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How to make a disk image and restore from it later?

I finally have my PC exactly the way i want it, i have spent many hours installing and reinstalling Ubuntu and Windows, for i am very newbie in this matter.

Now, i would like to backup the whole disk, the way i used to do for windows XP with Norton Ghost. I have a lone hard drive, with a few partitions, and using ubuntu's boot loader.
Is there a way i can duplicate that hard drive to an image file, or even another harddrive, so i can lately just reverse the process and have my whole system working, with ease?


marked as duplicate by Panther, jrg Apr 5 '12 at 20:12

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.


Have one computer only? The best method is Clonezilla Live. Just boot off the CD and make images on an external hard drive. It's sort of like the Linux equivalent of Ghost. Of course, it's not Ghost; it's entirely different, yet it is also easy to learn and work with, especially in recovery when disks sizes may have changed. It's certainly worth a spin, and learning about it is very useful and enjoyable if you liked it initially. It does not matter what O/S you are trying to backup or restore.

Have a spare computer that could be used as a server at home or work? The best method is Clonezilla SE. It's far more powerful than Live. With SE, you can PXE boot to the server, pick your image(s), and overwrite everything on your computer - total restoration from a previous date. Or, you can create a zero-troubleshooting environment to cope with the user who has acquired malware that you do not want to deal with for the ten thousandth time: just boot off the network, pick the image, thirty minutes or so later the problem was solved with only about five minutes of your time. It also can multicast an image to same/similar workstation models (chipsets) - even with Windows, drivers and all. If you sysprep a Windows workstation and create an image, then the image could be written to any number of workstations in batches, so that each workstation begins from the Windows "first time" wizard with all of your custom settings included. I once did 40K workstations that way.

I am a big fan, can you tell? A tutorial.

Yes, I think this is a duplicate question.

  • i will definitely going to try it and, once again, sorry for the duplicate question – André Alçada Padez Mar 6 '12 at 11:01

Something like this dd if=/dev/hda conv=sync,noerror bs=64K | gzip -c > /mnt/sda1/hda.img.gz would do a full image of the drive byte for byte.

  • that's exactly what i was going to ask, @Mizuki – André Alçada Padez Mar 5 '12 at 14:44
  • Sure, dd if=hda.img of=/dev/hda bs=64k. – Nicholas Smith Mar 5 '12 at 17:19
  • I should do that all from a live cd, right? – André Alçada Padez Mar 5 '12 at 17:20
  • Live CD should work, might be slow to run through it though. – Nicholas Smith Mar 5 '12 at 17:24

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