Fantastic information, friend. Its well appreciated that you go the extra, clear step in explaining the processes. It can be daunting to one-time cloners like myself.
I have a question, i hope you or anyone here can help, as i will be cloning my HD as soon as possible.
My laptop HD died recently and i had a new one installed under warranty. At first, great. Only, i use the computer [toshiba laptop] for audio purposes, and the repair shop installed a 4,200rpm drive [SATA / 2.5" 200g], whereas the old [dead] one was a 5,200rpm [SATA / 2.5" 200g]. Thats now unacceptable speed and performance wise so i've decided to buy a W.D. 7,200rpm [SATA / 2.5" 200g+] drive and Migrate/Clone my VISTA OS and all files.
But Toshiba's have a 'HIDDEN VISTA INSTALL PARTITION' on their factory drives, as the units dont come shipped with a Vista DVD.
Will the Linux LiveCD DD function recognise this hidden partition? I'm assuming so thus far, as you have stated that the process is simply cloning '1's and '0's, but need to be sure.
Alongside this, I am planning to do the transfer within my SATA Desktop PC. The reason for this is my laptop can currently only support a single drive. I will be unplugging ALL of my desktops SATA drives and plugging in my existing VISTA 2.5" drive and the to-be-cloned 2.5" drive, then booting into Linux. After the clone i will shut down the desktop, install the newly cloned drive into the laptop and hope i dont have to re-certify vista.
This seem like a perfect plan?
Also, do you still reccomend either of the two bootable LiveCD's from the first post in this thread as the best ones for uneducated Linux users? and does anyone have a link?
I believe the hidden Vista partition will work in the clone.
In your case, you are cloning different makes of hard disks I strongly advise you to check and ensure the new target disk is at lease as large as the existing source disk. This means the new disk must have the number of sectors at least the same or more than the source disk, otherwise your new disk will not work because the partition table will indicate a bigger number sectors than actually available. No operating system would touch such disk as no one would know what to do with it while guaranteeing the data security at the same time.
Using a desktop to do the cloning, while removing all the existing hard disks, is a smart move especially if you are not comfortable with the device names from the Linux side. I have used 3.5" to 2.5" adaptor to carry out such cloning before but that was for Pata disks. I am not aware the same kind of adaptor is sold for Sata disks though.
What I have discovered recently is the use of eSata on a laptop. One can buy such adaptor in the PCMCIA slot or the newer narrorwer card bus slot. There are 2.5" hard disk enclosures sold with both USB and eSata connectors. The eSata is about 2 to 3 times faster than USB connection and well worth having. It allows a faster transfer on your 2.5" disk whenever it is used externelly. This way you don't have to use a desktop PC at all.
I have done this myself recently cloning a new HP laptop, changing its 150Gb hard disk to 250Gb disk within 24 hours after the purchase while on a holiday.
If you clone Vista, which has its own resizer facility internally, then any Linux Live CD will provide you with the Bash command dd. While on holiday I just download Slax, burn it into a CD and use it to do the cloning.
Lastly I strongly recommend check the disk geometry by the Linux terminal command
IN it you should know exactly the device names of every partition and hard disk. As long as you make sure the output file (the "of=/dev/sdx" in the dd command) is correctly pointed to your target disk you should have a successful migration.
Hi saikee, thanks for the great threads, it's exactly what I have been looking for, for some hours now.
I would like to try the imaging with two systems and have some questions.
I am just dreaming about a magic Linux Live CD that someone might know.
--> it could boot up a live system in a small 56 MB Ram (the smallest of my systems)
--> has ndiswrapper ready
--> can mount a ntfs harddisk (ntfs-3g?)
My ultimate wish is to use your procedure to image systems via external usb harddisk or wifi usb stick, to a file, and then restore the systems.
Is there something like that or is that a dream of a foolish linux-noob.
A successful cloning of a hard disk is you get exactly a mirror image of the original.
The bad sectors in the original can be physically corrupted areas. They cannot be read and so cannot be written on the new disk. Thus the physical damage is not transferred. All you have is the partition has a few minor holes in some of the files.
The easiest is to delete the damaged files. No need to reformat the disk unless the OS depends on the damaged files. In such a case your system should not boot.
Your error message is consistent with the Bios failed to find an operating system in your hard disk.
When you use the Parted Magic CD, click the terminal mode and post here the output from the command
On completion of the cloning there should be a message of how many record in and out.
Since you are cloning 20Gb and each record is 32256 byte long so you should see about 620039 records in and out reported. Did you get that report? The in and out records are the number of times the hard disks being read and written. The disk is correctly cloned if the number of records in is equal to the number of record out.
Remember there is nothing shown in the cloning process except the flickering of the hard disk LED. Allow 30-40Mb/s transfer rate for both internal disks. If one or two of them are USB hard disks the transfer rate can drop below 10Mb/s and so it needs about an hour time to clone an internal 20Gb disk into a USB external hard drive.