Somewhat OT: cloning hard disks

Alex Snow alex_snow at
Wed Sep 24 10:08:18 EDT 2008

That's basicly what I ended up doing.  Making an image of the mbr 
using dd, and images of the individual partitions using partimage.  As 
a more long term solution I will probably look into adding speakup to 
Clonezilla, since it has some features I like like the ability to 
multicast kind of like Ghostcast.
On Wed, Sep 24, 2008 at 04:07:38AM 
-0400, luke wrote:
> You should at least be able to dd the MBR:
> dd if=/dev/sda of=mbr.file bs=512 count=1
> Then, to write it back out:
> dd if=mbr.file of=/dev/sdb
> Caveat emptor
> Luke
> On Tue, 23 Sep 2008, Alex Snow wrote:
> > Hi,
> > Was just given the task of cloning several machines from a master that I 
> > installed.  THe master has both Windows XP and Ubuntu 8.04 installed.  
> > What's the best way to make an image of this drive so it can be copied 
> > to several other drives? I was thinking of just using DD, but is there 
> > any faster way? partimage looked interesting, but it looked like a pain 
> > to clone an entire disk (doing it one partition at a time, then losing 
> > the MBR from the original drive).
> > Also looked at clonezilla which looked somewhat promising (it uses a 
> > console interface so could have speakup integrated into it), but I was 
> > unable to find any source (or even a copy of the kernel config so I 
> > could recompile)
> > Any advice would be greatly apreciated.
> > 
> > 
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Seriously, the way I did this was by using a special /sbin/loader binary
with debugging hooks that I made ("dd" is your friend: binary editors
are for wimps).
	-- Linus Torvalds, in an article on a dnserver

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