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How can I can clone or ghost my system drive to restore it to a bigger HD?

I have a 160GB hhd running Ubuntu 11.04 and Windows XP, with the following partition configuration:

sda1 Windows NTFS (primary-active and boot and system) sda5 Linux Swap (logical) sda6 Linux Ubuntu ext3 (root) sda7 Linux Ubuntu ext3 (home) sda2 other

I have Grub2 installed, which provides me the choice at boot to start either Ubuntu or XP. This currently works fine.

I want to clone this hhd and transfer to a new, larger hhd, and have several questions, since I don't want to make a mistake with something so crtical.

1) Which software is generally considered the safest, most reliable and easiest to use (dd, Gddrescue, Clonezilla, Paragon, Macrum Reflect, Easeus, Drive Image XML, or something else)?

2) Which software will be able to copy and include both operating systems in the partitions to be cloned?

3) Will that software change the booting process or options in the cloned copy in any way? I've read where using Easeus corrupts Grub2 and thus requires re-installing Grub2!

Are there any other concerns, considerations or factors I need to consider in cloning the hhd; e.g. prior formatting an external hhd, and with what file system? I've also read where FAT32 would be the choice, but don't really know for sure.

Thanks. donofrij is offline Reply With Quote New Reply

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its probably best to limit your question to one topic that is different and hasnt previously been asked - from your headline - this has already been asked. –  fossfreedom Jul 4 '11 at 1:55
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marked as duplicate by fossfreedom, Rinzwind, htorque, Takkat, Oli Jul 4 '11 at 8:52

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1 Answer

If sda is the old disk and sdb is the new one, then you can use this command

sudo dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb

That will make sdb a clone of sda, complete with all partitions, boot, and everything. Sdb must be at least as big as sda, otherwise you will loose information. Since you're cloning the disk, that means the partitions will also be identical. You will then use something like gparted to resize the partition and then resize the filesystems. For ext2,3,4 filesystems, you can use resize2fs for that.

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Side note: Make sure everything on sda and sdb are unmounted before you do this. That means if either is a system disk that can't be unmounted, you need to boot to a LiveCD. –  Oli Jul 4 '11 at 8:53
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