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Old 04-25-2006, 08:58 PM   #1
Registered: Apr 2006
Distribution: FC6
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Can I use Linux to mirror windows onto an external hard drive?

I am just getting into linux. I have done one install on our beater laptop using RH9 and the RH9 bible. I just got a new hard drive for my main laptop but I don't have a copy of XP to format it. I partitioned half the drive for Linux and half for XP then installed linux. I would love to ditch windows alltogether but I don't think I am quite ready for that leap.
I got an external hard drive enclosure so I want to put my old drive in there and have Linux and Win XP on my new drive using the old one for backup/junk bin. I found programs that allow you to make a boot disk to swap but the only one I found for free still cost money to allow me to do it over external USB So I was wondering if I could just boot up in Linux on the new HD and use it to transfer XP onto the NTFS partition and how I would go about doing it. Or maybe someone knows of freeware that would allow me to mirror drives with an external USB HD.
I also haven't figured out how to boot up off the external yet. Any Ideas? I already went into the settings at startup and found what looked like the external HD and set it allowing it to boot but it still doesn't see it on startup. I don't even know if this cheap external will allow me to boot off it but I don't see why not.
Old 04-25-2006, 10:14 PM   #2
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You might give Partimage a shot. I have no idea how well it works for ntfs though. Good luck
Old 04-25-2006, 10:22 PM   #3
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Your best bet may be to use the "kdar" program to make a total backup of the XP partition. This will allow you to control the size of each slice that you save to the USB drive. A USB drive has a 2GB file size limit so simply saving the image won't do.

Another possibility is to use the "dd" command to read the partition and pipe the output to the "split" command. I think that you want to cd to the USB drive first so the files are written to the correct directory.

You might consider using par2 to create parity files, just in case some of the files get corrupted.
Old 04-26-2006, 12:43 PM   #4
Registered: Apr 2006
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Any ideas why I can't boot off the external?
When I restart and press f12 to select boot options it doesn't see drive E.
When I start up in Linux it gives me the boot options window but Drive E isn't in there either.
Old 04-28-2006, 06:58 PM   #5
Registered: Apr 2006
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So I decided to just get a copy of windows.
I am still trying to figure out why I can't boot off my external. Untill the windows install gets here I would need to swap HDs to boot linux. I want to start getting linux setup asap but it's too inconvienient if I can't boot off E.
I have searched all over. I can't find any good info on this anywhere.
I did read somewhere that my computer may not be able to boot off USB but it also said that newer computers are designed to. I don't know exacly what newer means considering how fast technology moves but I would consider mine to be pretty new.
I also think I saw somewhere that some external cases don't support booting. If it's either of those I guess I am screwed but I would appreciate any ideas to see if I can get this thing working. I mean half the point of me having an external hard drive is so I could boot off it if I needed to.


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