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Thread: Backing up with Clonezila before and after installing Ubuntu?

  1. #1
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    Question Backing up with Clonezila before and after installing Ubuntu?

    Hi

    I have my clean UEFI windows 8.1 install on my HDD now just as i want
    it, drivers, Intel rapid Storage and Start Technology and Expresscache
    configured for the 24GB SSD, essential programs etc, the install is
    25GB on a 50GB sda5.


    I initially created sda1 30gb to backup to because I thought
    Clonezilla would be able to back up a larger partition to a smaller
    partition once the space used was less than the size of the backup
    partition - this I now understand is only possible if I shrink the
    partition but Disk Management will only allow me shrink it to ~35gb
    and GParted will not let me shrink it at all.


    I have used the default Clonezilla settings to backup the windows
    partition to 2gb image blocks first on 50GB sda6 next to the sda5
    (Windows) and now on sda7 75GB at the end of the drive. Should I
    backup again selecting the other three windows 8.1 partitions created
    during install, recovery, mbr, etc?


    Are the default settings enough to complete replicate my install to an
    otherwise blank disk?


    Once backed up, if I delete the sda1-sda6 partitions how do I
    completely recover Windows 8.1 (including the other partitions it
    creates at install) from my Clonezilla backup to sda1-sda4, and would
    doing so affect Windows 8.1 in anyway, considering it was initially
    installed on sda5 - should I instead wipe the drive, install windows
    8.1 again (where it should be) and then backup?


    I plan to install Ubuntu, Debian, Kali, and Clonezilla partitions but
    I need to just get Windows 8.1 installed where it should be and backed
    up first so I never have to do it again. For partition for the future
    installs, could /home backups for Ubuntu and Debian fit side by side
    on the extra space on the 75GB partition I am backing Windows 8.1 up
    to?


    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: Backing up with Clonezila before and after installing Ubuntu?

    Hi, I'm using Clonezilla, and can try to help you.

    Quote Originally Posted by dusf View Post
    Hi

    I have my clean UEFI windows 8.1 install on my HDD now just as i want
    it, drivers, Intel rapid Storage and Start Technology and Expresscache
    configured for the 24GB SSD, essential programs etc, the install is
    25GB on a 50GB sda5.


    I initially created sda1 30gb to backup to because I thought
    Clonezilla would be able to back up a larger partition to a smaller
    partition once the space used was less than the size of the backup
    partition - this I now understand is only possible if I shrink the
    partition but Disk Management will only allow me shrink it to ~35gb
    and GParted will not let me shrink it at all.
    You are right, clonezilla can clone (or restore from a compressed image) to a drive or partition of the same size or larger.

    Gparted cannot shrink a partition that is mounted, and you cannot unmount a partition that is used, for example the root partition of a running linux system. On the other hand, it is not a good idea to shrink a file system, so that there is hardly any free space left.

    Gparted has problems to manage partitions of Windows, and in particular, you should not try to do anything with the Windows system partition, if the system is hibernated and not shut down completely. (It is difficult to shut down Windows 8 completely.)

    "You linux tools to manage linux file systems and Windows tools to manage Windows file systems!"

    I have used the default Clonezilla settings to backup the windows
    partition to 2gb image blocks first on 50GB sda6 next to the sda5
    (Windows) and now on sda7 75GB at the end of the drive. Should I
    backup again selecting the other three windows 8.1 partitions created
    during install, recovery, mbr, etc?


    Are the default settings enough to complete replicate my install to an
    otherwise blank disk?
    Do I understand correctly?

    You want to create a backup (or image) with Clonezilla, that can be used to make a complete working copy (clone).

    The easiest way to do this is to make an image of the whole drive (not of partitions, the whole drive for example /dev/sda). From this image you can restore or clone the complete system to a drive of the same size or larger.

    Once backed up, if I delete the sda1-sda6 partitions how do I
    completely recover Windows 8.1 (including the other partitions it
    creates at install) from my Clonezilla backup to sda1-sda4, and would
    doing so affect Windows 8.1 in anyway, considering it was initially
    installed on sda5 - should I instead wipe the drive, install windows
    8.1 again (where it should be) and then backup?
    To give detailed help about the partitions, it is important to 'see' them, so please run the following command and post the output

    Code:
    sudo parted -l
    and please describe again the content of each partition
    I plan to install Ubuntu, Debian, Kali, and Clonezilla partitions but
    I need to just get Windows 8.1 installed where it should be and backed
    up first so I never have to do it again. For partition for the future
    installs, could /home backups for Ubuntu and Debian fit side by side
    on the extra space on the 75GB partition I am backing Windows 8.1 up
    to?


    Thanks
    I suggest that you keep a complete backup image of the whole drive, and to have peace of mind, test that it really works by restoring/cloning it to a 'third drive'.

    After that you can do different things with the original drive and if something would be broken, you know that you can restore the original system. Then later, when you have done a considerable amount of work successfully, you can make a 'restore point' by making a new image of the complete drive with Clonezilla. Of course it requires a big external HDD to store several images. So I suggest that you get such a drive if you haven't got one already.

