootable.

    Verify your PC.

    To boot rescue media from CD, your BIOS or UEFI firmware must be correctly configured and have hardware suitable for booting. Please try as many of the following steps as possible to diagnose this.

    Note that there is no standard for motherboard firmware configuration, so our instructions are necessarily non-specific. Please consult your motherboard manual for details relevant to your PC.

      1. Try booting a Microsoft Windows install CD.
        If the boot fails, this is indicative the your hardware is incorrectly configured. Please continue through this list for further diagnosis.
      2. Invoke your BIOS/UEFI boot menu.

        Boot menus vary in appearance and are invoked in different ways. You may need to refer to your motherboard manual to find the key combination to access this. Sometimes, this is displayed on the screen and is usually a key such as DEL, F8, F11, F12, F2 etc.
        Please note that on UEFI/BIOS dual systems, you may be given the option to boot UEFI or not for each device. Please boot the type matching your installed OS. There are a few possible outcomes:
        1. You are able to boot your rescue media in this manner, but not without performing this step. In this case, please see the next step in this section.
        2. You are unable to boot your rescue media having seen the hardware in the menu. In this case, you may wish to try the Verify CD steps above. If these do not rectify the issue, your hardware may not support booting Windows PE (you can also try this with the Windows Install CD to verify). In this case, please try an alternative rescue media format such as USB, or attach a different CD/DVD drive to the system.
        3. You are unable to see the hardware in your list. In this case your firmware has not recognised the device and it is not supported for booting.
      3. Change the motherboard boot order.
        Please enter your BIOS or UEFI firmware setup utility and navigate to the "boot order" or "boot menu" equivalent screen. Please ensure CD/DVD booting has a higher priority than your hard disk, which may be labelled ATAPI, SATA, SCSI or various other labels depending on your system. Please press F10, or your equivalent for "save and exit" to reboot the system with the new priority.
        Please note that some UEFI firmware may not have boot priorities for removable media, or booting from removable media may be a configurable option that you must enable.
      4. Create a USB rescue stick.
        Follows the same steps as used when creating a CD, selecting instead "USB media" on the last page. If this works and your have verified your CD, it is indicative that your hardware cannot boot a CD. However, a usb stick, is just as functional as a CD, so we recommend you use this as your rescue device.
        Note: This is only available for PE rescue media.
      5. Confirm that the CPU architecture of the PE media is compatible with your system
        For BIOS/MBR systems, in general, a PC with boot either a 32 and 64bit PE.
        For EFI systems, the PE architecture must match the system type. A 32bit EFI CD will only boot on 32bit EFI systems and visa versa. Apart from a few tablet devices, all EFI systems are 64bit only.


      What to expect when booting rescue media.

      1. The PE 3.0 environment is based on (a cutdown version of) Windows 7 and so boots in a similar fashion.
      2. The PE 4.0 environment is based on Windows 8 and so boots in a similar fashion.
      3. The PE 5.0 environment is based on Windows 8.1 and so boots in a similar fashion.
      4. You may notice a lag during boot on CD/DVD rescue media whilst the WIM is copied into memory. This can take some time, so please be patient. PE 4.0 and 5.0 media on UEFI systems may additionally display no progress bar during initial load, so please be patient if you have a blank screen.


      Posted on 6 January 2015 | 12:00 am

      Understanding Disk encryption and Macrium Reflect

      Disk encryption software is provided by Microsoft under the name Bitlocker. Various third party tools, such as TrueCrypt, McAfee SafeBoot and PGP Whole Disk Encryption offer similar functionality.

      You can choose to encrypt your data in the following ways:en
      1) System disk/partition encryption
      2) Data partition/disk encryption
      3) File based virtual disk

      The method you choose impacts on how you can image, backup and restore your system or files.

      System Disk/Data Partition Encryption File based virtual disk
      Windows/Reflect Encrypted partitions are unencrypted on the fly, so applications, including Reflect will be presented with an unencrypted partition. The mounted virtual disk will not be recognised as a disk by Reflect. However, the virtual disk file will be imaged correctly when the containing partition is imaged, or it is included in a file and folder backup.

      Note: You should unmount the virtual disk before the backup.
      Image file contents By default, unencrypted - use Reflect encryption. If this image is restored, the restored partitions will be unencrypted. The virtual disk file is stored in its encrypted state. There is no need to use Reflect encryption.
      Rescue CD Encrypted partitions will be displayed unformatted.

      It is not possible to navigate the contents. They can be imaged, only in 'exact copy' mode.

      The fix boot problems and redeploy functions will not work.
      It is not possible to mount virtual disk files with the rescue CD. However, they can be restored from a backup, if they become corrupted.
      Booting off a restored system partition TrueCrypt:
      If you restore a system partition using the rescue CD, it will be restored un-encrypted, TrueCrypt data volumes will be restored encrypted.

      TrueCrypt volumes will boot, you can bypass the TrueCrypt bootloader authentication by pressing Esc and then select the boot partition by number.

      TrueCrypt data volumes will need to be remounted.

      Other Schemes:
      This is likely to lead to a non-bootable system as the bootloader is configured for an encrypted partition. You can however use the Macrium CD to restore the Windows bootloader, meaning you will have a bootable unencrypted partition.

      If you wish to image an encrypted partition that will be bootable on restore, you must take the image using the rescue CD. This can only be do in 'exact copy' mode, so will be slower than a normal image and will result in a larger file.

      Products we have tested with Reflect:

      Product: Reflect V5

      PGP Whole Disk Encryption

      Compatible

      TrueCrypt system disk encryption
      Compatible1

      Windows BitLocker

      Compatible


      Notes:
      1) VSS only works on the disk containing your system partition. Therefore, if you have multiple disks, and use 'system encryption' on a disk not containing your active windows system partition, VSS snapshotting will fail. This will stop Reflect from creating an image of such disks. File and folder backups will still work. For more details, read this.


      How to add TrueCrypt features to the rescue environment

      This enables you to mount truecrypt encrypted disks and volumes in the Macrium Rescue Environment. It does not allow you to restore to an encrypted system disk or encrypt a system disk after a Macrium restore.

      First, you will need to download the full Windows AIK or Windows ADK. You candownload the PE 3.0 AIK,orthe PE 4.0 ADKorPE 5.0 ADKdirectly from Microsoft. These downloads are over 1GB in size.

      Once you have installed the AIK or ADK, you will need to locate the base Windows PE wim.


      32 bit 64 bit
      Windows AIK (PE3.1) C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\x86\winpe.wim C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\amd64\winpe.wim
      Windows ADK (PE4.0) C:\Program Files\Windows Kits\8.0\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\x86\en-us\winpe.wim C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.0\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\en-us\winpe.wim
      Windows ADK (PE5.0) C:\Program Files\Windows Kits\8.1\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\x86\en-us\winpe.wim C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.1\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\en-us\winpe.wim

      1) Run the Truecrypt installer, picking the extract option. You can choose the extract location - in the following example, they are extracted to c:\TrueCrypt.

      2) Make a copy of your base wim - this will be your custom wim. Also create the folder C:\boot\Macrium\mount.

      3) Mount the rescue environment WIM. From a command window (cmd.exe), type the following, ensuring you use the path to your custom WIM.

          dism /mount-wim /wimfile:"C:\PATH\TO\custom.wim" /index:1 /MountDir:C:\boot\macrium\mount

      4) Copy the the files.

          xcopy /i c:\TrueCrypt "C:\boot\macrium\mount\Program Files\TrueCrypt"

      5) Unmount the WIM file.

          dism /Unmount-Wim /MountDir:C:\boot\macrium\mount /Commit

      6) Start up Reflect, and step through the rescue media creation wizard. When creating the PE Environment, select the "Custom Base WIM" option, and navigate to the path of the new custom wim.

      If you have already created the rescue environment, you will have to click the "Rebuild" button on the final page of the wizard in order to bring up the relevant wizard page and select the custom wim.

      7) Step through the wizard.

      You can now boot into the rescue environment, either using the rescue media or Boot Menu option. To start TrueCrypt, from the PE command window (icon on left of Rescue toolbar), type

          "x:\program files\truecrypt\truecrypt.exe"

      Select a file, or if disk/partition encryption is used select a device. Enter your password, (you may need to select the "mount partition using system encryption without pre-boot authentication"). Hit mount. The encrypted volume will appear as a new drive letter. Use PE Explorer to browse and copy files as required.


