Backup Partition Command

Posted on 2003-11-09
Last Modified: 2013-12-16
I am running Debian 2.4.18.  I have only one Linux partition on a HD with Windows partitions.  Is there a command I can use to backup the entire Linux partition to a mounted Windows partition?
Question by:Gnustome
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions

Accepted Solution

svenkarlsen earned 200 total points
ID: 9711811
Hi Gnustome,

Use tar. Make a backup strategy and don't just backup root, - leave out all the noise (/dev, /Lost+Found, /temp, and so on....).

Itll take you a couple of days to make a good set of working scripts, - some to use daily and some to use every week or forthnigth. After having made the scripts, test them.

When you think they are working, try restoring the contents to some other location, - your backup is worth nothing if you haven't tested that you can use them for restore.

Make symlinks from the scripts to your CRON-dirs, so you don't have to think about it any more after that.

You should read the man and HOWTO, but here's a little inspiration for some of it:

 (put this in a shell script):

# Name of the backup tar target dir where the backup is made

    TarTargetDir=[put your windows dir name here]

# Name of the backup source (what you want to back up)


# The switches used in tar-call :
# a=append, c=create, W=verify, v=verbose, z=filter through gzip
# P=don't remove leading '/', - for backing-up dirs at root


    # Tar the desired files, - output to a
        /bin/tar -$TarSw -f $TarTargetDir/backup.tar $SourceDir

Kind regards,
LVL 38

Assisted Solution

yuzh earned 75 total points
ID: 9711853
Have a look at the following tools:

or you can use the following command


do a man on the above command to learn more


(PS: if you want to do regular backup rsync is another handy tool)

Author Comment

ID: 9712169
So if I just backup the important stuff and leave out all the noise, and I then experiment with a potentially dangerous procedure like enableing UDMA 100, and it backfires, could I boot from a floppy, restore from the backup, and be back up and running?
Independent Software Vendors: We Want Your Opinion

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

LVL 12

Assisted Solution

paullamhkg earned 25 total points
ID: 9712490

Expert Comment

ID: 9712825

> could I boot from a floppy, restore from the backup, and be back up and running?

things are not quite that simple, have a look at the link from Paul.


Author Comment

ID: 9715398
Sven, you are right: Things are not as simple as I first thought.  But my goal is this: In case of catastrophe, I want to restore everything to it's original condition.  So, assuming HD space and the number of CDs are not problems, couldn't I back up root.  Then if catastrophe occurs and my filesystem gets trashed, I could do a minimal install of Linux to the same partition to restore the partition structure, then detar and ungzip the backup file, and finally copy it to root?

Expert Comment

ID: 9715470

yes, you can restore a backup from CD (again: have a look at the links above for the procedure). But remember to think about how you split the stuff up on your CD's, - you probably can't get it all down on one ;-)


Author Comment

ID: 9716585
Thanks.  But my real question is: Can I renew the file system by doing a minimal Linux install, thus running fdisk and format in the process, then copying the backup file to root?

Expert Comment

ID: 9717041
Sorry Gnustome,

it's against my policy to make so absolute statements as the one you ask for.



Featured Post

Back Up Your Microsoft Windows Server®

Back up all your Microsoft Windows Server – on-premises, in remote locations, in private and hybrid clouds. Your entire Windows Server will be backed up in one easy step with patented, block-level disk imaging. We achieve RTOs (recovery time objectives) as low as 15 seconds.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

rdate is a Linux command and the network time protocol for immediate date and time setup from another machine. The clocks are synchronized by entering rdate with the -s switch (command without switch just checks the time but does not set anything). …
Over the last ten+ years I have seen Linux configuration tools come and go. In the early days there was the tried-and-true, all-powerful linuxconf that many thought would remain the one and only Linux configuration tool until the end of times. Well,…
Learn how to get help with Linux/Unix bash shell commands. Use help to read help documents for built in bash shell commands.: Use man to interface with the online reference manuals for shell commands.: Use man to search man pages for unknown command…
Get a first impression of how PRTG looks and learn how it works.   This video is a short introduction to PRTG, as an initial overview or as a quick start for new PRTG users.

749 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question