System Backup

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dEhiN
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System Backup

Post by dEhiN » Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:10 pm

HI all, so I've been using LMDE 2 for probably 1/2 - 3/4 of a year, and I'm loving it a lot! However, due to a possible job, I might need to reinstall Windows. This job would require specialised software that only runs on Windows or Mac. I have Oracle VirtualBox but 1) my system only has 4 GB of RAM, so my Win7 vb is pretty slow, and 2) the software is for online teaching, so I don't think virtualization programs are great for handling webcam/mic pass-through at a quick rate.

My question: how can I backup my LMDE 2 setup to be able to use it in the future, when I eventually get another machine to install LMDE 2 back onto? I would love a drop and play situation, similar to ghosting. But I know ghosting won't work unless the machine specs are the exact same. I'm also not afraid to reinstall and reconfigure. I know that there's the Backup Tool, but I'm not sure how that would handle backing up the entire file system. You can see from my sig that I have a 160 GB drive (150 GB usable) with sda1 being a 30 GB /, sda2 being a 115 GB /home, and sda3 being a 5 GB swap. I do have a 3 TB ext hd that is formatted as NTFS or FAT32 and sda1 and sda2 are ext4. If I back up the entire file system, could I do it to the ext hd? Would it just try to do a bit copy? Or is there any way I can get the file system backup to pipe into a file? Alternately, would it make more sense to just back up sda2 (/home consists of /home/root and /home/david, which is my regular user account)? Again, can I pipe the backup into a file? Or does it do a bit copy? Or a file by file copy? And what about either backing up my programs or getting a list of installed programs? I posted here last year about backing up and some responses did refer me to the Backup Tool as well as a way to get a list of installed programs.

Anyway, apologies for the long post. Would appreciate any help you can give me. I really like the job, and am ok with switching back to Windows for now, but would rather not lose my LMDE 2 setup in the process. Of course personal files backup I know how to do, so my concern is more LMDE2 specific stuff - config files, installed programs, etc. Thanks in advance.
HP Compaq Presario CQ41: AMD Athlon II P340 Dual-Core @ 2.2GHz -- 4 GB DDR3 1066MHz -- LMDE 2 64-bit MATE (/dev/sda1 - 312GB - /; /dev/sda2 - 8GB - swap)

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phd21
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Re: System Backup

Post by phd21 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:25 pm

Hi "dEhiN"

You can easily make an image backup of your hard drive and or Linux Mint partition to an external USB drive using a bootable CD/DVD or USB flash drive stick of "Clonezilla Live", and other drive imaging apps.

If your hard drive is large enough, you can also "dual-boot" Ms Windows and Linux Mint.

If you use a USB webcam, you should have no problems using that in VirtualBox, just click the USB option at the bottom, or in the setup of that virtual machine, and let the "Guest" operating system (MS Windows) take priority control of that USB device - webcam. Of course, if you can add more system memory (Ram), which does not cost much nowadays, that would help immensely.

Out of curiosity, what specialized software are you referring too that requires Ms Windows for teaching? Teaching what subjects?

Hope this helps ...
Phd21: Mint KDE 17.3 & 18.3, 64-bit Awesome OS, Ancient Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram,256gb SDD, Video: Intel 4 Graphics, DVD Lightscribe. Why I use KDE?:https://opensource.com/life/15/4/9-reasons-to-use-kde

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Re: System Backup

Post by jimallyn » Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:55 pm

If you can't run Windoze in VirtualBox, or dual boot your computer, I would back it up with Clonezilla.
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Re: System Backup

Post by dEhiN » Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:32 pm

Thanks phd21 and jimallyn. My laptop (an HP EliteBook 6930p) has only one RAM slot, and afaik you can't get 8GB DIMMs, which means I'm stuck with 4GB. I also never thought of dual-booting due to my HD only being 160GB, and Windows usually needing a fair amount of space.

As for what I'll be teaching, it's an online English school that teaches business English to adults in China. I actually already do a similar thing with another online English school that teaches English to kids in China. (I got the job(s) through a Canadian company that finds teachers for these two schools). The company for the children uses an online Flash-based platform, so all I need is Chrome and the default LM Flash package. This other company for the adults uses a proprietary software that is called through their online platform. (Both operate on the concept of each lesson is taught within a "classroom", basically a virtual instance of their software. However the Flash-based one is all online, so they probably use Flash to access a "classroom" that is maybe generated on their servers, while this other company uses an offline software that I presume generates the classroom.)