      How to add Bitlocker features to the rescue environment

      This enables you to mount bit locker encrypted disks in the Macrium rescue environment. It does not allow you to restore to an encrypted system disk or encrypt a system disk after a Macrium restore.

      First, you will need to download the full Windows AIK or Windows ADK. You candownload the PE 3.0 AIK,orthe PE 4.0 ADKorPE 5.0 ADKdirectly from Microsoft. These downloads are over 1GB in size.

      Once you have installed the AIK or ADK, you will need to locate the base Windows PE wim, and the cab file containing the WMI providers.


      32 bit 64 bit
      Windows AIK (PE3.0) Wim C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\x86\winpe.wim C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\amd64\winpe.wim
      Cab C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\x86\WinPE_FPs\WinPE-WMI.cab C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\amd64\WinPE_FPs\WinPE-WMI.cab
      Windows ADK (PE4.0) Wim C:\Program Files\Windows Kits\8.0\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\x86\en-us\winpe.wim C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.0\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\en-us\winpe.wim
      Cab C:\Program Files\Windows Kits\8.0\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\x86\WinPE_OCs\WinPE-WMI.cab C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.0\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\WinPE_OCs\WinPE-WMI.cab
      Windows ADK (PE5.0) Wim C:\Program Files\Windows Kits\8.1\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\x86\en-us\winpe.wim C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.1\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\en-us\winpe.wim
      Cab C:\Program Files\Windows Kits\8.1\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\x86\WinPE_OCs\WinPE-WMI.cab C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.1\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\WinPE_OCs\WinPE-WMI.cab

      If you are using PE 4.0 or 5.0, you will also need the cab files containing the Enhanced Storage functionality and WMI Storage management components:

      32 bit 64 bit
      Windows ADK (PE4.0) C:\Program Files\Windows Kits\8.0\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\x86\WinPE_OCs\WinPE-EnhancedStorage.cab C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.0\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\WinPE_OCs\WinPE-EnhancedStorage.cab
      C:\Program Files\Windows Kits\8.0\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\x86\WinPE_OCs\WinPE-StorageWMI.cab C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.0\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\WinPE_OCs\WinPE-StorageWMI.cab
      Windows ADK (PE5.0) C:\Program Files\Windows Kits\8.1\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\x86\WinPE_OCs\WinPE-EnhancedStorage.cab C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.1\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\WinPE_OCs\WinPE-EnhancedStorage.cab
      C:\Program Files\Windows Kits\8.1\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\x86\WinPE_OCs\WinPE-StorageWMI.cab C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.1\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\WinPE_OCs\WinPE-StorageWMI.cab

      When running the following commands, you will need to insert the paths relevant for your system.


      1) Make a copy of your base wim - this will be your custom wim. Also create the folder C:\boot\Macrium\mount.

      2) Mount your wim - this will take a couple of minutes. From a command window (cmd.exe), type the following, ensuring you use the path to your custom WIM.

          dism /mount-wim /wimfile:"C:\PATH\TO\custom.wim" /index:1 /MountDir:C:\boot\macrium\mount

      3) Add the WMI package to your wim.

          dism /image:C:\boot\macrium\mount /add-package /packagepath:"c:\PATH\TO\WinPE-WMI.cab"

      4) If you are using PE 4.0 or 5.0, add the EnhancedStorage and StorageWMI packages in the same way.

      5) Unmount your your wim, this will take a couple of minutes.

          dism /Unmount-Wim /MountDir:C:\boot\macrium\mount /Commit

      6) Start up Reflect, and step through the rescue media creation wizard. When creating the PE Environment, select the "Custom Base WIM" option, and navigate to the path of the new custom wim.

      If you have already created the rescue environment, you will have to click the "Rebuild" button on the final page of the wizard in order to bring up the relevant wizard page and select the custom wim.

      7) Step through the wizard.

      You can now boot into the rescue environment, either using the rescue media or Boot Menu option. To Unlock a bitlocker volume, type

          manage-bde -unlock e: -recoverykey <key found in bk file>

      Once unlocked, the partition appears in Reflect as a standard volume and can be imaged and browsed as such. If an image is restored, the volume becomes a standard (un-encrypted) volume. It can be re-encrypted when you boot back into windows.


      Further information about the manage-bde command can be found at the following link. Be aware that not all the options work in the PE environment.

      http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff829849%28v=ws.10%29.aspx


      Bitlocker and TPM

      Bitlocker uses the Trusted Platform Module to lock the encryption keys that protect thedata. As a result, the keys cannot be accessed until the TPM hasverified the state of the computer. On computers without a compatible TPM, BitLocker can provide encryption,but not the added security of locking keys with the TPM. In this case,the user is required to create a startup key that is stored on a USBflash drive.

      If TPM is used, then making any of the following changes to your system can prevent the protect disk or volumes from being decrypted.

      • Moving the BitLocker-protected drive into a new computer.

      • Installing a new motherboard with a new TPM.

      • Turning off, disabling, or clearing the TPM.

      • Changing any boot configuration settings.

      • Changing the BIOS, master boot record, boot sector, boot manager, option ROM, or other early boot components or boot configuration data.
      As Reflect images your disk in the clear (with its own AES encryption protection advised), a Reflect image backup may be the only way of recovering your data.

      For more details, please read BitLocker Drive Encryption : Frequently Asked Questions

      Search terms
      tag:backup
      tag:image
      tag:file

      Posted on 27 November 2014 | 12:00 am

      Out of Memory error during File and Folder backup

      This article explains a workaround for out of memory errors during file and folder backup on 32-bit Windows systems.

      Applies to: All 32-bit Versions of Windows when using Reflect File and Folder backup.

      Explanation

      32 bit Windows has a limit to the amount of application memory it can address regardless of the amount of internal RAM you have installed. Your memory can become fragmented and this means that you may receive an 'Out of memory' error during a file and folder backup even though Windows task manager shows memory available. To overcome this Windows can be set to allocate more memory to compatible applications that are configured for IMAGE_FILE_LARGE_ADDRESS_AWARE. Macrium Reflect is configured for this.

      Enabling Large Address Support

      The steps you need to take to enable large address support depend on your operating system.

      On Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Server 2008 R2 and Server 2008

      To enable PAE and 3GB user mode memory on Windows 7 and Vista download and execute 'EnablePAE.exe' from here: http://updates.macrium.com/reflect/utilities/enablepae.exe

      Note: You will need to reboot Windows after the program has run.

      On Windows XP and Server 2003

      Modify the 'c:\boot.ini' file, add the '/PAE' and /3GB switches and reboot.

      Example boot.ini file with /PAE and /3GB:

      [boot loader]
      timeout=30
      default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
      [operating systems]
      multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP" /FASTDETECT /PAE /3GB

      More information on XP boot.ini switches can be found here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/833721

      Note: The 'boot.ini' file is a read/only file. You will need to remove the read/only property before editing.
      Note: You will need to reboot Windows after editing boot.ini

      Search terms
      tag:backup
      tag:file

      Posted on 22 October 2014 | 1:00 am

      Enabling Surface Pro 3 Dock Gigabit Ethernet drivers in Windows PE

      Please follow the below instruction to prepare your rescue media for use with the Ethernet port on your Surface Pro 3 dock.


      Step 1:

      Visit: http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=38826



      Step 2:

      Click on Download and select “Surface Gigabit Ethernet Adapter.zip




      Step 3:

      Right click on the downloaded .zip file and select Extract All




      Step 4:

      Extract the contents of Surface Gigabit Ethernet Adapter.zip to


      “C:\boot\Macrium\Drivers\Network\spro”




      Step 5:

      Rebuild Rescue Media




      When you boot into Windows PE the network adapter should be detected.





      Alternatively.


      Step 1:

      Extract the contents of Surface Gigabit Ethernet Adapter.zip to the rescue media USB drive.



      Step 2:

      Within Windows PE open a command prompt and navigate using "CD" to the folder on your USB drive that contains the drivers.


