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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How to create disk image without software or free?

How to create ghost image of hard disk for free?
How to clone a disk for free?

If yes then you are the person who want to backup complete disk along with OS. So lets see how we can create hard disk image or ghost image or disk clone without using those highlypriced ghost creating software.

Ubuntu Live CD/DVD, A hard disk with more capacity than the one you want to clone and some basic knowledge of Linux.

Linux provides disk dumping feature, this feature can be used for creating complete backup of any possible storage media. And we will use this feature of Linux command shell to create ghost images. While writing this tutorial I am assuming that you want to backup a hard disk which already have an OS installed in it.

Boot from Ubuntu Live CD/DVD
Now mount the hard disk you want to take backup on /mnt folder

Now take backup using following commands,

[root@localhost~]dd if=/dev/sda1 of=/mnt/image.img

this will create complete image of hard disk partition sda1, next you must take backup of partition table,

[root@localhost~]#dd if=/dev/sda of=/mnt/partitiontable.img count=0 bs=512
[root@localhost~]#dd if=/dev/sda of=/mnt/partitiontable.img count=0 bs=1024

Now while restoring first restore partition table on new hard disk

[root@localhost~]#dd if=/mnt/partitiontable.img of=/dev/sda count=0 bs=512
[root@localhost~]#dd if=/mnt/partitiontable.img of=/dev/sda count=0 bs=1024

Finally restore ghost image,
[root@localhost~]#partprobe /dev/sda
[root@localhost~]#dd if=/mnt/image.img of=/dev/sda1

Now please note that when you'll create ghost image no matter what amount of data you have in disk your ghost disk will be of actual size of source hard disk, that means if your source hard disk is 40GB in size then your ghost hard disk will also be of 40GB. If you think above tutorial was little geeky then even I don't take different view from you, yes its really little geeky but believe me its not that difficult.

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