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I've got a Fedora Core 4 system where the SATA drive (SDA) has developed some low level errors. I have an identical drive ready to replace it. So far I have not been able to get an old IDE tape drive to work so I can't seem to get a good backup alternative.
I thought I could use G4U to clone the old drive to the new but because there are too many errors it stops quickly. By using G4U to copy individual partitions I know that the errors are not in the boot or swap partitions.
Is there any way to copy the other partition to the new drive with the errors? I know that this will probably leave files with corruption. Corrupted files are easier to deal with then no files at all. I will be updating to Fedora Core 6 after a while but I don't want to have to start all over with configuration, settings and preferences if there is a way to salvage them from the current disk.
Distribution: debian with bits of everything stuck on it
if you can boot from a live CD or different hard disk you should be able to copy the whole system from one disk to the other skipping corrupted files.
For just the relevant configuration files, copying /etc and /home and possibly /root will keep nearly all of your settings.
It may be possible to replace a new installation's /etc with your original directory but it may make the system unbootable, /home should replace no problem and /root shouldn't be needed but it is better to keep it just in case.
I don't like clone solutions. Bad option.
O.k., got that out of the way early, so feel free to ignore the following.
Blindly copying regardless of errors means you may never know where the erors are on the new system.
dd will copy regardless of errors, but not by default - see the man page, or the humungous "using dd" thread. If going that way, I'd suggest allocating new (slightly larger) partitions, and do it partition by partition rather than as a whole disk.
IMHO best option is a simple "cp -a ..." or rsynch, something like that.
Well, I tried the Knoppix Live CD and even when I use the Super User mode Konquer I got errors about can't copy to the the mounted new drive partition.
Then I got to thinking, why use Knoppix when I can boot the original hard disk. Again it gave me errors.
I saw syg00's post and did some Google on dd and found some discussion on dd_rescue and that it is in Knoppix. Back to the CD and it is now chugging away at sda3 to sdb3. Tomorrow night, when I get back to it and it is hopefully done, I will see if it can boot from the new hard disk.
What would help on the cleanup is if there was a utility like was in the older Norton windows tools where you could click on a block in its display and it would tell what file(s) were stored there. I could then use a map of the errors to check the tool and identify the corrupted files. If I had the time to dig into the filesystem internals I could probably use a desk editor to find it but a tool would be soooo quicker.
Did I mention that while I am a computer pro I can barely figure out how to manually mount a partition in Linux yet, but I can configure servers Apache through Samba?