      Step 3:

      Type drvload msu30x64w8a.inf and press return.



      Your network adapter should now be detected.


      Posted on 21 October 2014 | 1:00 am

      How to use Mailbox Restore

      What is Mailbox Restore?

      The Mailbox Restore functionality of Macrium Reflect Server Plus allows you to restore individual emails from a backup of Microsoft Exchange.This is useful if your backup contains some vital emails or attachments,butyou don't want to have to restore the whole Exchange server in order to access them.

      Mailbox Restore can restore emails, appointments, contacts, journal entries, notes and tasks.Whenever this knowledgebase article describes restoring "emails", any of these can be restored in the same way.



      Access requirements

      For Mailbox Restore to function, Microsoft Exchange MAPI and CDO must be installed on the server. These are present by default on Exchange Server 2003. For Exchange 2007 or later, they can be downloaded from the following link:
      http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42040

      In order to restore an email using Mailbox Restore,the edition of Microsoft Exchange running on the target server must be the same as the original server.An email backed up on a server running Exchange Server 2007 can be restored onto other servers running Exchange 2007, but not to a server running Exchange 2010.

      A mailbox needs to exist on the target server, with the same name as the original mailbox.

      The user running Reflect must have full access permissions for the mailbox being restored to. Further information about setting up these permissions can be found in the following knowledgebase article:
      Setting up permissions for Mailbox Restore



      Using Mailbox Restore

      Instructions for how to back up your Exchange server can be found in the following knowledgebase article:
      Backing up an Exchange Server

      1 . Start up Reflect. Go to the Restore tab, click on "Microsoft Exchange Restore", and click "Restore Exchange Mailboxes".

      2 . The first page of the Mailbox Restore wizard will let you choose the
      message store / database, and the Exchange backup to restore from. After selecting a backup, click "Next".

      First page of the Mailbox Restore wizard

      3 . Once the backup has mounted, the wizard will show a tree view of all the mailboxes within the chosen message store or database. You can navigate through the tree view, and select entire folders to restore, or can click on a folder to display and select individual emails.

      Second page of the Mailbox Restore wizard

      This email list can be filtered by sender, recipient, subject, date sent, or whether there are attachments.

      Mailbox Restore filters

      4 . Once the emails you wish to restore have been selected, click the Finish button. The selected emails will be restored to their original mailbox. Any subfolders will be created as necessary.

      Posted on 16 October 2014 | 1:00 am

      v4 - How to use RoboRestore to restore a disk image

      This article will take you through the steps to use RoboRestore to restore a disk image.

      RoboRestore is a free utility that works with image files created with both Macrium Reflect free and full editions. RoboRestore uses Microsoft's Robocopy utilty to copy files from a disk image to an existing file system. The existing file system can be any size greater than the used space of the partition saved in the disk image. This effectively overcomes the issue with a normal disk image restore that prevents restoring to a smaller partition than the original.

      The restored partition can also use a different alignment to the imaged partition which enables XP system partitions to be aligned efficiently for Solid State Disks (SSD).

      Do I need to use RoboRestore?

      No. In most cases you can use the normal disk image restore wizard. A tutorial for restoring with the Linux CD can be found here:

      http://www.macrium.com/blog/2008/06/21/HowToRecoverYourPCUsingTheLinuxRescueCDPartI.aspx
      http://www.macrium.com/blog/2008/06/30/HowToRecoverYourPCUsingTheLinuxRescueCDPartII.aspx

      RoboRestore provides an alternative method of restoring a disk image by copying the files in the image to an existing file system. Use RoboRestore if you want to restore to a disk that is smaller than the original or has a different partition alignment. You can also use RoboRestore if your image file is corrupt and cannot be restored normally. Files can normally be copied from a corrupt image but the integrity of the restored files cannot be guaranteed.

      What's Microsoft Robocopy?

      Robocopy, or "Robust File Copy", is a command line utility to copy files and folders and includes all NTFS file permissions and alternative data streams.

      Robocopy is included with Windows Server 2003, Server 2008, Vista and Windows 7. XP users need to follow the instructions in step 2 below.

      How do I use it?

      RoboRestore is very simple to use and only has a few options.

      Preparation

      1. Download 'roborestore.zip' and save it to any folder on your PC. Unzip 'roborestore.exe' to the same directory.
        32 Bit - Download
        64 Bit - Download

        Note: RoboRestore is already included with the Macrium Windows PE rescue CD. From the Windows PE command prompt type:

        x:
        "x:\program files\macrium\roborestore.exe"
      2. If you are using Windows XP or BartPE then you also need to download and install the 'Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools'
        Once installed, copy the file 'robocopy.exe' from folder 'C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools' to the same folder as 'roborestore.exe'.

      Using it

      1. Double click 'roborestore.exe' or use a command prompt in BartPE or Windows PE to run the program by entering the full path name.

        The following dialog is displayed:


      2. Click the '...' button and select your image file.

        Note:
        You cannot use RoboRestore for disk images that span multiple DVD's. If you have multiple DVD's then first copy all the DVD files to a single folder on a local/network drive.
      3. If you have multiple partitions saved in the image file then select the partition you want to restore. In the above example we are restoring an image of drive 'H:'.
      4. Select the destination in the drop down list. If you are running from within Windows then you cannot select drive 'C:\'. In this case please start your PC with either the BartPE or Windows PE 2.0 rescue CD and run RoboRestore from within that environment.
      5. Format destination before copy: This option enables you to create a clean destination drive before the copy. If you don't format the destination then existing folders and files, not in the backup, will remain unchanged.
      6. Make destination bootable: Select this option if you are restoring an image of your Windows System drive (Drive C:). Click the 'Advanced' button to refine the operations executed when this option is selected.

        Note:
        By default the Disk identifier is transferred from the original disk to the destination disk. Windows will not boot properly if two disks are attached with the same Disk Identifier. If you select this option and you are cloning your current system, then disconnect one of the disks before booting.
      7. Run Robocopy: Select this option to run robocopy when the 'Start' button is clicked.

        Once selected you can modify the parameters for the command and choose to hide the output of robocopy if you wish. Only modify the robocopy command line options if you know what you are doing.

        Note: Do not modify <SRC > and <DST> tags.
        These are automatically replaced with the source and destination of the restore when robocopy is run.

        For more information on the available command line options please see here.
      8. Click the 'Start' button and the restore will begin. The restore process may be significantly slower than a regular disk image restore, but be patient and wait for the completion message. A full log will be created in '\roborestore.txt'


      FAQ

      1. I've restored Windows XP but it won't boot.
        Make sure your 'boot.ini' file is correct for the restored system.
        1. Use the 'Fix Boot Problems' with Windows PE 2.0
        2. Or, use the XP recovery console and run 'bootcfg /rebuild'.
      2. I've restored Windows Vista but it won't boot.
        The Boot Configuration Database (BCD) may be invalid.

        Use the Vista 'Startup Recovery' option with your Vista installation DVD

        Or, use the 'Fix Boot Problems' with Windows PE 2.0
      3. Can I restore to the same drive that contains the image file?
        Yes, but don't attempt to format the drive first!

      4. Why are there several 'skipped' directories and files shown in the log file?
        Junction points:
        Junction points are pointers to other directories and robocopy doesn't create or follow these junctions. When robocopy has finished the junction points are automatically created by RoboRestore. Vista makes extensive use of junction points for directories such as 'C:\Documents and Settings' and many others. These are provided for backward compatibility with Windows XP.

        'pagefile.sys' and 'hiberfil.sys': These files are created when Windows boots and it isn't necessary to copy these files from the image.
        System Volume Information: This is a hidden system folder in the root of the volume and contains restore point information. The destination has already created this folder when the volume was formatted.
      5. What are the 'Extras' reported in the copy summary?
        These are files and folders that exist in the destination that weren't in the image file. For a newly formatted destination these refer to files in the system folder '\System Volume Information'. This is normal and expected.



