Backing up your storage

The electronics used to store files include mechanical components and will fail within several years!

The easiest way to prevent this from resulting in losing all your files is to create "images" of your hard disk partitions on an external hard disk or on another system. An "image" backup is the fastest and most complete. It includes all hidden files and special areas of the disk which define how the files are organized and where the free space is. This is a disaster recovery method and is not for archiving. Don't delete any files after you have created the "image" with the idea that you will be able to retrieve them from the "image"

Other backup methods which save your files will require you to reinstall programs you have, configure them and retrieve/install updates after recovering multiple backups.
When you restore an "image", any configuration, customization or tailoring your have done will be restored.

You MUST do this periodically, perhaps quarterly. Any files you add to your computer, any emails you receive will be lost when the disk expires. Perhaps monthly is a better choice. Hey it's your nickel. It's only necessary to keep 2 sets of images (one incase something goes wrong with the most recent one (even that is a "belt and suspenders" attidude)

When the disk in your computer fails you can have a new one installed and then copy the partition images to it.

You can backup too often. A backup also helps protect you from loosing your data in the event of a virus infection or incorrect updates.
Many of these problems may go undetected for several days or weeks.
If you backup up very frequently AND do not retain several versions of backups, you might end up with no "un-posioned" backups to recover to.

You should consider getting an external hard disk for backups. Since the advent of hard disks measured in the tens and hundreds of gigabytes it is no longer practicle to use DVDs since DVDs only hold 4+ GB. You can use the same external disk to backup multiple systems and they're inexpensive. ( 500GB or 1TB $70). Don't leave the external drive connected to the system when not doing backups, see virus.
Another approach is to use free space on system X for backup of system Y and vise versa.

  1. There are several utilities (free and pay-for) available, "clonezilla" is free, easy to use and effective.

    The description is at :
    Ignore discussion about multicasting as that is related to taking an image of a "master" and replicating a set of student PCs from it.

    A "live CD" is bootable CD that contains everything needed for the task at hand.
    It is no dependence on any existing Miscrosoft, Mac, Linux operating system or other software on any media.

    1. Parted Magic linux windows environment. (pretitiest)
    2. SystemRescueCD Choose this if your system has smaller memory.
    3. Click here: clonezilla
  2. Click on an approiate ISO file to download it.
  3. Save the file
  4. When download completes write it to a "bootable" CD (be sure to label it including the version and date)
    When the disk is written, examine it's contents. If it only contains one file, the ISO, you choose the wrong options and it will not boot.
    Try to write the disk again and convince the disk utility that you are using an "image" of a CD.

  1. Insert the live CD in the optical drive
  2. Restart your running system
  3. Booting the CD
  4. See the orange shark(?) fin If you're regular system starts, you need to shutdown and
    change the BIOS settings to boot from the optical drive
  5. Accept the default boot options
    No apparent change occurs for several seconds
    Then a section of the screen fills with ÛÛÛ
    The following messages will overlay the Ûs
    live-config: hostname user-setiup
    rpcbind: Cannot open /run/rpcbind/rpcbind/xdr file for reading

    and many others will flash past
    No worries
  6. Choose as a prefered language
  7. Don't touch Keymap
  8.  Start clonezilla         start clonezilla
  9.  Device-image             work with disk or partitions using images
  10.  local_dev                Use local device (E.g ; hard driver, USB drive)
     samba_server             Use SAMBA
    using Another System running MS Windows or even Mac OS for the backup storage
  11. Press enter to continue
  12. Now we need to mount a device as /home/partimge (Clonzeilla image(s) repository)…
    1. sda1..      (There is no "0")
    2. sda2.     (this is a list of the partitions on your hard drive).
    3. sdb1 The external harddrive. This is where the images will be saved.
      If you have several hard drives, the external drive may be sdc1
      For example:
      sdc1   500GB_ntfs_external(In_Ext_HDD_1021_)_us
  13. Select a directory
    Which directory is for the Clonezilla image (only the first level of directories are shown, 
     and the Clonezilla image (i.e. directory) itself will be excluded. If there is a space in    
     the directory name, it will _NOT_ be shown)?:                                                 
                       /                        Top_directory_in_the_local_device
                       $RECYCLE.BIN             Dec_22                   
                       83fea1743140242b9c1c7305 Apr_27                    
                       BACKUPS                  Dec_21                

