-   Linux - Newbie (
-   -   clone HD or backup partition image to CD? (

jovie 06-22-2006 09:11 AM

clone HD or backup partition image to CD?
My objective is to get the system back in working order ASAP after a hard disk/systems failure.

The options seem to be
1. use the dd command to copy partitions to a backup HD
2. use Partimage to make an image.


If I use dd to copy all the partitions to a backup drive is it simply a case of removing the failed drive and booting off the backup after a failure? Don't I need a partition table so the bios can find /boot?

If I use Partimage
a) As above, I can copy partitions uncompressed to a backup drive but will that make the backup 'plug in and boot'?
b) If I burn compressed image files to CD how do I get them onto a new hard drive? I'm presuming it won't be as simple as installing fedora where you boot from cd and follow the instructions.

Does copying partitions == cloning?

I'm erring on the side of Partimage because I can use it across the network,put the backup drive in another machine and run a cronjob to keep it uptodate. The box I want to backup has the slave data cable connection and a spare power cable but there isn't room for another drive (there's a data storage RAID taking up most of it) but I could plug in the spare drive just while I copy partitions.

I'm running Fedora core 4 on a 200GB hard drive with
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/da2 20G 16G 3.0G 80% /
/dev/da1 99M 13M 82M 14% /boot
/dev/sham 1013M 0 1013M 0% /dev/sham
/dev/da3 163G 75G 80G 49% /home

/home is backed up by other means, I'm just looking for backup of ~22G configured OS.

Thanks for any help


Sorry if I'm on the wrong forum but I didn't know where to put this.

angel115 06-23-2006 02:12 AM


The dd comand will just do a simple copy bit to bit, so, yes, if you do some thing like

dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb

this will work for what you want to do.

The second solution with partimage is more for real backup and not for emergency recovery (because to restore the partition you've backup with partimage, you have to use partimage again to restore it) and i woudn't use it in your case.

NOTE: the best solution in you case would even to setup a RAID 1 (miroring) so you would have 0 down time even if you experience a Hard disk faillure.



pixellany 06-23-2006 06:54 AM

I think "cloning" refers to any process that moves the actual bit patterns--rather than depending on a file system. If you copy a file, you don't get any information on the file **system**, partitions, boot code, etc.
Norton ghost is a popular cloning program for Windows. The Linux equivalent is dd.

dd if=/dev/hda........clones an entire drive, including the first 63 sectors (sector 0 being the mbr)
dd if=/dev/hda1.......clones only the first partition on hda

you can "clone" to an image, or to another raw device. An image is a file which lives within your filesystem, whereas cloning to a raw device will not depend on any filesystem.

For a fantastic tutorial on dd, search here for a thread called "learn the dd command" by Awesome Machine.

ramram29 06-23-2006 03:25 PM

Partimage is actually a very good solution but you are still left with the task of creating partitions for the restore. That should not be so hard with the sfdisk and mkfs commands. After you restore the partition you can then reinialize the MBR with grub and you are done.

That is a better alternative because dd is very very slow. Another great thing about partimage is that you can dump your restore to a smaller partition, as long as the size of the data can still fit. partimage is called "The Poor Man's Ghost" and it tries to be as friendly as possible with a menu but it is still not made to be used by Windroids. You have to understand the logic behind it.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:08 PM.