Once you have the new system (with Windows and linux) I assume you want that system backed up (with Windows and linux).
When you have such a backup, it is possible the make a copy of that backup and leave out any partitions you don't want to restore and restore from that copy. Then you would restore only the partitions you want, but still have everything there including the bootloader and partition table, EFI partition etc.
Are you sure this cannot be achieved without that expense by using partition to partition backup selecting ALL of the Windows partitions and anything related to the partition table and EFI etc but not selecting the Linux partitions? It would be a lot cheaper for me...
No I am not sure. This is the way I would do it, but there are so many possibilities with linux, some of which I don't know. Let us hope someone who knows will chip in and explain how do it without buying more hardware.
One way to get such help is to get Boot-Repair according to this link
and (at least in the beginning not do any repair,) only create a BootInfo summary, and write a post about it in the following Ubuntu Forums thread
[Boot-Repair] Graphical tool to repair the PC boot in one click
the device you are backing up to needs to be big enough for the image. but the device where you restore data to need to be of same size or larger.
example - i had a 500 GB disk, before i did dualboot i backed up the disk. the image took about 40 or 50 GB space and can easilly be added to other data on my 500 GB backup disk. now to restore this 40 GB image i need a 500 GB disk or larger.
so if these sizes are the sizes of images then yes you need bigger drive. if these are the OS sizes then 128GB might be enough. by the way isn't it cheaper to have a 500 GB hdd than 128GB flash drive? :-O
Previously I tried backing up my main windows partition which was 50GB but with only around ~24GB in use to a 30GB partition but Clonezilla gave me the error that there was not enough space - this is despite the fact that when I reinstalled everything again and tried backing up the same to a 50GB partition instead it worked (creating only a 16GB too) - this seems to go against what you are saying?
Maybe when you did it you backed up to a larger disk first and then moved the image - if so you began backing up to an image of the same size or larger, which Clonezilla seems to require?
Without checking I think a 500GB HDD and 128GB flash drive are probably very close in price The point I should have made is that if I am just creating backups not much larger than 16Gb I would prefer to backup to a 128GB flash drive as I could use that for other purposes that I could not use the physically large HDD for.
Sudodus, if you are still following the thread, I have to read through it again carefully and then try it but this guide seems to suggest what I want to do is possible, without external storage - The new and definite CloneZilla tutorial - Dedoimedo
Just to categorically state again I do appreciate the value of non local back up media but for the moment I need to get Windows backed up somewhere so I can start installing Linux Also, if I will be working with partitions and the Windows backup is going to be 16GB I have a key I can transfer it to afterwards, the problem is Clonezilla seems to require a backup destination larger or equal to the size of the source. I think it would also be cool to be able to restore Windows just using a backup partition from my laptop in case I am on the road etc without it.
Clonezilla needs a destination (target drive) larger or equal to the size of the source
1. for cloning directly to a target drive
2. for expanding an image of the source drive to a target drive
*. but not for creating an image (of a drive or of a partition). In this case it is enough to 'house' the size of the compressed image or the files in the source drive plus some rather small administration (boot loader, partition table, file system administration etc).
But there is a catch: Yes, you can create such an image, but you cannot test that it is good without a destination (target drive) larger or equal to the size of the source. So you don't know if your backup is good (can be used to restore your system).
i used redobackup last time i imaged the disk. clonezilla is good and has a lot of settings. however, a wrong setting set and it could give you such a "problem". so if you want to still use clonezilla, make sure what you set up is correct.
i only used clonezilla and i think free disk space was larger than backup parittion. the image was good. thoough eventually i couldn't get computer to boot (for other reasons)
also it's true what sudodus says you can not test it with a smaller disk. so the only option would be is to image it back ot the good system or to same disk size. or to trust it that the image is good.
nice Clonezilla tutorial: http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/clonezilla.html