Cloning an EXT4 partition

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Cloning an EXT4 partition

Kevin O'Gorman
I want to use partition clones as part of my backup strategy, or at least experiment with them.  I've been happy with ntfsclone for windows partitions, and just noticed that there appear to be utilities for doing the same with other partition type, like vfat and ext4.

Unfortunately, my first experience with partclone.ext4 (part of the partclone package) was not good.  It persists in giving me errors with messages that don't make sense: File too big when there's plenty of space, for starters.

Anyone have experience with this package, or any replacement?

++ kevin

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Re: Cloning an EXT4 partition

Liam Proven
On Tue, 9 Jul 2019 at 23:49, Kevin O'Gorman <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>  It persists in giving me errors with messages that don't make sense: File too big when there's plenty of space, for starters.

If you're backing up onto FAT disks, you need to remember the size limits.

On FAT32 a file can only be up to 2GB (less 1 sector), no more.

exFAT allows bigger but it is not enabled by default on most Linuxes
because it's MS patent protected. Cynically I think this is 1 reason
they did exFAT -- because they tried to copyright FAT32 but it was too
late, dozens of 3rd parties had implemented it.

> Anyone have experience with this package, or any replacement?

I've used Clonezilla and G4L with some success, but as boot disks. For
online use, i.e. in a booted running system, I use Partimage. Works
well for me.

But remember you can't back up the volume that the PC booted from --
multiple files are locked open and can't be copied. (Use ``lsof'' if
you're curious what.)

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Re: Cloning an EXT4 partition

Kevin O'Gorman


On Tue, Jul 9, 2019 at 3:04 PM Liam Proven <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Tue, 9 Jul 2019 at 23:49, Kevin O'Gorman <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>  It persists in giving me errors with messages that don't make sense: File too big when there's plenty of space, for starters.

If you're backing up onto FAT disks, you need to remember the size limits.

On FAT32 a file can only be up to 2GB (less 1 sector), no more.

exFAT allows bigger but it is not enabled by default on most Linuxes
because it's MS patent protected. Cynically I think this is 1 reason
they did exFAT -- because they tried to copyright FAT32 but it was too
late, dozens of 3rd parties had implemented it.


All my backup media are ext4 (maybe an occasional NTFS, but not lately).
So I still don't get it.  Nowadays it's almost always a 4 TB internal drive in
a USB 3 drive dock, and I formatted it EXT4 myself to give it names that
make sense in my backup scheme.  I have a dozen or so of these.

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Re: Cloning an EXT4 partition

Colin Law
On Mon, 5 Aug 2019 at 22:03, Kevin O'Gorman <[hidden email]> wrote:


On Tue, Jul 9, 2019 at 3:04 PM Liam Proven <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Tue, 9 Jul 2019 at 23:49, Kevin O'Gorman <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>  It persists in giving me errors with messages that don't make sense: File too big when there's plenty of space, for starters.

If you're backing up onto FAT disks, you need to remember the size limits.

On FAT32 a file can only be up to 2GB (less 1 sector), no more.

exFAT allows bigger but it is not enabled by default on most Linuxes
because it's MS patent protected. Cynically I think this is 1 reason
they did exFAT -- because they tried to copyright FAT32 but it was too
late, dozens of 3rd parties had implemented it.


All my backup media are ext4 (maybe an occasional NTFS, but not lately).
So I still don't get it.  Nowadays it's almost always a 4 TB internal drive in
a USB 3 drive dock, and I formatted it EXT4 myself to give it names that
make sense in my backup scheme.  I have a dozen or so of these.

Clonezilla uses partclone and has a very good name.  I use it (though not with massive partitions) without problems. It might be interesting for you to try clonezilla to whether it succeeds.  It tells you the low level command it uses so you can use that manually from the command line or script to repeat similar operations.

Colin
 

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Re: Cloning an EXT4 partition

Liam Proven
In reply to this post by Kevin O'Gorman
On Mon, 5 Aug 2019 at 23:03, Kevin O'Gorman <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> All my backup media are ext4 (maybe an occasional NTFS, but not lately).
> So I still don't get it.  Nowadays it's almost always a 4 TB internal drive in
> a USB 3 drive dock, and I formatted it EXT4 myself to give it names that
> make sense in my backup scheme.  I have a dozen or so of these.

OK, so it's not that, then.

What are you using to make the images?

Another plug for partimage:
http://www.partimage.org

It has an option to automatically split / recombine backups across
multiple files of your chosen size. I think from memory it defaults to
2 decimal GB which fits nearly inside FAT32's 2 GiB restriction.


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Re: Cloning an EXT4 partition

Kevin O'Gorman
For the images, I have been using tar, dd, ntfsclone and gzip with no problems.
The experiment that failed used partclone..

I also just noticed that ntfsclone by itself is not enough to preserve a bootable Windows partition.  You have to also copy the first 16 sectors (see http://www.ntfs.com/ntfs-partition-boot-sector.htm)
I'm wondering if partclone.ntfs takes care of that.  I'll be experimenting.

On Tue, Aug 6, 2019 at 2:37 AM Liam Proven <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Mon, 5 Aug 2019 at 23:03, Kevin O'Gorman <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> All my backup media are ext4 (maybe an occasional NTFS, but not lately).
> So I still don't get it.  Nowadays it's almost always a 4 TB internal drive in
> a USB 3 drive dock, and I formatted it EXT4 myself to give it names that
> make sense in my backup scheme.  I have a dozen or so of these.

OK, so it's not that, then.

What are you using to make the images?

Another plug for partimage:
http://www.partimage.org

It has an option to automatically split / recombine backups across
multiple files of your chosen size. I think from memory it defaults to
2 decimal GB which fits nearly inside FAT32's 2 GiB restriction.


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Re: Cloning an EXT4 partition

ubuntu-users mailing list
On Wed, 7 Aug 2019 07:21:46 -0700, Kevin O'Gorman wrote:
>For the images, I have been using tar, dd, ntfsclone and gzip with no
>problems.
>The experiment that failed used partclone..
>
>I also just noticed that ntfsclone by itself is not enough to preserve
>a bootable Windows partition.  You have to also copy the first 16
>sectors (see http://www.ntfs.com/ntfs-partition-boot-sector.htm)
>I'm wondering if partclone.ntfs takes care of that.  I'll be
>experimenting.

In my experiences Windows backups gain absolutely nothing.
I once tried to restore Windows 98 or XP, I don't remember which
Windows, after a HDD failed. Since the new HDD wasn't the old HDD ;),
Windows didn't accepted the restored install. I don't remember the exact
problem, but probably it's enough, if the HDD reports back another
serial number via SMART.


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