Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Questions about applications and software
Forum rules
Before you post please read how to get help
Route66
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:59 am

Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by Route66 »

Do not worry... will take my time... :lol:

Problem disks: at least 2...
2TB: Single NTFS, MSDOS partition table, disk
3TB: Single NTFS, GPT disk

I tried to make a print screen and to save it without making a folder: Same, read-only message, so failed...

The backup was very small, the hidden partition of Win10, less than 100MB, there is no hesitation, there was space enough. On the SSD it was no problem to do the same action.

So... be patient .. to find the black hole in my system/hard disks.... :mrgreen:
Route66
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:59 am

Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by Route66 »

Well, to summarize the results: I can now mount the NTFS formatted partition in write mode as it should and made a successful test backing up a partition using Foxclone. The Problem for both disks were solved.

So my read-only problem of these NTFS-partition based disks is solved.
This results may be handy for others having this problem.
By the way: Normally I tend to use EXT4 partitions on Linux systems. But as my Windows backup data were on a NTFS partitioned disk, I wanted to have them both on it in the test phase. And normally I never had such issues.

How was it done?
To be sure I build a small clean Linux system. With MX-Linux you can do it very fast and it contains a lot of tools.
Just had to install NTFS fix and that one did the job as you can read in the code.

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g -y
Further I found some tips via google.
https://www.google.com/search?client=op ... 8&oe=UTF-8
The first hit seems a good one.

What was the probable cause?
Initially I was on the track of the state of the disk (SMART results). But I had another old (test) disk I knew it was at the end of its life and that one seemed to give no problems with NTFS.
To be honest: I do not really know. As looking back: Under Windows I had no issues.

So I went for a search to find similar problems from others, however most of them were corrupt USB stick with an NTFS partition. Later I found indeed a hint for this fix.
Afterwards.. I should have run the search with "corrupt" instead of "read-only" NTFS partition... probably the ntfsfix tool would have come very fast on my screen..... :oops: Likely I also had a lack of such problems here too... which I do not mind.... :mrgreen:

Glad, but not completely satisfied not know the real cause. Maybe there was already something wrong on both disks? Don't know...

And of course the input/output from my terminal:

Code: Select all

test@mx:~
$ lsblk
NAME   MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
sda      8:0    0 931.5G  0 disk 
├─sda1   8:1    0 259.7G  0 part 
├─sda2   8:2    0     1K  0 part 
└─sda3   8:3    0 667.8G  0 part /
sdb      8:16   0   2.7T  0 disk 
└─sdb1   8:17   0   1.9T  0 part 
sr0     11:0    1  1024M  0 rom  
test@mx:~
$ sudo ntfsfix /dev/sdb1
[sudo] password for test: 
[b]Mounting volume... The disk contains an unclean file system (0, 0).[/b]
[b]Metadata kept in Windows cache, refused to mount.[/b]
FAILED
Attempting to correct errors... 
Processing $MFT and $MFTMirr...
Reading $MFT... OK
Reading $MFTMirr... OK
Comparing $MFTMirr to $MFT... OK
Processing of $MFT and $MFTMirr completed successfully.
Setting required flags on partition... OK
Going to empty the journal ($LogFile)... OK
Checking the alternate boot sector... OK
NTFS volume version is 3.1.
[b]NTFS partition /dev/sdb1 was processed successfully.[/b]
test@mx:~

test@mx:~
$ sudo ntfsfix --clear-bad-sectors /dev/sdb1
Mounting volume... OK
Processing of $MFT and $MFTMirr completed successfully.
Checking the alternate boot sector... OK
NTFS volume version is 3.1.
Going to un-mark the bad clusters ($BadClus)... No bad clusters...OK
NTFS partition /dev/sdb1 was processed successfully.
test@mx:~
sanmig
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:27 am

Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by sanmig »

So the good news is: Problem solved.
-> Mi$o file systems aren’t intended to be used by any other OS.

I’m in the same boat with a FAT partition, under the hood (!) Linux says it “may be corrupt” but it works flawlessly in Linux and Winwoes:
File system “may be corrupt” only in syslog ?

