[sclug] Copy drive problem

Neil Haughton haughtonomous at googlemail.com
Sun Mar 3 18:05:08 UTC 2013

On 2 March 2013 17:40, Paul Branston <apbran at rannoch.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> Since the partitions are not the same size you would be better using
> something like tar to do the transfer. Moving stuff using dd is very low
> level block copying hence you have an image of the old partition with the
> same used and free space and 'lost' a load of space.
> > The command I used was
> >
> > dd iflag=nofollow if=/dev/sdb2 of=/dev/sdc2
> >
> > I used the iflag argument because I didn't want symlinks to my external
> > drive to be followed. What is occupying all the extra space?
> >
> > TIA
> > Neil

It puzzled me too, but *man dd* has 'IFLAG=nofollow' clearly documented
(albeit without much explanation), so I can only assume it does what it
says on the box: "do not follow symlinks". *info coreutils* gives the same
concise explanation. Helpful.

That said, thanks to all at sclug who have offered advice. I have finally
resolved the problem by using rsync to copy the files, and generally
tinkering around fixing things (symlinks mainly) that broke. All in all
what on the face of it should have  been a simple one-evening task turned
out to be a several-day minefield. But it's done now and the fixed rig is
working perfectly.

Ironically once the bad blocks had been isolated on the old disk (which I
had to do first), that too now works perfectly, although being some 10
years old it is probably now in its twilight days anyway and if left in
place would have bitten me hard sooner rather than later. I look upon those
bad blocks as 'a sign'. Seagate Barracuda 40GB 7200rpm - state of the art
when I bought it! I feel I've lost an old friend.


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