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Using SystemRescueCD for Backups to External Hard Drive

Posted: 16 Sep 2009, 05:31
by markw10
I am looking for a backup solution and have the following situation.
I have a laptop which has a 500GB hard drive that I will partition into two sides. One will be Windows Vista and later Windows 7, the other will be used for Linux (Mandriva Linux to be exact).
I am going to be purchasing an external USB Hard Drive to back up to and basically want to be able to mirror the hard drive meaning my backup would be an exact replica and each time I back up I would want to mirror again, in otherwords update the mirror without erasing and copying over if possible.
On the Windows side I have looked at Acronis True Image 2010 and Ghost 14 and would back up my Windows side at least but would it also 'see' my Linux side and be able to back up the entire 500GB hard drive or only the windows side? I am also open to Linux solutions but then am not sure if it'll 'see' my Windows side. I thought since I boot straight into System Rescue CD this may be a solution. Thank you for your help with the above.

Re: Using SystemRescueCD for Backups to External Hard Drive

Posted: 23 Sep 2009, 18:39
by Ruler
Neither of the tools you mention produces an exact mirror of the original drive. What they do is precisely what partimage does - looks at what's being used and creates an image of the drive that can be used to restore if needed. Since only the used portions of your drive are backed up, the files are usually considerably smaller than the total size of the original drive. This is the backup method I employ for PCs - partimage handles both windoze and linux file systems. The only thing that partimage does not handle is the partition table/boot sector; I use dd to grab the first few meg of the drive so that I may restore these quickly and easily.

The only utility that will create an exact duplicate of your drive that I'm aware of is dd. It can be used to do a binary copy of every bit of one drive to another. However, this takes a VERY long time to finish on a big drive. I've used it before and it's very handy in certain circumstances, but I would certainly not use it as a way to do regular backups.