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if i write this command in linux "dd if=/dev/sda1 of=/dev/sda2" it will copy the whole /dev/sda1 partition bit by bit to /dev/sda2 there any way in WINDOWS not in linux that i can just only copy the contents of one partition and also the MBR to another partition not the whole partition....Why MBR bcoz i want to take a boot from the copied partition and that is only possible if there is MBR in the copied partition.....

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possible duplicate of… – Charles Bailey Apr 27 '10 at 7:19
What file system is on the device? – Cry Havok Apr 27 '10 at 9:05
The file system on the device is ntfs...... – user35319 Apr 27 '10 at 9:39
copying an entire MBR to a VBR (volume/partition boot record) is probably a bad idea. at the least you'll be copying the MBR partition table which isn't useful. i'm pretty sure windows already puts its bootloader on the VBR of its system drive, which is why grub can boot it with "chainloader +1" ... in other words, if you copy a bootable partition with dd you'll already have the bootloader in the VBR and copying the MBR will just be messing things up. – quack quixote Apr 27 '10 at 13:38
duplicate of… ? – warren Apr 30 '10 at 15:32

First, /dev/sda is not a partition: it is a whole disk. Partitions are /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2 … as the disk is partitioned. So, supposing that you want to copy /dev/sda1 to /dev/sda2, you have to:

Mount the partitions (create the directories first):

mkdir /mnt/sda1 /mnt/sdb1
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/sda1
mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/sdb1

Then copy the content of the first partition to the second.

cp -a -x /mnt/sda1 /mnt/sdb1

You can then unmount the partitions and delete the mount-place directories.

umount /mnt/sda1
umount /mnt/sdb1
rm -r /mnt/sda1 /mnt/sdb1
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can you plz kindly explain a little bit that what this command actually does....... – user35319 Apr 27 '10 at 7:26
To know more about what the cp command does, man cp. – Didier Trosset Apr 27 '10 at 7:36
wiil this commnand also copy the MBR from dev/sda1 to /dev/sdb1 becoz i also need to boot from the dev/sdb1..... – user35319 Apr 27 '10 at 7:58
No, the method described above won't copy the MBR. If you want to clone a disk/partition, maybe you could have a look at clonezilla. – Didier Trosset Apr 27 '10 at 11:56
thank u so much dtrosset.... but the way im looking for it is that how i will copy the whole contents of one partition to another partition in Window..?if you anyone have any idea about this plz let me know.... – user35319 Apr 29 '10 at 5:24

Clonezilla will do this

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I think I managed to do that (not sure about the MBR though, but the doc says it « creates identical bootable partitions », so I guess so) with DrvClonerXP : it quiclky copies the exact content of a partition to an existing partition. I haven't made tests, but since (as I understand) it copies byte-for-byte rather than file-by-file, it must be much faster than Robocopy or similar tools, especially when there are many small files.

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