Partimage-ng development has started

Discuss about the plans: what features to add, how to develop, ...

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vonami
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:00 pm

Partimage-ng development has started

Postby vonami » Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:35 pm

Hi all,

I have been using partimage for a couple of years and while it's a great project, I had to kludge around the bugs and limitations of partimage that haven't been touched for ages.

So recently I started a pet project of mine called 'partimage-ng' to replace partimage. I have successfully used it in my lab environment (about 20 computers, ext3/ntfs/fat32 filesystems) to clone freshly installed systems.

I thought you might find it useful (since I saw a lot of discussion in this forum about total rewrite of partimage) so I share it.

Project's webpage is at:

https://launchpad.net/partimage-ng

Where you can find the development repos, please use the 'devel' branch.

Download source tarballs at:

https://launchpad.net/partimage-ng/+download

Build instructions are in the README file. A quick overview of requirements:

- cmake as a build system
- libext2fs for ext2/ext3 support
- libntfs-10.0 for NTFS support (avail via ntfsprogs-2.0 at www.linux-ntfs.org)
- libparted for partitioning support (NOTE: libparted >= 1.8.8 is not permitted since it's licensed under the GPLv3)

Give it a try. If someone is interested I'll continue development.

Regards,
Dmitry Ivanov

lhybl
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 4:07 pm

Postby lhybl » Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:05 pm

Dmitry: Will partimage-ng be able to handle bad blocks when cloning NTFS partitions? This is a major problem for me.

Thanks,

Larry

vonami
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:00 pm

bad blocks

Postby vonami » Fri Nov 30, 2007 7:29 pm

It depends on the meaning of 'handle'. Could you explain this a little bit?

I guess partimage-ng should just skip a bad sector when it encounters such a sector on the partition.

Also NTFS maintains a bitmap of bad clusters on the partition. After restoring an image of the partition I can map out bad clusters because this bitmap is no longer correct (for instance you restore the image onto a new disk which has no bad sectors).

Anyways, thanks for your suggestion. I will definitely implement it.

PS. At the moment I'm busy packaging partimage-ng and it's dependencies for Ubuntu so you can easily download and test it.
I will post here when I finish.

lhybl
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 4:07 pm

Postby lhybl » Fri Nov 30, 2007 8:04 pm

There is great background on bad block handling in the thread "How to handle bad blocks ..." The Ntfsclone team has made a good contribution to understanding the problem and how their utility deals with bad blocks.

There is a recent post of mine included below. I don't know if this will shed any more light on the situation or not. I would like partimage-ng to skip the bad block/sector, which is what I believe Ghost does. Logging the skipped blocks would probably be helpful.

Regarding the $BADCLUS file, I think you're right that this needs to be addressed. The authors of NTFSCLONE discuss how the procedures for the scenario you have described, i.e. imaging a disk with $BADCLUS entries to a new drive w/o any problems. I don't recall the details of the procedure, but it would be nice if it could be automated during the partition image process.

Here is my latest entry from "How to handle bad blocks ..." which is a long and useful thread on this subject.

==== my latest entry ===
I can't get PI+ntfsresize or even TRK/ntfsclone to clone some drives with bad blocks. Depending on where the bad blocks are I can sometimes clone disks with bad sectors, but not always. I suspect it depends on whether the blocks are in free space or not.

I assume that after running chkdsk /r, the bad blocks are mapped out of use, and that utilities that are aware of $BADCLUS cluster hiding should still work. Maybe I misunderstand how $BADCLUS and chkdsk /r deal with bad sectors.

Ghost can clone all my bad sector disks without complaint.

I found a partimage todo list that discussed better handling of $BADCLUS. Does anyone know if this is a scheduled update, and if it would allow cloning of disks with bad sectors?

Thanks,

Larry

vonami
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:00 pm

Postby vonami » Wed Dec 05, 2007 9:55 pm

Hi all,

I successfully built packages for ntfsprogs and partimage-ng for Ubuntu Gutsy so if you happen to run Ubuntu go grab them from

https://launchpad.net/~vonami/+archive

I'll try to keep the packages up-to-date as new revisions of partimage-ng come out.

This is my first attempt at packaging so bear with me.


@lhybl

I have started work on bad clusters handling for NTFS in a separate branch. A couple of hard disks with bad sectors should arrive tomorrow and I'll start testing.

vonami
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:00 pm

Postby vonami » Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:42 pm

Hi Larry,

Just an update on the NTFS bad blocks handling: I got it working. Now partimage-ng:

- wont save the clusters on NTFS partitions which are marked as
bad
- can clear the bad clusters bitmap ($BadClus) after restore

I have not commited the code yet because it needs cleanup and more testing.

Unfortunately the hard disk having bad sectors which I received a week ago shows really strange behaviour: sometimes it reports that all bad sectors magically disappeared and then it takes a long time until they get back. This really slows down testing.

BTW, launchpad.net (where I host partimage-ng) added a new feature: project announcements via RSS. I will use it to post announcements then a new version of partimage-ng (including packages for Ubuntu Gutsy) comes out.

Best,
Dmitry

vonami
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:00 pm

partimage-ng rev 80 is out

Postby vonami » Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:25 pm

Hi all,

First, happy holidays!

I just released a new version of partimage-ng (rev 80). The list of changes and full announcement can be found here: https://launchpad.net/partimage-ng/+announcements
Project announcements (atom feed) are available via https://feeds.launchpad.net/partimage-n ... ments.atom
Grab packages for Ubuntu Gutsy (as usual) at https://launchpad.net/~vonami/+archive

Give it a whirl.

Best,
Dmitry


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