I want to install only Ubuntu on my new laptop. But before that, I would like to make a backup of the Windows OEM installation on my laptop and then later, in case I wanted to sell the laptop, I would copy it back no the disk to increase my chances of selling it for a reasonable price.

I want to do this without having to start Windows at all (i.e. accept EULA, etc.), and no, I don't want to dual-boot.

  • 2
    If you plan to keep the software to sell with the computer in future, what problems do you avoid by just generating recovery discs from within Windows? Jul 23 '12 at 4:16
  • 1
    I have seen many laptops come with a builtin way to restore everything to factory setup. Often a special partition on the hard disk exists, that you can boot to and have it reinstall everything on the main partition.
    – Jazz
    Jul 23 '12 at 4:17
  • @James, good question :), one reason is that I would lose the ability to claim the refund if I found the guts to do it. The bigger reason is just the warm feeling that I did not accept something I did not agree with :). Jul 23 '12 at 4:27
  • @ubnewbie2, thanks for the info. I haven't bought a laptop for ~5 years now so I'm quite unaware of what restoration technology they use today. The laptop I'm looking at is Lenovo S430, would you have any experience with restoration processes on those? Jul 23 '12 at 4:33
  • @James, there is another good reason not to accept the ToS I just remembered. Here in Europe, if you buy a PC from an internet shop you may return it within one week without stating any reason and they will give you full refund. But you lose this right when you agree with the terms and conditions and continue with the installation. Jul 23 '12 at 7:56

You should use a bootable tool like Clonezilla to easily back up the OEM install (as well as any recovery partitions) on the hard disk. Clonezilla understands NTFS, so it will only backup (and optionally compress) the actual amount of data.

Using a raw block-level tool such as dd, while possible, is not recommended because it will probably use much more space than a smart tool such as Clonezilla.

  • Finally someone suggesting Clonezilla!
    – Mattia
    Jul 19 '20 at 16:07

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