Does this create exact bootable clones?

Here are messages about how to use partimage from a bootable CDRom / floppy disk.

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visitors
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:19 pm

Does this create exact bootable clones?

Post by visitors » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:53 pm

re:

http://www.partimage.org/Partimage-manual_Usage

I want to make an exact copy of an NTFS hdd. It only has the one partition.

Why are people saying here, 'remember to make an MBR copy' - when the MBR, in G-parted for example, just shows up as part of the partition (with the boot flag on).

So, does partimage make a copy of the whole partition, or does it exclude the MBR at the start of the hdd? - if it excludes it, how do I tell it to copy the disk exactly, so that when it is copied I could plug in the copy and it boots the same as the hdd I cloned it from.

Additionally, do I need to create a destination partition beforehand? - eg, use Gparted and make a 200GB NTFS on a blank hdd.

Related - unless compression is selected, why does the img need to be restored?

Does the img file, as seems to be the case elsewhere, become bootable merely by changing the extension to iso instead?

feffer
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:30 am

Post by feffer » Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:34 pm

I want to make an exact copy of an NTFS hdd. It only has the one partition.

Why are people saying here, 'remember to make an MBR copy' - when the MBR, in G-parted for example, just shows up as part of the partition (with the boot flag on).

So, does partimage make a copy of the whole partition, or does it exclude the MBR at the start of the hdd? - if it excludes it, how do I tell it to copy the disk exactly, so that when it is copied I could plug in the copy and it boots the same as the hdd I cloned it from.
Partimage copies the entire partition. Using it to copy linux systems, it gets everything, mbr and all. I have not used it to clone Windows partitions, but I'm guessing that those who suggest copying the mbr, do it as a safety measure. Some Windows systems have a hidden "restore" partition (my old Dell had one of these) that may actually hold the mbr. It can't hurt to get a copy of the mbr.

Additionally, do I need to create a destination partition beforehand? - eg, use Gparted and make a 200GB NTFS on a blank hdd.
Yes, you need a destination partition that is big enough for the compressed img file.
Related - unless compression is selected, why does the img need to be restored?

Does the img file, as seems to be the case elsewhere, become bootable merely by changing the extension to iso instead?
You may be misunderstanding the purpose of partimage. It is to make a clone of a partition as a backup. If something goes wrong with the original hdd, or you need a bigger one, or the system gets borked, you can restore the img file and get up and running. It is not like an iso image. It is not bootable itself. It becomes bootable only after being restored to a partition.

Hope this helps,
feffer

visitors
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:19 pm

Post by visitors » Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:50 am

Cheers for reply.

Just to be as clear as possible - when the main website says this can be used to make clones, to make installing many of the same OS easier, I take it then the process of doing so is to restore the cloned image onto the other disks that the OS is being installed to - but does that need to be done individually per disk, or is it expected the admin / whoever is installing is to write or obtain a script to install to many disks?

feffer
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:30 am

Post by feffer » Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:15 pm

visitors wrote:Cheers for reply.

Just to be as clear as possible - when the main website says this can be used to make clones, to make installing many of the same OS easier, I take it then the process of doing so is to restore the cloned image onto the other disks that the OS is being installed to - but does that need to be done individually per disk, or is it expected the admin / whoever is installing is to write or obtain a script to install to many disks?
OK, I think I understand: you are trying to create an image of a Windows install and clone it to some/many other machines. Assuming you have the licenses to do this, there are probably better, more efficient, ways. I believe Microsoft has tools for this. That said, partimage can be scripted. I script it for unattended system backups, but if you wanted to restore cloned images to multiple machines, you would either have to network them first, meaning they would have to have existing OS's installed, or do them one at a time from a Rescue CD. Alternately, if you were just putting the OS on disks, they would have to be connected to the machine running partimage. You might be able to develop a script to image several disks in succession that way, but I don't know any way to do them "all at once."

oneout72
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:51 pm

Post by oneout72 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:04 pm

It's been a while since you posed the questions and I suspect you already have your answer, but to be clear, YES you can make an exact copy of an NTFS partition.

I use this tool for both volume licensed images for loading new hardware as well as making backups of OEM installed Windows. The backup backs up the partition you tell it to. This may be where the confusion starts. I do not use nor back up the restore partitions that come installed on the computers with OEM Windows. I have, however, restored only the partition that contains the windows install from a dell laptop to a new HDD and the machine works flawlessly.

I have never needed to create the partition ahead of time as the partition information is written with the image. I have written 80 GB partitions onto 160 GB HDDs with no advance work.

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