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I need to backup an old desktop PC running Windows 98. It has one harddrive which is very old.

  • Is it possible to run CloneZilla on an old windows 98 machine?
  • Is it possible that CloneZilla produce damage on the old hard drive because of the long read access on the old disk (It will be fatal if the disk (or the content on the disk) will be damaged.)
  • Where can I store the disk image created by CloneZilla. I think it could be problem to use new big USB-devices on the old windows 98 machine.
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migrated from Jan 25 '13 at 14:59

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

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  1. You can run Clonezilla on any x86/amd64 machine. It can work with whole disk images as well as partition ones.

  2. Yes, you can damage your drive while the image is being made, reason being that your hard drive is going to be used while the image is created. There's no way to prevent this, you can't read a hard drive without reading it. However it will not write over your data.

  3. Clonezilla is a Live CD and it boots on its own. It will have no trouble recognizing USB devices.

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so a new USB-Drive will be available because the mount process of the drive will be handled by CloneZilla? – Jan Koester Jan 26 '13 at 20:53
It will be available because you plugged it in. – gparent Jan 26 '13 at 20:55
If i plug it in windows 98 it will not be available, because the usb drive was not available at the time of windows 98, so if clonezilla handle this with its linux kernel this would be nice – Jan Koester Jan 26 '13 at 20:57
Yes, Linux has been able to handle USB for a very long time. Sorry I forgot that this was transferred from, I don't want to be rude :) – gparent Jan 26 '13 at 21:11
Yeah, I've never had any problems myself. Plugging it in after might work if you restart the Clonezilla wizard. – gparent Jan 28 '13 at 15:28

I'd suggest that if you're worried about the disk being damaged during the copy process because of how valuable it is then this worry would apply to using the disk any other way. You have to be careful, obviously, but something that's too valuable to risk using at all might as well already be broken; either way you're not getting anything from it are you?

I'd mount the disk in a caddy and plug the caddy into a more modern system for the copy to improve your chances, but that's about all I'd do. That'll both ensure that clonezilla can run on hardware its happy with, give it somewhere to store the image and minimise the risk of problems with the source disk being caused by the rest of the hardware.

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o.k so the risk to exectle Clonezilla on the drive is quite the same as I use the drive in normal usage? – Jan Koester Jan 26 '13 at 20:54
The risk is that your drive could die while you read it. See my answer. – gparent Jan 26 '13 at 20:56
@JanKoester Yes - either way you're accessing the drive. If it's about to fail if its accessed again then how or why it's accessed isn't that important. – RobM Jan 26 '13 at 21:15

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