Skip to main content

Linux partition backup sector-by-sector?

Thread needs solution
Regular Poster
Posts: 42
Comments: 163

When I back up a full physical HDD using the ATIH2019 Boot Media, I was surprised to find that the new Linux partition backup took the full size of it's partition.  I wonder if there's anything to be done to avoid that, since it takes up a problematic amount of time and disk space.

Thankfully the backup does appear to work (as Steve [thanks again!] advised me it would last winter in a thread I can't find now).  I imagine the cause is that the Linux Mint 19.2 (32bit) partition is Ext4, and that the Boot Media only knows how to back that up sector-by-sector.

The backup of the other NTFS partition on the HDD fortunately only takes up the space actually used on it by Win7Pro32bit.

0 Users found this helpful
Legend
Posts: 102
Comments: 22355

#1

See forum topic: EXT4 partition backup (Linux). which has a long discussion on this topic and leads to the issue being fixed in ATI 2020 for correctly handling EXT4 partitions.

Regular Poster
Posts: 42
Comments: 163

#2

Thank you very much for the millionth time, Steve!

That's some inspiring work over on that thread.

When I buy a new version of ATI, I wonder how I'm gonna create the boot media though; even if there was a Linux version of ATI I'm noob-hopeless installing software outside of Mint's Software Manager.

And my Win7 partition isn't very stable.

What's my best option?  The only plans I can think up are:

A.  Trying to install ATI2021 on the unstable Win7 partition (that I'm reluctant to put online).
B.  Re-installing Win7 then installing ATI 2021 (Win7 is the most recent Win OS this machine supports.)

Are there easier options I haven't thought of?  (I only wish to use the backup media, so once I have it I'll be golden.)

Forum Star
Posts: 178
Comments: 3903

#3

If you upgrade to 2021 you can then log into your Acronis account and download the Acronis Recovery *iso which uses Linux. You do not need to install ATI on the Win 7 PC. Then burn the *iso to DVD and use it to create a new backup. 

In terms of solving the stability issues reinstalling Windows 7 is probably the best bet. I have not used Windows 7 for a long time, and it is now out of long term support, so I am uncertain what updates will be available. Ongoing use of Windows 7, if it is connected to the internet, is a risky strategy. At the minimum I would invest in an Internet Security product. I use Norton 360, but there are other excellent solutions. There was a review of options in the most recent version of either PC Magazine (digital edition) or PC World (digital edition).

Ian

PS I can be a little difficulty in finding how to buy an Upgrade for Perpetual licence - the upgrade option on the buy now page is not obvious - see image below. You need to click where I have circled in red.

Legend
Posts: 102
Comments: 22355

#4

I would look to see if you could get a copy of ATI 2020 at a discount rather than 2021 at this time, especially with running Win 7 on an older machine.  Definitely go for the perpetual version too.

The alternative would be to stick with the version you have and follow the steps given in the other EXT4 topic to correct the issues that stops ATI from doing a sector-by-sector mode backup.  I did this on at least one of my Linux systems back then and it wasn't too onerous to do!

Forum Star
Posts: 178
Comments: 3903

#5

There are several vendors selling ATI 2020 on Amazon. Unfortunately none of the seem to be licence only - so you have to pay shipping.

Also a lot on eBay.

Regular Poster
Posts: 42
Comments: 163

#6

Many thanks to both Ian and Steve for the great news!  

1.
Would there  theoretically be a potential for the downloaded ISO to not have the necessary drivers to recognize my HDDs?

Regardless, since for some reason I think I don't have to be concerned about that, I'm gonna go ahead and purchase ATI2020 per your suggestions.

2.
I'm touched that Steve remembered that money is tight for me, so I will be looking for an ATI2020 deal.

3.
In about 18 months when (it was Steve that tipped me off to this last winter!) 32-bit Mint goes the way of the dinosaur too, I expect this PC will be a doorstop.  But LOL right now it's my only PC; it's main job is to support my purchase of a fast new system soon.  And then to act as a secondary PC: I believe in always having a secondary.

Since Win7 is EOL I have almost no interest or need to get it back on it's feet.  Each time I boot it I unplug it's ethernet; I think the last time I did was just to make my recently departed PC's OS drive non-active anymore.

Regular Poster
Posts: 42
Comments: 163

#7

Oops, I'm so very sorry gentlemen...  I went into my account and I see I already own ATI2020(1), and it was a 2020 version of ATI Boot Media I had the issue of the Ext4 partition doing a step-by-step backup.  My bad.

It was a year-old d/l of the 2020.iso, so I'm burning another freshly d/l-ed one now.  I'll report back.

Plan B:  Yes Steve, I think I can manage the instructions Alex posted in that other thread.

(1)  which as I ranted about extensively in a different thread last year was worthless to me.

Forum Star
Posts: 178
Comments: 3903

#8

I know the feeling - at lest you did not outlay any cash unnecessarily. I buy things and forget that I have them already. 

Somehow I ended up with 2 4TB Seagate Expansion HDDS (desktop) that I did not know I had; not to mention 2 x 4 Port SATA 3 PCIe cards. My inventory records are next to non-existent.

Ian 

 

Regular Poster
Posts: 42
Comments: 163

#9

Thank you very much Ian that was very kind of you.  I really am sorry you both spent time helping me buy something I already had! 

Legend
Posts: 102
Comments: 22355

#10

If your original download was from very early in 2020 development then getting the latest / final build version #25700 will resolve this issue with ext4 partitions.  I can't remember which exact build for 2020 brought the fix in, but it is in the final one for sure!

