LinuxQuestions.org
Register a domain and help support LQ
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Software
User Name
Password
Linux - Software This forum is for Software issues.
Having a problem installing a new program? Want to know which application is best for the job? Post your question in this forum.

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 03-06-2004, 05:19 PM   #1
1kyle
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: 'Ol Blighty
Distribution: SLED 10, SUSE 10.3
Posts: 722

Rep: Reputation: 32
Quick System Recovery


With all the installs / testing different distros I've been doing I looked for a quick, cheap and easy Linux Backup / restore system. There's plenty out there for the EXPENSIVE corporate suits running large servers but for home use there's nothing so I've finally come up with this EASY method. Should work for ANY Distro.

You do need 2 pieces of commercial software -- but they are cheap and you need access to a 'Doze Machine one time to create bootable media and your distro bootable install CD / DVD.

1) Create a small say 16 MB or a minimum size 7MB FAT16 partition and install a Boot manager.

2 choices here -- Bootmanager (powerquest or Acronis).

http://www.powerquest.com or http://www.acronis.com

2) install Acronis True Image or power quest's Drive Image -- If you opt for Drive Image then ensure you are using the OLD (DRIVEIMAGE 2003) and not the new one. You'll need 'Doze once to install these -- then create BOOTABLE media from the application. After you are done you won't need the 'Doze machine again as you can run these apps from the boot media directly even if your hard disk is totally wiped.

3) on your Linux machine ENSURE THAT GRUB / LILO is installed on the ROOT or BOOT PARTITION.

DON'T INSTALL IT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ON THE MBR (MASTER BOOT RECORD) OR YOU WILL GET TOTALLY HOSED.

(If the MBR is written then after you restore your linux system the MBR boot won't find the actual physical address of the Linux Boot program and you'll be stuck as you won't even be able to boot into 'Doze even if you had a dual boot machine -- and it gets worse as you can't fix it by booting a Dos system and doing FDISK /MBR since a) this won't work under Windows XP, and b) if you are using NTFS for your Windows system parition the DOS system won't be able to access the 'C' drive anyway).

All these problems go away if you DON'T OVEWRITE THE MBR.

THE BOOTMANAGER (ACRONIS / POWERQUEST) WILL LOAD YOUR LINUX BOOT RECORD FROM THE BOOT / ROOT PARTITION -- AFTER YOU'VE FOLLOWED THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW AND YOU CAN THEN BOOT LINUX NORMALLY.

4) Run the stand alone software (Drive Image / True Image -- or I suppose GHOST might also work) to image your linux partitions. You can also do this under 'Doze if you are dual booting your machine. If you have plenty of disk space write to a disk otherwise write to DVD / CD / CD-RW. My 15 GB Linux system (2.7GB used) compressed down to 950 MB which easily fitted on to 1 DVD and took around 20 mins on a Sony VAIO Laptop .

5) You can then alter / resize partitions etc.

6) Now boot the restore program and restore.

7) You won't be able to boot into your linux system just yet -- if you try you'll just get a GRUB or LILO line so after RESTORE boot your Linux install disk.

8) Using the install disk re-create GRUB / LILO -- ensuring the boot record is wriiten to either ROOT partition or /BOOT if you have a /BOOT partition. Don't format anything -- and you might be prompted to change some FSTAB entries if you've added / deleted partitions (including Windows partitions as the partition table / numbering might have changed).

9) Now re-boot. Your Boot manager will indicate the Linux system on the menu. Choose it and you will be booted into your restored system.

Really easy and quick --especially if you already have Disk Imaging software.

The trick in making this easy is DON'T CREATE LILO / GRUB SO IT WRITES THE MBR.

Hope this saves you a lot of time when messing around with different distros, config files, hardware etc.

Have Fun.

Cheers
-K

Last edited by 1kyle; 03-06-2004 at 05:34 PM.
 