        Resources

        Robocopy reference - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robocopy
        Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools - http://www.microsoft.com/Downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=9d467a69-57ff-4ae7-96ee-b18c4790cffd&displaylang=en

        How to create a BartPE Rescue CD for Macrium Reflect - http://www.macrium.com/blog/2008/09/22/HowToCreateABartPERescueCDForMacriumReflect.aspx

        Vista Startup recovery - http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/help/5c59f8c1-b0d1-4f1a-af55-74f3922f3f351033.mspx

        XP Recovery Console - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058

        Windows PE 2.0 Recovery Environment - http://www.macrium.com/blog/2009/07/27/HowToFixCommonBootProblemsUsingTheWindowsPE20FixBootProblemsOption.aspx

        Master Boot Record - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_boot_record

        Junction Points - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS_junction_point

        Posted on 8 October 2014 | 1:00 am

        v5: Understanding Rescue CDs and the Macrium rescue environment

        If your computer refuses to boot or load Windows, or if you are trying to restore an image to a partition that Reflect cannot lock (such as your Windows system drive), then you will have to start your PC using a rescue CD or boot into the Macrium Rescue environment.

        For the professional and server editions, you have the option of restoring to a new system or virtual machine, employing the redeploy feature to reconfigure your windows installation for the new hardware.

        You have a number of options, each with their own advantages. The aim of this article is to help you understand which one is the best choice for you.

        The Linux Rescue Environment
        Linux is a free, open source UNIX based operating system, with wide hardware support.

        Windows PE Rescue Environment

        WindowsPE is a reduced version of windows designed to boot off CD/DVD mediaon the widest range of hardware. Macrium v5 enables either PE3.1, PE4 and PE 5, based on the Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 kernels respectively.

        Note: Historically, PE was prebuilt by Macrium. However, due to a global licensing change, the PE components are now downloaded from Microsoft and the rescue environment is built locally. This is an automated process, running as required by the rescue media wizard.

        You have the choice of PE3.1, PE4 and PE5 defaulting to PE3.1 unless you are running Windows 8/Windows 8.1 in which case the default is PE5. We suggest you stick with the defaults unless you have good reason not to.


        Hardware support

        Just as for your normal windows installation, the rescue environment needs to include support for your hardware, in particular mass storage (inc. RAID if applicable), USB and network interfaces.

        The Linux environment supports most common hardware interfaces, including support for the most widely used RAID systems and USB3 connected devices. It cannot be customised for unsupported hardware.

        The Windows PE environment supports more hardware out of the box. Additionally, support can be added for devices that don't have default drivers. When a rescue CD is created, your system hardware will be analysed. Drivers for unsupported devices will be located on your system or via any driver disks supplied and added to the Windows PE environment.

        A limitation is that support cannot be added for the booting media. For example, if your CD drive is connected via an unsupported SCSI interface or your boot menu lies on a similarly unsupported RAID array, it will not boot. Booting using a USB stick is a good workaround in this case as all USB 2 interfaces are supported by default.
        Note: You can overcome this issue using solution 2 of this article.

        Media types

        The Linux environment can only be booted off CD & DVD media.

        Windows PE will boot off CD & DVD media and also USB sticks / thumb drives and USB attached external hard disks.
        Furthermore, Windows PE can be added as a boot menu item. The main purpose of this is for convenience and for automated restores to your system disk. It should not be relied upon as a rescue mechanism as you may loose the boot menu in the case of hard disk failure or corruption.

        Size

        The Linux rescue environment is extremely compact (circa 20 MB).

        The windows PE environment is a rather larger at about ~180MB.

        Features

        The Linux CD boots straight into a restore wizard and only offers basic restore functions.

        The Windows PE user interface is identical to that of the main application and offers the same core functions.

        Availability

        The Linux and custom Windows PE systems are available on all installation types. The Linux CD is included in the installer, while the custom PE system requires a download from Microsoft.

        Note that redeploy is not available in a trial install.

        Linux
        WinPE
        Fix boot problems
        x y
        Redeploy x Prof & server editions**
        RAID support
        x y*
        USB3 support
        x y*
        CD booting
        y y
        USB booting
        x y
        Boot menu x y
        Features
        Basic restore only
        Full application
        Download size
        none 150-350MB***

        * may required additional drivers for PE3.1
        ** excluding trial installs
        *** Dependent on PE version and architecture. PE4 and 64bit PE types are larger than PE3 and 32bit types.

        Once I have created a rescue CD, will it work on all my computers?
        If you are using the Linux CD, the answer is yes.

        For Windows PE, the answer is more complex. If the hardware for all your computers is supported by the default windows PE driver set, then the answer again is a simple yes. You can confirm this on the Rescue Media Wizard drivers page - if all the drivers listed have the status "Device support in WinPE" or "Compatible device support in WinPE" for each of your machines then you only need one CD.

        If any of your machines require extra drivers, then you have three options.

        1) Create one CD per machine.

        2) Invoke the create Rescue media wizard on each of your machine, ensuring that all the necessary drivers have been located and you progress to the Rescue media burn page. Then copy the contents of c:\boot\macrium\drives on each machine to one machine. Finally, burn a Rescue CD on that machine.

        3) Using the Rescue media wizard create a bootable USB stick, inserting the same device on each machine in turn.

        Options 2 & 3 will only work if all your machines are configured to use the same version of PE with the same architecture (i.e. they are all 32bit or all 64bit).


        If your Rescue CD or USB equivalent does not boot

        Have you changed your BIOS settings to boot from CD/USB before your hard drive?

        Accessing the BIOS varies from PC to PC but you will always see a brief message that tells you how to do this as the PC is starting. Power on your PC from a full shutdown (not hibernate) and watch the screen carefully. Look for a line of text that says something like, 'Hit Del to enter setup' or 'Press F2 for BIOS settings'.Once you've found the correct key (generally, Del, or one of the function keys such as F2, F10, F11 or some other key such as ESC), press it repeatedly until you see a BIOS setup screen.

        There are many articles already on the internet about setting your BIOS to boot from CD/DVD or USB (USB is often called 'removable device' or 'USB-HDD' or 'USB zip disk' or something similar): You can find pictures of BIOS setup screens on a number of websites if you do not have your motherboard manual.

        (Note that some old PCs may not be able to boot from USB but only CD/DVD).

        Once you've changed the BIOS settings correctly, your PC should load Windows PE or Linux quickly. You may though see on the screen something like the following line: Press any key to boot from CD or DVD in which case press any key on the keyboard to boot from CD/DVD otherwise your CD/DVD will not boot.


        There is a YouTube video on how to create a rescue CD in Windows 7 using the WAIK.


        Search terms
        tag:restore
        tag:image
        tag:file

        Posted on 7 October 2014 | 1:00 am

        Backup Rotation Schemes

        ​What are they for?A backup rotation scheme is a system for managing your backup storage media (tapes/DVDs/HDDs).
        An effective backup scheme can provide various benefits such as:
        • Prolonging the lifespan of your backup media
        • Allowing efficient archiving of older backups
        • Minimising the amount of backup space required for maximal restore point availability
        • Minimise the impact of backup media failure or loss
        Examples of commonly used schemes
        1. First In - First Out (FIFO)
          This is the simplest of the 3 backup schemes mentioned here. As the name implies, you backup to each different storage device in turn. Then when you fill your final device you go to the oldest (First In) device and use that for your next backup (First Out).
          This backup scheme ensures even wear across all your backup devices. It is best used when archiving is unimportant and one of the schemes below is beyond the scope of requirements.
        2. Grandfather-Father-Son
          This is perhaps the most common / traditional system of backup rotation. With Grandfather-Father-Son (GFS) you have 3 tiers of backup that are cycled. Your oldest tier (Grandfather) backups are (usually) monthly full backups that you keep for, say, 12 months before rotating on a FIFO basis. In between your monthly backups you have weekly full backups (Father) that you could retain for 4-8 weeks before rotating. To save duplicating backups one Father backup per month is generally promoted to Grandfather status, rather than generating a new full backup. The Son backups would be daily backups which can be fulls but are frequently incremental backups that hang off the Father for that week. These can then be replaced / removed when the corresponding Father. The benefit of this method is that you get a long overall backup cycle (generally a full year) with relatively few backup devices as part of the rotation. You also get the greatest granularity for the most recent backups which is what you generally want for recovery purposes. Obviously the down side of this is that you lose granularity with the older generation backups. This backup scheme is very useful for archiving purposes.
        3. Tower of Hanoi
          This is an alternative system to GFS that uses storage media more efficiently but it is not quite as simple to understand and manage. It is based on the solution to the "Tower of Hanoi" puzzle involving transferring discs between poles.
          Imagine you have N tapes that can each store a single backup. Using ToH you would use the first tape every other day (Day 1,3,5 etc.). Then you would use tape 2 on every fourth day starting on day 2 (So 2,6,10 etc.).
          The general rule being: Use tape N every 2N days starting on day N-1.
          The advantages of this method are that you get a good backup cycle for the whole month from minimal tapes. A whole month can be done with 5 tapes. You will have backups available from 1, 2, 4, 8, ... , 2N days ago.
          A significant disadvantage is that some of the tapes (tapes 1 and 2) are overwritten very frequently.