    - Backing up to a separate drive is better than to a partition on the same drive.
    - Backing up to an external drive is better than to an internal drive.
    - Storing a backup in another house is better than storing it in the same house as the computer ...

  3. #3
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    Re: Backing up with Clonezila before and after installing Ubuntu?

    I have my clean UEFI windows 8.1 instal
    You would do better using Macrium Reflect to backup/restore MS Windows setups. Their free version offers all the functions you would need to do this.
    Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 17; MS Win 8.1.
    Will not respond to PM requests for support -- use the forums.

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up Re: Backing up with Clonezila before and after installing Ubuntu?

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    Hi, I'm using Clonezilla, and can try to help you.
    Thanks for the reply

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    You are right, clonezilla can clone (or restore from a compressed image) to a drive or partition of the same size or larger.
    I have read there is some logical reason why it cannot do this, yet, but it would be really great if it could do this when the destination backup partition/disk is larger than the used space on the partition/disk to be backed up, especially considering the backup was compressed by clonezilla to just 16GB.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    Gparted cannot shrink a partition that is mounted, and you cannot unmount a partition that is used, for example the root partition of a running linux system. On the other hand, it is not a good idea to shrink a file system, so that there is hardly any free space left.

    Gparted has problems to manage partitions of Windows, and in particular, you should not try to do anything with the Windows system partition, if the system is hibernated and not shut down completely. (It is difficult to shut down Windows 8 completely.)

    "You linux tools to manage linux file systems and Windows tools to manage Windows file systems!"
    This all makes sense, but I initially tried using Windows Disk Management to resize the Windows partition but it would only reduce it to around 35GB. I would rather avoid changing the size of the Windows partition at all if possible, and I think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    Do I understand correctly?

    You want to create a backup (or image) with Clonezilla, that can be used to make a complete working copy (clone).

    The easiest way to do this is to make an image of the whole drive (not of partitions, the whole drive for example /dev/sda). From this image you can restore or clone the complete system to a drive of the same size or larger.
    To be clear, what I want to do is backup my UEFI Windows 8.1 partition that I can use to restore it on a disk that will also have several linux root and home partitions and a media data partition (accessible by all OS so probably NTFS). I want to be able to restore just Windows 8.1, without affecting the other partitons or the partition table and boot loader etc. For this reason it would seem to me making a complete image of the drive would not be the way to go because it would also restore all the Linux partitons (once they are installed).

    If I am correct please advise if there are any options in Clonezilla expert mode for partition to partition backup I need to select, and also that I only need to backup the Windows partition rather than the Windows partiton and the 3 other partitions UEFI installs create, boot, recovery, and something else?

    I tried restoring the backup I made to the drive after I formatted it and installed Windows 8 (without drivers, my software, upgrading to Windows 8.1 etc) by changing sda2 to sda1 and sda3 to sda3 in the backup and then trying to let my Windows install media repair it but it did not work.

    I am now on day 2 of a completely fresh install, Windows 8 has been upgraded to 8.1 and I have run disk cleanup to remove the old Windows 8 install but I still have to install drivers and software etc. When this is all done I should be able to backup Windows 8.1 in such a way that I can restore it to the drive as is, and also later even when other OS are installed? This is why I think I should leave out the other three Windows partitions that were created during install.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    To give detailed help about the partitions, it is important to 'see' them, so please run the following command and post the output

    Code:
    sudo parted -l
    and please describe again the content of each partition
    I redirected the output of sudo parted -l to a file and moved it around but I was never able to access it off the USB key to copy and paste here - so please see the attached picture. The first three small partitions are the ones Windows creates during UEFI Windows 8.1 install, MBR, recovery, and something else essential. The fourth partition is the actual Windows install partition. The fifth small partition is new to me, but since I just upgraded from Windows 8 to 8.1, and my 100GB Windows partition is that much smaller it must have to do with the upgrade and I hope once all updates are install Windows will merge this into the main partition.



    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    I suggest that you keep a complete backup image of the whole drive, and to have peace of mind, test that it really works by restoring/cloning it to a 'third drive'.
    I have ordered a 128GB USB flash drive to store backups on but it will take awhile to reach me and if I can avoid buying another 500GB USB drive to backup what Clonezilla will output to 16GB I would like to.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    After that you can do different things with the original drive and if something would be broken, you know that you can restore the original system. Then later, when you have done a considerable amount of work successfully, you can make a 'restore point' by making a new image of the complete drive with Clonezilla. Of course it requires a big external HDD to store several images. So I suggest that you get such a drive if you haven't got one already.

    - Backing up to a separate drive is better than to a partition on the same drive.
    - Backing up to an external drive is better than to an internal drive.
    - Storing a backup in another house is better than storing it in the same house as the computer ...
    I appreciate the value of all of that, but for now I just want to get Windows 8.1 backed up to something restorable so I can finally get around to working with Ubuntu on my laptop.
    Last edited by dusf; April 2nd, 2014 at 04:46 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up Re: Backing up with Clonezila before and after installing Ubuntu?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Phelps View Post
    You would do better using Macrium Reflect to backup/restore MS Windows setups. Their free version offers all the functions you would need to do this.
    Thanks, but I believe it can be done using Clonezilla and I would like to stick with that if possible.

