Hi, I'm dual booting windows 7 and linux mint, and trying to set up some method for backing up these installs. I'd like to be able at any time to restore the installations to the state they were in when I did the backup, and especially for windows, to preserve my activation key.
Will tar work for this purpose? If I wanted to just tar the entire partition where each install is located, could I then in the future re-create those partitions (assuming they were lost) and just unpack the tarball, and be up and running just like that?
It seems the only other option is to make an image of the disk, but this doesn't seem ideal because (1) I have to have the filesystem unmounted at the time I perform the backup, and (2) most of the space on the disk right now is empty, and making a straight image of the disk will include all this empty space. Or is that not true?
Also, is it possible to backup your paritition table, and re-make the partitions with the same UUIDS so that your fstab file will work when you try to recover?
Sorry that's a lot of questions, but any help in clearing up some of my confusion is greatly appreciated. Thanks!