  14. The next display shows the Available space on the destination.
    Filesystem              Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    proc                       0     0     0    - /proc
    sysfs                      0     0     0    - /sys
    usbfs                      0     0     0    - /proc/bus/usb
    fusectl                    0     0     0    - /sys/fs/fuse/connections
    /dev/sdc1               466G  356G  111G  77% /tmp/local-dev

  15. Enter to continue
  16. Select Beginner mode OR expert to specify compression
  17. Select Saveparts or savedisk
    *Clonezilla is free (GPL) software, and comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY*                    
     This software will overwrite the data on your hard drive when restoring! It is recommended 
     to backup important files before restoring!***                                             
     ///Hint! From now on, if multiple choices are available, you have to press space key to  
     mark your selection. An asterisk (*) will be shown when the selection is done///         
      Select mode:                                                                           
                      savedisk           Save_local_disk_as_an_image
                                        saves all partitions with same options
                      saveparts          Save_local_partitions_as_an_image
                                        select different compression for each partition
                      restoredisk        Restore_an_image_to_local_disk                  
                      restoreparts       Restore_an_image_to_local_partitions           
                      1-2-mdisks         Restore_an_image_to_multiple_local_disks      
                      recovery-iso-zip   Create_recovery_Clonezilla_live              
                      chk-img-restorable Check_the_image_restorable_or_not           
                      exit               Exit. Enter command line prompt            

  18. Enter [systemname_volume_yymmdd] (For example Robs_windowsC_yymmdd
    Excluding busy parttition or disk ...
    Finding Partitions ....
    Partition number : nn actually number of partittions
  19. Getting /dev/sdx. …
    one partition may be missing (like 2 or 3 or 4)if the disk has an extended partition
  20. Choose the source partition(s) to save…
    Move cusor to the partition to save using arrow keys and
    Press space to select the partition to save.
    Press enter
  21. -sfsck Skip checking/repairing source file system
  22. -scs  No, skip checking the saved image 
  23. -senc not to encrypt
  24. -p choose choose … when backup finished
    -p reboot
    -p poweroff
    PS. Next time you can run this command directly:   but why bother writing it down
    Press "Enter" to continue:...
    Activating the partition info
    Selected devices:  [sdxn] found!
    The selected devices [sdxn
    Getting /dev/sdxx
    The following step is to save the hard disk/partition(s) on this machine as an image:
    Machine: s5703w
    sdb9 (8389MB_ntfs_DATA0(In_ST3500418AS_)_ata-ST3500418AS_9VM75LYZ)
    -> "/home/partimag/DATA0-120501".
    Are you sure you want to continue? ? (y/n) 
    OK, let's do it !!
    Failed to stop mkswapfile swap No worries 
    Shutting down the lovical volume manager
    Finished …