  6. #6
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    Re: Backing up with Clonezila before and after installing Ubuntu?

    Quote Originally Posted by dusf View Post
    Thanks for the reply



    I have read there is some logical reason why it cannot do this, yet, but it would be really great if it could do this when the destination backup partition/disk is larger than the used space on the partition/disk to be backed up, especially considering the backup was compressed by clonezilla to just 16GB.
    You can use other kinds of backup: tar, fsarchiver, rsync, but then the backup will not be an exact clone of the original system. Windows 8 and UEFI makes things complicated, and there is a considerable risk that it is not enough to backup the Windows partition. You need the head of the drive and the EFI partition too, and you get all those things if you make a compressed image of the complete disk with Clonezilla.

    This all makes sense, but I initially tried using Windows Disk Management to resize the Windows partition but it would only reduce it to around 35GB. I would rather avoid changing the size of the Windows partition at all if possible, and I think it is.



    To be clear, what I want to do is backup my UEFI Windows 8.1 partition that I can use to restore it on a disk that will also have several linux root and home partitions and a media data partition (accessible by all OS so probably NTFS). I want to be able to restore just Windows 8.1, without affecting the other partitons or the partition table and boot loader etc. For this reason it would seem to me making a complete image of the drive would not be the way to go because it would also restore all the Linux partitons (once they are installed).

    If I am correct please advise if there are any options in Clonezilla expert mode for partition to partition backup I need to select, and also that I only need to backup the Windows partition rather than the Windows partiton and the 3 other partitions UEFI installs create, boot, recovery, and something else?
    It is possible even in beginner mode to backup 'only' a partition or some partitions. But there is a higher risk that you will fail to make a working drive from such a backup compared to an image of the whole drive.
    I tried restoring the backup I made to the drive after I formatted it and installed Windows 8 (without drivers, my software, upgrading to Windows 8.1 etc) by changing sda2 to sda1 and sda3 to sda3 in the backup and then trying to let my Windows install media repair it but it did not work.

    I am now on day 2 of a completely fresh install, Windows 8 has been upgraded to 8.1 and I have run disk cleanup to remove the old Windows 8 install but I still have to install drivers and software etc. When this is all done I should be able to backup Windows 8.1 in such a way that I can restore it to the drive as is, and also later even when other OS are installed? This is why I think I should leave out the other three Windows partitions that were created during install.
    You can try, but you are making things more complicated than necessary.

    I redirected the output of sudo parted -l to a file and moved it around but I was never able to access it off the USB key to copy and paste here - so please see the attached picture. The first three small partitions are the ones Windows creates during UEFI Windows 8.1 install, MBR, recovery, and something else essential. The fourth partition is the actual Windows install partition. The fifth small partition is new to me, but since I just upgraded from Windows 8 to 8.1, and my 100GB Windows partition is that much smaller it must have to do with the upgrade and I hope once all updates are install Windows will merge this into the main partition.

    The other partitions are so small, that they contribute very little to the total size of the backup - the compressed image file.

    I have ordered a 128GB USB flash drive to store backups on but it will take awhile to reach me and if I can avoid buying another 500GB USB drive to backup what Clonezilla will output to 16GB I would like to.



    I appreciate the value of all of that, but for now I just want to get Windows 8.1 backed up to something restorable so I can finally get around to working with Ubuntu on my laptop.

  7. #7
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    Re: Backing up with Clonezila before and after installing Ubuntu?

    Will making a backup of the whole drive mean if I restore it my Linux partitions are overwritten? Also, I have a 500GB HDD available and I can clear 105GB from it, but can I make this complete backup to the 500GB USB without losing the other data already on it?

  8. #8
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    Re: Backing up with Clonezila before and after installing Ubuntu?

    Yes, if you restore from an image of the drive, the target drive will be like the original one. So you need at least two backups.

    - Backup the original drive with Windows, so that you don't lose it, if you get problems during the installation of a dual boot system with Ubuntu alongside Windows.

    - Backup the new system, the dual boot drive with Ubuntu and Windows. Also here I recommend a full backup, a compressed image of the whole drive.

    - A compressed Clonezilla image is a directory with several files, and it does not destroy anything on the drive, where it is written. The only condition is that there must be enough free space to write it. Otherwise it will not be complete (and probably useless).

  9. #9
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    Re: Backing up with Clonezila before and after installing Ubuntu?

    Surely restoring a whole disk backup image of Windows and Ubuntu will restore not just Windows, but also Ubuntu, which I do not want?

  10. #10
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    Re: Backing up with Clonezila before and after installing Ubuntu?

    I want to be able to just restore Windows and the Windows partitions back to how things were when everything was working with all the OS installed - but I want to leave the OS other than Windows untouched.

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