View Full Version : [ubuntu] Creating a disk image/archive of my old partitions

June 30th, 2010, 06:42 PM
I am installing Linux on some spare space I left over from my previous two Windows installations.

From within Linux, what's the most risk-free way of imaging these two partitions and saving them to a single image file or archive? I want to preserve the entire partition because I have no idea what I may have forgotten to copy. What is the most suitable program that can do this?

Is there any way to run the partition in a virtual machine at a later date?

After this is done, I want to delete those old partitions and extend my Linux ones.

June 30th, 2010, 07:41 PM
Personally I would resort to commandline wizardry. There is probably fancy gui applications out there as well.

With "dd" you can do a bit-by-bit copy, in your case a partition to a file.

dd if=/dev/sda1 of=/partfile.img

The end result will be a file that you can mount as a loop device, to mount an image.

mount -t ext3 -o loop /partfile.img /mnt

You can open attach the partitions in a file from a running virtual machine like vmware, I never got windows to boot from one of those images because a vmware uses different virtual devices than the real ones, but hey this is a linux forum.

July 4th, 2010, 01:30 PM
puppywhacker, cheers for your suggestion! I will be attempting this soon.

Is it possible to compress on the fly that dd command? As you can imagine it will be a big file.

I believe there are some tools that do not store empty or blank sectors on disk, drastically using file sizes of images.

I have limited space on my laptop and on the machine in question.

July 4th, 2010, 02:13 PM
Hi! I once found this code snip on partimage site.
http://www.partimage.org/Partimage-FAQ#What_does_partimage_give_you_over_the_followin g:_clear_the_free_blocks_with_DD.2C_and_copy_with_ DD

I can't say I understand how/if it works :) but it seems to be used to save only data (not empty space) with dd.