[SOLVED] A software similar to Paragon Partition Magic to clone a OS image to restore in case of system failure?

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Ataraxic
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[SOLVED] A software similar to Paragon Partition Magic to clone a OS image to restore in case of system failure?

Post by Ataraxic »

Hello,

I am new to Linux Mint and the forum, so I hope to do / have done things correctly.

First I'll start by saying that I searched my question beforehand but I can't find exactly what I need OR the option seems to be very delicate and only for experienced users. In my current inexperience I rather avoid doing very complicated terminal operations using fstab or dd as I am afraid to fully break what I have instead of making a secure backup copy.

Here's what I want. In Windows I used Paragon Partition Manager Suite to create a Backup Image of my OS so I can always go back to the exact copy of my freshly installed OS and not be afraid of having to untangle things once I made an atrocity. The Backup image would be saved on an external HDD and it would be accessible through a Boot CD (made with the same Paragon Partition Suite). The Boot CD took me to a graphical environment very similar to GParted and allowed me to browse through my different Restore Images (Similar to browsing through System Recovery or Time Shift) and finally copy/overwrite my saved System's Image on top of my messed up System.

This was very practical because I always had a fresh install set up and ready to go that could be restored in 10 minutes.

I read that TimeShift would do the same or should at least suffice for "undoing errors" but I dont trust it to truly undo ALL changes. On TimeShift and System Restore I always noticed that the restoration is not absolute. My paranoid mind tells me that traces are left and the system only seems OK but is actually super cluttered.

Anyone know a good GUI program like Paragon, Acronis, GParted that does what I need? I read something about Clonezilla but many discouraged me of using it because of its complexity and badly translated manual.

Im running Linux Mint 19 Tara / Cinnamon on a SDD with three BIOS, MBR partitions (/root, /SWAP, /home) . I dual boot Windows 7 which is on a different HDD (SATA).

After messing up my system while trying to tweak it and install OneDrive Free & FireJail I see it is necessary to have a system image handy to get back to the way it was if something seems wrong.

Thanks to everybody beforehand.
Last edited by Ataraxic on Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
deepakdeshp
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Re: A software similar to Paragon Partition Magic to clone a OS image to restore in case of system failure?

Post by deepakdeshp »

CloneZilla is very reliable .I have been using it for more than 15 years now.
If I have helped you solve a problem, please add [SOLVED] to your first post title, it helps other users looking for help, and keeps the forum clean.
Regards,
Deepak

I am using Mint 20 Cinnamon 64 bit with AMD A8/7410 processor . Memory 8GB
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Re: A software similar to Paragon Partition Magic to clone a OS image to restore in case of system failure?

Post by srq2625 »

You can boot the LM 19 LiveUSB and use gparted to copy partitions. Works quite nicely really. I used it to move a complete install from a spinning rust drive to a new SSD. Worked as advertised.

As indicated above, CloneZilla is also a very reliable tool. If you read the various screens as you go along, don't need any manual. But, reading is a necessity.
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Re: A software similar to Paragon Partition Magic to clone a OS image to restore in case of system failure?

Post by bassplayer »

deepakdeshp wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:15 am
CloneZilla is very reliable .I have been using it for more than 15 years now.
I also recommend using CloneZilla. Works great.
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Re: A software similar to Paragon Partition Magic to clone a OS image to restore in case of system failure?

Post by trytip »

after years of cloning and using all sorts of backups there are always bad configurations in the transfer when you clone. i frequently do a timeshift snapshot (3 at the most) then use gparted to completely delete the mint 19 and test out a new distro. after a few days when i'm done testing i boot mint live, fire up timeshift , making sure the settings and locations are the same and unchecking all advanced settings i can restore my mint to how i left it

in fact i'm about to wipe this installation i'm on and try a new vanilla arch deepin and i'm more than confident i can came back here in a few hours with a completely restored mint 19

the only problem with this is that most users that do not know much about partitions tend to create extra partitions and get lost in the extended/logical layout format then not knowing where and what is, their restored snapshots don't work because when they use timeshift from a live mint they never check the settings to make sure they are pointed to the correct location and unchecking the advanced settings which should only be used as a last resort because that reinstalls the grub
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Re: A software similar to Paragon Partition Magic to clone a OS image to restore in case of system failure?

Post by Flemur »

MiniTool Partition Wizard Bootable
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?
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Re: A software similar to Paragon Partition Magic to clone a OS image to restore in case of system failure?

Post by phd21 »

Hi Ataraxic,

Welcome to the wonderful world of Linux Mint and its excellent forum!

I just read your post and the good replies to it. Here are my thoughts on this as well.
+1 for creating and using a bootable CD/DVD or USB stick of "Clonezilla Live" disc imaging application for backing up and restoring drives and or their partition images. This does some compression to save space too. I have been using this for years and have never had a problem. Can easily backup Linux and MS Windows drives and Mac drives (using an Intel CPU).

Clonezilla live
https://clonezilla.org/clonezilla-live.php
+1 for creating a bootable CD/DVD or USB stick of "gParted live" as well for partition management and editing and it too can copy partitions very well. This may already be installed on the Live Test drive DVD or USB stick of Linux Mint.

