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How to clone a hard disk with dual boot?

Posted on 2010-11-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hello all,

Id like to clone a hard disk with dual boot, Windows with two partitions (C: and D:), Linux with two partitions (/ and swap), and the grub boot loader. What may I do? May the software Norton Ghost do this or I have to use another tool?
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Question by:jeronimo1377
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 34241125
I would never use a Norton product willingly - I don't trust them.  I am not away of any product that can do a clone of a multiplatform system EXCEPT forensic tools that are designed to copy the disk EXACTLY for legal reasons.  I have heard Acronis may be able to do this... but I've never tried it.

The linux utility dd (when used from a boot CD/DVD) should be able to (it is actually approved for use in computer forensics, from what I understand.  
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 34241136
If you did a hardware RAID 1 (Mirror) that should also work - just be careful, applying a mirror to an already configured disk without destroying the data on the disk can be tricky depending on the controller.
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emilgas earned 400 total points
ID: 34242023
Use Norton Ghost. I'm not sure what leew is talking about. If that does not work for some reason turn on bit-by-bit cloning which clones the drive on a bit lever not file level. That will do it for sure.
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by:awawada
awawada earned 100 total points
ID: 34242231
I also made good experience with Ghost Solution Suite 2.5.
We are using Ghost32 Version: 11.5.1.2266
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 34244115
> I'm not sure what leew is talking about.
I'm talking about the fact that Ghost is owned and created by one of the worst companies at producing GOOD software there is.  They have a FANTASTIC Marketing team that I would LOVE to have working for me... but I would never - if I could find another way - trust my networks with Symantec Products.  That may eventually change, but it's going to take an EXTENDED period of reliability for that to happen.  (Last time I thought I'd give them a try was when SEP was released (v10 I think) - not more than a month later, MAJOR issues starting surfacing.

Symantec has had a tendency to BUTCHER products they buy - Ghost is based on the old DriveImage engine that WAS good... but they butchered it.  I wouldn't trust my data to be safe in a Ghost image. (That doesn't mean it won't be - but that in my experience with Symantec products OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING GHOST - failures are TOO frequent for me to call them good.

DD should do the trick... Acronis may, but I've heard some disturbing things about them in recent months... so considering that DD is free and should be fairly easy to use with a little reading, I would recommend that route.
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by:emilgas
ID: 34245332
I agree with you about Symantec being a bad company. I hate their security software too. They are slow and ineffective, but Ghost is an exception. never had any issues with it. Ghost is good, everything else sucks.
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Author Comment

by:jeronimo1377
ID: 34359538
Hello all,

The main disadvantage of dd is: if the hard disk has 500 GB the image will use 500 GB too, right?
If I could use a software that get a image of a dual boot hard disk and fastly and with less space would be the best solution. I know that Norton Ghost does this but with dual boot?
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by:emilgas
emilgas earned 400 total points
ID: 34363252
I personally have not imaged Dual boot System with Ghost, but I had a friend who did. This was long time ago, and I don't remember if it worked for him or not. If I'm not mistaken it did work.
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