Restore Disks and Partitions


If you detect a virus, or have other software or data problems, you may want to restore a system to an earlier state. You can use Macrium Reflect to restore any or all of the partitions and disks, including the system partition. During the Macrium Reflect restore, if the restore includes system partitions, the computer boots into a memory-resident Windows PE environment before restoring the system partitions and restarting to the restored system state.

Where Windows 7 has a system reserved, NTFS Active partition, this partition does not usually change after the initial installation of an operating system. You do not need to restore this partition to return to an earlier Windows 7 system state. Similarly, for GPT disks, the unformatted primary partition does not usually change after the initial disk formatting. You do not need to restore this partition to restore to an earlier state.

If your system has failed or you are replacing the hard disk after failure, follow the instructions in Rescuing systems instead.

To restore disks or partitions

  1. In the Macrium Reflect main window, select the Restore tab at the top left.

  2. Select the Image Restore tab.

    The restore tab displays a list of the discovered images from 'Folders To Search'. You can sort the images by date, location, or filename by clicking the relevant link. You can filter the list by backup disk, and add additional folders to the search. To browse for an image file that is not listed, click Browse for an image file at the top.

  3. Click an image to select it.

    Action links appear inside the image area.

  4. Click Restore Image.

  5. Where the Macrium Reflect image contains images of more than one disk, select the required disk.

    The restore dialog is displayed:


  6. Click the 'Select a disk to restore to...' link and then select the disk you would like to restore to.


  7. Restore the image in one of two ways:

  8. Populate the target disk area as follows:

  9. To...

    Take this action


    Restore with identical layout as source disk

    On the source disk, select the partitions you want to copy and click Copy selected partitions.

    Note: This is not wise for XP/2k3 partitions restoring to SSD / AF disks

    This attempts to copy the partitions to the target in exactly the same position as the original on a sector by sector basis.

    Note: This option is not available for Dynamic disks.

    Reorder partitions or automatically shrink partitions to fit the available space

    Drag the source partitions to the target disk

    Dragging resizes and moves partitions to fit the available space.

    Copy a dynamic disk volume

    Drag the source volume to the target disk

    The physical structure of the source dynamic volume is not stored in the image and so dynamic volumes restructure to the physical layout of the target disk.

    If the target disk is a dynamic disk then "Restored partition properties" are not available. Restoring to a dynamic disk only allows copying to the existing dynamic volume.


  10. As you manipulate partitions, the target disk area shows a representation of the final state of the target. No changes are made until you click Restore. Optionally, change the partition properties: click Restored partition properties.

    On the Partition Properties dialog you can change the drive letter, partition type, and partition size. Click the Maximum, Minimum and Original size buttons to automatically adjust the partition size, or, manually set the partition size and free space.

  11. Note: The assigned drive letter is for the current Windows session. If you are restoring a Windows system disk then the letter chosen here is not used when booting into the restored disk.


  12. Click Restore.