-- gParted Copy #1, I did copy a partition on an external drive that I had been using to my primary internal drive recently using "gParted Live" from one drive to another which was surprisingly fast and it worked, but I got some errors (no symbol table, etc...) during boot up because the bootloader Grub was not correct or not installed properly which the bootable utility "boot-repair-disk" or the console terminal command below easily fixed (I used the console command). This does not apply to people using uEFI booting options.

Open a console terminal command to install the "Grub bootloader" replace the "X" below with the correct drive designator for your drive, like "sda" for the first internal drive, or "sdb" for the 2nd internal drive or first external drive, etc...

Code: Select all

sudo install-grub /dev/sdX
Once booted into the drive, run the "sudo update-grub" and the messages no longer appeared.

Code: Select all

sudo update-grub
-- gParted Copy #2, I also noticed a much longer boot-up time because I had some drive reference entries in that copied system's drive file "fstab" that were referencing partitions that I wanted available that were no longer available, once I edited the "fstab" file and removed those drive partition entries, it booted up very quickly like before.

The MiniTool Partition Wizard (PW) is great for managing (changing or editing) or repairing MS Windows partitions or partitions using MS Windows file systems (NTFS, Fat32, etc...). In fact, I have a USB external drive using the MS Windows NTFS filesystem like most do that somehow got corrupted and would not allow me access to important content, and I booted into PW and ran its Check Repair option which fixed it in less than a minute. But, I have never used it for backing up or cloning (copying) drives and or their partitions with Linux file systems (ext4, BTRFS, etc...) on them. It may work well for that too. It is also the only program that I could find to update a drive and its partition system references after deleting partitions (like removing MS Windows to keep Linux Mint and recover the space MS Windows used).

Hope this helps ...
Last edited by phd21 on Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Phd21: Mint 19.2 Cinnamon & xKDE (Xfce) & KDE Neon 64-bit Awesome OS's, Dell Inspiron I5 7000 2 in 1, Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram, Intel 4 Graphics. I use KDE?:https://opensource.com/life/15/4/9-reasons-to-use-kde
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Re: A software similar to Paragon Partition Magic to clone a OS image to restore in case of system failure?

Post by trytip »

from this snap i just deleted /dev/sde1/ this is where my mint 19 was a few minutes ago. currently deepin is updating. so far the installation has a few flaws, i can't change fonts, nvidia doesn't want to install but this is only for test. after update i reboot install Timeshift on deepin create a snapshot. then i'll boot mint 18 xfce live and use timeshift to restore my mint 19 cinnamon but not install the boot loader: if all goes well i should be back here with mint 19 as the one i used to post my comment above. deepin installed and replaced my mint 19 bootloader and i used the same home partition to create the new deepin user

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you can see timeshift uses the same home directory as where i have mint19 (mint02 folder) and arch linux deepin (home folder)

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Re: A software similar to Paragon Partition Magic to clone a OS image to restore in case of system failure?

Post by trytip »

so after checking out the arch deepin build deepin updated to 15.8 and don't like the way developers remove useful features of desktops. i couldn't change the fonts before or after updating. the arch portion worked as it should but the combo arch with deepin desktop had a few snags. wasn't my cup of tea so i booted mint 18 xfce live and prepare for mint 19 restore
the first restore failed because i decided not to install the advanced options and arch bootloader is different than ubuntu and got a boot error. not a big deal. rebooted mint 18 xfce fired up timeshift again under advanced options i had to be careful that bootloader will be installed on my /dev/sde/ selected all three options and timeshift did it's thing completing with bootloader install

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at first i chose to not install bootloader and boot failed. i restored again the second time selecting the correct boot device and used all three options
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when it was done my mint 19 booted as i left it (of course i will need to reinstall grub from mint19 since i used mint18 live for the restoration)
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timeshift isn't perfect but so far IMO it's the best i can use to quickly restore a broken system or even to replace it after installing a complete new os on top of the old one.
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Re: A software similar to Paragon Partition Magic to clone a OS image to restore in case of system failure?

Post by trytip »

to finish, i forgotten that my UUID were different now that the /root and /swap partitions were deleted and reformatted so at boot i had a timeout. it still booted but systemd reported that boot processes wasn't finished.

checking the /etc/fstab i had to update the current UUID from Disks and replace it. this is where timeshift fails if you delete or reformat drives but that happens anytime partitions are altered

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but this is extreme in my case since i delete everything. for n. with a few notifications
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Re: A software similar to Paragon Partition Magic to clone a OS image to restore in case of system failure?

Post by mrgordos »

Hi, since you have windows 7 installed as well as Linux you can use Macrium reflect free edition to create an image on windows 7 and choose Linux disk as your source. I have been using this for years to back up mint and windows on 2 different computers, and just used it after doing a fresh install of mint 19 and windows 10 at the same time. The only downside is that it only works from windows. But you can image or restore only the Linux disk if that is all you need.
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Re: A software similar to Paragon Partition Magic to clone a OS image to restore in case of system failure?

