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Old 02-24-2005, 05:51 AM   #1
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Distribution: Slackware
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How to Image/Backup a Software RAID Partition?

Hi all, right now I have two software RAID arrays using 3 old IBM SCSI disks. They look like so

Raid 1 -- /dev/md0 -- /boot
Raid 5 -- /dev/md2 -- /

What I would like to do is completly image /dev/md2 which is everything but my /boot partition. Ive tried Ghost-4-Linux but the kernel it comes with doesnt support software-raid, ive even used a modified kernel which does but then it complains about no dev called 'md2', and 'mknod /dev/md2 b 9 0' didnt seem to fix it. Then I tried 'Partimage' but for some unknown reason it say EVERY partition I had EXCEPT md2. It saw all the individual partitions which made up md2 (which are sda6, sdb6, sdc6), it even saw md0 and all the partitions that made up that, but no md2, WTF? And I doubled checked 'cat /proc/mdstat' and it indeed showed md2 and md0 as up. So right now im at a complete loss, ive been googling up a storm to no avail, im hoping one of you here can shed some light on what my best path to least resistance is. Thanks


I have successfully used 'mirrordir' ,although it was hard to find because seems to 404, where the hell did the project disappear to? However, this really isnt making an "image" of my /dev/md2 partition which is ultimately what I'd like to do.

I was curious about perhaps using 'dd if=/dev/md2 of=/mnt/otherdrive'. My only reservations on this is that 'dd' is going to copy blank space not used up at all by my partition so thats a ton of wasted space and id like to create an image file that I would open up with some app and extract certain files from it as I see fit, much like how you can do with a .rar or .iso etc.

Last edited by SiegeX; 02-24-2005 at 06:01 AM.
Old 02-24-2005, 07:06 AM   #2
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hi there,

i think you can use " tar " for that.
( from " man tar ")

" # tar cvvfj ghost.tar.bz2 / "

this will build a ghost.tar.bz2 from the root dir.
you must umount the /boot dir before doing that.

take a look at " man tar ", there's a lot of options.

Old 02-24-2005, 10:16 AM   #3
Registered: Feb 2004
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What about the 'dump' command ?

AFAIK its as simple as dump /dev/hda /dev/sda

Dont quote me of that though :P
Old 02-24-2005, 01:15 PM   #4
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
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I appreciate your suggestions, and I am well aware of tar but it too does not exactly an "image" file and since im copying individual files it doesnt have the capability that 'mirrordir' has. As far as 'dump' goes, I did some googling and it seems to be a BSD only thing, that and its also an ext2 filesystem only util (according to the man page). I guess I should mention that im using Reiserfs as my file system.

I can't believe there isnt ONE utility that claims to do Norton Ghost like imaging that cant understand and mount a software-Raid partition that uses Reiserfs.
Old 02-24-2005, 01:40 PM   #5
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As far I know Norton Ghost is like dd, I mean it copies blank space not used,
it has an option to compress the resulting image though but it is the same if
you gzip the image created with dd.
Old 02-24-2005, 04:37 PM   #6
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Distribution: Slackware
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Hmm, I vaugly remember sombody mentioning that there is a tool that will take an image file made by 'dd' and remove all the 'blank space' from it, but I cant seem to find that utility, perhaps you or sombody else knows what Im referring to. Also, what would be the proper extension for a file made by 'dd' such that when I copy it over to my Windows box I can use the correct application to open it up and extract out individual files, or is that not even possible?
Old 02-24-2005, 05:14 PM   #7
Registered: May 2004
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Check out SystemRescueCD Not sure it supports RAID but otherwise it has the tools to do what you want ot do.



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