  25. This dynamic display shows the progress of the backup.
    The sizes will be about 10% larger than displayed by MS Windows.
    Partclone v0.2.45
    Starting to clone device (/dev/sdb9) to image (-)  i.e. stdout
    Reading Super Block
    Calculating bitmap ... Please wait ... done!
    File system:  NTFS
    Device size:  xxx
    Spavce in use: yyyy
    Freespace:  gg
    Block size: 4096 Byte
    Image Version: 0001
    Elapsed: 00:mm:ss Remaining: 00:mm:ss  Rate 300 MB/min  kinda slow over wifi
    Current Block:  nnnnnnn Total BLock: nnnnnnnn 
    Data block process:
    Total Block Process:
    Total Time: 00:00:01, 100.00% completed!
    File system:  NTFS
    Device size:    8.4 GB
    Space in use:   6.6 GB
    Free Space:     1.8 GB
    Block size:   4096 Byte
    Used block :  1601944
    Elapsed: 00:03:29, Remaining: 00:00:26, Completed:  88.86%,   1.67GB/min, 
    Finished saving /dev/xxx as /home/partimag/...
    Saving hardware info by lshw...
    Savind DMI info
    Saving PCI info
    Saving package info
    End of saveparts job forn image /home/partimag/...
    Checking if udevd rules have to be restored...
    This program is no started by Clonezilla server...
    Generating a fag file for the images
    Now synbcing -  flush filesystem buffers...
    Ending /usr/bin/ocs-sr at ....
    If you want to use CLonezilla again:
    (1) Stay in this console (cobsole 1) enter  command line prompt
    (2) Run command "exit" or "logout"
    When everything is done...
    Press "enter" to cointinue
  26. After the backup is conmpleted, the CD is ejected
  27. remove CD and boot to MS windows


Creating a copy of the partitions on your disk will take a long time.
The last line on the screen will include an estimate of how much longer it will take to complete.
While the backup is progressing you can observe the performance of the CPUs and monitor the available space on the backup location.

    There are mutiple consoles available
  1. Hold [Alt] and press [F2]
    At the command prompt enter top
    This presents a dynamic display of the system performance and the processes
    Press 1 to display the usage for each of the CPUs
    Press h to display the help screen

  2. Hold [Alt] and press [F3]
    To display the available space on the backup disk:
    df -h /tmp/local-dev

    To display and log the space as it is being used:
    ( ` are back-tics.)
    (Be sure to use spaces around the 1 in the while statment.)
    Copy the following then past it to a command prompt
    export yymmdd=`date +%y%m%d`
    export dest='/home/partimag'
    export dest='/tmp/local-dev' # you can use uparrow to recall the correct dest
    while [ 1 ]
    df -m $dest
    date >>$dest/$
    df -m $dest >>$dest/$
    sleep 15

  3. Hold [Alt] and press [F1]
    This is the progress screen for the backup

At anytime you can view the available space : Hold [Alt] and press [F3]
or return to the progress screen : Hold [Alt] and press [F1]

Using another system running running Microsoft windows for the destination Choose has shared volumes or directories

Mount Clonezilla image directory
samba_server Use SAMBA server (Network Neighborhood server)

Mount Samba Server
If not sure of hostname, open another window and ping the hostname or go to the
router to get a list of connected hosts

Domain in the samba server you most likely don't need this

Directory Enter the name of the "share point"


Compression option.

When saving a volume with many JPGs, files that are already compressed (ZIPs, gzs, Or is a MS windows volume whith comression choose -z0 since little compression will be acomplished at the cost of much speed.

If you are backing up to a MS Windows volume that has compression on the volume,
select -z0 to take advantage of the CPU power on the destination system.

-z1 gzip compression (fast with a smaller image)
-z2 bzip2 compression (slowest but smallest image)
-z3 lzo compression (faster with image size approx.
-z4 lzma compression (slowest but also small image, faster decompression than bzip2)
-z5 xz compression (slowest but also small image, faster decompression than bzip2)
-z6 lzip compression (slowest but also small image, faster decompression than bzip2)
-z0 No compression (fastest but largest image size)
Use this with photos, music compressed volumes or
when destination is to a MS Windows system volume with compression enabled.

while [ 1 ]; do date; df -m /home/partimag; date >>/home/partimag/$; df -m >>/home/partimag/$; sleep 15; done

Windows only ALternates:
  1. DriveImage XML
  2. f Macrium Reflect
  3. ShadowCopy
  4. Paragon
  5. ReDo
  6. PartClone
  7. XXclone $40