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Macrium Reflect Free 6.0.708

Quickly create accurate, reliable backup images of your hard drive

by Mike Williams

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Based on 6 ratings
License: Free, for personal-use only
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 30 June 2015
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 6168
Developer: Paramount Software UK
RSS News Feed: http://www.macrium.com/blog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss
Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/#!/macriumreflect
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Macrium/125170360897919
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Macrium Reflect - Free 6.0.688
Quickly create a backup image of your hard drive

Backing up your PC occasionally is a very good idea: there's no better way to protect your valuable files from hardware failure, virus attack and other data disasters. But it's important to do it properly.

Running a simple file-based backup, for instance, will be quick, but only because you'll probably leave so much behind: emails, contacts, browser favourites, digital photos, music, fonts, Windows and application settings, Office add-ons, browser extensions - the list goes on.

Use Macrium Reflect - Free Edition, though, and the program will take a complete image of your entire hard drive. This will take longer, and you'll probably need a second hard drive to hold the image, but if disaster does strike in the future then you'll appreciate the difference. You won't have to reinstall Windows, or your applications, or try to recover any lost data: just boot from the program's rescue disc, restore the backup, and your PC will be back working as normal within an hour or two.

The program is easy to use, and keeps backup hassles to a minimum. Support for Microsoft's Volume Shadow copy Service means it can create a hard drive image while you continue to use your PC, for instance. A built-in scheduler lets you run backup jobs even when you're not around. Powerful compression keeps the backup image as small as possible, then it can be saved to network, external or network drives, and even DVD (there's a built-in CD/DVD packet writing engine, so no additional burning software is required).

Macrium Reflect - Free Edition also lets you create a bootable Linux-based rescue CD with network support. If your PC won't start in future then you can boot from this, and use it to restore your last backup. But if you only need a few files, then the program can handle that, too. In just a few clicks you're able to attach an image, browse it for the files you need, then copy them back to your hard drive - it's all very quick and easy.

Version 5, which arrived three months after the paid-for editions were upgraded, featured a completely redesigned user interface that now supports drag-and-drop and new wizards. It also boasted full disk cloning capabilities, scheduled imaging, resizing and reordering of partitions when restored and the ability to rotate backup destinations so multiple backups can be kept.

Version 5 also allowed free users to create a Win PE-based rescue disc for the first time, although only the custom option – which involves a 1.7GB download – is available. WinPE support ensures USB 3.0 drives can be recognised in the recovery environment.

What you won't get here is direct file or folder backup, support for Windows Server, differential or incremental backups. They're reserved for the commercial version. Still, if you've a spare hard drive and just want quick, easy image backups then Macrium Reflect - Free Edition could be the ideal choice.

What's new in 6?

- Differential Images. Differential Images for faster backups and reduced storage space.
- Auto verification. Automatically verify images after creation to ensure integrity.
- Pre-defined backup plan templates. Macrium Reflect backup templates allow for quick creation of scheduled backups.
- Windows PE rescue environment improvements. If additional drivers are required for disk or network access, they are now automatically identified and if possible copied from the host operating system.

Verdict:

A simple, reliable image backup tool that's packed with useful features and now boasts an even friendlier user interface.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.12.5

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

Version 2.12.5 brings:

• Per chat custom notification settings and mute
• You can now include videos in your chat backups in Settings > Chats and Calls > Chat Backup
• Mark chats as unread or read with a swipe to the right
• Better support for VoiceOver
• Directly share contacts from the Contacts app and locations from Apple Maps to WhatsApp
• Lower the data usage used during WhatsApp calls in Settings > Chats and Calls 
• Earlier messages now load automatically as you scroll chats
• Improved design for cropping photos and videos
• Location messages now use a large map thumbnail

[...]
Value:
Free
Rating: