A first look at the backup software Macrium Reflect 8
Macrium Reflect 8 will be released in March 2021; reason enough to take a first look at the latest beta version of the popular backup software and to find out what the update has in store for its users
Macrium Reflect 8 is the next major version of the backup software. It will be released as a free version and a commercial version, and features a number of important changes and additions.
One of the first changes may become visible right after start, e.g. after a new installation or upgrade from a previous version: the application supports dark and light theme modes. If you do a fresh install, you will get the dark theme automatically. Users may switch between the two themes from Other Tasks > Change Theme.
Plenty of things have been improved under the hood. Support for ReFS and ExFAT file systems has been boosted in the new version. While you could backup partitions with these file systems previously, previous versions of Macrium Reflect would do a sector by sector copy of the disk. The release of Macrium Reflect 8 changes the behavior. Instead of copying everything and creating large backups, only used clusters are copied in the backup process; this speeds up the process of creating images and also the space the backups occupy on the storage device.
Macrium Image Guardian, a security feature that protects backups from ransomware attacks, will protect backups stored on ReFS or ExFat systems in the new version on top of that.
Macrium Reflect 8.0 includes a new driver to mount File and Folder backup files. The new driver supports a maximum file size of 3.9 TB, the previous driver supported a file size of up to 4 GB only. Additionally, it is now possible to mount File and Folder backups in Windows Explorer if the size of the backup exceeds 4 Gigabytes. While you could create backups that exceeded 4 Gigabytes in previous versions, Macrium Reflect would split those backups in multiple parts and that prevented the backups from being mounted. Previous backups are supported by the new driver.
The workflow for adding new folders to File and Folder backups has been improved; users may use drag & drop to add folders, or the "add source" option.
Another new feature improves the backup software's clone and restore functionality. Both activities support automatic fill and shrink operations if the target disk has a different size than the source disk. Users may set the free space before and after a copied partition manually if desired.
The Restore tab has been renamed to Existing Backups in Macrium Reflect 8.0. New functionality has been added to the function, including the ability to sort files and view them in the context of the backup set, and to locate and view backup logs.
Macrium Reflect 8.0 introduces support for Oracle VirtualBox and users may switch between Hyper-V and VirtualBox modes. Macrium recommends VirtualBox 6.1.4 or newer as previous versions cannot be run on Windows if the Microsoft Hyper-V service is running.
The new version of the backup program supports the imaging and cloning of USB Flash drives. Drivers can be cloned and backed up like internal hard drives in the new version.
Interested users can check out the full list of changes here.
Macrium Reflect 8.0 is a major upgrade of the backup software that introduces a number of useful features such as better ReFS and ExFAT file system support, improved File and Folder backups, or improved usability when restoring to targets that have a different size than the source.
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