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Old 08-01-2006, 09:18 AM   #1
Balarabay1
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Best way to Back Up a computer??


With the exception of one problem which I have, my Suse 10.0 is a great OS, and I have a ton of installed programs on my computer. How can I back up my computer so that if the system goes down/fails, I can re-install Suse 10.0 from disk, then install a back up cd/dvd with system restore on YAST which contains all my added on packages/Suse Updates/personal preferences, to put my computer exactly back the way it was before it went down? It took me a while to get it to this near perfect working order, and I want to ensure that I can put it back if there is a problem. I'm sure someone knows how. Thanks
 
Old 08-01-2006, 09:39 PM   #2
scott2004
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This solution doesn't exactly answer your question, but it will provide you with a picture-perfect backup, and require a lot less effort and time: just image your install to another hard disk.

If you install another hard drive of equal or larger size, you can use dd to image every last bite of your present drive to another, so that should your first drive fail, you have an exact replica in the imaged one. If the second drive is larger, you can either resize the partition or create a new one to use the added space.

Assuming your first drive is /dev/hda and your backup is /dev/hdb, the dd command would be:

dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb

(run the above run level 1 (telinit 1 to get to run level 1))

You won't get any feedback while dd is running and it may take over an hour depending on disk size, but it will eventually return the console to you.

I've used this many times to save installations of Windows and I'm assuming it will work just as well with SuSE.

Just be sure not to confuse which is the OS and which the back-up drive, or you'll wipe out your OS drive This is critical.

Also, I'd recommend testing the back-up drive after the dd operation before your first drive actually fails.
 
Old 08-07-2006, 06:17 PM   #3
Balarabay1
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Someone here has to have the knowledge on how I can do this.

I'd really like to back up EVERYTHING that was not included on the SUSE SYSTEM CD's, and any file that was upgraded, altered...etc. Putting all this onto 1 DVD would be nice. I basically would like to be able to re-install SUSE 10.0 on another laptop, if I had to, and then use the backup DVD to put everthing back EXACTLY the way it was before I had any problem. This DVD must contain ALL added packages..etc. How about copying the hard drive partition with all my system info/data to a dvd?? Thanks

Last edited by Balarabay1; 08-07-2006 at 06:19 PM.
 
Old 08-07-2006, 08:30 PM   #4
jdmcdaniel3
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Smile Part Image Backup Utility

I might suggest you look at Part Image backup utility. Their Web Site is at:

http://www.partimage.org/Main_Page

Further, I reccomend you look at the following page:

http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page

The latter site is where you can download an ISO bootable disk you can use to backup and restore your Linux system. It is not totally automatic in that you need to know how your partitions were arranged and their size. Making a note of such information when you make your backup is all that is required.

The bottom line is I have used the backup and restore function and it works. It is like many Linux utilities, somewhat cryptic at first until you understand how it works. But it does work and the price is right.

Any successful backup system needs a bootable disk that can restore entire backups without loading the OS from scratch and then reloading your data. Now I have always backed up data to a second IDE hard drive, which work like a champ. You can also make CD's, but that could take a while.

Check it out....

Thank You,

James D. McDaniel
Austin, Texas
 
Old 08-07-2006, 08:35 PM   #5
Balarabay1
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Thanks James!

I appreciate your time in the matter.
 
Old 08-07-2006, 08:52 PM   #6
Sören Schneider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott2004
If you install another hard drive of equal or larger size, you can use dd to image every last bite of your present drive to another, so that should your first drive fail, you have an exact replica in the imaged one. If the second drive is larger, you can either resize the partition or create a new one to use the added space.

Assuming your first drive is /dev/hda and your backup is /dev/hdb, the dd command would be:

dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb
So this means that with dd I don't have to "pre"format (in this case hdb),
just do a dd and it copies all (mbr, partitions,...), right?
 
Old 08-07-2006, 09:33 PM   #7
scott2004
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Yes, dd writes bare metal to bare metal, so it writes partitions, file systems and all. This is the beauty of it. There is even some potential to use it over a network with other enabling software (look it up on google, if you like) but I've only used it on one machine at a time.

Another important feature is that it comes with most bootable linux CDs. For ex., Ultimate Boot includes dd in their full Insert version of Linux but the minimalist boot disks like Recovery Is Possible that come with UBCD also include it. I've used it on querky notebooks which would not boot Knoppix or any other live CD would boot a very minimalist version of Linux such as these. So, it's ubiquitous.

Moron that I am, I also use it when duplicating CDs, DVDs and floppy disks. Just

dd if=/dev/cdrom of=/home/scott/cdrom.iso

will create an exact image for burning to disk using cdrecord. mkisofs is not suited to making exact replicas (which is necessary with many software and music CDs).

You can duplicate floppies in much the same way. Use dd to create the image, and then use it to transfer the image to the new floppy.
 
Old 08-08-2006, 07:57 AM   #8
Balarabay1
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Trying "KEEP" backup utility for KDE

How come when I click on where I want the backup put, I get an error of, "Not a rdiff-directory". I can't just put the backup anywhere I want to? I also wanted to put the backup onto a CD, but when I choose media, It only lists my hard drive and floppy. Where the heck is my CD/DVD ROM???? Its not listed there.
 
Old 08-08-2006, 08:52 AM   #9
1kyle
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Ok it's a commercial product but works very well. Acronis True Image Home

http://www.acronis.com

Look for the HOME version -- not the expensive corporate / enterprise stuff.

OK it's Windows but you can create bootable media and then run it as a stand alone product. It will back up entire hard disk partions whether windows Linux or anything else.

I've backed up and restored SUSE 10 many times with this.

Just a note --on Restore --if you re-partition your drive you might find your linux partition might not boot again after the restore

Don't panic --this is usually due to the fstab entries being wrong --for example root may have been on /dev/sda5 and it's now /dev/sda3 say.

All you do is after restoring the partition -- boot from your Distribution CD / DVD and on installation type select OTHER===>Repair system.

It'll fix the FSTAB entries and re-install GRUB to correctly boot your restored partition.

There might be a pure Linux solution out there but I haven't found one as easy to use as this one. I also have some Windows Virtual Machines so this product is fine for me.

Cheers

-K
 
  


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