This Cloudeight Freeware Pick Makes It a Snap to Clone or Image Your Hard Drive

By | June 16, 2012
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Macrium Reflect
An easy-to-use Drive Image backup program
Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
32-bit and 64-bit
31.7MB download

I must say first off that the name Macrium Reflect does not do much for me. It sounds like something I need to take a pill to get rid of – or something which might, if it gets worse, require surgery. And I don’t want to get anything that requires surgery because surgery, by its nature, requires me to submit myself completely to power-hungry anesthesiologists and surgeons who I know will make fun of my flabby, pasty-white body while I’m laid out like a corpse on whatever they call that thing they roll you into the operating room on — oh yes — a gurney, a name which almost always reminds me of cows. And the nurses, too, will get a cackle, I’m sure, while I lie lifeless and anesthetized on the Guernsey – and that’s no bull.

And then there’s a problem of waking up from the anesthesia, which is another morbid fear of mine. I mean my fear is not waking up from it but never waking up from it. When I think about that however, it would certainly be a more peaceful way to go than, say, self-immolation, which is something that never crossed my mind until just now.

Had Macrium Reflect only chosen a different name like CloneMe or DriveTwin or ThunderClone or There’s No Place Like Clone or CopyKat or Drive Plagiarize or Circus Clones or I’m Not Afraid of Clones or Duplicitous Rex — or my favorite, Ice Cream Clones — you’d have never had to go the rest of your life thinking of cows when you saw a gurney. And — to the people of Macrium Reflect — if you like any of my names please contact me and we can work something out — because if I see any of those names appearing anywhere on your Web site, I’d have to sue you, and while I am not normally a litigious person, you’d deserve it for stealing my intellectual property. So let’s not make this more difficult than it needs to be — contact me first and I’ll tell you where to send the money.

Oh! Here I am, using drive clones and drive images interchangeably – and they are really not the same.

Cloning and imaging are similar in that they both make exact copies of your hard drive. When you clone a drive, you turn a second drive into a copy of the first. With imaging, you create a very large backup file which you can then use to recreate or restore the drive. You can use imaging to restore you drive onto the original drive or another drive or a brand new hard drive. Drive images are life savers if your hard drive fails because you can buy a new drive, install it in your computer and use your drive image to recreate your old hard drive – as long as the new drive is the same size or larger than the failed hard drive — and when you’ve imaged the new drive with the drive image and reboot, it’s like nothing ever happened. You’re back up and running in less than one hour — and that includes installing the new hard drive.
Imaging makes a better choice for backup for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that cloning requires the dedicated use of another drive while a drive image can be stored on an external hard drive along with other unrelated files and folders you may wish to archive on your external drive. For our purposes we’ll use clone and image interchangeably — just remember, a drive image is preferable to a drive clone because you have more options – and you can keep the drive image on an external drive which has other data stored on it – as long as there is space available for your drive image, of course. Drive Clones requires you to dedicate the entire external or another hard drive to it. We’re dedicated to drive images – not drive clones although both with create an exact duplicate of your hard drive.

Macrium Reflect allows you to make drive clones or drive images quickly and easily. Since I’m in favor of drive images because the drive image does not require you to dedicate your entire external drive to it as do drive clones, drive images are the best way to back up your hard drive completely – including the operating system, all programs and settings, and all files and folders. A viable drive image can restore a hard drive — even a brand new one – in less than an hour.

Macrium Reflect — free version – lacks some of the features of the paid version, such as incremental backups, but it does allow you to schedule backups. Since you don’t want to pay for software if you don’t have to — or you wouldn’t be reading this, the best way to use the free version of Macrium Reflect is to create a backup when your system is running well and keep that backup safe – label it “Pristine” or something that indicates it was made when your computer was running well. Then schedule a backup once a week. Keep only the “pristine” backup and the most recent backup. The power of the image back up is also its weakness. Images are exact backups of your hard drive. So if your computer is running poorly or is infected with a virus, Trojan, or other malware, guess what?  You know what. So make an image backup while your computer is running well and free from malware — and keep that image file safe.

Macrium Reflect also makes it easy to create a bootable CD. Just insert a writable CD into your CD drive, fire-up Macrium Reflect and click the CD icon in the toolbar (it’s the very first icon). And should something bad happen to your computer and you need to restore  your hard drive, just insert the Macrium boot disk into your CD drive, power off the computer, power it back on and “press any key to boot from CD” and your computer will boot up from the disk and you’ll be able to restore your hard drive in less than an hour from your Macrium Reflect drive image. This also applies if your old hard drive goes belly up and you have to install a new one. Boot from the CD and use your image to image the new hard drive. Just make sure your new hard drive is the same size or bigger than your dead hard drive.

So by now you’ve learned that Macrium Reflect is a great product with a goofy name – and also that I’m bordering on insanity. And by now you’re also getting tired of my bloviating and I will now extricate myself from this discourse and bring in the developers of Macrium Reflect who, hopefully, won’t bore your eyeballs with needless words and lachrymose stories of self-immolation and burning marshmallows.

A complete disaster recovery solution for your home and office. Protect your personal documents, photos, music and emails. Upgrade your hard disk or try new operating systems in the safe knowledge that everything is securely saved in an easily recovered backup file.

Don’t compromise your data integrity with second best

Macrium Reflect uses leading data compression techniques to create accurate and reliable images of your hard disk or partitions on your disk.

Simple step by step operation

Image and Restore using intuitive wizards and interfaces. Macrium Reflect integrates fully with Windows Explorer, a partition image can be created with a simple right click.

Automate the process

With Macrium Reflect you can schedule Images to run at any time. Disk space management ensures that you optimize the available space on external drives.

Restore individual files and folders

Create a ‘Virtual’ drive in Windows Explorer and recover selected files and directories using simple copy and paste operations.


In the event of a total loss of the Windows operating system your PC can be started using the Reflect recovery CD…”

And now the proof that I actually install this program and tested it – in fact its running now even as I write this, a testament to its smooth operation and resource conservation…

InfoAve by Cloudeight

InfoAve by Cloudeight

InfoAve by Cloudeight

InfoAve by Cloudeight

So there you have it, proof is in the puddin’- I really did install it, and backed-up 400GB of data in 2 hours.

Macrium Reflect, despite its name, which sounds like a disease, is the best free imaging/cloning software I’ve yet found. It installs nicely, it runs nicely, it is easy enough to use, even aunt Pearl can use it. Nobody doesn’t like Macrium Reflect.

Macrium Reflect has a lot more features than I’ve had time to discuss here — due largely to the sophomoric intro. But hey! I am not getting paid for this so I may as well have fun on the way to the welfare office right? Just be sure you read the program’s documentation and the information on their Web site so you get all the goodies due you for the money you’re going to spend for this program — $0.00… as in Free.

OK. You’ve gotten your money’s worth. To learn more about Macrium Reflect and/or to download it, please visit this page.

Have a freeware program you like and want us to feature? Let us know!

4 thoughts on “This Cloudeight Freeware Pick Makes It a Snap to Clone or Image Your Hard Drive

  1. Jill D

    This without a doubt is your funnest (funniest), most humorous ever !!! I share all thoughts and fears of surgeons, anesthesiologists,and gurneys.But, never could I have painted the picture with words.

    Thank you for enlightening and brightening my day. . .
    PS Macrium Reflect ? – whatever were they thinking. ROFL

  2. Pingback: This Cloudeight Freeware Pick Makes It a Snap to Clone or Image … | Hard Drive Analyst

  3. Nancy

    Just wondering if you have any thoughts on the newer version of Macrium Reflect Free ?


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