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back to article How to backup and restore your netbook

Having a small-capacity solid-state drive in your netbook may be limitation but it has one advantage: it's easy to back up. We don't mean copying a few files over to a safe place, but duplicating the entire drive, operating system and all, ready to drop it all back on if the worst comes to the worst. PCs often come with recovery …

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E

Good for Linux too

IHNRTEA.

PING is good for making install images for Linux boxes too so even if you are not enslaved by the Beast of Redmond PING can help you.

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Les
Happy

Bootable USB is the way to go....

PING works nicely from a partitioned USB stick. You have the PING bootimage on a small partition (the ISO being transferred using UNetbootin). It will then happily save your backups on the remainder of the stick.

The advantage of this approach is that you can restore from a single device. And you can always copy your backups to other media for backup/storage...

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Thumb Up

Clonezilla + Gparted

Another way of doing it is with gparted and copying partitions graphically (drag and drop) or with clonezilla if you have a networ drive, or intermediary.

A useful tool to have in your drawer is the combined gparted/clonezilla CD.

http://gpartedclonz.tuxfamily.org/

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Paris Hilton

or alternatively...

mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt

dd if=/dev/hda1 | gzip -c | dd of=/mnt/mybackup.gz

umount /mnt

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Alternatively..

Identify the location of your system HD in this example lets use /dev/sda and lets say we plugged in a external USB drive/stick at /media/disk

open a terminal (OMGZ..he said TERMINAL) and enter:

dd if=/dev/sda of=/media/disk/image.img

To restore it ...

dd if=/media/disk/image.img of=/dev/sda

I don't normally comment on guides like these as they are written with a novice in mind, but I do feel that 'dd' can do a far simpler job and really isn't a complicated command to jot down (if you can't remember it). Its also far, far easier than the umpteen menu's covering 4 pages in the article.

A very nice and easy write can be found at:

http://www.backuphowto.info/linux-backup-hard-disk-clone-dd

Quick and simple backups get done, slow, confusing or time consuming ones don't in my experience.

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.....ism

What, no plain, overweight, balding blokes take their netbooks to the beach?

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Jobs Halo

4real?

Is this really a 4-page "story" about how to create a bootable clone?

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Linux

There are more ways

I use partimage from SystemRescueCD, booted from a usb stick rather than a CD (which is more than a little inconvenient on a netbook). You need to fsck the unmounted system partition before you try and back it up for linux netbooks, and chkdsk it if it's XP, otherwise you'll get errors if you've actually used the thing much.

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Go

Always nice to...

Always nice to have an OS independent alternative to backing up a system!

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Tom
Flame

@ Those that suggest using dd

Try using that on a running system for real...

My moneys on an image file that is junk as you will be imaging a file system that is mounted Read/Write and has lots of data still cached in the kernel.

Also I would like to see you do the restore as well DD'ing over the top of a live file system sounds like an absolutely brilliant idea.

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Linux

Or just use Knoppix and partimage

http://www.folding-hyperspace.com/pdfs/disk_image_with_knoppix.pdf

Backup to network but some command line needed...

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Stop

Did you try the restore?

My experience with PING is that: a) on a drive with errors, the backup may not complete, and b) it sometimes is unable to restore the saved image. The restore process will look like it completes, but the restored disk will be unusable.

A significantly complicating factor is that Windows XP installations tend to become corrupt as a computer slowly dies, making it hard to determine if the problem is software or hardware or both. Additionally, I'm not convinced backing up and restoring a computer with potentially defective hardware is even a good idea. Specifically, I suspect that PING assumes that it is running on perfect hardware. When confronted with old and potentially defective hardware, it does not implement sufficient error checking and recovery code to deal with random small data errors. Once a few of these errors occur, the backup becomes unusable.

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Black Helicopters

easy...

dd if=/dev/sda bs=1M | ssh user@server dd of=/home/eee-backup/sda.iso ; ssh user@server gzip /home/eee-backup/sda.iso

If the network is slower than the netbook's chip can run dd, use SSH's '-C' argument.

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Silver badge

Maybe I'm missing something

But isn't this sort of jobby something that linux live CDs were supposed to cover?

At least that way you get a full functioning system with internet capability for help etc - especially if the restore has failed. I believe Fedora and/or Ubuntu can be USB stick installations.

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Silver badge
Paris Hilton

@Bracken Dawson

That'll work. You can also use nc (netcat) as well

http://tuxnetworks.blogspot.com/2008/07/backing-up-disk-over-network.html

@Tom

This is why you boot from a live CD or USB key to do the backup. I doubt anyone was suggesting that you can use DD to backup a running filesystem.

Paris, cuz I'd backup her system anyday

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Silver badge
Boffin

(facepalm)

I can't believe I'm seeing people seriously suggesting using dd on a mounted filesystem. Wow. And nobody has mentioned rsync.

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Linux

SystemRescueCD + partimage...

booting from a USB stick is what I also use. My version of SystemRescueCD (v. 1.1.0, but

shouldn't it be called SystemRescueUSB?) has trouble with my eee901's ethernet, so I have

no network connection (no backing up straight to my desktop machine). I am forced to use

USB sticks for backup, but it all works very smoothly.

AlxUnder

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clonezilla

We use Clonezilla to create images for out Netbooks, works without fail!

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Paris Hilton

To clarify

As pointed out with varying levels of politeness above dd should be run from a boot cd/usb stick and not from a live running OS. When I had used it previously it was from a USB stick as that was what I was told to do, the link I posted above didn't state that so I didn't either on this occasion,

I was aware running it on a live system wasn't ideal, but equally I didn't realise it was so diabolically bad as people have suggested. Lesson learned and all that.

This is precisely why I mentioned in my original comment that I don't normally comment on these kinds of guides, I'm not a linux guru nor a journalist.

@Tom ... A little less venom in your replies might be helpful rather than coming over as a complete righteous nob.

Paris because someone needs some love.

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Black Helicopters

DD a live filesystem.

You can sometimes do this, but you need to know a lot about your distro.

I do it from a live USB of Puppy.

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