Can't clone using GParted Live.

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ThisIsMeAndIAmHere
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Can't clone using GParted Live.

Post by ThisIsMeAndIAmHere »

I installed Ventoy onto a 16 GB USB stick (really like 14.something GB but it's called 16 GB). It put Ventoy on the second partition of 32 MB at the end (FAT16), and kept the whole rest of it as a blank EXT4 partition. This is what it's supposed to do. Then I put some ISO files on the first partition (one of which is Mint and another is GParted Live), restarted and booted Ventoy and booted the Mint Live ISO from the menu.

So far so good. Then I tried to boot GParted Live so that I could clone the drive to make an exact duplicate. Evidently I'm supposed to be able to do that by inserting a new empty drive and then copying each partition from the drive that has Ventoy on it, and then pasting them onto the new one.

Of course, GParted records opperations to do but doesn't do them until they're applied, so I told it to copy and paste the first (large) partition with the ISO files, and that worked fine. Then I tried to copy and paste the second (small) one with Ventoy on it, but the paste option was disabled. I don't know why it would be, and there wasn't any error to tell me.

So I canceled the paste actions and tried again, thinking that perhaps it didn't have enough space to do it (though the new drive is also a "16 GB" one, but I suppose it's possible that it's slightly smaller, no not quite all of the bytes would fit onto it). So I tried to slightly shrink the size of the first partition when I pasted it (the ISO files only take a fraction of the space, anyway), but it wouldn't let me.

So then as an experiment, I just tried to create a new partition and make it about 100 MB less than the maximum size, to leave plenty of room for the second partition, which is only 32 MB. Of course, doing it this way wouldn't copy the ISO files, but I thought that I could at least copy the Ventoy partition correctly, test and get it to boot properly, and then come back and figure out how to copy the ISO files in this way.

I applied the action, but then when I tried to boot that drive, it didn't show up in the boot menu, even though the other drive does (the original one with Ventoy on the second partition). But then I booted into Linux on my HD and looked at the partition, and the files/folders looked the same, like Ventoy was copied correctly. However, the light kept flashing until I told it to eject the drive.

Anyway, when looking in GParted Live, on the original drive, the partition with the ISO files is /dev/sdb1, EXT4, labeled "ventoy", more than 14 GB total, I don't remember how much used and unused (depends on the size of the ISO files), and has the msftdata flag (what's that?). When I made a new one, it was pretty much the same except /dev/sdc1 and I couldn't get it to have the msftdata flag.

The second partition is /dev/sdb2, 32 MB, used and unused space both say ---, FAT16, labeled "VTOYEFI", with flags msftdata and hidden. Then when I copied it, it was exactly the same except /dev/sdc2.

So what could be going wrong? I need to be able to clone the drive to make exact duplicates, and it needs to be a very simple process, because I will be giving copies to people who need to be able to duplicate the drive, and they aren't programmers and have no experience with Linux, so I can't expect that of them.
sanmig
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Re: Can't clone using GParted Live.

Post by sanmig »

ThisIsMeAndIAmHere wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 2:43 pm
So what could be going wrong?
I think you shouldn’t clone / copy single partitions but the whole (USB) drive at once.
Not sure if GParted (GUI) can do that. A mounted partition can’t be cloned anyway.
-> Clone using AndyMH’s foxclone, there is also a version to install in Mint.
viewtopic.php?f=47&t=315557
or directly
https://foxclone.com/
linux-rox
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Re: Can't clone using GParted Live.

Post by linux-rox »

ThisIsMeAndIAmHere wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 2:43 pm
I need to be able to clone the drive to make exact duplicates, and it needs to be a very simple process, because I will be giving copies to people who need to be able to duplicate the drive, and they aren't programmers and have no experience with Linux, so I can't expect that of them.
In that case, you need a Windows solution, not a Linux solution. A quick internet search for windows clone bootable flash drive turned up a bunch of hits. Frankly, I expect a similar search would have worked for Linux also.
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AZgl1500
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Re: Can't clone using GParted Live.

Post by AZgl1500 »

I suggest that you look at FoxClone.

it don't care what OS is on the partitions.

https://foxclone.com/
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ThisIsMeAndIAmHere
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Re: Can't clone using GParted Live.

Post by ThisIsMeAndIAmHere »

sanmig and AZgl1500, I'll check that out, but keep in mind that I can't use something that runs in Mint, because I'm trying to clone the drive on which Mint resides, so I need to run something that will boot live (and must be compatible with Ventoy, which is why I was using GParted - because I had tried booting several different cloning programs from Ventoy and that was the only one that I could get to work) and can clone any drive or partition - even the one from which it's booted, because what I really need to make is a self-cloning USB drive.

linux-rox, why would it need to be in Windows? Some of the people who will be using this don't even have Windows but have MacOS instead. In any case, it really needs to be self-clonable using nothing but Linux.
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MartyMint
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Re: Can't clone using GParted Live.