          For a tutorial on setting up a Tower of Hanoi backup cycle see our tutorial found here.

        Posted on 6 October 2014 | 1:00 am

        Configuring a Tower of Hanoi backup scheme in Reflect

        In this tutorial you will be shown how to set up a Tower of Hanoi scheme that will provide up to a month (32 days) of backup coverage at any given time. Due to the design of the ToH backup system the exact level of coverage will vary between 16-32 days, with 5 individual restore points available at all times. This level of coverage requires 5 backup locations (disks/external drives/NAS etc.). The method can be extended to provide 32-64 days of coverage using 6 locations. See the description of the ToH backup scheme here for more detail on how & why the coverage varies.

        Configuring your backups

        First you need to set up your backup definition files. This is covered in plenty of detail in other articles and I won't go into the general process here. The key points to note are you will either need multiple definitions for each definition file if you intend to have all your backup destinations available simultaneously (e.g. you are backing up to different network storage locations). However if you plan to rotate your backup destinations so that only the required destination is online at any one time you can use a single destination. If you map each of your drives to a different drive letter for ease of identification you can use the Alternative Locations feature in Reflect to facilitate this approach provided that only one of the destinations is available at a time. For more information see our Help documentation linked here: http://www.macrium.com/help/v5/Backup/Alternative_Locations.htm.

        Scheduling your backups

        To achieve a Tower of Hanoi backup schedule that covers an entire month we will need 5 scheduled tasks, one for each of our storage locations. This is the case whether we use 1 backup definition file or several.

        The first step is selecting the type of backup and entering any required credentials. We will be using Full backups for all our backups. This may not be feasible depending on the amount of data being backed up but a Tower of Hanoi system utilising Incremental/Differential backups is significantly more complicated to setup and is beyond the scope of this tutorial.

        At the next screen we need to choose a Daily backup schedule. The backup will not run every day but we will be specifying the backups to run a set number of days apart.

        This step of the scheduling wizard will be different for each of our scheduled tasks. Following the Tower of Hanoi method we need to create tasks with the following settings:

        Start Date Every X Days
        01* 2
        02 4
        04 8
        08 16
        16 32
        *If you wish to start on a different date then just add an offset to each of the values in this column.
        After configuring the 5 tasks your schedule should look something like the following (click the image to see the full-size version):


        A final note on the Tower of Hanoi backup scheme: This scheme is meant to provide rolling coverage across a month. It is not suitable if you need backups on particular days of the month.

        Posted on 6 October 2014 | 1:00 am

        Macrium Reflect Feature Comparison Chart

        Macrium Reflect Feature Comparison

        Feature Standard Pro Server
        Server Plus
        NEW
        Disk Imaging
        Disk Cloning
        Access images in Windows Explorer
        Schedule backups
        Linux Rescue CD
        Windows PE 3.0 or 4.0 Rescue Media (RAID support)
        XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 / WHS compatibility
        File and Folder backup
        Email notification of backup status
        Differential and Incremental backups
        Disk Space Management
        Backup scripting
        Recovery from Windows boot menu
        Password protection and encryption
        Support for GPT disks
        Support for dynamic disks*
        Restore to dissimilar hardware with ReDeploy
        Windows Server 2003/2008/2011 and 2012 compatibility
        Windows Server cross-hardware restore
        Integrated Windows event logging
        NEW Microsoft SQL & Exchange database backup & recovery
        NEW Microsoft SQL database continuous backup
        NEW Microsoft Exchange Mailbox restore (Granular Recovery)

        *To identify if you require dynamic disk support, read this.

        Posted on 1 October 2014 | 1:00 am

        How to create USB rescue media

        In this article we will explain how it is possible to simply create a USB flash drive to boot Windows PE.
        Note: this article is only relevant to releases newer than v5.2.6474.

        Introduction

        USB based rescue media offer some advantages over CD/DVD based media:
        • Boot times are much quicker
        • Devices such as tables and some laptops don't include a CD drive, so USB booting is the only option.
        • Image files can be stored on the rescue media.
        However, there are a few technical details that can make creating USB boot media more complex than CD media.

        Device types

        USB media exist in two types.
        • "Removable media". This is the type Windows assigns to USB flash sticks and similar. They can only contain one partition; this is a Windows limitation.
        • "Fixed media". This is the Windows name for a USB attached hard disk or SSD. They can be partitioned with the same flexibility as an internal hard disk enabling multiple filesystems to co-exist on the same device.

        Filesystems

        There are two common filesystems supported by Windows systems

        • FAT(32). The FAT filesystem is older and compatible with non-Windows operating systems. USB sticks are commonly pre-formatted FAT. However, Windows systems will only format FAT systems to a maximum of 32GB and files are limited to 4GB.
        • NTFS. This is the native filesystem for Windows XP and later. Most USB external harddisks are formatted NTFS.

        Less commonly, USB devices are formatted exFAT. However, exFAT is not suitable for booting.

        Boot Mechanisms

        Computers boot can boot using one or both of the following mechanisms.

        • MBR/BIOS. This will boot from either the primary FAT or NTFS partition that has been set active
        • uEFI. This will boot from a FAT partition only.

        Most modern computers can boot either method. However, some tablets and computers with secure boot enabled may only be capable of uEFI booting. Older computers will only boot MBR/BIOS. uEFI booting requires a FAT filesystem.

        When creating new partitions, the Macrium rescue wizard will always format it FAT32 to maximise compatibility. However, unless the uEFI multiboot option is checked, if a suitable NTFS partition is found, the boot files will be placed then resulting in a MBR only booting device.

        If you need a uEFI booting memory stick, due to the FAT filesystem requirement and its 32 GB limitation, we suggest you use a 32 GB flash memory stick or smaller (or use one that is pre-formatted FAT). Otherwise the space beyond 32GB will be unusable. This is not an issue for USB disks as these can support multiple partitions.

        The USB rescue creation process

        Please note: This process is NON destructive, no volumes will be overwritten or removed during USB media creation

        In most cases, once a USB device has been selected, the process to make it bootable is completely automatic. However, for various scenarios, you may receive either a warning that the device may not boot with some systems or it is impossible to make it bootable in its current configuration. In most cases, manual steps can be taken to overcome these limitations; these are listed in later sections of this article.

        Follow the steps on Creating Rescue Media When you get to the final screen as shown below:

        Select 'USB Device' as indicated in Red and click Finish.

        Track 0 is not writable (Error Code 1)

        Please check that your USB device does not have a write protect feature that may be enabled.Some flash devices block updates to this area. Unfortunately, if this is the case, then this device can never be made bootable and another USB pen drive must be used.

        Additionally, anti virus software can also block writes to the MBR of the USB drive. In this instance you have a number of options:

        • Create a parititon using the Microsoft diskpart tool (see below - Error Code 2 handling). This will succeed as anti virus software will more than likely have this as an added white list/trusted entry.
        • Disable anti virus software temporarily whilst creating USB rescue media.
        • Use another USB drive which is known to already contain a bootable partition.

        File System At Start Of Disk (Error Code 2)

        Some USB flash drives will be shipped from manufacturers with no MBR and a file system which starts at the beginning of the disk. In order for a USB flash drive to boot successfully it will require an MBR to be in place at track zero.

