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I am looking for a way to make a clone of a partition on a DVD where the client will actually be able to restore the partition himself without much hassle.

Any ideas ?

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migrated from serverfault.com Sep 7 '11 at 19:05

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

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I have an idea -- Tell us what OS you're talking about :-) – voretaq7 Sep 7 '11 at 16:38
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Clearly it's AIX - he wants to clone an LPAR (partition) and then do a system restore. – MikeyB Sep 7 '11 at 16:44
    
Windows 7, XP, etc.. – Rushino Sep 7 '11 at 18:09
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@Rushino in that case you can safely ignore MikeyB and voretaq7's responses, unless you want to do this from a Linux live CD. =) – Wesley Sep 7 '11 at 18:41
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@WesleyDavid: Huh? Linux? Neither of us were talking about Linux. – MikeyB Sep 7 '11 at 18:45
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I've used System Rescue CD to make a bootable image of my machine. There are couple limitations I don't like, such as you can't restore the image onto a smaller hard drive, even if your image only has a small amount of data, and also related, if you restore onto a larger drive, you will have a partition which is the same size as the partition you backed up. Other than that, it works great. The backup can be compressed quite small, and can be stored on a USB stick or USB hard disk for later use.

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You'll want to consider two resources:

  1. The Microsoft OPK Deployment Kit. Check out the document titled "Creating a Hard Disk Recovery Solution for Windows 7"
  2. Third party tools such as one by a company called FarStone. I won't link to it directly since I haven't tested it myself and I'm slightly skeptical of the website.

There aren't a ton of third party tools out there to do this, and there's probably a good reason for that. I would strongly suggest looking at the OEM Preinstallation Kit and using that as a base for making your recovery partition.

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This is actually a brilliantly simple process.

The mksysb command creates an installable system image from a partition and the mkdvd command can be used to write this image out as a bootable DVD.

With this DVD, you can restore the system to the point at which the mksysb snapshot was taken.

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You really can't do wrong with dump(8) and restore(8). On most modern systems you can even send the output directly to a DVD device.

If you need something a little more bare-metal there's always dd(1), but that's nowhere near as user-friendly...

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