HOW TO: Clone a HDD

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HOW TO: Clone a HDD

Postby bicol_willem » Wed Sep 02, 2009 1:17 pm

Or a alternative way to install BL in case the installer fails for what ever reason to install direct to your machine.
I don't think cloning is a "standard option" for install but I tried it with good result.
Disclaimer: This can be very well not a 'absolute' solution for some but .. it did work for me.

The story in short is that the installer simply failed to install to my system (Bayanihan 5 Rev. 1).
Strange enough the "gov" version did install. I was not able to figure out as to why this is happening. :?: I probably could have the "gov" version adjusted to the "real thing" but ... I had nothing to compare, so no clue.
Anyway, I thought I try an other approach and installed Rev 1 to a Flashdrive and that went without a hitch, to my surprise. :o
It booted up on the "unwilling machine" from that Flashdrive, so I figured it was time for a clone.
We got this wonderful Linux based Ghost alternative named "Clonezilla" and that is what I used to clone the install from my Flashdrive to my HDD. (If one has Ghost available, that does the same trick of course but I like "Linux tools" :D ).
We have to boot the Clonezilla CD (Or from Flashdrive) with HDD and Flashdrive (with installed BL) present.
The process is very straight forward and is as good as self explanatory. No need to point out every step here for that reason, it's really that easy! Relax and just follow the directions on your screen. (Tip: See the screenshots at the Clonezilla website)
Of course make sure that you pick the correct HDD (the Flashdrive is seen as a HDD) as source and the correct HDD as destination (especially when there are more HDD's on board the system). In this case i.e. the smaller size of the "HDD" (Flashdrive) will be a good indicator. (Mine is 8 GB). If not sure, simply remove the HDD's you absolutely don't want to mess with! (I use racks so that's a no-brainer).
It is btw also possible to clone to a certain partition, in case. But first we stick to a HDD to HDD clone for ease (that is what I did after all).
Obviously the destination HDD is larger then the source drive. Clonezilla let you the option to create any size larger then (smaller then seems not possible) the source drive, up to the size of the destination HDD. In case of a very large destination HDD, one probably want to go for the "clone to partition" option. Just choose or prepare a partition for the install clone.
After doing so I got my "Rev 1" version on my HDD and ... all is well!
Here you can read about and download Clonezilla
If you need to partition your HDD, here is PMagic, a other great Linux tool, also bootable.

This process can become very useful in any situation one would like to get a other HDD (larger for example). You got instantly all what you are used to use, including all your files on the new drive! Bit for bit the same. No need to re-install etc. How convenient is that? 8-)

Of course experienced users would probably simply be using the "dd" command: dd if=/dev/hda1 of=/dev/hdc1 (where dev/hda1 and dev/hdc1 could need adjusted to the real situation). Just need to boot up any life CD that provides both dd and fdisk (which they nearly all do)
Powerful stuff! A bit scary for newbe's though, I guess (there's nothing indicating progress during the operation)
For those interested in dd, read about it here.

Of course as a backup tool both solutions are tops! Never thought I would ever use or needed it for a install though ;)
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