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System backup with PI: the right steps

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:40 am
by mamomc
I'm new to PI and I stumbled into it few weeks ago when I was looking for a suitable tool for making a backup of my PC's.
What I'm going to write here is the result of my needs and of a little recent experience with PI and SystemRescueCD (latest version: 0.4.2).
Typical characteristics of my systems (2 PC's):
- more than one partition (primary/extended/logical) with two NTFS partitions devoted to Win* and a number of partitions devoted to Linux
- a boot loader (Lilo/Grub)
My need: to be able to backup things so that I can restore them if the system crashes.
Restoring data from image files is an easy task and PI seems to work very well even for NTFS partitions even though the NTFS support is still "experimental".
Problems and questions arise about the boot matter.
In the PI site there's a section related to "Partimage-manual Backup-partition-table" but it doesn't cover the whole boot matter.
So what are the right steps to do in order to restore the full system backup and have the whole system up and running?
Furthermore in current PI version there a task named "restore MBR from image file" which doesn't seem to be documented at all [if you choose that task in the next screen the explanation at the top of the right column should say "... to be restored" instead of "... to restore"].
I tried to use that task (restore the WHOLE MBR) after having remade all the partitions by hand and having restored all data to each partition and it worked. But I didn;t saved partion table information with dd and sfdisk as you suggested in the manual.
So what are the right steps? Maybe:
1. save data from each partition (info related to MBR are within the image related to the first partition, the one which included the first sector of the disk)
2. save partition table with dd and sfdisk
3. restore partition table info with dd and sfdisk
4. restore data
Is step 4 the same as the task "restore MBR from imagefile"?

That should be enough to start with...

Thanks for your patience and your comments... in advance!

Ferrari F1 641