Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm planning to install Ubuntu as a WindowsDualBoot and the WindowsDualBoot guide says that I need to do a backup. I was thinking of using the Ubuntu Server as a backup hosting but I'm not so sure. I dont have much knowlege in the Linux OS let alone Ubuntu as I'm only going to use Ubuntu for my coding os and as a seperation from my misc stuff on my windows 7. I'm thinking of using Amanda as well but i have absolutely no idea what they are.

share|improve this question

If you are going to install a dual boot system for the first time make sure you have the windows install disk for your machine. Use the windows built in backup system (I think it saves things to DVD). Although it has been a good few moons since my first install of a dual boot system here is my method:

Go down to the local village computer shop and buy a hard drive. It's worth it for the extra space, drives get bigger all the time.

Remove your old hard drive (this is now a windows backup) and fit the new one in its place. Install windows on it and THEN Linux.

Check this works as a dual boot system.

Do it again because you made a mess of things, drink coffee/red bull, try again.

Install your old drive as a second hard drive and copy across any of the required old windows files.

If anything goes wrong, you make a mistake or want to change something you can disconnect your old drive, scrub the new drive and start again.

If you do not like Ubuntu you can just put the old drive back and format the new one as drive D:

If you are thinking of installing for the first time on a laptop DONT! Use a USB drive.

I know people will be shouting that Ubuntu is easy to install but I SNAFUed so many machines when I started that this is the method I now use if the machine is important.



share|improve this answer
Same thing i said to Snap, This doesn't answer my question and i also dont have a windows install cd. – EzraEn Mar 13 '14 at 11:16

for this purpose I think Amanda is a bit overkill. Amanda is a tool for taking automatic backups of 1 or 100+ servers daily. what you need for this purpose is simply a backup of the files you can not replace.

so, if you have files in dropbox, or if you email yourself files, or if you copy it to a USB drive, does not matter.. the point is that if you totally break your windows install by mistake, then you want to get the files back that you can not simply download. (so no need to backup firefox, and windows and such), but DO back up your own home made files such as word files, pictures, videos etc.

you said that you would like to use a linux box to backup, and that is possible, the quickest way is probably to install Samba on linux, that way you can share a disk that windows can easily see.. then you can copy all the files you want to backup to this Samba shared folder.

to install Samba on a ubuntu (and probably debian) do following:

sudo apt-get install samba smbfs

Then setup the smb.conf file like this: (assuming desktop, if a server use pico or vi instead of gedit).

sudo gedit /etc/samba/smb.conf

find this part:

####### Authentication #######

# “security = user” is always a good idea. This will require a Unix account
# in this server for every user accessing the server. See
# /usr/share/doc/samba-doc/htmldocs/Samba-HOWTO-Collection/ServerType.html
# in the samba-doc package for details.
;  security = user

uncomment the security line like this

security = user

and below that add a line like this:

username map = /etc/samba/smbusers

then crete a user for samba

sudo smbpasswd -a <username>

then add a user to smbuser file (again use favorite editor)

sudo gedit /etc/samba/smbusers

add a line with format =""

<username> = “<username>”

then you must setup a shared folder (using your fav editor)

sudo gedit /etc/samba/smb.conf

find and edit like this:

#======================= Share Definitions =======================

# Un-comment the following (and tweak the other settings below to suit)
# to enable the default home directory shares. This will share each
# user’s home directory as \\server\username
comment = Home Directories
browseable = yes

# By default, \\server\username shares can be connected to by anyone
# with access to the samba server. Un-comment the following parameter
# to make sure that only “username” can connect to \\server\username
valid users = %S

# By default, the home directories are exported read-only. Change next
# parameter to ‘yes’ if you want to be able to write to them.
writable = yes

Now that your home folder is mapped to samba, it is time to go to windows, and map this shared folder so you can use it in windows.


typically an ip address such like this:


(replace with your own ip (of the ubuntu server) and your username that you created earlier.

share|improve this answer
I haven't installed Ubuntu yet... I need to know if i should use the Ubuntu Server to backup my windows... and if its 24/7 and not hosted on the computer so i can reboot with the backed up files... This doesn't really answer my question.. – EzraEn Mar 13 '14 at 11:02
then I am not sure what your question is, sorry – Snap Mar 14 '14 at 8:40
Mandy understood, thanks anyway for your help! C: – EzraEn Mar 15 '14 at 10:31

I think I understand the confusion.

You must back up BEFORE installing Ubuntu. As Ubuntu is not installed then the answer is no, you can not back up windows to it as Ubuntu is not there yet.

As a dual boot system has windows and Ubuntu on the same drive (once you have installed it) your backup files will be on the same drive as your original files. If the drive fails then you lose everything. Backups must be to another drive/CD and then put away, that way if your computer catches fire or gets hit by a truck you still have the data.

I hope that helps.



share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.