How Can I Duplicate an Entire Drive?

Aaron Morris aaronwmorris at
Sat Nov 11 19:57:00 GMT 2006

On 11/11/06, Edoardo Costa <edoardo at> wrote:
> On Friday 10 November 2006 03:18, Robert Temple wrote:
> ...snip...
> > I've looked into various disk copy & backup programs and the consensus is
> > rsync is the tool I need. But all the instructions I've read are how to
> > copy specific directories and/or do incremental backups, not on mirroring a
> > complete drive.
> >
> > Can anyone help?
> >
> > Thanks!
> Hi Robert,
> I think you will be better off using a tool such as "dd" which will do a copy
> of the disk rather than the files.  I'd have a look at the dd man page and
> see if it does what you are looking for.  I used it to take a disk image of a
> failing disk over my lan.  Worked great.
> Regards,
>  -Ed
> PS: Rsync users, if you think I am wrong, please let me know... knowledge is
> power. ;)

dd could be used, however, there are probably some caveats.  1.  rsync
or cpio would probably be better if the destination drive is smaller
than the original.  2.  If the destination drive is larger, you might
end up with some unused space (I know, many linux file-systems can be
extended these days).

"rsync -arHx src dest" could work for you, as well as, "find . -xdev |
cpio -pdmu /dest"

Aaron W Morris (decep) <aaronwmorris at>

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