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  1. #1
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Image Backups for the Non-Technical User's Tech Support Person

    Hey Y'all,

    It has long bugged me that making an Image backup is often beyond the technical ability of a large population of Windows users. Especially now with the problems people are encountering with the Win 10 1803 update. Like many of you, I am the default tech support for the extended family and close friends. However, living hundreds and thousands of miles away doesn't make this easy.

    Hence a little PowerShell (since it is builtin to Windows) programming and I've automated the Image backup process for those non-technical users to getting a popup reminder when a backup is necessary (it won't stop nagging until they do a new one), plugging in a USB External Drive, and clicking on a shortcut. The rest is automatic including shutting down the machine so they can do it when going to bed or leaving the house.

    Of course, it does take a little setup, to be done by you the Tech Support person but I've even automated most of that process with a -setup switch on the program.

    Here's a Zip file that contains the following:
    The PowerShell program - Start-ReflectBackup.ps1
    A Word document containing instructions and explanations (for you Tech types).
    A PDF document for those who don't have MS Word.

    You'll have to search for:
    A copy of Macrium Reflect Free V6.3.1835 (when you install this check for updates JIC). Sorry but I can't upload the Zip file with it included it's too big.
    Note: this uses V6 since V7 has changed things and will not exit upon completion so the PowerShell can complete.

    Start-ReflectBackup.zip: File removed due to missing item in zip file. See post #7 below.

    I'd love to do this with another free imaging program so if anyone knows of one that can be called from command line and stores the backup parameters in a file that can be used as an argument pleas comment.

    HTH
    Last edited by RetiredGeek; 2018-05-13 at 21:11.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to RetiredGeek For This Useful Post:

    jelson (2018-05-13),Lugh (2018-05-07)

  3. #2
    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    The idea sounds great, RG... but you appear to have forgotten to attach the ZIP file.

    I haven't used it for a while but I know other WSL members use AOMEI Backupper... which can apparently be controlled via commandline for full backups (not file backups, yet).

    Hope this helps...

  4. #3
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Rick,

    Sorry about that I had problems uploading the .zip from FireFox. I had to save the post and switch to Chrome to get it to upload thus the delay.

    I should have mentioned that I had tried AOMEI and unfortunately that feature isn't included in the Free Version:
    AOMEI Backupper.JPG

    I also tried EaseUS ToDo backup with the same results.

    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  5. #4
    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek
    Sorry about that I had problems uploading the .zip from FireFox. I had to save the post and switch to Chrome to get it to upload thus the delay.
    Strange... I use Firefox Quantum (59.0.2) and, after all the recent fun and games, I tested uploading a ZIP file as a check (in case it had been broken again) before I posted.

    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek
    I should have mentioned that I had tried AOMEI and unfortunately that feature isn't included in the Free Version
    Aah... AOMEI don't make that very clear.

  6. #5
    2 Star Lounger -Moonshine-'s Avatar
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    RG

    . . . .I've automated the Image backup process for those non-technical users to getting a popup reminder when a backup is necessary (it won't stop nagging until they do a new on) . . .
    I’m curious – how does the Start-ReflectBackup.ps1 know when a backup is necessary?

    On a personal level, I do a System Image every 3 weeks but only after I have satisfied myself that I’m using the most *up-to-date version of the Imaging software (Macrium in my case), any available MS Updates are downloaded/installed, all unrequired Temp files that I can access have been removed, Antivirus/Malware scans have been ran (and removed anything untoward) and making sure the Recycle Bin is empty before I begin.

    As a suggestion, it might be wise to include in your notes that it is advisable to do the above first before the Image is taken otherwise they could copy extra ‘bloat’ and perhaps something that might be harmful to them somewhere down the line if/when the Image is Restored.

    * – I appreciate your script won’t work with up-to-date Reflect versions so that part unfortunately doesn’t apply to those who use the script.

  7. #6
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Moonshine- View Post
    RG
    I’m curious – how does the Start-ReflectBackup.ps1 know when a backup is necessary?
    It checks the newest date on the backup .html files in: C:\ProgramData\Macrium\Reflect

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  8. #7
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Hey Y'all,

    My apologies. I forgot to include a file in the .zip. Moonshine's post made me realize this.

    Here's the updated .zip file with all the necessary items. Start-ReflectBackup.zip

    Please read the enclosed documentation!

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  9. #8
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    RG, are you saying the ability to create images is not in the free version? I have the free version and that is how I image the laptop - you can use either "System Backup" or "Disk Backup".

    cheers, Paul

  10. #9
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Paul,

    Version 7 will create the image but it will not Exit Reflect and return control to the PowerShell program. This works as it should in Version 6.

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  11. #10
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    Ah, I see you are talking about command line. Missed that.

    cheers, Paul

  12. #11
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Hey Y'all,

    Ok, here's an updated zip file with updated documentation on how to get Macrium Reflect V6 and verify it's hash thanks to jelson on askWoody.com.

    Start-ReflectBackup.zip: Start-ReflectBackup.zip

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  13. #12
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Found another bug that crept in that will keep the reminder from working. Code placed single quotes around the program name when it should have used double quotes, yes they are different to PowerShell!

    You can Edit your scheduled task for the Reminder to correct this or you can delete both scheduled tasks and regenerate them after installing the revised code in the zip file below. Sorry about that!

    Start-ReflectBackup V03-11.zip Start-ReflectBackup.zip

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

    My Systems: Desktop Specs
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