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Situation Cloning Two Hard drives

Folks, i need some advise on cloning two SATA drives.

I have a 500GB sata Drive that needs to be cloned for testing purposes. I have the software but the thing is my server only supports two SATA drives, so Im wondering is it possible to create a windows XP Live CD or USB that I can plug in and just run from that removable media.

Any ideas cheers

You could use that to hold one of the 500's
If you have windows already running on one of the drives, use this, which can clone it while windows is still running off the drive being cloned. It is free.
Fire Boar
Or you could do it the easy way: get a really really small Linux CD (absolutely anything will do the trick), boot into that and get into the terminal (a really small distro will do this by default). Then you can clone with one simple command.

(all lower case)
dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb

Assuming sda is your first hard drive, and sdb is your second. There's an easy check, but you'll need ntfs support (if you're using NTFS). Here's the check:

(all lower case)
mkdir /mnt/disk
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/disk
ls /mnt/disk
umount /mnt/disk

After typing ls, you should see the contents of your C: drive, if mount didn't report any errors. If it did... no NTFS support. If you don't, try the same with /dev/sdb1 instead of /dev/sda1.

dd is quite a cool tool actually. Suppose you instead want to make a perfect image of disk 'sdb' as a single file on partition 'sda1' (C: in Windows). As long as the destination drive has enough space, you can do the following:

(all lower case)
mkdir /mnt/disk
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/disk
dd if=/dev/sdb of=/mnt/disk/backup.img
umount /mnt/disk

Either way, to restore the drive to how it was simply do exactly the same thing but swapping the if= and of= parts around (so in the original example, use dd if=/dev/sdb of=/dev/sda.
Fireboar's method is a very direct way to go about doing things. It's the way I'd so it as it requires no specialised software.

Just remember to be careful running at such a low level with no access controls - if you mix up your of and if parameters and you overwrite the drive you want to clone with garbage Wink
Cheers folks going to look into both solutions, the problem is that I have a hard drive that does have windows 2003 server installed and various applications but I am migrating it to new hardware. Which is why i am trying to clone the drive, so I know the new hardware wont have any affect on the hard drive - that and backups (gta love em Wink
Fire Boar
Doesn't matter what you have on there. dd clones bit for bit the exact contents, into either a file (image.img in my example) or straight onto a writable device (the hard disk sdb). Heck, if you had a printer plugged in you could even send the contents of your hard disk to the printer in this way, but for all the good it will do I wouldn't bother: printers have handshakes and protocols that must be observed so it will just get the data and think "wtf?" and probably do nothing.

But my point is, it copies the bits. Shouldn't matter what hardware or what you use, it will just blindly copy. Of course, Windows takes a hash of your hardware and if it changes too much you will have to reactivate it, but that's no huge deal, just phone Microsoft up and say you've changed the hardware and they'll give you a code to unlock it.

Note: It also copies the exact partition table from the boot sector of your hard disk. That means that if you're cloning onto a larger hard disk, Windows will think that your hard disk is the same size as the old one. That's not a problem though, you can add a new partition to your hard disk or expand the existing one.
Those terminal commands will work in damnsmalllinux too, and it's like 50MB...

g4u ("ghosting for unix") is a NetBSD-based bootfloppy/CD-ROM that allows easy cloning of PC harddisks to deploy a common setup on a number of PCs using FTP.

The floppy/CD offers two functions.

The first is to upload the compressed image of a local harddisk to a FTP server, the other is to restore that image via FTP, uncompress it and write it back to disk.

Easy cloning of local disks as well as partitions is also supported.
Folks cheers to your response,

I managed to clone the drives but then realised the original drive had different hardware. So I am now forced to stripping out the current HAL info using Acronis Universal Restore. If anyone has a better solution than acronis (ive head sysprep that could do this but unsure at the mo how to use it) any opinions would be grateful.


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