Disk images of LMDE

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Disk images of LMDE

Postby Niks on Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:59 pm

I'm having big problems with copying either complete disk images or just partitions.
I've used
http://www.partimage.org/Main_Page
http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/ ( and older version from my old job )
http://ping.windowsdream.com/

none of which work with LMDE 64 or 32 bit. :cry:

It seems to be Grub that's the big problem. :shock:

I have one PC which refuses to install LMDE 32 from the CD or USB stick but if I add a drive with installed version works fine.
This works fine if I install on another PC and transfer the drive but not if I copy the image.
The common problem is that all I get to see "starting grub" and either the screen goes blank and that's it or the PC just reboots. :roll:

I have been using a faster PC to install both versions get all the updates in and make my tweaks with the plan of saving myself heaps of time to just copy the image on to what ever drive I feel like .

Anyone got any idea's as to what's going on or other software I should use for images ???? feedback please :D

:mrgreen: Niks
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Re: Disk images of LMDE

Postby wayne128 on Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:37 pm

I used lazy method.
just gparted to copy ( installed OS partition) and paste to USB drive empty or unallocated space.

when I want to reinstall or install to another computer, I use gparted , copy the USB drive, paste to the target partition, then install grub to that partition.
always work for me, for all Linux OS I tried.
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Re: Disk images of LMDE

Postby sdrubble on Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:54 pm

@Niks

take a look at http://clonezilla.org/ . AFAIK it's the most widely used Linux tool for backup & restore of disk images. I have personally made full-disk backups (of a Windoze 2-SSD and multi-partition netbook) and also partial-disk backups (of LMDE, installed on 3 partitions within a 10+-partitions USB hd).

In both cases clonezilla takes care automatically of backing up MBR and partition tables - even when copying single partitions. In the case of my LMDE, I also of course remember to include /boot in the backup (it's in its own partition), so that GRUB is taken care of.

I haven't personally done any restores (yet), but plenty of successful reports can be found around the Net, including this very same forum.

@wayne128

I have used GParted for eons and didn't EVER notice it had copy-paste functionality... :shock: I'm on Windoze now, but will surely check this at first opportunity.

Your approach, if I indeed understood it right, makes all the sense for lazy and disorganized people like me... :mrgreen: although I don't currently have THAT much available disk space for managing 2 or 3 copies of a number of partitions, and would surely miss the 50% space savings that clonezilla's compression allows.

Cheers
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Re: Disk images of LMDE

Postby Niks on Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:09 am

I had forgotten to mention
http://clonezilla.org/
in my "have tried" don't work list.

I used to use Norton ghost and later Acronis with other distros and Windows with out a problem.
Acronis has a "secure area" function which claims a partition for it's self which can be accessed by it's own OS at boot.
Just like many preinstalled windows PC's or note book's.
The nice thing is you can build increments ie you can "back up as you go" and restore to choice or in LMDE's case recently just before the last disastrous bunch of updates and not install them till all the fixes are posted :lol:

@wayne128 "back up takes about 1 key push and 3 mouse clicks and that's it! NOW THATS LAZY :D

Using GPARTED as copy machine :idea: great why not I'll try it after this post.
I love the program and use it to prep windows drives as it's a whole lot faster!
And is one of the best demo's of "which is faster GUI v Command line". :wink:

@ sdrubble

I think the basic install and update of LMDE32/64 was less then 8GB uncompressed so I have one 100GB ext usb drive with all my PC's OS's on them ( about 10 ) about and in each PC I use old 20 or 40 Gb IDE drives ( the rest are all SATA ) which don't have to be plugged in if you want to be really :mrgreen: just for saving the system back up.
I also always have separate partition on the main drive ( second drive in some cases on PC's that have a large amount of data like video editing ) for /home so there is no need to worry about losing data if you recover the system disk.
I started working like this way back with XP after I discovered you could change my "Documents" location from C:/ to D:/ by just changing on letter!!!!
Full system restore in 15 mins and only lost the last 5 mins of typing!

