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-   -   Cloning Hard Drives and Partitions! an alternative to Norton ghost (

thebover 08-17-2004 04:15 PM

Cloning Hard Drives and Partitions! an alternative to Norton ghost
Even though i have been using suse 9.1 and slackware for over a year on desktop machines ( i just recently switched completely over to suse 9.2) i still consider myself to be a huge newbie.

I work for a computer store and from time to time we need to backup customers machines to fix them, and then copy that information back in to an "old drive" folder so that they can go through and save what they want. We also would like to have an image server (NAS) that could hold images of customers machines for say 2 weeks after a service so we can have a way to restore what we did if they came back quickly.

The main issue is this, norton ghost is good. real good. but expensive to use (must purchase a copy for EVERY Hard drive ghost so much as LOOKS at ;) )

I know dd works but it is a sector by sector copy, and slow, i have tried partimage but how sucsessful are the restores especially of an ntfs partition?
also if a windows based machine (god forbid) has issues running disk defrag and writeing a huge file filled with zeros to the drive and erasing it is not an option

if any one has had ANY experiance or ideas please let me know!!!!

thanks in advance for your help!

david_ross 08-17-2004 04:27 PM

Welcome to LQ.

NTFS write support is pretty experimental in linux since it is a closed source filesystem and difficult to replicate.

You can however create an image without even looking at the filesystem using dd, although this is slower as you say. I think for reliability this would be my suggestion despite the speed, as a way to speed the process up you may want to consider creating smaller "c" drives and having 2 other paritions, one for data and one for user programs. This way you only need to backup the smaller "C" drive and not all of the empty space.

thebover 08-17-2004 04:51 PM

Thanks David,

I guess until the linux community gets "wind" of how ntfs works, we are stuck using ghost.

david_ross 08-18-2004 03:40 PM

Another, not so elegant solution would be to use a fat32 filesystem, create your image, then if you want ntfs you can use the conversion tool that comes with windows XP.

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