Using Macrium Reflect to clone system drive to external USB drive


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I'm using Macrium Reflect free edition to clone my 1TB system drive once/week to an external 1TB USB drive (previous clone overwritten each time). In the Macrium help, I see the following caution:

"Windows cannot boot from a USB connected drive. This is a restriction imposed by Windows. If you clone your system disk to a USB connected external drive then, to boot your clone, the physical disk must be removed from the USB caddy and attached to your Motherboard SATA port."

My question is this. If I should need to restore my system drive from my clone backup, will a PC repair shop be able to use my Western Digital Passport USB drive to accomplish my restore? Please explain your answer. If restoration from this drive would not be possible, what are my options for creating either a clone or an image backup myself with the ability for a professional to do the restore for me? My overriding goal is to accomplish the restore without having to re-install any software.
 
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But Windows can boot from a USB stick. So with Macrium you can make a USB stick that will reboot and then Macrium can reload the image from a USB attached ssd/hdd. You only need to refresh the USB stick when macrium tells you to...but you should probably have two copies of it.
One more step but it works. Normally the PC is working well enough to boot from its internal disk and then run macrium to load the image.


Just a note. My Macrium is a paid for version. I presume but don't know that a free version works the same way.
 
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A PC shop should have no issues cloning it back. But I'm sure you can do it with the bootable USB stick like Tim said.
 
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You could make a working bootable clone of your Windows partition with WinToUSB that somehow copies Windows to an external USB drive (at best with a fast SSD inside). Then you can start your Windows installation from every PC that has an USB connection. Of course without any problems connected to the PC that it was made from, but it works (with a little bit of driver adapation) with any similar PC.
 
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Doesn't the utility allow you to make a system image which can be restored using bootable media and then access the image?
 
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Every backup utility does allow that, Macrium of course too. But when you clone your system to an external bootable USB SSD you cannot only "access" this backup file and use it to restore the backup file for instance to a blank formatted system drive, but you can boot from it into a real twin of your Windows system, even attached to a different PC.
 
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Following Technomax comment, I would not see the full purpose of cloning anything with macrium, for the purpose of a bootable media. I regularly make an image, with Macrium, which, in the event of any problems, i would, with, again, the assistance of Macrium, fully replace the original Windows installation.
 
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The purpose of cloning a running Windows system is the good feeling to know that in case of a malfunction of the main system there is a proven duplicate available that has been tested when still everything was ok. To often I had the problem with restores that the windows could not boot afterwards. By the way, in the latest case Macrium helped as it has a built in bootmanager recovery function, no fiddling with bootrec in a shell window anymore.
I even outdid this procedure and virtualized my Windows in order to be able to run new and old in parallel: I made a VHD file from my windows system and then put it in a virtual machine in VMWare player. So i saved my old Windows 7 installation when I upgraded to Windows 10.
 
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"The purpose of cloning a running Windows system is the good feeling to know that in case of a malfunction of the main system there is a proven duplicate available that has been tested when still everything was ok"
No argument from me. I am fully aware of that. But, for me, an Image does precisely the same thing, and if you are diligent and keep images current, it is right up to date
 
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Backups can only work without any problems when restored if the hardware has not changed. A restore to "dissimilar hardware" must not work with every backups software and every new PC configuration. Anyway, most users never try out whether their carefully held backup chain really can be restored in case of need. Compatibility is best of course for VHDs of your system, you can even run them under Linux and each and every Windows version. But I feel much safer now that I have a PC clone running from a cheap "small" 240 GB SSD in an USB 3.0 enclosure. With modern PCs it even runs not much slower than a genuin windows install on an internal storage device.
 
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I think it is time to drop this . But to add, anyone with any brains, after installing new hardware, would subsequently make a fresh image - after ensuring all was working OK.
Not fully certain I understand the rest of the post. I have, and also have, access to several other machines with Windows installed. Last resort would be, no big deal, a fresh install.
Now I am out of this .
 
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"anyone with any brains, after installing new hardware, would subsequently make a fresh image."
Indeed, but the normal need for a running backup is the situation when your old PC crashed and you now have a new one. In most cases not a duplicate of the old one, at least at home and not at work.
The problem with a fresh install is that you must know all those specifics of your software or better have copies of the specific files (normal.dot for older Office versions for instance), getting Outlook running again in the past very often proved difficult for me (I moved to Thunderbird even Thunderbird portable therefore). The good thing with a fresh install is that you realize what little amount of software you really need for normal work.
 

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