Accessible image backup and restore program?

Øyvind Lode oyvind at
Sun May 26 16:16:42 EDT 2013


Dd would work just fine but waste a lot of space since dd copies every sector on the disk regardless if it is in use or not.

So if you use dd to make a image of your harddrive which is a 2TB drive the image would be 2TB.
This is true regardless of how much data the drive contains.
But you can use gzip etc as mentioned and you probably will get a much smaller image but it is extremely slow.

But since dd copies sector by sector it does not care about which filesystem is on the drive/partition.
In other words dd can be used to clone any operating system.
It will clone as I said sector by sector but extremely slow.

Personally I use fsarchiver to make backups of both Linux partitions and Windows.
Fsarchiver (file system archiver) works at the file level which means it clones the filesystem and NTFS is supported.

Fsarchiver is very fast and has a clever algorithm.
It compresses the output image and multithreading is supported which makes it very fast on system with multiple cpu cores.
But you have to manually enable this feature.
You use the -j option for that.
-j4 will use all 4 cores on a quad core system both for compression (cloning) and for decompression (when you restore your system).

Fsarchiver will clone a Windows partition just fine but it will not clone your MBR or GPT.

So I use dd to make a backup of the MBR and in case of a GPT partitioned drive I use sgdisk to make a backup of the GPT.

I use GRML with software speech which includes all the tools I mentioned above.

So as a quick walkthrough on how to clone Windows 7:

* Boot GRML Live CD/USB on the Windows 7 machine you want to clone.
* My Windows 7 installation is on a SSD and it is 2 partitions (the system reserved partition which is 100MB and partition 2 holding the OS and data).
* use dd to backup your MBR or sgdisk to backup your GPT if you are using GPT.
* use fsarchiver to clone Windows 7 (in my case 2 partitions).
* you need a separate HDD or external HDD etc to store the image on

When you need to recover your system:

* boot GRML
* in case of a damaged MBR or GPT use dd or sgdisk to restore MBR or GPT respectively
* if your MBR or GPT is just fine you simply need to just restore your Windows 7 partitions from the fsarchiver image

Ok, I am rambling... For more info see links below.

-----Original Message-----
From: Speakup [mailto:speakup-bounces at] On Behalf Of Littlefield, Tyler
Sent: 26. mai 2013 20:33
To: Speakup is a screen review system for Linux.
Subject: Re: Accessible image backup and restore program?

There is not an accessible windows boot cd as far as I'm aware. What you 
could do though is just dd your partitions and pipe t hat through to 
bzip2. It's moderately slow, but you could store it on a nas/passport 
drive/etc and be set.
On 5/26/2013 12:23 PM, Kirk Reiser wrote:
> I can't answer your question about recovery images for Windows, but
> grml is a good general purpose rescue image. It will handle either
> software synths such as espeakup which is part of the system or serial
> synths.
> Check it out at
> On Sun, 26 May 2013, Jayson Smith wrote:
>> A bit off-topic here, but somewhat related to Linux.
>> For several years, I've been using Image for Windows/Linux as my 
>> Windows backup/restore solution. I liked it because, in case of total 
>> boot drive failure where the system was completely unbootable, I 
>> could boot up Image for Linux which includes Speakup, use my DECtalk 
>> Express, and restore. Now, though, I've upgraded to Windows 7, and my 
>> computer has exactly zero serial ports. So I can't use my old boot CD 
>> any more, unless it would work with a USB to serial convertor.
>> What do you recommend for a bootable, accessible backup and restore 
>> solution? Does whatever you recommend use software speech? I don't 
>> assume anyone's come up with an accessible bootable Windows CD? Does 
>> such a bootable CD work with USB sound devices? Also, in all our 
>> computers, there's an internal sound card we're not actively using in 
>> Windows. Would any Linux CD try to use that first?
>> Thanks for any thoughts!
>> Jayson
>> _______________________________________________
>> Speakup mailing list
>> Speakup at

Take care,
The aspen project: a barebones light-weight mud engine:
He that will not reason is a bigot; he that cannot reason is a fool; he that dares not reason is a slave.

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