How to backup an entire hard drive with multiple OS installed?

Posted on 2008-11-14
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
Dear all,

I want to backup an entire hard-drive with multiple partitions with multiple OS installed. Corrently there are a Service partition(FAT32), a Window Vista (2 ntfs partitions) and a Linux (an ext3 and a swap partition) on the hard drive. The boot selector is GRUB.

My question is: which tool can do the backup / restore job for such an entire hard drive without losing any partiton infomation? (Acronis True Image Home 2009 doesn't work for 256k I-node)

Thanks for any help.
Question by:oscar_1470
    LVL 9

    Accepted Solution

    Check out a Live Boot CD for Linux like knoppix or Ubuntu

    Using the dd command:  


    You will need to have a drive that can handle that much data though.  
    This is a bit per bit image, so it'll take a long time and may not look like it's doing anything.

    If you are just mirroring the drive to another drive of the same or larger drive size.  you should be fine with this command.

    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    If you are cloning hard drives, you could also just go from drive to drive:
    dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb

    Open in new window

    LVL 35

    Expert Comment

    Check out Clonezilla Live:

    Before you perform the operation, make sure the Master Boot Record (MBR) is included.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for your help.

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