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Old 05-25-2005, 01:52 PM   #1
Registered: Oct 2004
Distribution: red hat fedora core 2
Posts: 61

Rep: Reputation: 15
disk to disk backup for debian/Mempis on bootable cd-- advice

I am a new user of Simply mepis 3.3.

Request software info for disk to disk backups.

Today I tried to find out about programs on cd in the form
of bootable ISO's.

I found SystemRescueCD avbaialble at Budget Linux Cd's for $4.00
or so.

Why have there been no disk to disk backup programs within the
last _year_? Over at the SystemRescueCd forum site the question
that was asked was "is this forum dead"?

I simply want to know what the best solution is today (May 2005)
to do disk to disk clones of my Mepis install. Pointers to How To
files and current programs-- or recommendations for things that
art older like SystemRescueCd would be appreciated.

System runs on an old 5G Caviar, P2 Slot One on a Tyan 1854
board. The target drive is a Maxtor 15G to backup to.

The program should be able to clone both ways and know if the
target drive is smaller and will copy correctly etc. I've noted
problems with having the Grub boot loader function properly
on past clone attempts.

$4 for a backup solution is reasonable. Please say where to get the
best one.

On this project I have tried Ghost7 but after Ghost reported a successful
clone, the Grub bootloader failed. I also tried using the Western Digital
factory floppy to do a disk to disk. It started out ok but stopped at 30% of
completion and froze. I know that Ghost7 has a known issue with ext3
file system, but I don't know why the Western Digital disk copy failed.

Any help appreciated. I'm sure others will look at this advice as well.

That's as far as I am on this.
Old 05-26-2005, 11:46 PM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Sparta, NC USA
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04
Posts: 5,141

Rep: Reputation: 60
Here is a guide that I have posted often (the search button is very handy....)

# Clone a distro to another drive or move directories around
Install drive in box and ensure BIOS can detect it. Boot into Linux and login to your user's account. Open an x terminal and partition and format the new drive as you wish
[fancy@tinwhistle fancy]$ su -
[root@tinwhistle root]# fdisk /dev/hdb
Exit with w to write the partition table.

Format the partitions with the chosen filesystems:
mke2fs /dev/hdbX -> ext2
mke2fs -j /dev/hdbX -> ext3
mkswap /dev/hdbX -> swap
mkreiserfs /dev/hdbX -> reiserfs
mkfs.xfs /dev/hdbX -> xfs

Make directories for source and destination mount points. You need these to keep out of an endless loop of copying itsself over and over.
[root@tinwhistle root]# mkdir /mnt/source
[root@tinwhistle root]# mkdir /mnt/destination
Mount your os partitions that you want to clone on /mnt/source
Mount your partitions on the new drive, making directory entries for your separate partitions (/boot, /home, /var etc.). If you are just copying a directory such as var, just cd to the directory you wish to copy instead of mounting partitions on /mnt/source.

Now, cd to /mnt/source and pipe it over with tar
[root@tinwhistle root]# cd /mnt/source
[root@tinwhistle source]# tar cf - . | (cd /mnt/destination && tar xBfp -)
Edit /etc/fstab as needed, install the boot loader if you moved a whole distro, and it should work when it is installed in it's final position.
Old 05-27-2005, 12:47 AM   #3
Registered: Oct 2004
Distribution: red hat fedora core 2
Posts: 61

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15

That's a lot different than this:


1. Boot Mepis from CD
2. Login as root
3. Click on the source drive
4. Click on the target drive
5. Drag the source to the target

The included five step plan above appeals to me a lot
more than whatever you said up there. I've seen a lot of these 'guides' before. It's not a solution for a first- time user.
It's just that _this_ first- time user is more concerned with backup than the average.

So who's right? You or the other guy?


The ongoing subtext of who uses Linux and who doesn't is based on exchanges like this. I know you're trying to help. What I don't understand is the lack of development of packaged programming to do something as basic as drive cloning.
Old 05-27-2005, 01:00 AM   #4
LQ Guru
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Sparta, NC USA
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04
Posts: 5,141

Rep: Reputation: 60
If you do actually want a clone (but the orig. poster has different sized drives), then dd is what you would need.

You need two identical drives and a simple bash command will do it.

dd if=/dev/<source drive> of=/dev/<destination drive>

That seems very simple to me.

No need for a mouse...

Command line gives the full power of Linux, the GUI is limited.

BTW, we are both right, there are many alternate ways. Perhaps choice confuses you?

/me says Choice is Good

Last edited by fancypiper; 05-27-2005 at 01:07 AM.


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