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Clonezilla as disk imager

I was always using partimage to make backups of the hard disks of workstations. When trying to restore one the other day, it just started giving CRC errors. After recreating the image and running a simulated restore, it gave CRC errors again. So, apparently, it’s not incidental. It must be due to the experimental NTFS support. So, I set out to find a new tool. And that’s how I found Clonezilla, which gives me a very good first impression.

Clonezilla is a wizard-style live CD. It uses several tools, including partimage. However, it prefers ntfsclone over partimage at it’s default settings. Besides its handy interface, it has some very cool features: It doesn’t only create the image, but also some other useful files, such as the MBR (first 512 bytes of a disk), the data between the MBR and the first partition, an sfdisk dump of the partition table and some files with info about the PCI devices and other hardware. All this ensures you can properly restore the image.

Also, it has support for leaving out the page- and hybernation files on Windows systems, which can save you several gigabytes of space. And, to top it off, it calls “sync” when everything is done. They must have read my backup article :).

And the last major thing: it allows you to remove the CD when rebooting or halting. It is so incredibly annoying when live CD’s don’t do that…

A must have live CD for any sysadmin, I would say.


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