We can only apply some “fix” and hope for the best, the truth is hidden, even (or in particular) in the specs.
Mi$o? When they are in, I’m out.
Route66
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:59 am

Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by Route66 »

Solved indeed, after some investigations as you can read.
sanmig wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:05 pm
-> Mi$o file systems aren’t intended to be used by any other OS.
??
Foxclone uses Ubuntu and they (and most other Linux distro's support NTFS officially...
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Mount ... tions#NTFS

Your FAT case?
Find out I did what the trouble might be in your case. A nice challenge of use only EXT3 or 4.

Edit:
I had already a closer look in the message which was generated while fixing the problem with ntfsfix:
https://www.google.com/search?client=op ... 8&oe=UTF-8
Very often hibernating/quick start of windows or bad closing down of windows is given as cause.
But.. they were my data disks, no operating system on it.
I lack info whether MS will put info that is related to the boot disk ... on the data disk.
User avatar
AndyMH
Level 14
Level 14
Posts: 5012
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:23 pm
Location: Wiltshire

Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by AndyMH »

Route66 wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:27 pm
Foxclone uses Ubuntu and they (and most other Linux distro's support NTFS officially...
And I have tested foxclone, both backing up ntfs partitions (win10 installation dual boot with linux) and using an ntfs partition as the destination.
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, 3 x Thinkpad T430 Cinnamon 19.0, i7-3632 , i5-3320, i5-3210, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate
Route66
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:59 am

Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by Route66 »

That's my experience too, fully agree.
Thanks for your very nice tool. As you could read my problems are solved.

I'm looking forward to my experiments to see whether it can fully replace G4L; the data server from my son. Want to do several trials on different disks (same size). G4L works for mee great for nearly a decade already, but your tool is easier to use for my son.

Edit 2020-09-16:
Cloned with Foxclone my 3TB Toshiba (*) in 3h12min to another 3TB of the same model. As I never cloned this one with G4L or alike, did not know how fast it would have been exactly. Expected at least 6 hrs (G4L needs for cloning EXT4 based disks 2TB).
So: Wow... cool result.

(*) TOSHIBA DT01ACA300 3 TB my external data disk with NTFS partition

To do when the server is "free/offline": A EXT4 clone comparison between GF4L and Foxclone.
demux
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:51 pm

Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by demux »

Great utility, many thanks for this! I've just cloned from a Mint Office PC the SSD to a larger one. Has worked flawless with 67GB partition in 3:30 min and was very easy to use for me. Quickly loaded partitioning tool afterwards for expanding the partition on new SSD to the maximum. Re-plugged the SSD - done! :D :)
User avatar
AZgl1500
Level 14
Level 14
Posts: 5312
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:20 am
Location: Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains
Contact:

Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by AZgl1500 »

AndyMH has created a very nice, and easy to use tool.

on my newest laptop, 16gB RAM and 3mHz CPU, it is a Speed Demon!

I am just now using it to back up an old Acer Aspire-5253 with these specs, and things are chugging along very slow.
I am doing a full 128gB SSD image for a friend with 'no money' to spend... so I loaned out this 5253 to her, until life gets better.

it is slow, I need to find some more RAM for it, it can handle 8gB if they were laying around here?

Processor
Type : AMD C-50 Dual-core processor
Speed : 1 GHz
Cache : 1 MB L2

Chipset
AMD A50M Fusion™

Memory
2 GB DDR3 SDRAM


Image
Linux Mint 19.3 Cinnamon
User avatar
AndyMH
Level 14
Level 14
Posts: 5012
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:23 pm
Location: Wiltshire

Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by AndyMH »

That is really slow. Suspect it's down to I/O - usb 1.0? and mechanical HDDs. Is the internal drive IDE or SATA (probably SATA 1.0).
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, 3 x Thinkpad T430 Cinnamon 19.0, i7-3632 , i5-3320, i5-3210, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate
User avatar
AZgl1500
Level 14
Level 14
Posts: 5312
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:20 am
Location: Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains
Contact:

Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by AZgl1500 »

AndyMH wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:18 am
That is really slow. Suspect it's down to I/O - usb 1.0? and mechanical HDDs. Is the internal drive IDE or SATA (probably SATA 1.0).
the internal drive is a brand new 128gB SSD, the old HDD was so painfully slow, that I would not wish it on my worst enemy.