        To create an MBR on the USB flash drive it will need to be initialised as MBR using appropriate tools. Note that this cannot be done using Windows Disk Management Console. See below for steps tp do this using the Microsoft diskpart tool

          1. Run a command prompt session as an elevated user (see this article for more help) and enter the folloing commands.

          2. diskpart

          3. list disk

          4. Identify the disk number of your USB pen drive. Caution should be taken with this step as incorrectly identifying a drive may attract unwanted consequences further in this solution.

          5. select disk <n>, where <n> is the number of the disk previously identified as being the USB pen drive. In the screenshot above, it can easily be seen that disk number 6 is the one we are after. Confirm that the current disk selection is correct by typing in detail disk, this will show information relating to the currently selected disk.

          Please be certain you have the disk selection correct before proceeding to the next step.

          6. clean. This will erase all data on the USB pen drive.

          7. create par primary. This will create a primary partition on the USB pen drive using the maximum size available.

          8. active to make the primary partition active.

          9. format FS=. This will format the newly created partition on the USB pen drive.

          10. exit to exit diskpart.

          11. exit to close the command prompt session.


          Not A Supported Disk Type (Error Code 3)

          The disk selected for USB rescue media is using the GPT scheme for partitioning, this is not currently supported by Macrium Reflect. Please use a USB device that uses the MBR partitioning scheme or re-initialise your device.


          Disk Too Small (Error Code 4)

          The disk selected for USB rescue media is too small to accommodate the Windows PE files that will be copied. Please use a larger USB device. It is recommended that a minimum size of 1GB should be sufficient for the Windows PE files.


          Disk Contains Maximum Partitions Allowed (Error Code 5)

          The disk selected for USB rescue media has been found to have the maximum number of primary partitions. All disks have a maximum number of primary partitions (for pen drives this is 1, a limitation imposed by Microsoft Windows, or 4 for hard disks). Macrium Reflect needs to create a partition in order to make the USB disk bootable but is unable to do so due to the maximum partition count limitation.


          No Free Space Available (Error Code 6)

          Macrium Reflect has not found a suitable partition on the disk for WinPE and there is not enough free space on the disk to create a FAT32 primary partition. Using tools such as Microsoft Disk Management Console you can shrink existing partitions to create enough free space which Macrium Reflect can use to create a new partition. 1GB of free space should be more than sufficient to create a new partition. Position on the disk is unimportant, the Rescue Media wizard can create the partition in any free space of adequate size.


          Failed To Initialise Disk (Error Code 7)

          Macrium Reflect has attempted to initialise the USB disk as no partitions were found on the USB disk, the USB creation log file will provide more specific error information. This error can be raised if the USB disk has denied access to track zero.


          Failed To Create FAT32 Partition (Error Code 8)

          Macrium Reflect has attempted to create a new FAT32 partition on the USB disk which has failed, this can be caused to access restrictions. Please see the USB rescue media creation log file for more specific information.


          Small FAT (Error Code 98)

          Macrium Reflect has attempted to create a new FAT32 partition on the USB disk which has failed, this can be caused to access restrictions. Please see the USB rescue media creation log file for more specific information.


          No partition table (Error Code 99)

          Macrium Reflect has attempted to create a new FAT32 partition on the USB disk which has failed, this can be caused to access restrictions. Please see the USB rescue media creation log file for more specific information.


          Your USB media will not boot

          USB booting support is variable and we have found that some computers will not boot from every USB stick. Check that, if your WinPE rescue environment is 64bit, that the computer you wish to boot from is 64bit capable. Some early Windows XP era laptops cannot boot WinPE based media.

          Search terms
          tag:restore
          tag:Windows PE
          tag:Flash media

          Posted on 8 September 2014 | 1:00 am

          Windows Update (and other Windows Features) not working after clone to Advanced Format disk

          ​The Problem

          Sometimes after cloning a system to a new disk that is Advanced Format it is possible that Windows Update thinks that the update service is not running despite the fact the the service reports to be running in Services.
          This is a compatibility issue with Windows and Advanced Format disks.

          The following excerpt from Microsoft Support (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/982018) describes the problem in more technical detail:

          The Extensible Storage Engine API(ESENT) is a high-performance desktop database engine that is used by many applications, including Windows Update. Certain storage drivers have different kinds of support for querying the physical sector size of the hard disk in a hard disk drive and, when such a driver is upgraded, the reported physical sector size of the hard disk can change. Because of the logging structure of ESENT, applications that are built on ESENT receive an error message and stop responding when the reported physical sector size changes between operating system sessions.

          ​The Solution

          To resolve this issue it is necessary to update storage drivers on your system to detect Advanced Format disks correctly. This will depend on the hardware of your system.

          For Intel systems installing the
          There are also some Microsoft provided hotfixes available for this issue depending on your Operating System:

          Posted on 3 September 2014 | 1:00 am

          v5: Macrium Reflect Minimum System Requirements

          In order to run Macrium Reflect, you must have a system that has the following minimum system requirements:
          • At least 512MB RAM (1GB min recommended)
          • Windows XP Service Pack 3 or Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 or newer
          • A keyboard and mouse
          If you wish to use the rescue media, you will need either a DVD writeable drive or USB pen drive.

          Posted on 28 August 2014 | 1:00 am

          Emsisoft Anti-Malware causes Macrium Reflect to hang at startup

          Applies to: Macrium Reflect Professional v5.3.7086 and later

          Some customers have reported an application hang directly after responding to the Windows User Account Control (UAC) prompt. This has been found to be caused by a product called Emsisoft Anti-Malware.


          Solution 1.

          Add the files Reflect.exe and ReflectService.exe to the programs exclusion filters and add the Macrium folder to File Guard:
          1. Right click on the Emsisoft Anti-Malware icon in the task bar and select 'Application Rules':


          2. Click 'Add New Rule'

          3. Browse for 'c:\program files\macrium\reflect\reflect.exe', choose 'All Allowed' and click 'OK':



          4. Repeat for file 'C:\Program Files\Macrium\Reflect\ReflectService.exe'.

          5. On the Emsisoft Anti-Malware main window left click 'Protection' and then 'File Guard'.



          6. Left click 'Manage whitelist'.



          7. Click the arrow under 'Type' and select 'Folder'



          8. Click the 3 dots on the right of the box below 'Item' and browse to 'C:\Program Files\Macrium'



          9. Click OK and close all open Emsisoft Anti-Malware windows for changes to take effect.

          Solution 2.
          If you continue to have problems after the steps above then completely remove Emsisoft Anti-Malware from your system by uninstalling the software and contact Emisoft support for further help.


          Posted on 12 August 2014 | 1:00 am

          Macrium Reflect crashes if PretonSaver application is running

          When running Macrium Reflect v5.3 you may see the following application crash event if PretonSaver ink saving application is installed and running on your system:



          The PretonSaver application uses hook technology to intercept operations between the operating system and the processes running on the machine.

          To correct this problem right click on the PretonSaver icon on the Windows TaskBar and select 'Exit' or uninstall PretonSaver from your system.

          More information on PretonSaver can be found here: http://www.preton.com/



          Posted on 12 August 2014 | 1:00 am

          VSS Error: 0x8004230F

          ​About this errorThis error can occur for a variety of reasons and is often accompanied by additional error information to help pinpoint the cause of the issue.

          In this article we have attempted to describe various conditions which might be producing this error and have provided links to relevant solution articles.
          We also provide a utility called VSSFix which can be used to fix VSS, by recreating the correct registry setting and re-registering all VSS components. Use this only if you are unable to find a more specific solution using the provided articles. You will be able to download VSSFix at the end of this article (Found here).



          Problem cases & solutions

          1. Disks with a non standard sector size
            If you see the following in the extended VSS information:
            ERROR: COM call "m_pVssObject->BackupComplete(&pAsync)" failed.
            - Returned HRESULT = 0x80042301
            - Error text: VSS_E_BAD_STATE
            You may have a disk with a non-standard sector size attached to your system, see here for a solution:
            http://kb.macrium.com/KnowledgebaseArticle50115.aspx
          2. Other VSS applications have modified VSS
            If you have used other backup (or any VSS aware) software in the past it may have altered VSS. To fix this issue see here:
            http://kb.macrium.com/KnowledgebaseArticle50031.aspx
          3. VSS failing on Windows Server 2008 R2 also producing Windows Event ID 12293
            This article describes a fix for a specific issue that can occur on Windows Server 2008 R2:
            http://kb.macrium.com/KnowledgebaseArticle50068.aspx



          You have 3 pieces of information to help diagnose the issue:
          1. HRESULT - This is a windows function error code.
          2. Error text - This is descriptive error text provided by VSS.
          3. Result code - This is the VSS result code.
          Retrieving this information varies between Version 4 & 5. The differences are displayed below.

