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I have a dying hard drive and a replacement drive (same model). What is the best way to copy the old drive to the new drive?

Its a dual boot setup - Ubuntu Karmic and Windows XP.

I really don't want to have to reinstall both operating systems and all their software.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Use a backup solution which can do bare metal bit-for-bit backups of the entire disk. Clonezilla is fully capable of this and would be my first choice.

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clonezilla will handle differing disc sizes also. I have yet to encounter a case where it is not better than dd (except where dd is the only option) – Arthur Ulfeldt Feb 25 '10 at 20:08
Clonezilla worked beautifully. – srboisvert Feb 26 '10 at 15:21
Actually scrap that. It barfed on the last step of installing grub for some reason. I've asked about the next step here:… – srboisvert Feb 26 '10 at 16:42

If you can plug your new HDD in alongside the old one, you should be able to clone all the partitions from within Ubuntu using dd. Although the article doesn't mention it, the technique should work for any type of partition as it's doing a raw data copy

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dd is also a great choice. Consider ddrescue as well ( ) which will try harder to rescue the data after read errors. – John T Feb 25 '10 at 14:20

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