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14 Posts

01-05-2009

Toronto

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How to make a *full* backup (including the hidden partition), free solution prefered =) [T400]

2009-01-05, 16:30 PM

Hi,

 

I'm planning on messing with my system a little (re-partition, install linux) and I want a full-proof recovery plan. This should work in case I *completely* mess up my HD (bad boot records, destroyed partitions, etc.)

 

I have an external hard drive with plenty of free space. How would I make a completely backup; something that would restore everything (including the hidden partition) to its current state?

 

Is there any way to do this using free/opensource?

 

Keep in mind that if there's a linux app that can do this, I can just boot up using a live CD and run the app from there.

 

Thanks in advance.

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6 Posts

11-30-2008

USA

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Re: How to make a *full* backup (including the hidden partition), free solution prefered =) [T400]

2009-01-06, 6:29 AM

The program g4u can do this. It is a bootable CDROM and it has awesome documentation.  It can make an exact bit-for-bit copy of an entire hard disk or of separate partitions.  Because you boot off your CD, the hard disk is not mounted and so this really is an exact copy.  It is free software and I've used it hundreds of times.  Can copy to a network server or to an attached disk, say USB external.  You can google to find it, it runs very well

 

PJ

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8698 Posts

01-13-2008

United States of America

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Re: How to make a *full* backup (including the hidden partition), free solution prefered =) [T400]

2009-01-07, 1:30 AM

The rescue and recovery tool Lenovo provides can do this from within the running OS (XP Pro or Vista).  It makes a full drive copy including the service partition and the magic track 0 stuff that the "think" button uses to boot the service partition.  It can make an external drive bootable, and save full and incremental images.  I've used it to do full restores and to clone to larger drives.

 

I would normally use Acronis for something like this, but it doesn't correctly save the magic stuff, and seems to have issues with Vista.  I have been able to do full restores of my configured system (not just to factory, but to my loaded config) using the restore-to-factory media to get the service partition and magic stuff right, then used an Acronis image of the OS only to restore that to my configuration.

 

There may well be FOSS tools to do this - gParted and friends - but I haven't verified that they can copy the service partition and track 0 stuff correctly.  Maybe just a plain old dd, if you have the space to store the image.

 

I too would prefer to use free tools over which I have some control.  I keep my own customized Knoppix CD and bootable flash fob around for this kind of thing.  Unfortunately, the magic boot stuff that Lenovo uses (IBM-authored IIRC) is exceptionally fragile.  If you want to be sure that you can do a _full_ drive restore, you are better off just using the R&R tools provided by Lenovo.  Of course, _those_ tools are somewhat fragile too...

 

YMMV,

Z.


The large print: please read the Community Participation Rules before posting. Include as much information as possible: model, machine type, operating system, and a descriptive subject line. Do not include personal information: serial number, telephone number, email address, etc.


The fine print: I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. Unsolicited private messages will be ignored - questions and answers belong in the forum so that others may contribute and benefit. ... GeezBlog

 

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14 Posts

01-05-2009

Toronto

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Re: How to make a *full* backup (including the hidden partition), free solution prefered =) [T400]

2009-01-07, 12:16 PM

Thanks for the info.

 

I ended up using clonezilla to make a full HD image before messing with things... and I broke it.

 

Restoring from clonezilla restored the partitions, but couldn't get the "magic stuff" to work and the system wouldn't boot until I put GRUB on top. Now, I can't boot into the rescue and recovery partition.

 

Do you know how to boot into the RnR from GRUB? Just telling grub to boot into the particular partition (rootnoverify (hd0,2)) doesn't work =|

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01-13-2008

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Re: How to make a *full* backup (including the hidden partition), free solution prefered =) [T400]

2009-01-07, 14:46 PM

Vista or XP? What is/was the partition layout? IIRC, w/XP the 2nd partition is the service partition (hd0,1) and with Vista it is the first (hd0,0).  I don't know if that is always the case, so how is your drive layed out?

 

ISTR that with XP the service partition is "hidded' by using an ID of 12 (or something) even though it is a FAT32 partition.  Grub might be unhappy with the ID.  Changing it to "C" might let it boot. That's just a WAG.  My recollection is that the ID only affected where I could install the grub files, not what I could boot.

 

I've got some old notes here somewhere:  www.beezmo.com/ThinkPadT61.htm maybe in "partitioning" or Windows XP.

 

   **** grrr.  the insert link thingy isn't working.  the link above is literally correct, but the forum is inserting some invisible characters ****

 

I don't know clonezillla.  Will it let you restore only one of the partitions?  If so, do a restore to factory (with the recovery media you made immediately on receiving the laptop) and then restore only the Vista or XP partition from clonezilla.

 

HTH,

Z.

Message Edited by zoltanthegypsy on 01-07-2009 06:47 AM
Message Edited by zoltanthegypsy on 01-07-2009 06:48 AM
Message Edited by zoltanthegypsy on 01-07-2009 06:50 AM
Message Edited by zoltanthegypsy on 01-07-2009 06:53 AM
Message Edited by zoltanthegypsy on 01-07-2009 08:00 AM

The large print: please read the Community Participation Rules before posting. Include as much information as possible: model, machine type, operating system, and a descriptive subject line. Do not include personal information: serial number, telephone number, email address, etc.


The fine print: I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. Unsolicited private messages will be ignored - questions and answers belong in the forum so that others may contribute and benefit. ... GeezBlog

 

Communities: English Deutsch Español Português Русскоязычное Česká Slovenská Українська Polski Türkçe Moto English

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