          Version 5

          The extended VSS error information will be reported as below for version 5. Note the result code may be different.

            Version 4

            To get the extended VSS information, you need to run the backup from a VBScript file.
            Right-click on your XML definition and select Generate VBScript. Accept the defaults and run the VBScript source.
            To run VBScript, click the VBScript tab, right click on the file and select Execute. Once run, a detailed log file will be created in the same directory as the VBScript source. The log file name will be log-<date>-<time>.txt.
            Open the log file with notepad or similar and search for the following text:
            ERROR: COM call "m_pVssObject->BackupComplete(&pAsync)" failed.




            If you have not been able to fix your issue using one of the articles linked above please download one of the below programs to fix your problem:
            VSSfix 32bit - download
            VSSfix 64bit - download


            Posted on 4 August 2014 | 1:00 am

            v5: Macrium Reflect Command Line Arguments

            This article explains how to use the Reflect from the command line.

            Getting Help

            You can retrieve a prompt for all the command line arguments by simply typing reflect -h from the command line.

            Running a Backup

            The command line form is as follows:

            reflect.exe [-v | -e [-w] [-full | -inc | -diff] [xml filename] ]

            Explanations for the switches are as follows:

            -h This help text
            -e Execute the XML file. If no full / diff / inc qualifier is used, a full backup is performed by default.
            -v Validate the XML file and exit
            -w If Reflect is busy then wait until available otherwise exit immediately
            -full Run a full backup
            -diff Run a differential backup
            -inc Run an incremental backup

            Please note that the XML file name is the fully qualified path.

            Examples
            To validate an XML file
            reflect.exe -v "c:\backup.xml"

            To execute an XML file
            reflect.exe -e "c:\backup.xml"

            To execute an XML file with wait if busy
            reflect.exe -e -w "c:\backup.xml"

            To execute an XML file and create an incremental image
            reflect.exe -e -inc "c:\backup.xml"


            Mounting an image

            reflect.exe [Path To Image File] -b [-auto -drives [Drives[s]] -pass [PASSWORD]]

            Explanations for the switches are as follows:

            -b Browse image
            -auto Automatically assign drive letters. If not specified then you will be prompted
            -drives A comma separated list of drive letters to use. If not specified then the next available letters are used
            -pass The password for protected image files

            The image file name is the fully qualified path. If "LAST_FILE_CREATED" is specified then the last image created in the current Windows session is mounted.

            Examples

            To mount an image and prompt for a drive letter to use
            reflect.exe "D:\901DBF91346B9A81-00-00.mrimg" -b

            To mount all partitions in an image using the next available drive letter(s)
            reflect.exe "D:\901DBF91346B9A81-00-00.mrimg" -b -auto

            To mount all partitions for the last image created
            reflect.exe "LAST_FILE_CREATED" -b -auto

            To mount all partitions in an image using drive letters j,k,l
            reflect.exe "D:\901DBF91346B9A81-00-00.mrimg" -b -auto -drives j,k,l

            To mount all partitions in a password protected image using drive letters j,k,l
            reflect.exe "D:\901DBF91346B9A81-00-00.mrimg" -b -auto -drives j,k,l -pass "PWD"


            Unmounting an image

            reflect.exe [Drive Letter] -u

            Explanations for the switches are as follows:

            -u Unmount image

            If a drive letter isn't specified then all mounted images are unmmounted

            Examples

            To unmount an image from drive letter 'j'
            reflect.exe J -u

            To umnount all mounted drives
            reflect.exe -u

            Posted on 1 August 2014 | 1:00 am

            VSS fails due to disks with a non-standard sector size

            Error

            Backup aborted! - Failed to create volume snapshot error. Result Code: 0x8004230F


            Description

            The windows snapshot component VSS will fail if a disk with a non standard sector size is attached to your system, even if this disk is either being backed up or used to store the image files. This can be an internal disk or one connected by USB or eSata. These disks are fortunately rare, and are typically found only in sizes of 1TB or above.


            Extended error information

            The extended VSS error information will be reported as below. Note the result code may be different, but the extended error will always be:

            ERROR: COM call "m_pVssObject->BackupComplete(&pAsync)" failed.
            - Returned HRESULT = 0x80042301
            - Error text: VSS_E_BAD_STATE




            Identification of disks with a non standard sector size

            Run 'System Information' ('All Programs' > 'Accessories' > 'System Tools' > 'System Information').
            Expand the Components->Storage->Disks node, and scroll down the list of disks, looking for any that have a Bytes/Sector value not equal to 512.


            Solution

            Unfortunately, until Microsoft fix this issue, the only option is to remove this disk from your system. Read this
            Article for general information regarding Microsoft support for non-standard sector sizes.

            Note: Some

            ​vssadmin add shadowstorage /For=Note this command should not be run unless you understand the implications for your system, please see here for the official documentation: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc788051.aspx


            Search terms
            tag:backup
            tag:image
            tag:file
            tag:clone

            Posted on 28 July 2014 | 1:00 am

            How to troubleshoot Microsoft Volume Shadow copy Service errors


            Macrium Reflect uses a Microsoft service called Volume Shadow copy Service to enable disk images to be created and files to be backed up when in use.

            When VSS fails it can sometimes mean that you are unable to create a disk image or backup open files with Macrium Reflect. In this tutorial I’ll take you through some troubleshooting steps to locate and fix VSS problems and enable your disk images and file backups to complete successfully.

            Please Note: Microsoft Volume Shadow copy Service is a standard Windows service and not installed by Macrium Reflect. VSS has been included with every version of Windows since Windows XP SP1. Macrium Reflect cannot cause VSS to fail, it simply uses the service. Any failure is caused by other software or system configuration problems and will affect every program that uses VSS.
            Please note: VSS requires at least one NTFS volume to be present and online for it to operate (without one you will receive the error:

            What is VSS?

            VSS is a copy-on-write driver that intercepts disk writes before they actually happen. The current contents of the disk are written to a shadow copy buffer before the write takes place. This enables a disk image to represent an exact point in time and not be affected by disk write activity during image creation.

            How do I know that VSS has failed?

            When VSS fails there will usually be an indication in the image or backup log file. In version 5 of the software, the VSS error will be shown in the Macrium Reflect log:




            Additionally, in version 5, the main VSS log can be seen as an option under the log view:


            The final addition to version 5 is the ability to send these logs via email but only if you are using the Macrium Reflect email component. Right click the log entry and select 'Send backup logs via email'.

            You will generally see 'Failed to Create Volume Snapshot' followed by a hex result code. The result code is an error code from VSS and sometimes just Googling ‘VSS + Result Code’ will come up with a solution to your VSS problems.

            You may also see:

            Backup aborted! - Unable to open file handle for '\\?\GLOBALROOT\Device\HarddiskVolumeShadowCopyxxx' - The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.

            This may be associated with a 'VolSnap' error in your Windows logs.

            VSS uses writer components to ensure that the file system is in a stable state when creating your disk image. For example, SQL database writers ensure that all transactions to databases are complete before allowing the shadow copy service to continue. Windows includes a VSS administration program that can list the status of all VSS Writers you have on your system.

            Open a command prompt and type ‘vssadmin list writers’. In Vista/7/8 and Servers 2008 and later, make sure you start the command prompt with elevated privileges. This will list all your VSS writers with their current state and last error. (Link to instructions on creating elevated command prompt at bottom of tutorial).

            Typical output:

            Microsoft Windows [Version 6.0.6001]

            C:\Windows\system32>vssadmin list writers

            Writer name: 'System Writer'

            Writer name: 'ASR Writer'

            Writer name: 'IIS Metabase Writer'

            Writer name: 'Shadow Copy Optimization Writer'

            Writer name: 'MSSearch Service Writer'

            Writer name: 'IIS Config Writer'

            Writer name: 'Registry Writer'

            Writer name: 'COM+ REGDB Writer'

            Writer name: 'BITS Writer'

            Writer name: 'WMI Writer'

            Writers with an error state or where the last error isn’t ‘No Error’ are probably causing a problem.


