As all PC users know, installing software in Windows is a cakewalk. A user who has ever installed a single application in any version of Windows should be able to easily install almost all programs designed to run on Windows. However, you’ll need to pay close attention while installing free software as some of them try to install browser toolbars and malwares.
Every time after installing a new version of Windows, I create a backup image of Windows drive so that I can easily restore Windows to its original state without having to reinstall it. While the System Image feature present in all recent releases of Windows also helps you quickly create and restore backup image, I prefer using the well-known Macrium Reflect Free edition to create and restore drive backups.
Two days back, I installed Windows 8.1 on one of my computers and created a backup image using Macrium Reflect Free edition.
The developers behind Macrium Reflect have changed the way this program is downloaded and installed. Macrium Reflect Free edition is now available as a web installer (installation agent), which means that you need to run downloaded installation agent first in order to download Macrium Reflect Free edition and other components required to create bootable rescue media.
While most Windows users should be able to download and install Macrium Reflect Free edition without any issues, novice users may need some help. If you love Macrium Reflect but not sure how to download and install it, you can follow given below instructions to easily download and install Macrium Reflect Free in your Windows.
Step 1: Head over to this page of CNET Download page, as even clicking the download button on the official Macrium Reflect website opens the above mentioned page of CNET only. However, you can visit the official page to discover new features and improvements in the latest version.
Click the Download Now button to start downloading the installation agent (ReflectDl.exe) that helps you download and install the program.
Step 2: Double-click on ReflectDl.exe file to see the following screen:
Here, you need select the installation package as Free/Trial software, select the edition as Free, select a location to download the install package, and make sure that the option titled Run installer directly after downloading is checked.
Don’t click the Download button yet.
Click Options button present under Download Location and Options section to see the following dialog:
As you can see, here you need to select your version of Windows (the download agent should select the right version by default, though) and then click on the download option drop-down menu to see the following five options:
# Reflect Installer and PE 3 Components
# Reflect Installer and PE 4 Components
# Reflect Installer Only
# PE 3 (WAIK) Rescue Components
# PE 4 (WADK) Rescue Components
Selecting either of the first two options will download Windows PE components that required to create your Macrium Reflect rescue media which helps you backup and restore drive images, even if your PC is unbootable.
The download size of PE 3 or PE 4 components is close to 380 MB. So if you’re on a metered connection, we recommend you select Reflect Installer Only option as you can download those components later while creating the rescue CD as well. Also, if you already have Reflect rescue media, you can avoid downloading 380 MB file by selecting Reflect Installer Only option.
However, if you already have installed Reflect and would like to download PE 3 or PE 4 components, you can select either of the last two options.
We suggest you select Reflect Installer Only option as you will be given options to download PE components when you begin creating the rescue media.
Step 3: Select one of the options, click Ok button, and then click Download button to begin downloading selected files. Click Yes button when you see the confirmation prompt. Depending on your connection speed and selected option, the download job might take a few minutes to hours.
Step 4: After downloading the selected files, it will automatically launch Macrium Reflect setup file, click on the Next button to begin copying required files, click Next button again, accept the license agreement, view your license key (the free edition includes license key and is free for personal and non-commercial purpose only), click Next button again, and select No button when you’re asked to enter name and email address if you don’t like to disclose your details, click Next, deselect Install for all users if you don’t want other users have access to this software, click Next and finally, click Install button to begin installing Macrium Reflect on your PC.
Once Reflect is installed, you can run the software and start using it.