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PePPaZ PePPaZ is offline
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Default Dual-boot disk images - 11-08-2009, 03:58 AM

Hi friends,

Now that I have my Snow Leopard and Windows 7 all set up and working properly on the 10v, does anyone recommend a cloning tool that will preserve all partitions and the bootloader? I know partition active statuses and chameleon will probably have to be reset and installed again if something were to happen to the 10v, I was just wondering if a disk image would be re-deployable in case a catastrophe were to happen, or to push out to another 10v. I have never imaged or cloned a drive before, let alone a dual boot setup. Any thoughts?

Mini 10v - Snow Leopard - Windows 7 Pro
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reflex reflex is offline
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Default 11-08-2009, 04:26 AM

You can easily create an image of a entire drive encompassing all partitions/bootloaders/etc.

Personally, I'd just use a Linux LiveCD/USB and then run a terminal command like "sudo dd if=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-WDC_WD3200BJKT-... bs=1K | gzip --fast > drive.img.gz". That'll create a compressed drive image of a drive (a 320GB WD in this case), and save it to a file in the current directory named "drive.img.gz", so you probably want the current dir to be a network share or a large (non-FAT32) USB drive (the image file will be many GB and take a long time to create).

These aren't smart tools, so they can't strip unused space out of the image, which means images take longer to create/restore and can be larger than necessary. But these tools have the advantage of being simple and ubiquitous (these tools are included with all non-Windows OSs). Hopefully, the compression will work well, but on a well used drive, the free space will be full of deleted files, which might not compress well.

To improve compression, you can zero out the free space prior to creating the image, but if the drive is relatively new, the free space is probably full of zeros anyway.

Restoring the image would be as simple as running the command in reverse. "gunzip < drive.img.gz | sudo dd of=/dev/disk/...whatever... bs=1K"

Mini 9 | Intel 5100 Wifi | Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook
Mini 1012 | SSD | Intel 6200 Wifi | Ubuntu 11.10 64bit
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StrangeLove StrangeLove is offline
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Default 11-08-2009, 04:39 PM

Clonezilla is a great tool. I just used it to do exactly what you need.
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