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Old 03-06-2014, 11:07 AM   #1
matt.n
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How to back up a dual booted Windows/Linux laptop?


Hi. After a few weeks of fooling around with my laptop I was able to finally get Linux installed along side Windows 7 and 8.1

I had to fool around in the bios and get the UEFI secure boot disabled and then enable legacy booting, which took a little while but wasn't a problem once I understood what I needed to Google, haha

Then convert the hard drive from GPT to MBR, so the Linux installer could see the Windows partitions and leave them alone.

Anyways, I thought before I got to emotionally invested in things I thought I should fool around with Windows and it's image creating software. So I got Windows 7 and 8.1 running smoothly, fully updated and then finally tweaked and cleaned up with all the software and apps I wanted to use on them and then finally made an image back up of everything in Windows 7.

I had the two running smoothly, but when I made my image back I made a point to make sure that 1/3 of my hard drive was ''unallocated'', which was reserved for my first distribution ever, Linux Mint. That way when and if I needed to restore Windows for any reason, like malware or viruses, it was just a few clicks away and it would leave my Linux partitions alone.

I booted into my recovery disc for Windows, plugged in the external hard drive that had the Windows back up image and then restored the image.

It looks like it wiped out my ''Grub boot loader''? Because now it just immediately boots into Windows asking me to choose between 7 and 8.1

I figured that would happen, because I had seen tons of threads out there coaching people how to fix the ''Grub boot loader''?

I logged into Windows and I used my favorite 3rd party partition software and it actually sees the Linux partition, it seems to be undisturbed actually (other than I can't boot into it now)

I guess my question is this, is there any software out there that is similar to what I've been using in Windows 7 that can create an image back up my hard drive without disturbing the ''Grub boot loader''? Something designed to be easy and simple to use for someone not so savvy with computers?

I don't have any real fears of Linux being messed up, I'll just wipe the partition and start over again if I have to. It's the Windows partitions that I only care to back up, because they're such a bloody hassle to get updated and then finally clean after hours of updates.

Or worse case scenario I'll just keep using Windows to create back up images of 7 and 8.1 occasionally and just, I guess, repair the ''Grub boot loader'' after an image restore? I guess that probably isnt' so hard once I find a good tutorial. Probably way faster than doing a solid days worth of Windows updates, haha
 
Old 03-06-2014, 02:05 PM   #2
notKlaatu
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It sounds like what you want to do is get a backup of everything, from the partition mapping, to the OS structure, to the data, that is currently on your hard drive. What I would do in this case is get Linux back up and running (ie, fix GRUB, which you should be able to do with either a re-install of Linux or with a bootCD and getting in there and reinstalling or refreshing GRUB) - and then, before doing anything else - grab a copy of CloneZilla.

CloneZilla is a drive imaging tool, so it will create a high level image of your drive; it will basically be agnostic to what you have on the drive, and it just copies the drive itself, from first bit to the very last bit, to another drive. If you ever needed to restore, then you can do the reverse: copy the image back to the hard drive.

This is an imaging software, not a "backup" software, so you would still want to do incremental backups of important data. That way if you do have to re-image, you can re-image, and then "apply" your incremental backups back over your image to bring it back up to date.

But in terms of preserving your drive's structure to avoid any accidental erasures of partitions or bootloaders, I think CloneZilla is what you are looking for. I used it to image drives all the time back at my old sys admin job.

Last edited by notKlaatu; 03-10-2014 at 11:46 PM. Reason: typo in 'clonezilla'
 
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Old 03-07-2014, 02:21 AM   #3
matt.n
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Thank you. When you type agnostic does that mean that if I restored it would be exactly as when I originally created the image? That's more or less exactly what I would like.

Thanks for the help, hope Friday flys by and you have a great weekend notKlaatu
 
Old 03-10-2014, 11:47 PM   #4
notKlaatu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt.n View Post
Thank you. When you type agnostic does that mean that if I restored it would be exactly as when I originally created the image? That's more or less exactly what I would like.

Thanks for the help, hope Friday flys by and you have a great weekend notKlaatu
Yes, when you restore it, everything will be the same, from the boot loaders to the operating systems. Clonezilla doesn't care what it's copying, it just copies bits from one drive to another.
 
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