Hard Disk Backup Question

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Fri Nov 16 22:34:38 UTC 2007

Ralph De Witt wrote:

> I have a Dell Inspiron E1705 Computer with a 80 gig hard drive. I also have a 
> Western Digital 500 gig My Book External USB Hard Drive attached. I would 
> like to Back up the entire hard drive to a partition on the external drive. I 
> have very little knowledge of how to do this. I have always backed up to a CD 
> individual files after a data loss. I thought a auto backup routine would 
> work, but the computer may not be on when the backup would be scheduled, and 
> the external hard drive partition do not seem to want to auto mount so that 
> would not work. I am using the kde desk top. Could some one add to my 
> knowledge and help me out? TIA

The best approach will depend on what you want to do with the copy and 
whether you are willing to reboot every time to make it.  If you just 
want a spare copy of your files, you can format the drive as ext3, 
connect it when you want to do a backup (and you may or may not have to 
mount it manually with a command), and use rsync to copy the directories 
you want to save.  You'd need a running system to access these copies, 
but they would be immediately available when the disk is mounted.

If you want full image backups and are willing to reboot, you can 
install 'clonezilla-live' 
http://clonezilla.sourceforge.net/clonezilla-live/ on a USB drive in a 
way that you can boot directly from it and also store the image copies 
on it.  To use these, you'd have to boot a similar replacement system 
with a drive of equal or larger size from the same USB drive and use the 
restore option to rebuild the system.  Unlike some of the other image 
backup systems, clonezilla knows enough about most linux filesystems to 
only copy the used space on the disk - and it can do windows ntfs drives 

  Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at gmail.com

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