Post by MartyMint »

ThisIsMeAndIAmHere wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:40 pm
sanmig and AZgl1500, I'll check that out, but keep in mind that I can't use something that runs in Mint, because I'm trying to clone the drive on which Mint resides, so I need to run something that will boot live (and must be compatible with Ventoy, which is why I was using GParted - because I had tried booting several different cloning programs from Ventoy and that was the only one that I could get to work) and can clone any drive or partition - even the one from which it's booted, because what I really need to make is a self-cloning USB drive.
Did you go to the link provided and read about it?
ThisIsMeAndIAmHere
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Re: Can't clone using GParted Live.

Post by ThisIsMeAndIAmHere »

I've read about it and even tried it now, but it doesn't seem to boot. I tried booting it using Ventoy (which is what I need to do for what I'm trying to accomplish), and it looked like it was through loading and then it prompted me to log in (still in the text interface), but no matter what I typed it said it was wrong and prompted me again to log in. So I pressed Ctrl-Alt-Del and rather than restarting, for some reason it showed a loading screen, with a spinning circle, but it just went on and on forever. If I pressed an arrow key then it toggled between that loading screen and text, which just said a rather nondescript error (something about not being able to find something in the Ventoy folder I think, but it didn't have much explanation), and each time I toggled back to the text it printed an extra line of the same thing. Then eventually it stopped toggling back to the loading screen, but never did finish loading.

This is why I was trying to use GParted, because it's the only disk management program that I've been able to get to boot in Ventoy. I might have better luck with Clonezilla, but I tried that one on a different computer once and it just crashed!
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AndyMH
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Re: Can't clone using GParted Live.

Post by AndyMH »

I've not tested foxclone with ventoy (or any other multi-boot loader), so you are on your own. Good luck with clonezilla, it's not user friendly.
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sanmig
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Re: Can't clone using GParted Live.

Post by sanmig »

ThisIsMeAndIAmHere wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:16 pm
This is why I was trying to use GParted, ...
Just to understand, you want to boot from USB and then clone the very same drive you have booted from?
That is, a clone-SW that boots fully into RAM and then forgets where it came from? :shock:

--> dd can copy the full drive, you may check with a Linux booted into RAM.
Using Ventoy ... Can you pull the drive after booting?

Btw. GParted can’t copy “itself” (or any mounted partition).
Also to boot from USB requires a bootloader (the first MB of the drive) which is not a partition, it can’t be seen and therefore can’t be copied by GParted. You need to clone the full drive, not single partitions.
Foxclone can clone any USB drive but requires a separate USB to boot from.
linux-rox
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Re: Can't clone using GParted Live.

Post by linux-rox »

ThisIsMeAndIAmHere wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:40 pm
In any case, it really needs to be self-clonable using nothing but Linux.
And it needs to be simple enough a non-Linux user can use it. Just because you can describe something doesn't mean it exists.
ThisIsMeAndIAmHere
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Re: Can't clone using GParted Live.

Post by ThisIsMeAndIAmHere »

sanmig:

Yes that's exactly right, I want it to run entirely in RAM so that it can manipulate any drive, and by the way, that's what a live OS often does (at the very least it shouldn't write onto the drive, unless there's a separate persistence file, which in this case, there isn't), and it is after all GParted Live, which boots that way.

Doesn't dd always allow copying of any drive even if it's in use? In any case, I was hoping to avoid dd because some of the people who would need to use this may not be that advanced.

And I can unplug Ventoy drive, I mean physically. I could do that with any drive at any time, but whether it will have an adverse effect, I'm not sure. But of course that's the drive that I want to copy, so I'm not sure what unplugging it would accomplish, unless you just want to see whether GParted Live will continue running without a problem, to prove whether it's accessing the drive or not.

In any case, I think there's a mode to run in RAM but I don't remember off hand, but I would imagine that there would be (or at least should be) considering it's software specifically made for accessing drives, and one would want to do so with as few impediments as possible (or ideally none). But you're sure that GParted can't copy itself? Because I was able to tell it to copy the same partition that it was running from (as an ISO file booted live); it was actually the other partition that caused the problem.

Oh, the first MB holds the bootloader, and it's not on one of the partitions? I thought Ventoy was the bootloader in this case, and it's on the second partition. So the first MB is what's booting Ventoy? Well I'm pretty sure GParted offers a menu option for creating a MBR or GPT. Would that do the trick?

I tried Foxclone but couldn't get it to work (I tried running it from Ventoy), though if I have to run it on another USB drive that's really not ideal. Like I said, I would really like a self-duplicating drive.



linux-rox, I don't see why it wouldn't exist though, considering that it's a very useful thing to be able to do, it's a fairly simple concept, and many things exist which at least almost do what I want. Is it really impossible to make a drive that can clone itself?
linux-rox
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Re: Can't clone using GParted Live.

Post by linux-rox »

Who said it's impossible? On the contrary, I assume someone with enough skill and interest could write such an app. Doesn't follow that it already exists. And certainly doesn't follow that it would be so simple even a non-Linux user could use it.

In half the time you've spent on this thread, you could have researched how to clone a bootable drive in all three OSs and written up instructions.
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