[Durham] Backing up and resorting a Windows7 install using Linux boot media

Dougie Nisbet dougie at highmoor.co.uk
Mon Dec 2 19:07:32 UTC 2013

On 2 December 2013 17:31, Richard Mortimer <richm at oldelvet.org.uk> wrote:

> Hi,
> On 02/12/2013 16:18, Dougie Nisbet wrote:
>> I have a failing disk in a Lenovo ThinkCentre A57. It has a WD 320GB
>> drive.
> How "failing" is the disk? It might be easier to resize before moving.

good question - possibly more failing than I first realised. Windows
reports SMART error BAD disk on boot then makes a half-assed boot anyway
that occasionally gets as far as login.

>  I'm wondering whether I can boot the PC from Linux and backup the
>> system using tar and restore to a different harddrive.
> I don't think you will get away with tar/restore. You'll need to get all
> the NTFS ACLs and things like that - we'll I'd worry about not getting
> things like that anyway.

>  Then try to boot
>> the PC from the restored drive. All I can find is another WD but a 250GB
>> one. What's my chances of success? Would a re-install be  easier? I
>> thought of dd too but I'm guessing that the drives would have to be the
>> same size.
> If the disk isn't too failing then resize the partition on the old PC to
> say 230GB and then dd the image across. You might need to use ddrescue
> because that works around bad blocks reasonably well.
I'll give that a try. Boot with a live bootCD and gparted? Or something?

>  Once you've done that you will need to do a few clever steps to get the
> windows boot block and things like that hooked up again.
> I did this once on my dad's XP laptop and managed to transfer the disk but
> I was going to a bigger non-failing disk so it was much easier!
> Do you have any other system with a HD big enough to hold the 320G
> partition as an interim measure? It might be a good idea to take a "golden"
> of the drive just in case it fails completely or the transfer goes wrong.

clonezilla looked promising and seems to give an option to save to another
device. I'm going to try hooking up an external USB drive and will see if I
can take a 'golden' then take it from there.


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