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Old 08-23-2009, 11:02 AM   #1
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Dead Laptop RAM: How to backup files with Rsync?

Hey guys

Sister dumps me her laptop and expects that I fix and or recover her data. After diagnosing the problem, the laptops RAM is pretty dead; its not exactly the most stable computer (And by that I mean ~1h uptime..)

So, I've thought about how to recover the data.. I could order a USB 2.5" IDE to USB adapters off ebay; but I'd much prefer the free route...

I've got a knoppix cd and understand I can use SCP to transfer the files to my linux computer and then burn the data to DVD's, however as I've stated the computer isnt stable enough to transfer ~60gb of data quick enough.

I've looked at backup solutions that may well work and i've found that rsync seems to do what I want; however I cannot for the life of me figure out how to set it up.

Basically I need a script that checks files for consistency, and does not overwrite files that exist (so I can run it 4-5 times without starting from the start every single time)

Can anyone help with that?

Old 08-23-2009, 11:32 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by fragged View Post
I've got a knoppix cd and understand I can use SCP to transfer the files to my linux computer and then burn the data to DVD's, however as I've stated the computer isnt stable enough to transfer ~60gb of data quick enough.
Quite frankly, RAM is relatively cheap. However, if that's not possible...

What kind of computer do you have? If it's a desktop, you could pull the HDD, set the jumper to 'Slave', connect it directly to a plug on your IDE cable, boot up, and go from there with copying/burning data.
Old 08-23-2009, 11:41 AM   #3
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If it is a 2.5 drive you would need a 2.5 to 3.5 adapter to use it in a desktop.

You might try putting the drive in another laptop or temporarily borrowing some ram to do the swap.
Old 08-23-2009, 12:03 PM   #4
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If you suspect the file system(s) on your sister's HDD may be damaged it would be prudent to image it before attempting repair in case the repair does any further damage.
Old 08-23-2009, 12:06 PM   #5
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Hi fragged,

at first I'll recommend to use a slax instead of a knoppix CD, slax itself is only about 180MB. Get some Ram for the Laptop and mount with slax in text mode, this uses few of the Ram.

Then try it out with scp as you stated, maybe the machine runs more stable with slax than with another system ;-).

Good luck.

Old 08-23-2009, 01:43 PM   #6
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The suggestions above are probably a better solution than copying the files from the unstable laptop, but if you want to try using rsync, you can try:

rsync -r --ignore-existing $mydatadirectory $mymountpoint

use ~$man rsync for more options. You could mount the remote directory using something like samba, nfs, sshfs, etc.


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