The Acer Aspire is USB 2.0 and the storage drive is a platter extUSB, and there is only 2gB RAM in the laptop.
it can handle 8gB RAM, I am going to paw through my junk box and see if any old DDR3 RAM sticks are around.
it only has 2 memory slots, and I do not want to try and buy two 4gB sticks at today's prices.

it is a loaner for a very nice lady friend, who lives about 1,500 miles away....
Life threw her a huge curve, her daughter somehow managed to take title to her home, while my friend was off in Michigan taking care of her ageing parents....

when her parents passed on, she moved back to Albuquerque, NM and discovered that her home was not "hers anymore" :twisted: :twisted: :evil:
She's now involved in Lawyer Fees and fighting in court suing her own daughter for Fraud.... the daughter signed her mother's name on the title.

so good ole me, is helping her out....
I have 4 laptops, and I can only use one at a time :roll:
The Acer Aspire came to me from an inheritance after my daughter's aunt passed away.
I just kept it for a loaner to help folks from time to time.
Linux Mint 19.3 Cinnamon
User avatar
AndyMH
Level 14
Level 14
Posts: 5012
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:23 pm
Location: Wiltshire

Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by AndyMH »

Life threw her a huge curve, her daughter somehow managed to take title to her home
Have a close friend, his wife's mother died a couple of years back. When the will was read, she'd left everything to the children (friend's wife and a brother), including the house. He didn't get a penny. They'd been married +50 years, don't know what he did wrong, but it must have been bad.
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, 3 x Thinkpad T430 Cinnamon 19.0, i7-3632 , i5-3320, i5-3210, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate
User avatar
AndyMH
Level 14
Level 14
Posts: 5012
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:23 pm
Location: Wiltshire

Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by AndyMH »

Latest version is now on the website, V42. I've downloaded the iso and checked it boots (legacy).

Changes In foxclone:
  • The warning message that foxclone can’t find a serial number on a drive has been removed (usually applies to USB sticks – adding no value).
  • Treatment of a drive with no partition table, but a valid filesystem* has been changed. Previously foxclone ignored the drive. Now it will allow it as a backup destination but will not allow it as a source.
  • Partition information displayed in list/checkboxes has been changed to hopefully provide more useful information at the start of an entry (based on user feedback).
  • Default compression level changed to 1 (was 2). Slightly faster with slightly larger backup files.
  • Minor bug fixes.
  • Significant update to the user guide. It now has embedded links to make it easier to navigate around the document.
In the ISO:
  • Thunar replaces pcmanfm as the file manager.
  • qpdfview replaces evince as the PDF viewer (user guide).
  • Networking enabled.
  • Pale Moon added as a web browser with the home page set to foxclone.com. Makes it easier to file bug reports or ask for help if having problems.
Don't expect any more significant updates this side of Christmas :)
Future plans are to look at what can be done for verification and see if I can get partclone-utils working so you can mount a backup image and look at the files.

* this is what disks will let you do with an unformatted drive. The user guide now explains how to reformat your drive with either disks or gparted.
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, 3 x Thinkpad T430 Cinnamon 19.0, i7-3632 , i5-3320, i5-3210, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate
User avatar
Drugwash
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:40 am
Location: Ploieşti, RO

Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by Drugwash »

Thank you for your work Andy.

Allowing partitionless drives is certainly a step forward but upon a deeper analysis it may create problems in the long run. It's been discussed before - lack of compatibility with Windows systems being the major issue - so I won't reiterate. What I thought would be benefic was, upon detection of such drive as destination, to display a nice concise warning about the compatibility issue and offer the ability to automatically create a single full-drive partition and format it with the same file system or any other supported one before performing the cloning operation. Especially in case of NTFS-formatted drives this will save the backup drives from being accidentally overwritten when a Windows system detects them as blank/unformatted. Just a thought.

