[clug] Hints on where to look for using Linux to take Windows drive images (poor man's ghost)

Daniel Pittman daniel at rimspace.net
Wed Jul 2 02:24:03 GMT 2008

steve jenkin <sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au> writes:

> Before I go searching the Web, I was wondering if anyone could point
> me to a recipe for backing up/restoring Windows partitions using linux
> and possibly 'dd'.

You just got it, essentially.  Seriously, it isn't actually any more
complicated than dd and, possibly, a pipe into a compression tool, as
long as you are happy to back up the entire disk.

> Does anyone do this using an external USB HDD?
> I was thinking of booting off a Live-CD if I couldn't boot off the

That would, essentially, be my approach.

> Want a way to revert a Windows install easily - i.e. revert a
> partition.  Sorta 'Poor Man's Ghost'.
> I don't know if Vista or WIn-XP might complain.

They shouldn't, as long as they are restored to the same hardware.

> Thinking it shouldn't violate the licences - but others on this list
> know about this stuff.

It shouldn't, as long as the image is only ever used to restore to the
same hardware, or to replacement hardware if the first round dies.

(Note that the later, replacement hardware, might not work well at all.
 /That/ is a Windows limitation; like older Linux systems it has very
 limited boot time driver loading capabilities.  Vista may have improved
 this, but I have not used it to know.)

> I have a cousin in QLD who's PC literate that's asked the question,
> and I wrote what I hoped would be a recipe, but think this is
> something that must be commonly done.

Ah.  You probably want Ghost4Linux or MondoRescue then.  They both put a
user friendly wrapper around the process.


But see also


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