:!: JUST FOR THE RECORD I ALWAYS BACK UP PERSONAL DATA OFF SYSTEM ie EXTERNAL DRIVE ONLINE in the CLOUDs :!:


Anyway thanks for feed back :D
I have three new questions :arrow:

1 - Are my problems EXT4 related or should I switch back to EXT3 :?:

2 - Are my problems related to the new Grub version and where can I find details on how it all works and how to copy it drive>drive etc :?:

3 - Is there a GUI grub editor out there or coming :?:
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Re: Disk images of LMDE

Postby DataMan on Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:51 am

Last time I looked, Partimage does not support ext4 or ntfs.

You mentioned that the venerable Clonezilla did not work for you. As an alternative (my #1 pick of disk imaging backups), take a look at fsarchiver. It's bundled within SystemRescue Live CD. I've been using it successfully for a couple of years now. I have restored ext3, ext4 and ntfs partitions (some of which > 50G). Here's the links:

http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page

http://www.fsarchiver.org/Main_Page

The url of a short paper I authored covering the above:

http://www.boomerclan.info/techpaperslx/103-linux-backup-strategy-ver-2.html

-DataMan
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Re: Disk images of LMDE

Postby sdrubble on Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:27 am

@Niks,

since you haven't been very specific about your "not working" issues, I can only wonder, but I suspect your problems are not related at all to the backup or restore of images, but are coming solely from your GRUB setup.

If I'm wrong on this guess, you'll have to be a bit more specific about what symptoms are COMMON to all the software you've been trying.

OTOH, if I happen to be right, it won't matter at all if you use partimage, acronis, clonezilla, gparted, fsarchiver... or, for that matter, ext3 or ext4, as in both counts you'd be chasing the wrong rabbit.

If I'd were in your current situation, I'd do the following to further diagnose your issues (which you've probably already done at least in part anyway, but again, I'm guessing at what you DIDN'T say...):

1. Use a LiveCD after you've copied BACK a disk or partition; this might be either LMDE Live, or the excellent SystemRescue, or any other you might have handy. Then perform a general, overall, visual inspection of each copied partition, and check if the key files / folders are indeed where expected to be.

2. If #1 turns out OK, you can rule out issues with the image copy operations, and quit worrying about using this or that copy software - as any of them would give you similar results. You might then choose the software simply as a matter of personal preference. Then skip #3 and go to #4 below.

3. If #1 shows any issues, well... you should return with more details. And in that case I'd suggest that, if you plan to come back to this forum (or any Linux forum for that matter) for further help, you'd better have results from a non-proprietary software, like clonezilla, so that you can actually find people which could help you.

4. [continuing from #2] - now you'd have to do some homework - take notice of the exact issues that GRUB is reporting. You might do some Googling about that, but don't skip checking https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2#GRUB%20Errors. This points to one specific topic, but the whole, enormous page is just an awesome resource.

5. this might help you or not, but it seems you've been playing with, A - old PCs, and B - large external drives with multiple partitions. This was exactly the scenario which kept me stumbling for a while (although for me it was an install and not a copy), until I found - by performing similar steps to those I'm suggesting to you - that an old BIOS was losing track of partitions which were beyond a 32 or 137 Gb boundary, or in any case in a large HD where the numerical partition sequence went first to the end of the drive and then returned to its middle. You might take a look at this post , or maybe the whole topic for all the gory details.

6. an additional corollary issue which has haunted me AFTER solving the boot issue, and might happen in your case or not, has to do with FSTAB entries, which might need some tweaking before everything gets smoothed out. In my case, I was prevented from logging in, since fstab misplaced my /home partition, and had to use a LiveCD to investigate and fix.

Good luck, man...

@DataMan,

Last time I looked, Partimage does not support ext4 or ntfs.


Well, I guess that was a LOOOOONG time ago... I can't actually vouch for ext4, but, regarding ntfs, it's been for at least 5 years that I've been doing full backups and restores of Windows systems using Partimage from SystemRescue. I don't have the exact data at hand, but you can imagine how long ago that was if I say that I've already done B&R's of Windows NT, Windows 98, Windows 2000 Professional (and of course XP also).