Regular Poster
Posts: 42
Comments: 163

#11

My year-old 2020 Boot Media was downloaded 28 August 2019 (at launch, I imagine).  In that other thread I see that Alex reported 24 August 2019 that it was already fixed.

I'll try the new version  and post the outcome.  Might be a while, too smokey outside to risk heating my tiny apartment by running a sector-by-sector that would take most of a day; need to keep the windows closed.  Yes, that's the SF Bay Area now; no AC so need to keep everything off as much as possible LOL.

Legend
Posts: 102
Comments: 22355

#12

Stay safe indoors in this wildfire situation you folks are seeing over there!

Regular Poster
Posts: 42
Comments: 163

#13

I've now run a full physical HDD backup with ATI2020's latest/final build version #25700.

When the backup size went up (corresponding to some added files) compared to the last time I realized that my diagnosis of "sector-by-sector" was incorrect.  And looking at the partition sizes, I see that the backup is only half the size of the full Ext4 partition's used space.  It is, weirdly, about 50% bigger than the actual used space on the physical HDD.

And, with less than twice the total space on the HDD now used as before, it takes over five times as long to run as it used to.

This all makes very little sense to me, so I'm prepared to live with it and get on with other priorities like replacing this very old machine unless these weird facts mean something to one of you heroes!

Legend
Posts: 102
Comments: 22355

#14

My only suggestion here would be to create a Clonezilla boot disc (or USB stick) and do a backup of the same Linux drive with that to get a comparison of the sizes!

Regular Poster
Posts: 42
Comments: 163

#15

Steve, thanks very much for the interesting suggestion!

I'm very confused by https://clonezilla.org/downloads/download.php?branch=stable

I've got an i386 CPU, but it says they "do not release i386 Ubuntu-based Clonezilla live".

But then it offers i686 (which I had never heard of)(with and without PAE); the more I google i686 the more confused I get.

My CPU is a single core Intel Pentium 4 "Northwood" 3.2 GHz

Legend
Posts: 102
Comments: 22355

#16

You should be fine with either of the i686 versions of Clonezilla but would suggest the i686-pae as this is the later architecture which should work fine with your P4 CPU.

The non-pae version is for older systems still with a CPU that doesn't support pae instructions, i.e. I have an old IBM Thinkpad T42 which has a non-pae capable processor that I have to create the Acronis rescue media (Linux version) using a startup parameter of forcepae for it to be able to boot from!

See webpage: What version of clonezilla live should I use?

Regular Poster
Posts: 42
Comments: 163

#17

Thanks very much Steve, including for indulging a question it later occurred to me I might have saved you from by finding a Clonezilla forum to ask it on!

Maybe I'll like Clonezilla.  Before choosing ATI I tried it; IIRC I found it's Windows functionality lacking; but now that I'm using boot media only anyway perhaps it will work as well.

Regular Poster
Posts: 42
Comments: 163

#18

I just ran my first-ever Clonezilla backup, here's the backup sizes and times of my system drive:

ATI2020      411GB    15 hours approximately
Clonezilla    146GB     6 hours 24 minutes

I guess that (after running another ATI2020 boot media backup first) I'll test a Clonezilla restore, and switch to using it when backing up a HDD with a Linux filesystem partition.

Thanks very much, Steve, for the very helpful Clonezilla suggestion, I cherish being able to run a backup that doesn't take longer to complete than the time I sleep.

Legend
Posts: 102
Comments: 22355

#19

Glad that Clonezilla is an option for you here.

At present I am running Ubuntu 20.04 in a VMware VM hosted on my Windows 10 laptop rather than on a separate system, though I do have some other older PC's that have other flavours / versions of Linux running on them.

The main advantage with using a VM is that rather than doing a disk backup of the actual Linux partitions (EXT4 & Swap etc), I am now running a sync tool and just syncing the VM files to an external drive, which only takes minutes rather than hours!  There is no compression involved and gives me an easy method of recovering the VM should I mess something up!

I was making a Files & Folders backup of all the VMware folders with around a dozen different VM's (from Win 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, 7 etc) but this was taking hours due to the sheer volume of files (around 500GB +), whereas sync only copies changed files, so a lot quicker, especially as I run it after each time I have been running a VM and only run one VM at any time.

To be able to run VMware needs a good PC with lots of memory etc, so is no good on older hardware that Linux can run on when dedicated.

Regular Poster
Posts: 42
Comments: 163

#20

Why all the OS'?  For testing stuff?

I'd never heard of a sync tool.  Are you using it instead of ATI because you don't care as much about not (I assume) having periodic 'base' backups and want to save the time running bases?  Is not having bases risking corruption?

When I get a good PC with Windows I don't think think I'll dual boot it with anything; so far I haven't found anything that Linux can do that Windows can't.  Mostly I've just found, at least for a Linux noob like me, the opposite.

Legend
Posts: 102
Comments: 22355

#21

All the OS's are more of a trip down memory lane than anything else, but do give me a platform for installing my earlier versions of ATI on if answering questions in the obsolete products forum...!

The sync tool wouldn't be needed if ATI still allowed you to sync to external drives instead of only allowing a sync to another PC or the Cloud.  The tools I have been using are:

  • SyncFolders - which is a free sync applications.
  • RoboCopy - which is integrated into Windows but is a command line tool.
  • Karen's Replicator - which is another free sync application

The last in the list is what I have been using currently to move my VM files to my external drive.

One of the reasons I have stopped using ATI to backup these VM folders / files is simply that I would need to buy a much larger backup drive unless I were to set up separate tasks to backup each VM separately.