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According to SMART data, the hard drive I curently use is about to fail. I bought a new, bigger drive to copy the system to a safer place.

The old drive is 160GB. Ubuntu was installed with Wubi, and the partition is NTFS. There are a few other partitions around (recovery partition, swap...) that I don't care about.

The new drive is 320GB. I would like the new system to run on ext4, not on NTFS.

I looked at solutions that use dd, or clonezilla, but it seems that moving to a different filesystem prevents me from using them.

I considered installing a brand new ubuntu on the new hard drive and then copy /home from the old drive to the new drive, but I heard that there would be file permission problems. I would also have to reinstall all my software.

One last thing: the NTFS drive has dead sectors. I don't know how this can influence the copy process, but I mention it just in case.

edit: I do not care about the windows partition. I just want Ubuntu to make the transition.

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3 Answers 3

I have no experience with Wubi; anyway, googling a bit:

Wubi creates a virtual file-system in a single file (you should find it in C:\wubi\disks\root.disk). You should check booting your Ubuntu if it is an ext2, ext3 or ext4 fylesystem. Now:

  1. you should start Ubuntu in live mode (using your Ubuntu CD or creating a boot USB);
  2. Mount or access the partition where Ubuntu is installed in;
  3. Once there, you can clone your file-system (if it is ext4 as you desire) with dd (see examples here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dd_%28Unix%29);
  4. Unmount the partition where the original Ubuntu is installed;
  5. Install grub in the new disk (try typing in a terminal sudo update-grub);

I hope this helps.

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I don't have any experiencing with wubi, but I assume that from your wubi install you should be able to rsync the system contents (excluding /dev, /proc and /sys) to the new hard driver (after manually creating the ext4 partitions on it).

Details on how to do it with rsync can be found at http://users.telenet.be/mydotcom/howto/linux/clone.htm (on your case source and target would be local mount points).

After cloning the system contents you will need to:

a) Adjust /etc/fstab on the new disk
b) Install grub on the new disk
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What you are asking to do is impossible(at least as far as I know), Wubi Lives inside of your Windows install. The besides NTFS and Ext4 are competly 2 different file systems, and windows can not live on Ext4, just like Linux can't live on NTFS, (Technically the Wubi install is a Ext4 file system). If you have no use for Windows anymore, your best bet would probably be to just install Linux and leave windows out of the equation, and copy your data as individual files.

Of course you will want to make sure you make backups before you do anything and possibly muck up your system. Hopefully this helps and good luck.

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The OP do not ask to put windows on ext4, but only the wubi installation, on a real ext4 fs. This can be done, because wubi use a ext4 fs image file, that resides on the ntfs partition. –  enzotib Jun 26 '11 at 14:51

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