In any case, all I know is that the software does not have a Linux version and I'm comfortable with reinstalling Windows for now and coming back to LMDE later on.
HP Compaq Presario CQ41: AMD Athlon II P340 Dual-Core @ 2.2GHz -- 4 GB DDR3 1066MHz -- LMDE 2 64-bit MATE (/dev/sda1 - 312GB - /; /dev/sda2 - 8GB - swap)

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Re: System Backup

Post by JerryF » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:06 pm

I looked up your model and you may want to check again with regards to RAM. There might be another empty slot underneath the currently filled slot. If there is, the virtualbox solution might be a go.

Since you have a 3TB external hard drive, maybe you can install one of your OSes to that drive and boot from that.
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Re: System Backup

Post by dEhiN » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:10 pm

JerryF wrote:I looked up your model and you may want to check again with regards to RAM. There might be another empty slot underneath the currently filled slot. If there is, the virtualbox solution might be a go.
Thanks JerryF, I will check that out! I was certain my laptop only had one slot, but I'll pull it apart and see.
JerryF wrote:Since you have a 3TB external hard drive, maybe you can install one of your OSes to that drive and boot from that.
Yeah, that's not a bad idea.
HP Compaq Presario CQ41: AMD Athlon II P340 Dual-Core @ 2.2GHz -- 4 GB DDR3 1066MHz -- LMDE 2 64-bit MATE (/dev/sda1 - 312GB - /; /dev/sda2 - 8GB - swap)

kevinthefixer
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Re: System Backup

Post by kevinthefixer » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:19 pm

Just another thought--pull out your current HDD, put it in a drawer somewhere, install Windows on another for your job. If you wanted to get fancy you could clone the current drive to a partition on the new (hopefully larger) drive and dual-boot. SSDs have become larger and cheaper lately, and by all reports speed things up too.

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Re: System Backup

Post by dEhiN » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:27 am

Hey all, thanks again to all those who responded. I ended up backing up the major folders in my /home directory to my ext hdd. I'm on another laptop now and put LMDE 2 on it. Then I just copied over the backed up folders over.
HP Compaq Presario CQ41: AMD Athlon II P340 Dual-Core @ 2.2GHz -- 4 GB DDR3 1066MHz -- LMDE 2 64-bit MATE (/dev/sda1 - 312GB - /; /dev/sda2 - 8GB - swap)

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killer de bug
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Re: System Backup

Post by killer de bug » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:44 am

Don't forget to do this on a regular basis. It's not difficult as you have seen and can save your data. :wink:
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Re: System Backup

Post by phd21 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:17 pm

Hi "dEhiN",

You are welcome.

I have been following your post and replies. Here are more of my thoughts on this as well.

You still have not told use what MS Windows software you "need" to use for work that requires MS Windows? If for some reason you do not want to say that openly in this forum, then send a PM with that information.

Although 4gb of system memory is not that much for running VirtualBox with MS Windows installed as a virtual machine (VM), it would work as long as you give as much system memory and video memory to the virtual machine (MS Windows) as you can, and try not to load up or do too much in the host Linux Mint machine while running your MS Window application(s) in the Virtualbox. After you get MS Windows working in your Virtualbox, you could delete the original MS Windows partition (if you want).

Great link for installing Virtualbox and MS Windows in that. (Great Linux website)
https://sites.google.com/site/easylinux ... ct/oldgrub

I also agree that you should check to see if another memory slot is available, because it is unusual to have only 1 memory slot in any computer, including laptops.

HP EliteBook 6930p
HP EliteBook 6930p wrote: Standard: 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM; two slots supporting dual channel memory 1024 MB, 2048 MB, 4096 MB, or 8192 MB
Maximum: Upgradeable to 8192 MB with 4096 MB SODIMMs in slots 1 and 2
Dual-channel: Maximized dual-channel performance requires SODIMMs of the same size and speed in both memory slots.
https://support.hp.com/us-en/product/hp ... /c01538038
It is always a good idea to backup your system to an external drive, like a USB hard drive. I highly recommend that you create an image backup of your MS Windows partition(s), and any other partitions, using an application like "Clonezilla Live". I do this at the very start before installing Linux Mint, then after I have it setup the way I want it, and then at least once a month or more after installing a bunch of stuff, or before any major updates.

