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Old 02-20-2004, 07:46 AM   #1
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Registered: Jun 2003
Distribution: Slackware & Gentoo
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Making complete image of installation


I'm looking for a program that can take a complete image of the whole harddrive incl. swap space partitions etc.
This image can then be used to "install" on another computer, with the same hardware. So you would get the same setup on the new computer.
What program is capatble of doing this?
Old 02-20-2004, 08:13 AM   #2
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Registered: Oct 2003
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There are a couple of commercial $$$$ products out there or you can use a couple of Linux products together to get this done.

Partimage doesn't copy or restore the swap partitions as it is a waste of time. That is to say it's a ( empty partition ) and partimage is only interested in copying the used portitions of a partition.
No problem! The scriptable version of fdisk ( sfdisk ) does this very nicely. In fact, sfdisk can make an exact copy of your partition table so the new hard drive does get set up the same as the original.

The command to save partitions in batch mode would look like this...
partimage save -b -z2 -f3 /dev/hda2 /mnt/images/backup/linux
You could put that in another script for making the images.

If you are going to clone an NTFS partition, you may want to run defrag and scandisk first.

Get a cd bootable version of linux like system rescue at and bootup with that cd.

Mount the partition where the images are going to be saved to.
mount /dev/hdb1 /mnt/images/backup -t ext3

Run partimage to make the images and save it to the backup directory which was created in the previous step.

In this example, I have a dual boot system so I backed up both operating systems with partimage.

Save the ENTIRE PARTITION TABLE to a file using sfdisk.
sfdisk Ėd /dev/hda > /mnt/images/backup/partfile
Save the MBR to a file...
dd if=/dev/hda of=/mnt/images/backup/mbrfile bs=512 count=1

The clone script will restore that partition table and MBR from files to the new hard drive using the commands:
sfdisk /dev/hda < /mnt/images/backup/partfile
dd if=/mnt/images/backup/mbrfile of=/dev/hda bs=512 count=1

After you have saved the images and the partition table, install the new hard drive, make sure that bios sees it as the /dev/hda ( Primary Master ) so you donít accidently zap your backup images which are saved on the /dev/hdb ( Primary Slave ) .

Bootup with the rescue cd and run the clone script to restore the images to your new hard drive.

echo "********************************************************************"
echo " Caution!!! This program will erase your hard drive"
echo -n " Do you want to proceed (Y/N)?"
read answer
if test "$answer" != "Y" -a "$answer" != "y";
then exit 0;
#Erase the old boot sector
dd if=/dev/zero if=/dev/hda bs=512 count=1
#Restore the partition table from file
sfdisk /dev/hda < /mnt/images/backup/partfile
#Restore the MBR from file
dd if=/mnt/images/backup/mbrfile of=/dev/hda bs=512 count=1
#Restore the images with Partimage
partimage restore -b -z2 -f3 /dev/hda1 /mnt/images/backup/windows.000
partimage restore -b -z2 -f3 /dev/hda2 /mnt/images/backup/linux.000
echo "Image restore is complete"


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