cloning a boot partition

Otto Haliburton ottohaliburton at
Thu Jun 16 20:28:20 UTC 2005

On Thu, 2005-06-16 at 13:04 -0700, Mark Knecht wrote:
> On 6/16/05, Rick Stevens <rstevens at> wrote:
> > Mark Knecht wrote:
> > > Hi,
> > >    What tools do people find most simple/fast/fool-proof for cloning a
> > > drive, and expecially cloning a boot partition? I've got a small
> > > system with an 8GB drive but only about 2.5GB on the system. There is
> > > a boot partition, swap and root. I'd like to clone this drive three
> > > times to larger 80GB drives.
> > 
> > Do you mean make three copies on the 80GB drive?  That could suck up a
> > lot of your partitions.
> No - sorry for any confusion. As I said
> "clone this drive three times to larger 80GB drives"
> and not
> "clone this drive three times to a larger 80GB drive"
> A few weeks ago I purchased an Asus Pundit-R for use as a MythTV
> frontend. It's up and running fine using a very old 8GB drive. This
> week I purchased 3 more to go in other rooms and other houses but I
> had to buy drives this time so I got 80GB drives for each machine. I
> want each machine to start life this afternoon as a copy of the one
> that's been running for a few weeks already.
> > 
> > >    I can boot the system with a LiveCD or the FC2 CD in resuce mode
> > > which should make the existing drive just storage and copyable. It
> > > would be perfect if the clone did NOT use the additional drive space
> > > since I'd like to make this a new partition on the new machines.
> > 
> > If you're doing the three copies on one drive, I'd set it up with one
> > boot partition (make it a primary, e.g. hda1), one swap (could be in an
> > extended partition, e.g. hda5) and three root partitions (also could be
> > in the extended partition, e.g. hda6, hda7 and hda8).  Use fdisk to set
> > those up, then use "cp -a" to copy the root stuff over to the three new
> > root partitions.  You can't use "dd" as that would do a block-for-block
> > copy and your geometries aren't even close to the same.  You'd then need
> > to edit the /boot/grub/grub.conf file to set the "root=" bits on the
> > kernel lines to point at the right places.
> > 
> OK, so this addresses how I can do it. (Don't use dd.) That's fine.
> But what I really want to do is make the boot partition on each drive
> bootable, put grub on it and make the master boot records identical.
> (I think.) Therefore my unclear question from before was really 'how
> do I clone the boot partition on a working 8GB drive onto a new unused
> 80GB drive?'
> I could also just install grub by hand, somehow, but I was hoping to
> get the drive completely ready before I ever power the machine up
> since the new machines have no CDROM drives...
> Sorry if this is confusing.
> Thanks,
> Mark
having never done this and only offering a suggestion and not knowing
whether it will work or not, but it seems to me that parted does this as
i remember and very easily.  I completely disavow this help.  LOL

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