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Looking for a software capable of cloning a System drive?

I am in the possession of a HP laptop specifically the HP Folio Ultrabook. I need to make an image of the harddrive so that in the event it needs to be restored I can do so with the base operating system which is Windows 7 Professional as well as the HP recovery partition. I also need to backup all data that is on the laptop.

  1. Where do I start?
  2. What software can I use? Please limit these to freely available software or Linux
  3. I need to be able to backup the image to a file server and an external harddrive
  4. Is there anything else I need to do or know?
  5. The laptop is being used by a user on a domain

I do not have access to the recovery manager application.

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marked as duplicate by Karan, HackToHell, 8088, Canadian Luke, Hennes Dec 5 '12 at 12:39

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Thanks to this procedure is quiet simple. Just boot from CD/DVD/USB and follow guide. It's a great linux distribution that can copy partitions or whole disks to image on local, network (SMB, NIS...) or disk-to-disk copy. You can choose from many types of compression methods. It allows you to use console or scripts to customize process of cloning.

If you want to use it from usb flash, then this multiplatform tool UNetBootin will create one with Clonzilla for you.

Some say, that HP uses proprietary MBR code for recovery partition boot, so you may consider cloning whole disk. Reference:

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  • boot a live Linux i.e. Knoppix, you can skip loading GUI by typing: knoppix 2

  • with

    cat /proc/partitions 

you can figure out which disk is which (by size)

  • mount external disk for keeping the backup:

    mount /dev/sdXY /media/sdXY 

sdXY is the ext. disk - see 2.

  • do the actual backup image:

    dd if=/dev/sdAB   of=/media/sdXY/laptop_backup.img   bs=1M

sdAB is you laptop disk - see 2.

It will take a while - depends on the size of laptop's disk and speed of the port to ext. disk - better if use eSATA or USB-3. USB-2 is slow

switching to secondary terminal: Alt-F2, you can issue

 watch -n 5 killall -USR1 dd

to monitor the progress

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