I just read the description of g4u - sounds like exactly what I need - will get it. It does an image copy and I wantd to do a logical copy, but for reasons explained below it appears that doing a backup/restructure is greatly complicated by lvm.
Do you need to access that data later or is this just a save the system sort of backup?
I was trying to reproduce the disk. I wanted to do a tar copy of each partition. That way I would reogranize files and copy at the same time.
Apparently this is not allowed because when I try to mount my big partition (type 8e) it does not let me do so. It says it is mounted already. I suspect the partition is marked as under the control of the lvm. On study I see that it consists of 2 parts - one of which (lv_root)has a file system and is used to store my disk (minus boot materiL) and the other (lv_swap)which does not have a file system - 9used as swap area,
I got a copy of knoppix - it has what i wanted -
will also get g4u and the other systems recommended and play with them all. Thanks to all of you - you have been very herlpful
FOLLOW ON QUESTION
Can any of you recommend a disk with hardware disgnostics? eg exercise disk cntrollers and so forth?