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-   -   partimage, ntfsclone, or what to copy Windows XP installation over LAN w/Linux? (

silencestone 11-26-2008 07:11 PM

partimage, ntfsclone, or what to copy Windows XP installation over LAN w/Linux?
I'd like to move a laptop's Windows XP installation to a desktop computer. I networked the two computers with a crossover cable, booted the Windows XP with a Linux live-CD, booted the desktop to its installed Linux, configured the interfaces, and successfully pinged from each to the other. Then I checked out the available cloning and imaging utilities on the Linux live-CD, and fumbled.

ntfsclone had warnings against exactly what I was trying to do--using it to copy a Windows installation on a NTFS partition, onto a new NTFS partition with the intent to boot and run the Windows installation from that new NTFS partition. Something about Windows not running if the boot sectors and disk geometry didn't match /exactly/. I haven't tried it, yet.

partimage warned about experimental NTFS support, but had the ability to connect to a server and save the image onto the server. Went through the configuration wizard, entered the desktop's IP for the server on the default port. However, the connection failed. Tried it again on a different port, but it failed again.

Any help would be appreciated.

MS3FGX 11-26-2008 10:03 PM

Partimage could definitely do what you want to, but it almost certainly won't work.

Windows simply doesn't handle hardware changes very well. I would say there is about a 95% chance that when you get the image written to the other machine, it BSODs as soon as you boot it. You will then have to run a Repair Install, which takes only slightly less time than a full install.

So your best option would be to simply install XP on the other machine, and move your personal files over.

silencestone 11-27-2008 11:01 AM

MS3FGX, that's disheartening. I'd hoped that Windows had some automatic hardware detection capabilities that would ameliorate the issue of the entire hardware system changing. Like, I can boot into a Linux distro after disabling some hardware in BIOS configuration, and the boot messages show a glib handling of those now-missing parts. Similarly, I can install or remove hardware in a Windows system, and Windows will boot to the desktop and notify me of new hardware, and missing or unidentified hardware will be marked in the Device Manager.

Nevertheless, partimage should've worked. Why didn't it? The target desktop and source laptop were booted up, connected with a crossover cable, ethernet interfaces configured on the same subnet and IP range, and happily pinging each other. I started the partimage tui on the laptop I wanted to copy from, selected the unmounted Windows partition, specified a /path/to/new-image-name, opted to 'Connect to server', giving the IP of the connected desktop and accepting the default port, then hit the 'Next' button. After a while of processing, the program errors out and closes.

MS3FGX 11-27-2008 12:24 PM

Did you start the partimaged server on the other machine?

You don't really need to use the Partimage server though anyway. You can mount a share from the other machine over NFS or Samba, and then tell Partimage to write the image to that share.

makyo 11-27-2008 01:37 PM


Not free, but I have used Symantec Ghost to clone W2K from a custom PC to an Intellistation across a LAN. The hardware detection of W2K worked well enough to get booted, and, for any updated drivers left, I downloaded.

The site claims to do NTFS. Nothing to lose with an attempt.

Best wishes ... cheers, makyo

silencestone 12-21-2008 08:46 PM

Thanks! Well, the copy succeeded, but booting failed and failed.

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