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30 Jun 2020

How to prepare for an IT disaster with Macrium Rescue Media

IT disasters can be expensive: with data forming the foundations of just about every organization on the planet today, the cost of losing it, whether through a hardware fault, malware, or even a natural disaster is often massive.

There are many different things that you can do to minimize and mitigate the risks of disaster and data loss. But one of the most important is regular backup. Backups are, of course, valuable because they ensure that if — some might say when — disaster does strike, a recent and up to date copy of your data is easily recoverable.

Macrium is an important tool in your line of defence. However, there’s an important step you need to take to ensure that Macrium can help you to recover quickly and safely: creating your Rescue Media.

What is Rescue Media?

Macrium Reflect Rescue Media is a bootable environment that runs on portable external hardware, like a CD or USB stick which can be used when your Windows operating system isn’t accessible. Without it, recovery is much more difficult; you’ll need to create your rescue media on a second machine and then recover to the failed machine.

Using Rescue Media: WinPE or WinRE?

Rescue Media can be based on either Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) or Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE). We typically advise you to use WinRE when creating your Rescue Media because it can be accessed via wi-fi and doesn’t require any additional downloads.

WinPE is a lightweight version of Windows that can be used for a range of tasks, such as troubleshooting and deployment, allowing you to access your Windows through a command-line interface; WinRE, meanwhile, performs a similar function but contains more powerful recovery tools. It’s for this reason that we advise using WinRE; moreover, it also has Wi-Fi support, and does not require any additional download.

How to create Rescue Media

Rescue Media can be created from within the main Macrium Reflect UI. Simply go to the ‘Other Tasks’ menu, and select ‘Create Rescue Media’.

For a step by step walkthrough on how to create rescue media from scratch, visit the Macrium Knowledge Base.

Testing your Rescue Media

Once your Rescue Media has been created, it’s important that you test it. This will give

you the confidence that the Rescue Media will boot correctly if it’s ever needed.

To test your Rescue Media, simply use it to boot. Whether it is running on a CD/DVD, USB or ISO, booting the Rescue Media will ensure that it is working correctly.

Applying updates and patches to Rescue Media

Occasionally, updates and patches will need to be applied to the Rescue Media. To do this, you’ll need to rebuild your Rescue Media whenever there are changes to Macrium Reflect. We’ll notify you about any major changes inside the Macrium Reflect UI, but you can also find patch notes in the ‘Help’ menu.

Checking that your hardware is supported

Once you have booted your Rescue Media, you can check that your hardware is supported in the Rescue Environment.

A driver is a piece of software that allows your operating system to communicate with your computer hardware. If the correct drivers aren’t available (ie. they haven’t been successfully added) in the Rescue Media, you won’t be able to use the hardware (eg. your USB stick).

You can ensure that all drivers have been loaded successfully by selecting the ‘Restore’ tab and ‘View Unsupported Devices.’ This will tell you if any devices don’t have the correct driver support in the Rescue Media.

It’s also important at this point to navigate to the location of your backups to ensure that the backup files are reachable. Familiarising yourself with this process will make restoring an image much easier.

Rescue Media makes recovering with Macrium easier

It goes without saying that an IT disaster is a stressful and difficult event. While it’s easy to pretend it simply isn’t going to happen, preparation is key — without it, a challenging situation will become much worse.

Preparation requires a number of different elements, but creating Rescue Media should be top of your list. As you can see, it isn’t a complex process, and it will ensure you’re getting the most from your Macrium Reflect purchase.

Get started with Macrium. Explore Macrium Reflect products to backup workstations and servers here.

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