            Look for messages in your Windows logs.

            When VSS fails you will always get a corresponding message in your Windows event log.

            1. Right click on 'My computer'
            2. Select 'Manage'
            3. Expand the ‘Event Viewer’ node
            4. Look in the ‘Application’ message node for error messages relating to ‘VSS’, ‘Shadow Copy’ or 'VolSnap'.




            5. If you find any messages then these with give you an ‘Event ID’ and sometimes a ‘Result Code’ or 'hr'. These two pieces of information can generally pin point the cause of your VSS failure. Try Googling the Event ID(s) and Result Code(s) for more information.

            Make sure that the VSS service isn't disabled

            Changing the startup type of the VSS service and rebooting can often resolve issues.

            1. Right click on 'My Computer'.
            2. Select 'Manage'.
            3. Select the 'Services' tree node.
            4. Right click on 'Volume Shadow Copy'
            5. Select Properties
            6. Change the startup type to 'Automatic'



            7. Reboot

            Re-register the VSS components

            Sometimes re-registering VSS core components can fix errors. Copy the following commands to Notepad and save the file with a ‘.bat’ extension. Run the .bat file by opening a command prompt and entering the .bat file name.

            cd /d %windir%\system32
            net stop vss
            net stop swprv
            regsvr32 /s ole32.dll
            regsvr32 /s oleaut32.dll
            regsvr32 /s vss_ps.dll
            vssvc /register
            regsvr32 /s /i swprv.dll
            regsvr32 /s /i eventcls.dll
            regsvr32 /s es.dll
            regsvr32 /s stdprov.dll
            regsvr32 /s vssui.dll
            regsvr32 /s msxml.dll
            regsvr32 /s msxml3.dll
            regsvr32 /s msxml4.dll
            vssvc /register
            net start swprv
            net start
            vss


            We also provide a program which will recreate the correct registry setting and re-register all VSS components. Please download one of the below programs to fix your problem:

            VSSfix 32bit - download
            VSSfix 64bit - download


            Footnote

            It is very probable that others have had a similar problem to you, so use Google as much as you can to find potential solutions. If all else fails you should contact Microsoft support for a resolution.

            Resources

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_Copy
            http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc785914.aspx


            Search terms
            tag:backup
            tag:image
            tag:file
            tag:clone

            Posted on 28 July 2014 | 1:00 am

            5.3 install/upgrade issues caused by security software

            What is the issue?Please be assured this is a false positive identification issue, if you wish to verify your Reflect installation you can follow the instructions found Firstly you may wish to check that this issue is being caused by security software.
            The most reliable way to do this is either:
            1. Completely uninstalling your AV software and performing a reboot (After diagnosing the issue you may re-install your security software, however this will likely bring back the conflicts. See below for the solution).
            2. Performing a windows clean boot.
            A guide for performing a windows clean​ boot can be found in this KB article: http://kb.macrium.com/KnowledgebaseArticle50218.aspx.

            To fix this issue you can should be able to add Reflect to your security software's list of safe programs (often referred to as a "whitelist" or "exceptions list").
            It is also highly recommended you report this issue to the software vendor so that they can update their databases to correctly identify the new version of Reflect as safe software to hopefully prevent this issue occurring for future updates.

            A guide specifically for users of Emsisoft Anti-Malware is available here:

            Posted on 28 July 2014 | 1:00 am

            VSS errors occur and Windows Event 12293 is also present on Windows Server 2008 R2 without BitLocker

            Error

            VSS Result Code 0x8004230f with Event ID 12293 on Windows Server 2008 R2 without BitLocker

            Description

            This error will be seen in conjunction with the Windows Event 12293 on Windows Server 2008 R2 systems.


            Solution

            Add BitLocker drive encryption using the features option under Server Manager to the operating system. This will only add the option to encrypt volumes, it will not actually perform any volume encryption.

            Restart the computer when prompted, you should now be able to successfully create images.

            Search terms
            tag:backup
            tag:image
            tag:file
            tag:clone

            Posted on 25 July 2014 | 1:00 am

            VSS fails due to modification by 3rd party software

            Error

            Backup aborted! - Failed To Create Volume Snapshot. Result Code: 0x8004230f

            You may also see the error VSS_E_UNEXPECTED_PROVIDER_ERROR in the VSS log.


            Description

            This error often occurs if a product called ShadowProtect (from StorageCraft) or other similar programs such as Acronis are or have been installed on your PC.

            If you receive the following error at the end of your image log then it is likely that Macrium Reflect has a conflict with other imaging software on your PC (or that has been previously removed).

            Solution
            To fix this problem please take the following steps:

            If ShadowProtect is installed on your PC then you must uninstall it if you want to use Macrium Reflect.
            1. Remove the following registry key:
              HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS\Providers\{24602736-bed9-4619-91b0-243447c6409c}
              This key can be left behind after uninstalling ShadowProtect and will cause a VSS error when Reflect creates a shadow copy.
            2. Restart Windows.
            For help on editing the registry please see this Microsoft KB article here
            If you don't have the registry key above then make sure that you only have the following entry for VSS software providers in registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS\Providers


            If the key shown above is missing it may need to be recreated using the steps below.

            To add the default VSS provider registry entry

            1. Copy the following text to Windows notepad:
            Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

            [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS\Providers\{b5946137-7b9f-4925-af80-51abd60b20d5}]
            @="Microsoft Software Shadow Copy provider 1.0"
            "Type"=dword:00000001
            "Version"="1.0.0.7"
            "VersionId"="{00000001-0000-0000-0007-000000000001}"

            [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS\Providers\{b5946137-7b9f-4925-af80-51abd60b20d5}\CLSID]
            @="{65EE1DBA-8FF4-4a58-AC1C-3470EE2F376A}"

            2. Save as 'VSSWriters.reg'

            3. Double click 'VSSWriters.reg' in Windows Explorer to import the entries in your system registry


            If you have not been able to fix your issue using the solution above please download and run one of the below programs to fix your problem:
            VSSfix 32bit - download
            VSSfix 64bit - download



            Search terms
            tag:backup
            tag:image
            tag:file
            tag:clone

            Posted on 25 July 2014 | 1:00 am

            v5: Using VBScript to delete Differential Backups (Outdated)

            This page has been moved, if you are not automatically redirected, please go here for the updated version.

            Posted on 25 July 2014 | 1:00 am

            Upd8IT to take over CTM News Services

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            No plans to enter tablet personal computer market: Panasonic

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            Hewlett-Packard said on Monday it prefers to spin off its personal computers unit and is currently working on understanding the larger implications of separating the business from the company. The world’s largest technology company by revenue shocked investors when it announced earlier this month that it is considering strategic alternatives for its Personal Systems Group […]

            Posted on 5 September 2011 | 2:43 pm

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            On Aug. 12, the IBM PC — the classic machine from which all modern Windows computers descend — turned 30. IBM’s Mark Dean, who helped engineer the original PC, commemorated the anniversary by congratulating his company for having abandoned the PC business back in 2005. He declared that we live in a “post-PC era” and […]

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            Special Offer

            Following the launch of the new Facebook page show that you Like the page and receive 10% any repairs costing £50 or more

            Posted on 25 August 2011 | 2:26 pm

            CTM Enters Into Social Media After Teaming Up With www.upd8it.co.uk

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            Posted on 22 August 2011 | 2:46 pm

            Web Site Improvements

            Web Site improvements Welcome to the new-look CTM Web Site. The following improvements have been made for your benefit: Faster loading, standards-compliant web pages. Improved accessibility for disabled and physically-impaired visitors. RSS web feeds where appropriate. We hope you will enjoy the changes.

            Posted on 22 August 2011 | 9:34 am

            Albion Legal Services Limited

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            Dell Launches Industry First Recycled Carbon Fiber, Advances Circular Economy Model for IT Industry

            Dell today announced additional progress against its circular economy initiatives, including the expansion of its closed-loop recycled plastic supply chain.

            Posted on

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