Regarding the file manager... I never used Thunar so dunno how it looks and works, but for the last 20 years I've only been using a twin-panel file manager. If Thunar can't be set up that way could you possibly consider Double Commander as an alternative?

As for the browser, I've been using Pale Moon myself for the last few years in both Windows and Linux Mint, and never had any major issues with it. Of course it has a truckload of add-ons installed in order to have it work as I want. Starting with the upcoming version 29 there will be a significant change in regard to non-native add-ons (those not specifically created for Pale Moon but currently allowed through the Firefox compatibility mode). Thought you should know that in case you have any add-ons preinstalled. If that will create problems you may wanna consider Falkon as an alternative - it's lightweight and uses a Chromium engine which makes it much more compatible with modern sites.

Hope that helps. Keep up the good work!
User avatar
AndyMH
Level 14
Level 14
Posts: 5012
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:23 pm
Location: Wiltshire

Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by AndyMH »

Allowing partitionless drives is certainly a step forward - I've added a lot of explanation on how to fix in the user guide. It would be a lot of coding to fix it for the user and foxclone will also view LVM as drives without a partition table. Thinking about what I could do with LVM.

File manager - was never very happy with pcmanfm, so looked at caja, thunar and nemo, nemo was too much work and thunar was straightforward. Wanted a simple way for users to save files onto their system (save anything in foxclone and it is lost on reboot) and thunar does it. It's the default file manager in xfce.

Browser - was looking for the one that added the fewest MB to the iso to give access to the foxclone website. Best was midori, but that was incompatible with the website (would have needed a significant rewrite), next was epiphany, but didn't like the look which is how I ended up with pale moon. There are no add-ons installed. Did try most of the major/lightweight browsers, liked falcon but ended up with an iso over 700MB (v40 was about 590MB, latest v42 is around 650MB, nearly all the growth due to the browser).
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, 3 x Thinkpad T430 Cinnamon 19.0, i7-3632 , i5-3320, i5-3210, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate
User avatar
Drugwash
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:40 am
Location: Ploieşti, RO

Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by Drugwash »

OK, I see you went through a lot of testing. Hopefully it's all for the best.
Now I looked through the manual and there's one thing that drew my attention:
The iso is a minimal ubuntu installation running a 5.4 kernel. This may not boot on some older hardware.
That may be quite a limitation for some people. Myself I'm using a 2009 model notebook and the daily kernel is 5.0.0-31 as all later ones have problems with the network connection and not only. Wondering if you could add an older kernel and the ability for the user to select it in case they can't boot the default one.
Also, further down it says it only presents with an isolinux start screen when booting in legacy mode. Wonder why. My notebook always boots in legacy mode but Mint still presents with the GRUB menu. Couldn't this be a unified option so that a kernel selection would be possible in both modes?
AndyMH wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:26 am
Allowing partitionless drives is certainly a step forward - I've added a lot of explanation on how to fix in the user guide.
Yes, I see that. Most useful for manual manipulation of disks and partitions. But what I suggested was something easy, automated and straightforward, primarily aimed at complete noobs. Of course there could also be the option to manually do all kind of partition work if user so wishes, but the easy option would be to just automatically create a partition table on an empty partitionless drive, without any questions asked other than 'should I do it for you?'.
It may sound strange but I never understood what an LVM is, nor did I ever care about it. If it's hard/impossible to differentiate then it may be a problem, because we should try to avoid at all cost any accidental damage to user's data.
Finston Pickle
Level 2
Level 2
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:32 am

Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by Finston Pickle »

Just one concern, perhaps two.

My mint rig uses ext4 file format, should the usb HDD that I use be formatted to ext4 also.

By the sound of things a newly formatted usb HDD will not be seen by Foxclone.

I found that Redo had no such problems as I often reformatted the drive to start with the full drive being available.

I was never happy about partitions, so what do I have to do to make the USB HDD visible to Foxclone?
User avatar
AZgl1500
Level 14
Level 14
Posts: 5312
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:20 am
Location: Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains
Contact:

Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by AZgl1500 »

The increase in size is minimal for nearly all current Flash-drives being sold, as most of them are now 16gB.

I had to look hard to find some small ones at 4gB to keep my costs down low.

