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30 Jun 2020

How to Prepare for an IT Disaster with Macrium Rescue Media

Data loss events are expensive for businesses. With data at the heart of every organization, the cost of losing it, whether through a hardware fault, malware attack, human error or a natural disaster, can be incalculable.

But there is plenty you can do to mitigate the risks of disaster and data loss. One of the most important is regularly backing up your data. This should ensure that, when an incident does occur, your systems and data are recoverable.

Our products are important tools in your line of defence. However, there’s an important step you need to take to ensure that we can help you 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. This could be a CD or a USB stick that you can use 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. This is because it can be accessed via Wi-Fi and doesn’t require additional downloads.

WinPE is a lightweight version of Windows that can be used for a range of tasks, such as troubleshooting and deployment. It allows you to access your Windows through a command-line interface.

WinRE performs a similar function, but contains more powerful recovery tools. This is why we advise using WinRE. It also has Wi-Fi support and doesn't require any additional downloads.

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

Testing your Rescue Media

Once you've created your rescue media, it’s important to test it. This will offer you peace of mind that it will boot correctly when you need it.

To test your rescue media, simply use it to boot, whether it is running on a CD/DVD, USB or ISO.

Applying Updates and Patches to Rescue Media

Occasionally, you'll need to apply updates and patches to your 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 Your Hardware is Supported

Once you've 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 (i.e. they haven’t been successfully added) in the rescue media, you won’t be able to use the hardware (e.g. your USB stick).

You can ensure that all drivers have been loaded successfully by selecting the restore tab and option to view unsupported devices. This will tell you if any devices don’t have the correct driver support in the rescue media.

At this point, it’s important to navigate to the location of your backups to ensure the files are reachable. Familiarising yourself with this process will make restoring an image much easier.

Rescue Media Equals Easier Recovery

It goes without saying that a data disaster is stressful and difficult. While it’s easy to tell yourself that it won't happen to you, the likelihood is that it will. Therefore, preparation is key.  Without it, a challenging situation will become much worse.

There are a number of things you need to do to preparation for these incidents. But creating rescue media should be top of your list. As this post hopefully proves, it isn’t a complex process and it will ensure you’re getting the most from your Macrium Reflect purchase.

Get your Free Disaster Recovery Checklist

We've put together a checklist of things you need to successfully recover your data following an incident or disaster.

Download your free checklist here to mitigate the risks of data loss.

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