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2 Jul 2021

Will Macrium Reflect work on Windows 11?

Wait, Windows 10 isn’t the last Windows?

In 2015, Microsoft stated that Windows 10 would be the “last version of Windows”. For 7 years, they have been true to their word, publishing changes and new features by way of bi-annual updates. That’s why it came as somewhat of a surprise to many when Microsoft announced on June 24th that a new version of Windows has been in the works. There has been much speculation about why they’ve gone ahead with Windows 11. Here at Macrium, we suspect that it is, in part, to introduce a new set of hardware requirements to support their Secured-core PC initiative.

The new hardware requirements will be in flux for a while, but this is a good guide to how they stand at the moment.

But will Reflect work on Windows 11?

A new operating system is always met with a mix of excitement and concern for the Reflect development team. To do backups, Reflect reaches deep into Windows and utilizes a set of drivers to enable certain features. Any changes to the core of Windows can have an unexpected impact on how we do things, requiring either small fixes or complete re-implementations of core code components.

The first Windows 11 preview was made available this week, and at this point, we can report that Reflect’s core features seem to work well from our testing so far.

This is good news. However, this is the first preview, and based on experience of previous releases, there will be many changes before the first public release. In particular, we expect the driver HLK certification process to be significantly enhanced after they accidentally approved and cross-signed a rootkit driver.

Support for Reflect on Windows 11

We will ensure that Reflect 8 continues to work on new Win 11 previews as they are made available. Given that Win 11 is slated for release in late 2021, on release, we will backport all required changes to Reflect 7 to ensure that it too is compatible — as part of our product support policy.

During the preview period, we welcome support tickets and we will do our best to help you. However, because the platform is not yet stable and likely not bug free, we can’t guarantee that we will have a resolution for you in every case.

Upgrade planning

Two things to have in mind, if you choose to upgrade a current install to Win11.

First, make a backup. This will not only protect you from any issues during the upgrade process, it also means that if you find that any of your applications will not run, you can access them by booting your backup in viBoot.

Secondly, you might find that your current system is MBR/BIOS booting, even though it is capable of UEFI. In that case, you will first need to convert it to UEFI, Win 11 only supports UEFI due to its enhanced pre-boot security features. If you are currently running a 32bit install of Windows, you are unfortunately out of luck. Win 11 is 64bit only.

A final note

During the Windows 11 preview period, our team will only be tracking and fixing compatibility issues for Reflect 8. If you are currently on Reflect 7 or earlier, we recommend upgrading or trialling R8 for the safest and most stable environment.

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