Just shifted to Clonezilla when I noticed that it allowed me to do a multiple-partition or a full-disk backup in a single pass, instead of multiple passes as with Partimage - one pass for each partition, plus additional manual or scripted operations for MBR & partition tables. The thing really worked, albeit requiring a bit of manual chores.

Cheers
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Re: Disk images of LMDE

Postby Niks on Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:37 am

I believe in keep it simply and GUI :!:

Basic wish is this :arrow:
I want to boot ( drive / dvd / stick what ever ) click on copy select source, select destination say yes "twice" and go and do some thing useful with my life while the computer does it's thing.
After a short time as 7GB copy over Sata2 should not take more then 15mins receive the message 'Finished"
Shutdown
disconnect source drive
Restart PC and have a working copy of LMDE running from the hard disk in front of me!
:D
This is what I call cloning and If this does not happen then I classify that as "not working" :cry:
I try not to post heaps of info in the beginning avoid wasting server space and making people read info that may not be relevant...... :roll:
My question was "has anyone else had problems with cloning" and added brief description as to what I was doing. :?:

Ok I don't call P4 4Gz new but don't regard them as old either and see no reason why the bios should have problems with disk size since both have sata1 interfaces.

After more research I have discovered that I can install LMDE 32 onto one PC and discovered it was Grub ( which I was pointing my finger at in my first post ) that was causing the problem as it somehow would wipe the MBR on the first drive even after I told it to install on the first drive and not the second.
Remove the second drive / install and problem solved :?

I had already install unbuntu studio 64 on my other PC but I suspect it has the same problem.
The second drive in both cases are IDE the main are both SATA1

I still don't know what will happen if I try to use "cloning software" yet but I will try as soon as I can and post my findings. :|

One very interesting discovery while installing Unbuntu studio
I wanted to use the user name "video" and I was told "this is a system name and is not allowed !!!!
Mint LMDE 32 does allow you to enter this but you will never be able to logon!!!!!!!!!!
Changed the name to anyone and now it's fine!
:idea: Maybe there should be a list of "not allowed" names pop up during installation mintys :?:
Thx to all for your feedback
more would be welcome :mrgreen:
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Re: Disk images of LMDE

Postby Niks on Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:37 am

I believe in keep it simply and GUI :!:

Basic wish is this :arrow:
I want to boot ( drive / dvd / stick what ever ) click on copy select source, select destination say yes "twice" and go and do some thing useful with my life while the computer does it's thing.
After a short time as 7GB copy over Sata2 should not take more then 15mins receive the message 'Finished"
Shutdown
disconnect source drive
Restart PC and have a working copy of LMDE running from the hard disk in front of me!
:D
This is what I call cloning and If this does not happen then I classify that as "not working" :cry:
I try not to post heaps of info in the beginning avoid wasting server space and making people read info that may not be relevant...... :roll:
My question was "has anyone else had problems with cloning" and added brief description as to what I was doing. :?:

Ok I don't call P4 4Gz new but don't regard them as old either and see no reason why the bios should have problems with disk size since both have sata1 interfaces.

After more research I have discovered that I can install LMDE 32 onto one PC and discovered it was Grub ( which I was pointing my finger at in my first post ) that was causing the problem as it somehow would wipe the MBR on the first drive even after I told it to install on the first drive and not the second.
Remove the second drive / install and problem solved :?

I had already install unbuntu studio 64 on my other PC but I suspect it has the same problem.
The second drive in both cases are IDE the main are both SATA1

I still don't know what will happen if I try to use "cloning software" yet but I will try as soon as I can and post my findings. :|

One very interesting discovery while installing Unbuntu studio
I wanted to use the user name "video" and I was told "this is a system name and is not allowed !!!!
Mint LMDE 32 does allow you to enter this but you will never be able to logon!!!!!!!!!!
Changed the name to anyone and now it's fine!
:idea: Maybe there should be a list of "not allowed" names pop up during installation mintys :?:
Thx to all for your feedback
more would be welcome :mrgreen:
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