Disk cloning

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Disk cloning is the process of making an image of a partition or an entire hard drive. This can be useful both for copying the drive to other computers and for backup/recovery purposes.

Disk cloning software

Disk cloning in Arch

The ncurses program PartImage is in the community repos. The interface is not exceptionally intuitive but it works. There are currently no GTK/QT based disk cloners for Linux. Another option is to use dd, a small CLI image/file creation utility. The wikipedia has a list of various version of dd, specifically oriented to this purpose [1]. dd_rescue works efficiently with corrupt disks copying error free areas first and later retrying error areas.

Disk cloning outside of Arch

If you wish to backup or propagate your Arch install root, you are probably better off booting into something else and clone the partition from there. Some suggestions:

  • PartedMagic has a very nice live cd/usb with PartImage and other recovery tools.
  • Mindi is a linux distribution specifically for disk clone backup. It comes with its own cloning program, Mondo Rescue.
  • Acronis True Image is a commercial disk cloner for Windows. It allows you to create a live cd (from within Windows), so you do not need a working Windows install on the actual machine to use it.

External Links