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Thread: Saving factory state of a laptop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    26

    Saving factory state of a laptop

    Hi,
    I would like to know how to save the factory state of the laptop. They don't come with cd or dvd anymore.

    My current way of doing it is:
    1. out of the box
    2. run ubuntu on a usb stick (never boot from disk)
    3. plug in an external hard drive
    4. dd the /dev/sda of the internal disk to the external hard drive.
    5. Install linux on the hard drive

    It works, but for an internal drive of 350gb, it makes a 350gb files.

    Is there a better way to save the initial state (in order to put it back as necessary): partitioning, files, etc.

    Best regards,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Toronto Canada
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    925
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    Ubuntu Studio 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Saving factory state of a laptop

    You can make a complete drive backup with any number of utilities like Clonezilla, Redo, Acronis Tru Image etc...then store the backup on an external drive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Porirua, New Zealand
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    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: Saving factory state of a laptop

    The last two laptops I've purchased came with software preinstalled that let me make recovery disks.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Texas
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    19
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    Kubuntu

    Re: Saving factory state of a laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by lisati View Post
    The last two laptops I've purchased came with software preinstalled that let me make recovery disks.
    Ditto for me.

    Another way I've done this for people with laptops that want an escape hatch if they don't like 'nix is some laptops I've found have a recovery partition with a special "Fkey (Like F12)" that sends them to factory default mode. I leave that in place and just "trick" (not really) linux to install "along side" of the windows install even when it isn't really there.

    Here's the general idea;

    sda0=boot partition
    sda1=recovery partition (typically 4 Gb or so) - Leave alone
    sda2=Linux installed on what was the "Window's C: drive"
    Use gparted are some other way to format this drive to remove the windows install.

    Be careful doing all of this obviously.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    SW Forida
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    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Saving factory state of a laptop

    This is for HP, other vendors may be similar but not identical.
    http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/d...s&dlc=en&lc=en

    The vendor recovery DVDs are just an image of your drive as purchased. If you have housecleaned a lot of cruft normally included, run many updates with many reboots, and added software you may want a full back up.
    Backup windows before install - post by Mark Phelps
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...0#post12611710
    http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp
    Another suggestion by srs5694
    http://www.runtime.org/driveimage-xml.htm

    One user posted his method was to just remove hard drive even before booting system. Then he buys a new SSD to install Ubuntu into and make it fast. Later when he sells system he reinstalls Windows drive and can sell it with a "new" Windows.
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    117

    Re: Saving factory state of a laptop

    Second post #5. Most manufacturers will not support other OS's besides the one that it was purchased with. Save the original hard drive with original OS and purchase bigger/faster drive and install other OS. If you have any problem swap hard drives back to original and warranty will be much easier.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Beans
    26

    Re: Saving factory state of a laptop

    This somehow the intention, but I don't like the idea of having a 500gb or 1tb drive collecting dust in a closet. I would rather have the ability to restore the data originally on the disk, and using the disk for storage.

    I am looking at clonezilla and I find two contradicting info on their web site front page http://clonezilla.org/
    1. "Clonezilla saves and restores only used blocks in the harddisk. " (from the description at the top)
    2. "The destination partition must be equal or larger than the source one." (in the limitations)

    From the 1st citation if there is 8gb of stuff, the backup should take 8gb, but from citation 2 if those 8gb are on a 500gb drive the backup will take 500gb. Can someone clarify this for me?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    SW Forida
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    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Saving factory state of a laptop

    I do not know for sure, but it would seem clonezilla is just compressing data.
    Not sure if it then restores to all the locations on drive. Linux does not store data at 'front' of drive like Windows but data may be anywhere on the 500GB. Or it expect internal partition data to be the same.

    The old dd command literally copies all the empty space so in your example dd would copy 500GB of "data" even though only 8GB was real data.
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Elgin, IL USA
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    Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak

    Re: Saving factory state of a laptop

    Computers without backup disks should include some utility to create recovery and/or utility or driver disks.

    Some drive manufacturers (like WD for their drives and Seagate for Seagate or Maxtor drives) have a free version of Acronis which I first found useful when clonezilla stopped dead in its tracks when it got to a section of bad sectors it could not read while attempting to image a failing laptop drive. For the free version to work at least 1 drive on the computer (internal or external) has to be from that manufacturer. Besides the usual sector by sector imaging, Acronis can instead do an image file by file, which as long as you have repaired a failing drive, just reads parts of the partitions that have files, not even trying to read bad sectors. That also makes a smaller image because it it only images the data, and not empty or bad sectors nor locking out what were bad sectors on previous drive. While you write partitions back to a drive, you can easily expand any of them if you want to.

    I also used Acronis when the Linux partition at the far end of the 3 year old drive on my desktop began failing. Since only the far end of the drive was failing, which did not affect the Windows partitions, I used Acronis to image them and the Windows MBR (grub is on a different drive) after shrinking the Windows OS partition (needed more room for Linux Steam games). I installed Ubuntu fresh following that and copied over my /home from the old drive. The only thing corrupted was some Steam game files and Steam checking game files was able to replace the few files that were corrupted. So I was back up and running with larger Linux partition like nothing happened.
    i5 650 3.2 GHz upgraded to i7 870, 16 GB 1333 RAM, nvidia GTX 1060, 32" 1080p & assorted older computers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Kubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Saving factory state of a laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by spacemen12 View Post
    This somehow the intention, but I don't like the idea of having a 500gb or 1tb drive collecting dust in a closet. I would rather have the ability to restore the data originally on the disk, and using the disk for storage.

    I am looking at clonezilla and I find two contradicting info on their web site front page http://clonezilla.org/
    1. "Clonezilla saves and restores only used blocks in the harddisk. " (from the description at the top)
    2. "The destination partition must be equal or larger than the source one." (in the limitations)

    From the 1st citation if there is 8gb of stuff, the backup should take 8gb, but from citation 2 if those 8gb are on a 500gb drive the backup will take 500gb. Can someone clarify this for me?
    second one refers to restore. when you restore the compressed image the partition you are restoring to must be equal size or larger. backup won't take 500 GB, but when you are restoring it you will have to restore it to 500 GB hard drive or larger.

    also have a look at redobackup. i find it has a nicer interface than clonezilla and does more or less same thing. problme i had with clonezilla is the options are not really explained when you are doing things and there is no way to go back in menu. so if you change your mind while setting up the backup you need to do it all over agian. i guess if oyu are used to it you will do it right the first time and this is not an issue. but for me when i started it was. took me three times through all menues before it continued.
    Easy to understand Ubuntu manual with lots of pics: http://ubuntu-manual.org/
    Do i need antivirus/firewall in linux?
    User friendly disk backup: Redobackup

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