Post by Mark Phelps »

First off, another supporter of Clonezilla. It is clumsy to use at first, as it requires you to select the Destination of the image backup BEFORE selecting the Source. That can be confusing when most other tools have you select the Source first.

Second, Macrium Reflect, even the FREE edition, now allows you to create bootable media. With that, you can boot into MR and run it, and then use it to backup or restore Linux volumes. I have tried this and confirm it works. It does that because instead of reading the filesystem, it only reads the blocks and sectors. So, it doesn't matter what the underlying filesystem consists of.
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Re: A software similar to Paragon Partition Magic to clone a OS image to restore in case of system failure?

Post by catweazel »

trytip wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:02 pm
after years of cloning and using all sorts of backups there are always bad configurations in the transfer when you clone.
Que?
"There is, ultimately, only one truth -- cogito, ergo sum -- everything else is an assumption." - Me, my swansong.
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Re: A software similar to Paragon Partition Magic to clone a OS image to restore in case of system failure?

Post by Ataraxic »

deepakdeshp wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:15 am
CloneZilla is very reliable .I have been using it for more than 15 years now.
Thank you for your quick reply, since CloneZilla seems to resemble 'Partition Magic Back Up' the most and has been around for so long, I suppose I should give it a chance and test it. I hope the documentation isn't as badly translated as I read somewhere.
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Re: A software similar to Paragon Partition Magic to clone a OS image to restore in case of system failure?

Post by Ataraxic »

srq2625 wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:20 am
You can boot the LM 19 LiveUSB and use gparted to copy partitions. Works quite nicely really. I used it to move a complete install from a spinning rust drive to a new SSD. Worked as advertised.

As indicated above, CloneZilla is also a very reliable tool. If you read the various screens as you go along, don't need any manual. But, reading is a necessity.
Hey there. So you just take a spare HDD (like an external HDD) and copy the /root partition only? Just like that copy partition and the you end up with an external HDD with one /root partition and the rest unallocated? It seems to be a very simple solution ... almost like taking an image with Acronis True Image. Thanks!
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Re: A software similar to Paragon Partition Magic to clone a OS image to restore in case of system failure?

Post by Ataraxic »

That seems like a very practical way to get things back to a System Capture however it seems to get tricky when things get serious. I guess Ill have to practice this on a different installation as I am not that familiar with linux partitioning and might get confused with the settings in the last stage. If I understand correctly you store your Time Shift captures on an external HDD and use the LiveUSB to delete and create partitions so you can later do a capture restore from the LiveUSB? Is a Time Shift Capture the same as an OS Image or will it only restore your configuration and apps on top of a fresh install? Thank you for your suggestion!
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Re: A software similar to Paragon Partition Magic to clone a OS image to restore in case of system failure?

Post by Ataraxic »

Flemur wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:00 pm
MiniTool Partition Wizard Bootable
Hello. This MiniTool Partition Wizard Bootable kind of feels more like it when I look at the screenshots of the user interface. I like the options and the possibilities, however it does not mention a back up possibility only copy partitions but I guess that shouldnt be a problem. Documentation in Englisch and German is also a plus. Kinda pricey though. Good thing they offer a trial ! Thanks !
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Re: A software similar to Paragon Partition Magic to clone a OS image to restore in case of system failure?

Post by Ataraxic »

Wow, that is some incredible information you added to the threat! Thanks I am sold for CloneZilla and I already started using GParted on USB, CD and as a program on my Mint installation. Contrary to my first thoughts, GParted is a very friendly and simple tool, I only struggled very long understanding and deciding on the partition table scheme and the number and type of partitions I would need. (finally decided for BIOS MBR, /root, /swap, /home)

I am experimenting a lot and trying this and that so I am obviously afraid of messing up something and not having a way of going back (already messed up BIG! time my external HDD backup. I accidentally installed Linux Mint on the ExtHDD and had no way of undoing the damage as I went with system encryption on top of my VeraCrypt Hidden partition on the external HDD!)

Btw, the commands on how to fix / install or re-install the Grub bootloader are super useful and I have already written them down in case I should need them. Thank you very mucho! I am learning a lot !
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Re: A software similar to Paragon Partition Magic to clone a OS image to restore in case of system failure?

Post by Ataraxic »

Hi Trytrip,

thank you for the walk-through with the screenshots, but to be honest I felt a bit intimidated with the process and the fstab and the UUID renaming. I am afraid I wouldn't know what is wrong when something fails (like finding out the UUIDs have to be updated or the Grub is from a previous install). I guess there is still a lot to learn :D

I really appreciate your disposition to help me and totally don't envy those super cool 3 x 2 TB HDDs ! Wow ! Nice setup! :D
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Re: A software similar to Paragon Partition Magic to clone a OS image to restore in case of system failure?

Post by Ataraxic »

mrgordo and Mark Phelps, thanks you for suggesting the Macrium Reflect program, this will definitely be of a great help since I will be dual booting for some time and having a program that works on both systems is extremely helpful! (and its free !! yay!!) Merci :wink:
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