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Old 12-31-2008, 01:15 PM   #1
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disk imaging, clonezilla or partimage

so i'm looking for a disk imaging program so that i can clone my drive before and after i resize the partitions and install probably ubuntu as a dual boot(currently running vista that came on the laptop). so far clonezilla and partimage seem to be what i'm looking for. two features that i see listed for partimage is that it can compress images and span the image across multiple cd/dvd media. clonezilla is based on partimage but i can't find anywhere where it says it does those two things. i plan on storing the image both on an external drive and dvds, hence the disc spanning. i don't know why but i want to go with clonezilla though partimage sounds like more of what i need. another program i have also found is selfimage, and on another forum page on here, mondoRescue. mondoRescue doesn't list ntfs as a supported file format, though it says it can back it up, but makes no mention of restoring it, and ntfs is a requirement.
anyone with experience with any or all 4, what are your recommendations and thoughts?

Old 12-31-2008, 02:38 PM   #2
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Clonezilla is something you would setup on a server to manage images for a network of Machines.. to deploy an image to multiple machines at one time.. Kind of a "enterprise" partimage (sorta like Ghost Enterprise Edition)

For a one shot backup of a single machine, partimage should be fine.

when you are ready to deploy to multiple machines via Multicast uising PXE boot.. clonezilla is the kit you will want.
Old 12-31-2008, 02:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by fenixbtc View Post
anyone with experience with any or all 4, what are your recommendations and thoughts?
I have used partimage for over 2.5 years now. I highly recommend it. It reliably saves and restores NTFS partitions and ext3 partitions. I almost always run it from System Rescue CD, but I have used it while running Ubuntu.

If you are going to use it, do not ever create images using bzip2 compression, as it takes much longer than gzip (somtimes hours compared to minutes).

One of the advantages of partimage over other solutions is that it has an excellent command line interface which allows it to be used in scripts very easily.
Old 01-01-2009, 03:58 AM   #4
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thank you

thank you Farslayer and David.
farslayer, not sure if you know or not but there is a live cd version on clonezilla that it stated as being 'suitable' for single machines, and there is also a system rescue version like the cd that David had mentioned. that is along with their 'SE' or 'server edition' that you described.
David, thanks for the compression recommendation.
looks like i will be using partimage.
Old 08-10-2009, 12:24 PM   #5
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A little late, I know, but I can explain MondoRescue a bit. It has one advantage over the others in that it can make a backup of your system while the system is running. So you don't have to leave your machine in an unusable state for a couple of hours while it copies everything. (It is highly recommended to turn off database software and other easily corruptible items. It won't mess up the current system, but the backup might not work.)

It does support NTFS, but not as nicely. Basically it treats NTFS or other unrecognized filesystems as one, large file, which it chunks up, compresses, and stores like it would any other large file. So you get your data back, and your machine in working condition, but the backup file may be considerably larger than using Clonezilla or Partimage because it doesn't skip unused sectors. To decrease the backup size, blank out the unused sectors by creating a large file of all zeros. The compression will then be able to squash it down quite a bit.

For general use, I lean toward Clonezilla. It has Partimage, Partclone, NTFSClone, and dd as options, and is capable of deciding which is best to use. Also it has lots of options for where and how to store the data.

For Linux machines I often use MondoRescue. Largely because I don't have to shut them down to make the backup, and because it will easily create bootable restore media. Boot the disc, type nuke, hit enter, and it will put everything back for you, no muss, no fuss. Also, you can easily extract single files out of the archive (for Linux partitions at least) which there isn't really a way to do with Clonezilla or Partimage. (For them, you have to extract the entire image and mount it. Not hugely difficult, but consumes much more time and disk space.)


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