Old 03-06-2004, 05:30 PM   #2
david_ross
Moderator
 
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Scotland
Distribution: Slackware, RedHat, Debian
Posts: 12,047

Rep: Reputation: 66
Did you try partimage?
http://partimage.org/

You can do a network restore too:
http://www.partimage.org/doc/index-3.html#ss3.5
 
Old 03-06-2004, 05:43 PM   #3
1kyle
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: 'Ol Blighty
Distribution: SLED 10, SUSE 10.3
Posts: 722

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 32
I looked at that -- but 1) Doesn't do NTFS so you can't image your 'Doze stuff -- might not be important but a lot of people still dual boot with 'DOZE so when backing up you can do the whole lot in one go with one program. Selective restore of an individual partition works from a full disk image as well abd for 'DOZE individual files can be retrieved from an imge.

The programs I've used above work for almost ANY file system / OS.

2) It's best when imaging the disks to do it from a stand alone program so nothing is running on the linux system -- on a normal linux box there's always some processes running even when you are not typing anything.

3) After a restore you'll probably still have to re-create GRUB / LILO -- no big deal of course. I still think that what I said about the MBR is valid.

This program looks however if it could be useful and will definitely improve in the next release or so.

Thanks for the Link
-K
 
Old 03-06-2004, 05:48 PM   #4
quatsch
LQ Addict
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: New York, NY
Distribution: gentoo, gentooPPC
Posts: 1,661

Rep: Reputation: 48
partimage can do ntfs pretty well. I've done with no problems. They say heavy fragmentation can cause problems and it can't deal with compressed NTFS folders (not a biggy; justdefrag and disable compression). there's also a CD version - kind of a live CD thing that just does the partimage thing. I just have a minimal linux installed on a separate partition for system maintainance puposes installed on a separate partition and I have partimage installed as well (I used to hose my system all the time) Partimage also comes with Knoppix in case things are really hosed. It's not as convenient as some commercial programs but it's free

Last edited by quatsch; 03-06-2004 at 05:50 PM.
 
Old 03-06-2004, 05:50 PM   #5
david_ross
Moderator
 
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Scotland
Distribution: Slackware, RedHat, Debian
Posts: 12,047

Rep: Reputation: 66
1) It will Do Vfat (fat32) partitions, so you don't need to use NTFS
2) I'm really not sure what you mean by this. You don't need to run partimage from the disk that you are imaging.
3) The MBR will not be restored but another good tip to add is that you can backup your MBR with dd, then just write it back to the disk.

Hope this helps.
 
Old 03-07-2004, 09:31 PM   #6
geesh
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2004
Posts: 50

Rep: Reputation: 15
dd sounds like something I need as I'm always hosing my system also. The only benefit of constantly doing a hose job has to been accelerating the learning curve Could you be a bit more specific about dd please?

Thanks

Greg
 
Old 03-08-2004, 01:28 PM   #7
david_ross
Moderator
 
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Scotland
Distribution: Slackware, RedHat, Debian
Posts: 12,047

Rep: Reputation: 66
You can backup your mbr to a file (could be kept on a floppy) with:
dd if=/dev/hda of=/root/mbr.bak bs=512 count=1

if=In File (The source)
of=Out File (The destination)
bs=Block size in bytes to read at a time
count=Number of blocks to read

To restore the MBR just reverse the "if" and "of" values.
 
Old 03-08-2004, 10:12 PM   #8
geesh
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2004
Posts: 50

Rep: Reputation: 15
doh,
Thanks much! I did a dd --help and now realize that it's a utility right in linux looks like this old dog still can learn new tricks .

Greg
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What do I need for system recovery? downinthemine Linux - Software 3 12-04-2003 11:50 PM
System Recovery CD racertech Linux - Newbie 3 08-06-2003 03:05 PM
Quick...password Recovery patz Slackware 2 07-31-2003 06:46 AM
Quick Recovery eggoz Linux - General 1 06-15-2003 06:51 AM
System Recovery Nezar Linux - General 3 07-04-2001 07:23 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:16 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration