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I have installed Ubuntu 12.04LTS and I am trying to recover files off a failing HD that is 400GB. The drive I am trying to copy to is 500 GB but I have Ubuntu installed on the same drive.

See the image to understand my partition setup (yes it just might be ridiculous but I'm a noob)

enter image description here

Anyway.. I want to be able to copy my 400 GB HD (contains a vista installation) to this 500 GB HD in the sda8 partition. Does that make sense? Also I want to be able to eventually access these files via another vista installation. I just want to get them off the other hard drive which is basically failed (so this might all be moot).

When I created the sda8 partition I didn't choose a format: does this matter?

It would be really nice if the 500GB still had a usable Ubuntu on if after the transfer and that I would eventually be able to see the recovered files in a future vista install. Can you guys help?

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4 Answers 4

You could try to replicate your partition setup in a bigger drive but you can't do it into a partition. You need to recreate the partitions in the new drive creating one partition per partition recovered with the same size or slightly bigger, then copy from the old to the new partitions. The 'dd' command can read and write data directly from/to partitions.

Another solution could be making TAR or ISO archives with the content of each partition, these could be accessed from any OS, but you couldn't boot from a OS stored in any of the archives.

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Try clonezilla and use it to clone your Vista partition onto that 400GB partition you have. This will allow you to copy our Windows installation with unaltered hierarchy. It'll still be bootable (after reinstalling bootloader and recreating BCD entries, which can be done using Startup Repair from Vista boot DVD) and you'll keep all the permissions and NTFS links intact.

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Parts of this answer comes from: How to move Ubuntu installation from one hdd to another? and How to move Ubuntu installation from one hdd to another?

Clonezilla may be useful for cloning your hard disk, even for those situations on which you need to do it with different size disks as mentioned here: http://www.tuxradar.com/content/how-clone-hard-drives-clonezilla

enter image description here

Moving to a bigger disk

It's easy to ensure that a clone of a SCSI disk is restored to a SCSI disk, but you'll have a tough time finding an exact replica size-wise. The good news is you don't have to restore a disk on another disk of the same size. The even better news is that you can in fact restore the image to a much larger disk.

When restoring a disk, Clonezilla enables you to resize the filesystem and create partitions on the new disk proportionally. But even if you are moving to a bigger disk, you might prefer to keep the partitions as they are. In that case you can ask Clonezilla to create the partition table as its listed in the image.

There is documentation about moving to a larger disk as mentioned here but I am not sure that you can do it the opposite (cloning to a smaller disk).

Clonezilla allow you to run cloning procedures for both physical hard disk drive, partitions or logical volumes which may be useful for your case.

Clonezilla offers several Live CD's and bootable USB images and there is also documented that you can resize the free space on the disk after the copy, in which case the suggestion to use gparted under Linux is also a good idea but you may wish to consider resizing under Windows Vista/7.

In the case that you wish to use all the hard disk drive capacity for the system you will simply need to start again from your USB/Live session CD), then use gParted and run the resizing process which is easy indeed.

Good luck!

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Can we Clone a Hardisk Partion to Other Partion on Same Disk? –  BigSack Aug 16 '12 at 11:54
    
Can clone zilla do this? –  BigSack Aug 16 '12 at 11:54
    
Yes it can... But for the case of "moving" a partition you may wish to use the "Resize/Move" tool inside of gParted. Simply right-click on the partition that you wish to affect and choose "Resize/Move" and select where to move your partition. –  Geppettvs D'Constanzo Aug 16 '12 at 16:12

gparted can copy/paste data from one partition to another - have you tried that? (right-click on an unmounted partition - it's in the context menu.

Using Gparted, you can copy data between partitions, with some constraints. You have to mind the size of the target and destination, and the destination has to be a contiguous partition. Just right-click the partition(assuming it's unmounted) and select the correct option from the context menu.

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Another follow up question: I want to have the crapy hd plugged in as little as possible so I would like to know exactly how to mount it as quickly as possible. –  Robert Aug 15 '12 at 15:19
    
ubuntu will probably automount it, at least as soon as you click on it in the file manager. –  Jazz Aug 15 '12 at 23:10

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