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How to copy one drive contents EXACTLY onto another drive.??

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May 24, 2006 4:48:47 AM

Whats a good software that will allow me to burn an exact copy of my C drive onto multiple DVDs so that when I build another computer, I can simply load each of those DVDs in sequence and reproduce my former C drive?

Thanks experts!

More about : copy drive contents drive

May 28, 2006 6:47:51 PM

Won't windows backup work?
May 29, 2006 4:30:05 PM

Well, the "dd" command works for Linux. You can do it from a bootable CD and not mess with your HDD installation of Windows. One caveat is that the target drive should be in the FAT32 format, as the Linux write support is not yet 100% guaranteed to be 100% trouble-free. Read support on NTFS is 100% suported in Linux, as is read/write onto FAT16/FAT32 partitions. Also, the two drives need to be the exact same size- if the first is 120GB, the second should also be 120GB, not 250GB.

If you have two SATA hard drives, here's what you might do.

1. Get a copy of Ubuntu or any other Linux live CD. Look at DistroWatch and that will steer you to downloading a Linux live CD. Burn the ISO file you got to a CD, making sure it is burned as a CD Image, not a file. I'll use instructions for Ubuntu's live CD.

2. Boot the computer from the Live CD. Then pull up a terminal (it will be under the Applications menu, then System -> terminal.) Type in the following:

sudo fdisk -l

That will tell you what hard disks you have in your computer. Since they are SATA drives in my example, and you booted from the original one, the original (source) drive is /dev/sda and the target (new drive) is /dev/sdb. There should be one partition on /dev/sda (it will be /dev/sda1 and be of type NTFS or FAT32.) There will be none on sdb as it is not formatted.

3. We need to format the new drive. So type in

sudo gparted

to open up GParted, a GUI partitioner. You will select /dev/sdb from the "disks" menu and format it as FAT32 (might also be called vfat.)

4. Now copy the data from Disk 1 to Disk 2. Do that by typing in the following into the terminal:

dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb

and then wait until it is done. This should clone your disk.

Or, you could pay and use Norton Ghost. It basically does the same as above, but it is a little bit more new-user-friendly and can write NTFS AFAIK.
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May 29, 2006 11:57:32 PM

Acronis True Image 9 will do it. I recently replaced a hard drive and used this program to copy my C drvie to the new hdd. I booted to the old hdd after installing the new drive and used the Acronis wizzard to copy it, worked perfectly,the new hdd booted right into Windows and all the programs worked. But it will also let you copy the drive to DVDs or an 2nd hdd. $29 at newegg.com

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1683...
June 7, 2006 9:49:37 PM

When using dd, if you target the root device, it don't matter what's on the disk, it's a bitwise copy. Just make sure the recipient is the same exact size or larger, then give 'er a whirl.
Por exemplo:
[code:1:5399bca6d9]
//Assume we have an ATA drive, hard drive 1, which is 40G
//that we want to back up to SATA hard drive 2, which is 80G
//After booting with a liveCD of your choice...

~$ ls /dev/hd*
/dev/hda /dev/hda1 /dev/hdb

//likely, hda is the disk since it sees a partition, but let's be sure

~$ dmesg|grep -i hda
//Some output will be put to the screen, hopefully indicating that this is the
//hard disk you're looking for, like the following
ide0: BM-DMA at 0xffa0-0xffa7, BIOS settings: hda:D MA, hdb:p io
hda: TOSHIBA MK6022GAX, ATA DISK drive
hda: max request size: 128KiB
hda: 117210240 sectors (60011 MB), CHS=65535/16/63, UDMA(100)
...
//your's will be different to reflect your drive, note that this one's a 60GB drive

//Follow the same steps to discover your SATA drive

~$ ls /dev/sd*
/dev/sda

//pretty easy, here we have only one, unpartitioned device, must be it,
//but again, doublecheck with

~$dmesg|grep -i sda

//Now that we have the devices, we set this off and do something else productive.

~$ dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/sda bs=1024[/code:1:5399bca6d9]

Once that's done, you'd have 40G unallocated disk space on the 80G drive, you could either make a new partition (can be done inside of Windows) or resize the existing partition.

To resize:

1) Runa defrag. This moves the data to the "beginning" of the disk (actually the outtermost parts of the disk, but not important)

2) Do a disk error check, for good measure

3) Download the GParted LiveCD ISO and burn it with your favorite burner.

4) Reboot with the disk in drive, setting BIOS to boot via cd in necessary.

5) Answer some simple questions about your machine (all defaults work 95% of the time)

6) When the liveCD is finished scanning your system, seelct the drive (likely sda), and resize it with the GUI. Very easy stuff.
June 19, 2006 10:46:11 PM

What I do is use Ghost (now by Symantec). Whats nice is you can make a boot floppy, execute Ghost, and make an entire image of the disk to external drive (NAS or USB) or burn to DVD. You can do a Copy Disk from this prog as well. Having to boot from CD or floppy, you wont run into files that are "Currently in use". It has the option as to the rate of desired compression as well.

If your O/S goes wonky, then just import the image back to your HDD. Drive Image is fine too. Comes in Image 7 (for Win2000 and XP) or 2002 (for Win95/98/ME) flavours.

There are many more disk imaging/mirroring tools as well, just do a google search. Tucows.com and Download.com has a wide variety of shareware/freeware/trialware. There are lots to choose from that will suit your needs.
June 19, 2006 10:46:54 PM

What I do is use Ghost (now by Symantec). Whats nice is you can make a boot floppy, execute Ghost, and make an entire image of the disk to external drive (NAS or USB) or burn to DVD. You can do a Copy Disk from this prog as well. Having to boot from CD or floppy, you wont run into files that are "Currently in use". It has the option as to the rate of desired compression as well.

If your O/S goes wonky, then just import the image back to your HDD. Drive Image is fine too. Comes in Image 7 (for Win2000 and XP) or 2002 (for Win95/98/ME) flavours.

There are many more disk imaging/mirroring tools as well, just do a google search. Tucows.com and Download.com has a wide variety of shareware/freeware/trialware. There are lots to choose from that will suit your needs.
June 21, 2006 12:31:30 PM

I agree if you have the means to buy this product or otherwise legally obtain it (whatever you interpretation of "legally" is), Ghost is a much easier solution. For personal use for a poor college student, Ghost isn't really an option.
May 4, 2011 4:53:20 PM

bmouring said:
I agree if you have the means to buy this product or otherwise legally obtain it (whatever you interpretation of "legally" is), Ghost is a much easier solution. For personal use for a poor college student, Ghost isn't really an option.


Try Easeus to do back up. It is great & free. Majorgeeks.com has it.
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