I also use a syncing application (FreeFileSync, LuckyBakcup, etc...) for faster frequent backups (daily, weekly, etc...) which are basically copies of whatever has changed since the original synced copy of your system to an external drive.

And, installing and using the wonderful "Aptik" application for backing up my Linux Mint system customizations, like installed applications, PPAs, themes and icons, etc... this can also be used to backup your entire "/home" folder as well. This makes reinstalling Linux Mint with all your applications and customizations simple, if you ever want or need to do a fresh install of Linux Mint.


Hope this helps ...
Phd21: Mint KDE 17.3 & 18.3, 64-bit Awesome OS, Ancient Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram,256gb SDD, Video: Intel 4 Graphics, DVD Lightscribe. Why I use KDE?:https://opensource.com/life/15/4/9-reasons-to-use-kde

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Re: System Backup

Post by sdibaja » Wed May 03, 2017 3:41 am

dEhiN wrote:HI all, so I've been using LMDE 2 for probably 1/2 - 3/4 of a year, and I'm loving it a lot! However, due to a possible job, I might need to reinstall Windows. This job would require specialised software that only runs on Windows or Mac. I have Oracle VirtualBox but 1) my system only has 4 GB of RAM, so my Win7 vb is pretty slow, and 2) the software is for online teaching, so I don't think virtualization programs are great for handling webcam/mic pass-through at a quick rate.

My question: how can I backup my LMDE 2 setup to be able to use it in the future, when I eventually get another machine to install LMDE 2 back onto? I would love a drop and play situation, similar to ghosting. But I know ghosting won't work unless the machine specs are the exact same. I'm also not afraid to reinstall and reconfigure. I know that there's the Backup Tool, but I'm not sure how that would handle backing up the entire file system. You can see from my sig that I have a 160 GB drive (150 GB usable) with sda1 being a 30 GB /, sda2 being a 115 GB /home, and sda3 being a 5 GB swap. I do have a 3 TB ext hd that is formatted as NTFS or FAT32 and sda1 and sda2 are ext4. If I back up the entire file system, could I do it to the ext hd? Would it just try to do a bit copy? Or is there any way I can get the file system backup to pipe into a file? Alternately, would it make more sense to just back up sda2 (/home consists of /home/root and /home/david, which is my regular user account)? Again, can I pipe the backup into a file? Or does it do a bit copy? Or a file by file copy? And what about either backing up my programs or getting a list of installed programs? I posted here last year about backing up and some responses did refer me to the Backup Tool as well as a way to get a list of installed programs.

Anyway, apologies for the long post. Would appreciate any help you can give me. I really like the job, and am ok with switching back to Windows for now, but would rather not lose my LMDE 2 setup in the process. Of course personal files backup I know how to do, so my concern is more LMDE2 specific stuff - config files, installed programs, etc. Thanks in advance.
you can clone the partitions using gparted. Simple copy and paste.
Disconnect or delete one copy or boot gets weird as both will have the same UUID

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Re: System Backup

Post by Pepi » Sat May 06, 2017 10:33 am

I've used Acronis for years. Never has failed me 8)

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dEhiN
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Re: System Backup

Post by dEhiN » Mon May 08, 2017 2:21 am

Hey all, thank you so much for your replies and advice. The software that I needed to use that would only run on Windows was for an online ESL school based in China. I needed to install the software just to even have the evaluation session! Unfortunately I didn't get the job.

But the good news is that I'm back on LMDE 2. I actually was able to switch laptops. But in the end for backing up stuff, I just used an external drive to backup the main contents of my /home folder (/home/Downloads, /home/Desktop, etc.). I did the same when switching to Windows and when switching back. Although the switch back was really putting LMDE 2 on this new(er) laptop.

Anyway thanks again.
HP Compaq Presario CQ41: AMD Athlon II P340 Dual-Core @ 2.2GHz -- 4 GB DDR3 1066MHz -- LMDE 2 64-bit MATE (/dev/sda1 - 312GB - /; /dev/sda2 - 8GB - swap)

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