let's talk about Clonezilla

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by warthoglxxv, Aug 5, 2008.

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  1. warthoglxxv

    warthoglxxv Registered Member

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    Okay, this is my first post here, so be gentle.

    I'm thinking about a major upgrade for my system. I'm going from an IDE 160 gig HD to 2 SATA 640 gig HD's (Western Digital) . I want to image my OS(xp pro sp2) & the entire 160 gig IDE HD to the first of the 640's. Initially the 2nd 640 will be used as a backup drive (for both data & XP images) & as a home for Mepis Linux & other Linux varieties. The 160 gig IDE drive is eventually going to my backup desktop to add to the 40 gig HD there now. To start with, the upgrade will just be the 2 SATA drives, no RAID.

    So, of course, I'm interested in imaging & partitioning software. I've pretty much decided on using 'Clonezilla Live CD' or 'Gparted - Clonezilla Live CD'. One of the things that bothers me about using Clonezilla is the lack of posts in forums from those who claim to have used it successfully.

    From reading here, apparently there are some members of this forum, who have used some version of Clonezilla successfully, and I hope to hear from them.

    So, if you have had experience with Clonezilla, lay it on me, good or bad, I need to know where the land mines are.


    FYI, I'm a Linux noob, I'm in the process of learning, but don't know much now. For that matter, I don't know a helluva lot about XP either, but I can usually do whatever I need if fairly decent doc's are available.

    I have never imaged an os before, and yes, I'm a little bit scared about it !


    Primary system:

    windows xp pro sp2
    amd athlon64 3000+, 1.8 Ghz
    1 gig patriot memory
    160 gig IDE Hitachi HD

    Backup system:

    windows xp pro sp2
    intel P4 2Ghz
    512 MB memory
    40 gig HD

    Note: The above 2 systems are normally networked, 1 leg wireless & 1 leg hard-wired to a DLink wireless router. The network is not hooked up ATM.


    I've noticed the moderators are fairly strict about sticking to the topic here, so if there's something related that you want to talk about, please feel free to PM me.

    Other related areas of interest to me are :

    disk analysis software (I'm aware of WD's stuff)
    multi-boot managers (recommendations)
    mixed OS networking(i.e. Windows XP & Linux)
    mobo BIOS updates (hope this can be avoided)



    Thanks for reading this & mucho thanks for replies,

    warthoglxxv
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008
  2. warthoglxxv

    warthoglxxv Registered Member

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  3. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    I used Clonezilla live with good success to backup my XP disk. Did images and restores half a dozen times or more, never an issue. Just did a full disk backup to another drive.

    I also used it with success to image and restore Kubuntu, however, when I tried imaging and restoring SUSE 11, it failed. I suspect it had something to do with the way SUSE used a /boot partition and Clonezilla somehow seemed to fail to back that up. Either that, or it failed to backup some part of the SUSE setup, however, after fooling with options dozens of different ways for many hours, I just gave up on it.

    So, I'd say, it works great for Win/NTFS partitions and disks, however, you may or may not have success with Linux, depending on how things are set up by whatever specific distro you use there...

    Seemed odd that I had trouble with SUSE, but that's how it went.... could very well have been ignorance on my part...
     
  4. warthoglxxv

    warthoglxxv Registered Member

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    Hey Kerodo,

    I've been reading your posts in other threads, particilarly glad you replied. I was beginning to think I'd started a thread of no interest.

    Which version of Clonezilla did you use ?
    And, did you find the documentation to be adequate ?

    Are there any particular 'trouble spots' where a Linux noob might be more likely to screw things up ?


    What do you think of the following plan of attack ?

    1 - install new hardware
    2 - run diag's on new disks
    3 - format new disk1 as NTFS, format new disk2 as ext3 with an NTFS
    backup partition for XP images & data
    4 - create XP image from old IDE to backup partition on new disk2
    5 - disconnect & remove IDE drive
    6 - restore XP image from new disk2 to new disk1
    7 - reboot


    I'm very happy to have heard from you. I was going to send you an invitation to chime in on this thread, but the PM system seems to be down.
     
