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Old 08-17-2007, 12:01 AM   #1
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How do I clone my hard drive when file-system is encrypted?

Hi; total noob here... I've installed Etch and partitioned it with LVM and encrypted the drive (/root ; /usr ; /var ; /tmp ; /swap ; /home - encrypted) (/boot - not encrypted).

I love learning Linux and often break things which I don't know how to fix, so I keep good backups and just re-install fresh when I break something. I wanted to clone my clean install, so next time all I have to do is format drive and install from clone on CD.

I've been able to clone using Clonezilla and it works GREAT... but that was before encrypting the hard drive. Is there a way to clone the drive which has been encrypted? If not... I'm open to ALL suggestions.

Thank you much for any help.
Old 08-17-2007, 02:40 AM   #2
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I'm interested to see what other ideas are posted here, but to get things rolling, I'll mention the command line program dd. This utility makes a bit-by-bit copy of the partition, not caring what any of those bits mean. Therefore, it should be adequate to clone an encrypted (or any other) partition.

Time for disclaimer: I have not used Clonezilla, but I just did a quick Internet search to see what it does. The difference between dd and what I think you are used to Clonezilla doing, is that Clonezilla will normally interpret the filesystem and only save the sectors that are used. With dd, all sectors will be saved. So your image will be larger than you are probably used to. My quick search suggested that Clonezilla will use dd if it doesn't understand the file system. So you may already have this option available to you w/o needing to learn a command line interface.

I await to see what other solutions might be suggested.

Last edited by blackhole54; 08-17-2007 at 02:45 AM. Reason: Spelling correction
Old 08-17-2007, 05:23 AM   #3
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I'd use dd too. But. If this is your boot drive it will contain the MBR. Thus you can't change the layout of the partitions, else you'll wreak havoc unless you first save the MBR then do the restore of the clean install and lastly restore the actual MBR.

Same goes for the partition data -- if they are dd'ed too (I dunno where they reside, it's just something to keep in mind).


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