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Using Acronis True Image 2014 backup software to recover Linux Encrypted disk

Posted on 2014-09-04
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
Hi Team,

   I just recently purchased the True Image 2014 and one of tests I did was to back up my 290 GB office laptop that uses  Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Open Client software  .  I created an Acronis USB boot disk and used that to do a sector by sector clone of the laptop's disk to an external e-sata 500GB disk.

  After the cloning was complete, I mounted the e-sata drive as the primary boot disk but I just get a blinking cursor during startup.   It doesn't even ask me for a LUKS boot password.    Later I booted normally and I used the gparted utility in Linux to compare the internal (original) disk and the external (e-sata connected cloned disk), and the partitions are the same.  

  Is there any other post cloning step I could do to make the disk boot?  Has anyone tried this before?   I have already posted on the Acronis forum but I feel that this is more of a linux/encryption/LUKS/hack issue than an Acronis one.

  I feel that the backup was OK (and I have done various other backups using Acronis and they were all pretty reliable),  I just suspect there is a simple partition/boot/mbr thing I'm missing.

 Thanks very much.

  Thanks and regards.
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Question by:rleyba828
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by:rindi
rindi earned 150 total points
ID: 40304918
Remove the backup disk from the eSATA port and connect it in place of the original disk. Then try booting to it.
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by:SelfGovern
SelfGovern earned 150 total points
ID: 40304922
I don't know that things are OK.  If the encryption uses any part of the firmware on the drive (and I suspect it does) then a bytewise copy will be useless on any other hard drive.
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Author Comment

by:rleyba828
ID: 40305363
Hi rindi,

  I did that also....took out the cloned disk from the esata drive and put the original disk there, and it started up correctly.  So that eliminates the esata connection as a variable.

  For Selfgovern, how can I tell if the encryption uses any part of the firware on the drive?

thanks.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Davis McCarn earned 200 total points
ID: 40305638
You empirically proved that the image was not tied to the drive's firmware (meaning it worked); but, forgot the fact that Linux is explicitly tied to the hardware throughout all of the configuration files and, short of massively editing those files to reflect a different boot device, won't work unless you place the drive in the same place as the original image.
What matters is that you DO have a good backup.
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Author Comment

by:rleyba828
ID: 40308443
Hi Davis,

   So now that I have a good backup, how do I do a restore it?  Let's say my Linux Laptop gets stolen...   so then I have neither the original Lenovo 420 nor the internal disk.  How do I trick the restore to work on a new Identical laptop and an identical disk?  Would it just be a matter of using my Acronis disk to do another clone?  I wonder if the product is serialized to hash the MAC address or serial number or some other hardware characteristic, such that even if I *move* it to a new identical setup, it wouldn't work?  Have you experienced something similar?  Unfortunately I can't test my own theories as I don't have an identical setup in the office with which to test......Hoping you or someone in the forum has tried this before....

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:Davis McCarn
ID: 40308528
Use Acronis to recover the image to the drive in the "identical" laptop and reboot.  That's it; but, you'd be strongly advised to get the entire model number of the Lenovo so you do get an identical replacement, if necessary.
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Author Comment

by:rleyba828
ID: 40499710
Hi Team,
   In the end, I have tried various suggestions above, plus other options from colleagues and in the end, contacted Acronis support directly who insisted that I have to purchase the Acronis product dedicated for Linux servers before I can achieve what I wanted.
   Needless to say, I was not particularly impressed with the response and did not purchase the much more expensive Linux edition.   We just used some other utility (rsync) to copy critical files....not an elegant solution, but will do.

   Thanks to all for your advice.
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