  5. Trespasser

    Trespasser Registered Member

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    Warthoglxxv,
    First of all you need to make a back up of your present OS before you start installing your new hard drives. I know, duhh! You can use a thumb/pen drive (make sure it's at least 2 gigs) to capture your image on or a second hard drive (I've used both methods). You can't use a DVD+/- RW disc (you CAN use it but it's quite complicated to do so skip it). I'm using the latest version of CloneZilla Live plus I have a copy of Gparted + CloneZilla Live but the CloneZilla part of it isn't as new as the recent CloneZilla Live version itself. CloneZilla Live copies XP and Vista great...no problems at all. The only problem I had copying Linux distros was with Debian "Lenny" 5.0 beta 1 (couldn't install Grub properly) but I eventually solved it by using the CloneZilla Experimental Hardy version. BTW, CloneZilla Live has successfully restored Ubuntu Hardy, Suse 11 (Kerodo, I got the same message about failed to install Grub but it booted up anyways), and Fedora 9 (on installing Fedora I used Ext 3 instead of the default LVM). I can't comment on how CloneZilla would handle LVM since I've never tried backing up that filing system. I won't swear to it but I think CloneZilla only recognizes Fat 32 as a storage device.
     
  6. Trespasser

    Trespasser Registered Member

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    Also, CloneZilla only backs up the data on a hard drive...not the free space.
     
  7. warthoglxxv

    warthoglxxv Registered Member

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    Trespasser,

    Thanks for the info. I've read it several times & I'm a little bit confused.


    Above you mention capturing the OS image to a thumb drive or a second hard drive, why would my 2nd or 3rd hard drive be any different ?

    Would like to know 'why', don't really care because I'd like an excuse to buy a new thumb drive anyway.


    I'm in over my head here, you've done it & I haven't, but I'm pretty sure that all the stuff I've been reading says it supports & recognizes NTFS.

    Have all of your images & restores been of FAT32 systems ?
     
  8. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Clonezilla supports NTFS and works fine in that regard. Very reliable. To be honest, I have no special knowledge, I just found the Clonezilla Live CD, booted it, and then figured it out as I went. I didn't read any docs. It's pretty straightforward and I think it will back up NTFS/Win easily if you just move thru the defaults.

    Linux apparently is another matter, although I suspect it will work fine with most distros, for some reason I had trouble with SUSE, but maybe SUSE sets things up in some non-standard way, I have no idea....

    Best way to learn it is to use it. If you have anything that needs saving, then back it up, so you're ready to lose it all if it happens to go that way.
     
  9. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    That IS interesting..... the weird thing is, I did the SUSE 11 image fine, but the first restore of it failed and wouldn't boot. I then messed with a few options, did some kind of SUSE 11 repair, then a restore again, and I did actually get SUSE to boot ONCE. Hahaha.... AFter that, no matter how many times I tried, or options I tried, and so on, it never worked for me again.

    Kubuntu on the other hand did fine first time around. Same with Win XP. I have not yet tried it on Vista, but I would assume it would work fine as it's NTFS as well.
     
  10. Trespasser

    Trespasser Registered Member

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    No difference at all. I installed a 40 gig hard drive in the slave position of IDE 1...formatted it to Fat32 (thumb drives are formatted as Fat32) and CloneZilla picked it right up.

    It's a case of either or. Thumb drives were picked right up by CloneZilla. I used a thumb drive the first time I tried CloneZilla.

    CloneZilla will backup NTFS filing systems (Vista and XP) just fine. I was talking about storage devices...example...thumb drive or second hard drive. Sorry if I didn't clearly state that. And like I said I won't swear to it that CloneZilla only recognizes Fat32 storage devices when you want to restore an image. I just remember reading it somewhere (might have been at the CloneZilla Forum).