As for incompatibility with the latest kernel for older hardware, as long as Andy keeps the older versions available I don't see that is an issue.

I'm going to keep the current FoxClone flash-drive that I have, and make a new one so that I can work with most any piece of hardware that gets in front of me.
Linux Mint 19.3 Cinnamon
User avatar
AZgl1500
Level 14
Level 14
Posts: 5312
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:20 am
Location: Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains
Contact:

Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by AZgl1500 »

Andy,

I just finished going through your PDF document.
I am totally impressed, that is the Most Complete and Informative document on the subject that I have seen.
You put it in a format that anyone can understand, provided they take the time to actually read it.

you pointed out some Grievous errors using Gparted & Disks to format a partition, that causes Newbies a lot of Grief, as it did me when I was first learning about Linux myself.

Thank you for all of the hard, and deep and dirty work that you have done.
.
Linux Mint 19.3 Cinnamon
User avatar
AndyMH
Level 14
Level 14
Posts: 5012
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:23 pm
Location: Wiltshire

Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by AndyMH »

Wondering if you could add an older kernel
I have considered doing that for precisely the reasons you outline - newer kernels incompatible with older hardware. Current build is based on bionic, but if I use xenial it should build with a 4.15 kernel (I think, yet to try and figure out how to do it). I'll put this one further up my list of 'to dos'.
with an isolinux start screen when booting in legacy mode.
Because that's the way I did it first (and coming down a massive learning curve), Larry78723 then helped me out and got the iso booting in UEFI mode. As it works, no current plans to change.
but the easy option would be to just automatically create a partition table on an empty partitionless drive, without any questions asked other than 'should I do it for you?'.
Easy for the end user but a significant amount of work for me, also "mission creep" in terms of my objectives for foxclone. That is why I covered the subject in some detail in the revised user guide - so they can do it for themselves if they want to.
My mint rig uses ext4 file format, should the usb HDD that I use be formatted to ext4 also.
No, foxclone will happily backup/restore to/from fat32 and ntfs format partitions/drives. Foxclone will 'see' the usb drive and be able to use it, you shouldn't need to do anything.

I think you are getting confused between a drive that has one large partition on it and a drive that doesn't have a partition table. This is explained in the revised user guide. The only time you are likely to encounter a drive with a partition and no partition table is if you bought a bare drive and formatted it yourself with disks*. USB drives normally come pre-formatted either fat32 or ntfs.

AZgl1500 - thanks, I spent the best part of a week updating the user guide, foxclone running on one laptop, word on another and copy/pasting screenshots from one to the other. I was determined to have a decent user guide from the start, it is the Achilles heel of most linux software - either non-existent or limited, if you are lucky you get cryptic descriptions in the man pages. Same is also true of the code, normally you are lucky if there are any comments. Foxclone is over 4,000 lines of code, there are an additional 3,000 lines of comments. Not for someone else, for me, so that I stand a chance six months down the line of understanding what I was doing.

Note - older versions are available, foxclone.com will always have the latest version, I've got "backups" at hardwickhome.net - it allows me to free up a few GB on my system.


* it's one of those newbie mistakes I made when I first started with mint and one of the reasons I dislike disks.
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, 3 x Thinkpad T430 Cinnamon 19.0, i7-3632 , i5-3320, i5-3210, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate
User avatar
Drugwash
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:40 am
Location: Ploieşti, RO

Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by Drugwash »

AndyMH wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:29 am
Current build is based on bionic, but if I use xenial it should build with a 4.15 kernel
I'm still on Mint 19.2 and the earliest kernel installed here is 4.15.0-54, so theoretically you should be able to keep the Bionic base and install both 4.15 and 5.4 kernels.
AndyMH wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:29 am
As it works, no current plans to change.
Does that mean the user won't be able to switch kernels at boot time when booting in legacy mode (if/when you add an older kernel)? Asking because I'm not familiar with isolinux.
AndyMH wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:29 am
Easy for the end user but a significant amount of work for me
No argue about that. Well, maybe someday when you get bored... :roll:
Post Reply

Return to “Software & Applications”