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I've installed and configured an Esxi server that starts from a usb pendrive. I would like to prepare a perfect clone of it and tape it in my server for the sad day when the 1st one will die. A brutal total copy of files will work or I should choose another procedure?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

It depends on the OS you're making the backup with. If you can find a windows box, usbimagewriter for windows has worked pretty well in most cases, its a one click application to copy an image of a USB, and pop it back into the USB.

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Any kind of solution is welcome for any os! The easier the better :) Thank you for your suggestion. – Pitto Jun 8 '11 at 12:02

We have a couple of HP Microservers that boot Alpine Linux off USB sticks and having tried DD to make copies (took ages - gave up), I settled for CloneZilla (on a Parted Magic live CD) as it was quicker and also gave me backup files I could burn onto a CD and put in a fire safe as an added precaution.

You have to first do a partition backup of the USB stick to a disk drive and then restore it to the target one, but it's pretty quick (I'm using 2GB sticks).

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Clonezilla is ALWAYS the answer! :D I'll keep you posted... For now: thanks :) – Pitto Jun 8 '11 at 11:37
You're welcome. When I was setting up the servers I looked around for a simple, one-click USB stick -> USB stick copy program but didn't come up with anything that 'just worked' - let me know if you find anything. – Linker3000 Jun 8 '11 at 11:48

I just created 27 clones (2 complete IBM BladeCenters) of ESXi 4.1 using this tool. It took the time it would have taken to manually install 2 or 3 Blades...

The Tool allows you to restore the same image on several usb-sticks simultaneously.

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