Macrium company logo

10 Jan 2023

Activating Macrium Reflect and Macrium Site Manager Offline

A question we’re often asked is: “Can Macrium Reflect and Macrium Site Manager be installed and used offline?” The short answer is yes. Both Site Manager and Macrium Reflect can be installed and used without an internet connection.

Why Use Macrium Reflect Offline?

There are many reasons why you would want to use Macrium Reflect in an environment that does not have internet access. This may be a highly secure air-gapped network, an off-grid hut in the woods or a location with intermittent connectivity. Wherever you are and whatever the need, we've made provisions to ensure that Macrium Reflect can be used in these situations.

Installing Macrium Reflect and Site Manager with a Temporary Internet Connection

If the computer you're installing Macrium Reflect and Macrium Site Manager on can have an internet connection temporarily, then there are no special steps that you will need to take.

For Macrium Reflect, follow the standard Reflect installation instructions, create your rescue media (or download the necessary PE files to create the rescue media later) and your configuration is finished. The computer can be disconnected from the internet and Macrium Reflect will continue to function as normal.

For Macrium Site Manager, follow the standard Site Manager installation instructions, download the necessary PE files to create rescue media (covered later in this blog post, you can click here to jump to it) and enter your license key(s) into the licenses page of Site Manager. Site Manager can then be taken offline and continue to function as normal.

If the computer in question can't connect to the internet temporarily, there's some additional steps that you'll need to take to activate the licenses offline and download the files for rescue media creation.

Installing Macrium Reflect and Site Manager for Offline Environments

1. Download the Installer

The first step is to download the required installer. To do this, you’ll need a computer that has an internet connection (we’ll call this the online computer from here on) and the Macrium Reflect Download Manager.

The Macrium Reflect Download Manager can be run on the online computer to download the required installer that will be run on the computer that does not have an internet connection (we’ll call this the offline computer from here on). You can select the installer that you want manually. Or you can enter your license key and the relevant installer for the license will be downloaded automatically:

By default, the CPU type (32/64bit) of the installer will be set to the online computer. However, this may not necessarily be the same architecture as the offline computer. To find the architecture of the offline computer, you can check the system information by pressing the key combination Windows Key + R, then typing msinfo32. Select system summary then look for the item called system type. x64-based PC indicates that the computer is a 64-bit system, while x86-based P indicates that the computer is a 32-bit system.

Select the options button in the Macrium Reflect Download Manager to open the set download options window:

In the window that opens, you can select the CPU type of the installer that will be downloaded.

The Macrium Site Manager installers can be downloaded using the online computer by navigating to this link. Ensure that the correct version of the installer is selected for the offline computer.

2. Downloading the Rescue Media Files

The rescue media is a bootable environment used to restore backups if Macrium Reflect is not available. This may be restoring an image to a bare-metal computer, or if Windows is not booting and an image needs to be restored.

If the offline computer has a Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008R2 or later operating system, it will contain the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE), which can be used to create the rescue media without downloading any components from Microsoft.

However, if the offline computer does not contain WinRE, we recommend downloading the relevant Windows PE components for the offline system. You then need to move them to the offline computer, along with the Macrium Reflect installer.

This will enable rescue media to be created on the offline computer as necessary in the future. The PE components that should be downloaded will depend on the operating system that the offline computer has.

Operating SystemVersion of Windows PE
Windows XP/Server 2003Windows PE3.1
Windows 7/Server 2008/R2Windows RE if available/Windows PE 3.1
Windows 8.0/8.1/Server 2012/R2Windows RE if available/Windows PE 5
Windows 10/Server 2016/19Windows RE if available/Windows PE 10
Windows 11/Server 2022Windows RE if available/Windows PE 11

The PE components can be selected using the drop-down menu in the ‘Set Download Options’ windows:

Note: If you need to download a specific version of Windows PE it will require two downloads. First the ‘Reflect Installer Only’, and then the relevant PE components.

Once the PE components have been moved to the offline computer, rescue media can be created by following the steps in this article.

Macrium Site Manager also requires the PE components to create rescue media. However, Macrium Site Manager only uses WinPE 10 64bit/32bit and WinPE 3.1 64bit/32bit, so these are the only WinPE versions you'll need to download.

These PE files should be copied to the \pefiles\ subfolder within the rescue media workingdirectory, on the Site Manager server, without changing the name of the zip files. By default, the rescue media working directory will be C:\ProgramData\Macrium\SiteManager\RescueMedia\. You can tell the current working directory by looking in the rescue media tab of the Site Manager settings:

Note: It may be necessary to create the pefiles subfolder manually.

Once the PE files have been have been placed in the folder, rescue media can be created using Macrium Site Manager as normal.

3. Offline License Activation

During the installation on the offline computer, you'll be prompted to enter your license key. Since the computer doesn't have an internet connection, the installer will fail to connect to our license server, causing the offline activation dialogue to open:

You'll notice the section labelled ‘activation code’ and a section for an offline key. To create your offline key, take a note of the activation code and the license key that you are using on the offline computer. On the online computer, navigate to the key registration website found here:

On this page, enter your license key and the offline activation code from the offline computer:

Once you've clicked submit, you'll receive the offline key:

This offline key can then be entered into the installer on the offline computer to begin the installation.

No licenses are needed during the installation of Macrium Site Manager. However, licenses are required to install the Site Manager agent on the endpoint computers. When licenses are entered into the licenses page of the offline Site Manager server, the offline activation dialogue will open.

The steps to activate the licenses offline are the same as the offline activation of Macrium Reflect.

Once the offline license has been added to the Site Manager successfully, a confirmation message will be displayed:

The license key can then be managed in the licenses page of the Site Manager:

Other Considerations

Macrium Reflect and Macrium Site Manager also use an internet connection to check for and download updates. We recommend periodically checking the Macrium Reflect release notes and the Macrium Site Manager release notes.

If you see an update that is relevant for your system, redownload the installer again by following the steps described above.

Try Macrium Reflect for Free

Keep your data backed up and safe with Macrium Reflect - try it for free for home or work with our 30-day trial.

Download Your Free Trial