    Like Kerodo said using CloneZilla is fairly straight forward. Just put the burned CD in the drive and read all the instructions. You'll do fine.
     
  11. Trespasser

    Trespasser Registered Member

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    Kerodo,
    The failed to install Grub came at the end of the restore process, when CloneZilla verifies everything, but upon reboot Suse booted up fine. I received the same message on a Debian 5.0 beta 1 restore, but, unlike Suse, Debian wouldn't boot up. I read on the CloneZilla Forum that CloneZilla Experimental Hardy might work...so I tried it, and it worked. But of course your mileage may vary. :).

    Later...
     
  12. warthoglxxv

    warthoglxxv Registered Member

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    OK . . . maybe I'm just too apprehensive about this. But Clonezilla success stories are few & far between on the web & the Clonezilla doc's that I've seen, IMO, are not very good. I'm very uneasy about this.

    It seems every time I ask a question you guys answer it, but then the answer seems to give rise to 3 or 4 more questions (my problem, not yours).

    In spite of that, I've got to ask 2 more.

    1 - Am I correct in assuming that neither of you think the 'plan of attack' as listed in post #4 above is viable ?

    2 - Also, since both of you are using the 'Clonezilla Live CD' (i.e. no Gparted) what are you using for partitioning ?
     
  13. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    I think you're overthinking the whole thing a bit. Just make sure you backup anything of value there, and then just run Clonezilla and give it a try. There is only one way to learn IMO... by doing.

    The partitioning is done by the OS you're installing most of the time. If I install Win, then Win handles it in the install setup. Same with Linux, each distro usually offers an auto partitioning or manual, whichever you desire. When you restore, for example, a Linux setup with Clonezilla, it also restores all the partitions automatically, so you don't need to worry about that (putting aside what problems I had mentioned above).

    Again, I would just backup anything you don't want to lose, and let it rip. The only thing to fear really is loss of valuable data and some of your time. If you have those things covered, then you're fine.. learn by doing... :)
     
  14. yeow

    yeow Registered Member

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    I've only used Clonezilla for a single purpose only - that's to image my linux partition, and to restore when I mess up (frequently). My opinions from my limited usage:

    1. Prefer Clonezilla livecd to Gparted-Clonezilla livecd
    I started with Gparted-Clonezilla but switched to Clonezilla livecd. I find the default RESTORE settings for Clonezilla are "safer for me" which each new release. Gparted-Clonezilla will have "older" clonezilla version.

    2. Imaging Parameters - Defaults
    I went with default settings on all Clonezilla versions. Some things to note:
    - You'd be asked to select or mount the BACKUP-TO/SAVE-TO DRIVE first, then after selecting imaging parameters, then finally asked WHICH DRIVE TO IMAGE last. If you'd been using Acronis, this order is different.
    - Clonezilla with create the image folder in the ROOT directory of save-to drive.
    - The image folder needs to be at ROOT during restore, else Clonezilla can't find it.

    3. Restore Parameters - Some changes to default parameters
    I've only been restoring "like for like", e.g. replace ubuntu with xubuntu image or vice-versa in same partition; replace messed-up Pardus with prior Pardus image etc. So only very basic stuff so far.

    Mostly default parameters, but for the few below I used:
    Code:
    [ ] -g auto Client will reinstall grub in its HD MBR
    .
    .
    
    [*] -k DO NOT create partition table in target harddisk in client
    .
    .
    
    [*] -t Client does not restore MBR
    Asterisk * means selected; No asterisk means not selected.
    I found that the default selections for the above parameters MAY BE DIFFERENT for different versions of Clonezilla. So I had to make sure to tick or untick accordingly.

    Of course, I need to stress that the parameters are for my "like for like" restores. Depending on your purpose, the parameters used would be different - perhaps closer to the default settings.

    4. ENTER, SPACE, TAB, ARROW keyboard buttons
    Just to keep in view the buttons you might need to navigate/select/unselect :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
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