Transfering entire system and files to new HDD

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Transfering entire system and files to new HDD

Postby catgate » Sun May 12, 2013 3:45 pm

I feel that my HDD is getting older and it might be policy to replace it before it rolls over and throws its legs in the air.
Being a lazy luddite, and not at all well versed in the black arts of terminal use, I am looking for a way of transfering the contents of my current HDD to a new HDD without the loss of data and/or blood, sweat and tears.
I have come across a thing called " Redo Backup and Recovery". It says on the website "Based on Ubuntu and partclone" and so I am hoping it will do what I want.
So my question is, "Does anyone have any experience of this animal, and if this this animal bites or kicks can an alternative method, one which is really docile and user friendly, be recommended."
My usual thanks in advance.
Oh, sod it.
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Postby nelz » Sun May 12, 2013 5:01 pm

Clonezilla is a popular choice.
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Postby towy71 » Sun May 12, 2013 7:47 pm

+1 for clonezilla
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Postby Dutch_Master » Sun May 12, 2013 8:00 pm

+1 for the cli... It's often quicker then using a GUI, I found. But, it's your time :P
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Postby catgate » Mon May 13, 2013 3:48 pm

Dutch_Master wrote:+1 for the cli... It's often quicker then using a GUI, I found. But, it's your time :P

I know what you mean D-M, but I fear my knowledge of command line instructions is woefully limited. I could cope well enough with the earlier Widows offerings, because with them it really was essential, but, despite a strong similarity with some areas of DOS, I find Linux terminal commands very trying. I have to look up most of them, and their syntax.
Oh, sod it.
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Postby Dutch_Master » Mon May 13, 2013 5:08 pm

Let me tell you a secret: so do we! ;) Seriously though, this is the opportunity to give it a try. The dd command is what you're after, and that syntax is pretty basic:
Code: Select all
dd if=/full/path/to/source of=/full/path/to/destination bs=<size of block during copy>
For copying a full harddrive, use bs=1M (1 MB) to speed things up.

Example, assuming your old drive is at /dev/sda and the new drive is /dev/sdc:
Code: Select all
dd if=/dev/sda of=dev/sdc bs=1M


Your turn now ;)

PS: in case you don't have it yet, here's a site with Bash commands and their syntax: http://www.ss64.com/bash/
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Postby catgate » Mon May 13, 2013 9:27 pm

Dutch_Master wrote:Let me tell you a secret: so do we! ;) Seriously though, this is the opportunity to give it a try. The dd command is what you're after, and that syntax is pretty basic:
Code: Select all
dd if=/full/path/to/source of=/full/path/to/destination bs=<size of block during copy>
For copying a full harddrive, use bs=1M (1 MB) to speed things up.

Example, assuming your old drive is at /dev/sda and the new drive is /dev/sdc:
Code: Select all
dd if=/dev/sda of=dev/sdc bs=1M


Your turn now ;)

PS: in case you don't have it yet, here's a site with Bash commands and their syntax: http://www.ss64.com/bash/


Thanks again D_M.
I have ordered my new larger HDD and have also downloaded and burned a copy of Clonezilla. I think what I shall do is to try both it and "terminal" on my spare machine before I risk making a complete mess of my serious use machine.
Oh, sod it.
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Postby nelz » Mon May 13, 2013 9:57 pm

dd is a REALLY inefficient way of copying a drive, particularly to a larger one. You end up copying all the file fragmentation as well as old, unused data, and then you still have to repartition the drive when you have done it.

Also, if the new drive is 2TB or larger, it will use the new 4K blocks instead of the old 512byte one. dding a drive partitioned with the smaller blocks to a newer drive will slow it down to barely faster than a Sinclair Microdrive - using the wrong alignment on a 4K drive massively hurts performance.
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Postby Dutch_Master » Tue May 14, 2013 2:01 am

Yes Nelz, but isn't that the purpose of cloning, to make an exact replica of the original? :P

Anyway, rsync will solve a lot of those issues. Despite its name it's perfectly capable of sync'ing local filesystems too. Syntax is a bit more complicated:
Code: Select all
rsync [options] /full/path/to/source /full/path/to/destination
Read the man-page to get an idea what options are available, but for sync'ing my desktop to the fileserver I use the -rdtvu options. Downside is that you'd have to sync each partition individually, after creating new partitions on the new disk.
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Postby nelz » Tue May 14, 2013 7:47 am

Dutch_Master wrote:Yes Nelz, but isn't that the purpose of cloning, to make an exact replica of the original? :P


Yes it is, and an exact replica is a bad thing in this case. Clonezilla, despite its name, does not make an exact replica.

As you say, rsync is a much better way of doing it.

If you want to minimise downtime, RAID can be used while the system is still running, but that it a bit more complex, and very command line.
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Postby catgate » Tue May 14, 2013 9:22 am

nelz wrote:....Also, if the new drive is 2TB or larger,......


I am not in that league, nelz. The new one will be 250Gb replacing a 150Gb model, which still has 100Gb free.
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Postby towy71 » Fri May 17, 2013 7:41 am

Having just spent two days moving from a 250Gb hdd to a 500Gb I'm impressed even more with Clonezilla, now working on a faster second-hand computer :D
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Postby catgate » Fri May 17, 2013 7:56 pm

towy71 wrote:Having just spent two days moving from a 250Gb hdd to a 500Gb I'm impressed even more with Clonezilla, now working on a faster second-hand computer :D

That gives me great encouragement, towy71. However what does frighten me is the "two days" part.
My new drive arrived today, and I was turning over in my mind just exactly I was going to do. Please tell me that there is a way to do it in less than two days.
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Postby towy71 » Fri May 17, 2013 8:15 pm

I had to grow the partitions after clonezilla had done its work and I have bought a "new" quieter computer with the hard-drive attached and had fun cannibalising and moving hardware, these things happen :roll:

A couple of hours for normal people ;-)

ps then my wife's very old pentium3 died and so I had to spend time migrating her to my old box too (she only has the thing to email and look at the weather, oh and buy tickets to things and places ;-) )
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Postby Dutch_Master » Fri May 17, 2013 8:41 pm

As you now have 2 different drives, use the new one to do a fresh install, then copy over the relevant bits from the old HDD. Much quicker then cloning ;)
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