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Using gnome-disk to create & restore any disk image

Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:04 am
by ron_o
From a HD with bad sectors I used gnome disk to restore a Windows 7 machine. This should work for any distro and any OS. I was curious if it would work for Windows, but it did. I hope this how-to alleviates some of your anxiety using this tool.

Run a liveCD, preferably the latest Linuxmint. Any one with the gnome-disk utility or internet access to download the program.

* Start gnome-disk utility. It should be in your mint menu.

* Click on the HD that needs to be imaged.
* There's a star in the right corner, left click for a menu and choose, "Create Disk Image"
* ***** The size of the partition or HD to save the image file must be as big or preferably larger than your original HD.
* ***** The image is a file and it won't write over other data.
* Replace the old HD with the new one.
* You must now format the HD to the required file system.
* ***** Right click on the gear-like-emblem below the file system, then follow the format type to the one that is required (NTFS, ext4, etc).
* ***** For most, the quick format option works well, which takes less than a minute. But if your HD has any sector errors in it then the long version is needed.
* Left click the gear icon in the right hand corner again and restore your image file to the new HD.

***** Done *****

Notes*
* for my 320GB drive took over 4 hours to create and 4 hours to restore the image.
* Gnome-disk found errors on my original HD, which it skipped over. I wasn't surprised at all since over 8000 sectors were failing. Around 0.1% (450MB) was written with zeros. This means it has error correction in the script. (It likely used dd_rescue for this operation).
* Windows picked up on some problems and fixed them with their "system restore" utility. My Win. 7 on my laptop is working fine now.
* I didn't need a repair disk for Windows to restart the system.
* I totally avoided using any Windows software to fix this problem (except the automatic system restore)
* Where YMMV, I'm not sure how the gnome-disk utility will deal with a HD larger than the original. For instance, each of my HDs were 320GB each, so the new OS and its partitions were all the same. What will the disk utility do with the larger HD. I'm not sure. Will it leave the the extra space blank??
* You can do the same thing with dd_rescue or dd. But this is so much easier for most people.

** UPDATE:
Apparently my sector count errors affected my OS to the point it couldn't be used, so I eventually had to reinstall the entire OS. I never realized that my Recovery CDs I made years ago had the OS on them. FYI, it's an Acer laptop.