Is there a way for me to back it up on this hard drive and then install it on another hard drive. My HD is taking a crap so that's why i'm asking.
If you're dealing with a tower with an extra bay, you might consider putting the new HDD in that bay, installing Ubuntu on it. If you create the backup on your old drive before making the new one the master, you should be able to run Ubuntu on your new drive with your old drive mounted. It should be straight-forward from there.
Great thread, Heliode. Thanks for writing out your guide.
Why don't you use Sbackup? It is awesome and easy to use...
this is gr8.
As due to large number of power cuts in my area, many times due to improper shut down my system fails to restart and i have to re-install the whole operating system again and again.
I have been using the tar utility like described in the first post of this post to backup my Ubuntu system - with success.
But now I have moved to a new harddrive with a new partition order and I installed Ubuntu 9.10 which uses grub2, but apperently my backup Ubuntu version used "grub1" (although the system itself is also Ubunut 9.10).
Grub2' boot menu shows up fine, but when I try to start Ubuntu, it shows the starting screen, and then hangs.
My new partition layout looks like this:
/sda1 (NTFS): Windows 7 boot loader
/sda5 (ext3): Ubuntu
Do you have any hints how to fix this?
I could be wrong, but I don't believe the tar file contains information about what directories were excluded. I also don't think it's accurate to say every file is overwritten. In my experience, using tar extract only overwrites files in the tar file already reflected in the destination directory, and creates the files in the tar file not yet destination directory.
That would mean the excluded directories you've listed would still exist.
If you don't do a clean install before restoring, though, you might still have old files not in your backup hanging around.