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I tried to use Clonezilla to clone my secondary drive (1 TB) to a tertiary drive (4 TB) which will be replacing the secondary. Clonezilla says it cannot do this without formatting the MBR but I think that is not practical/possible since the 4 TB drive needs to be formatted specially to account for its large size

Could someone offer me some guidance in doing this?


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I think the only way is converting your 1 TB drive to GPT and then clone, because MBR drive couldn't be cloned into a GPT drive – Lưu Vĩnh Phúc Sep 3 '13 at 2:23
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes, you should format the 4TB with a GPT partition table (as opposed to MSDOS partition table). As you will not be booting from the 4TB (you stated secondary drive) this should be a non-issue.

I have a couple non-Clonezilla approaches to this.

  • Use GParted LiveCD to copy the partitions

    1. Create a GPT partition table on the 4TB
    2. Choose a partition from the 1TB, select copy
    3. Select the 4TB drive and select paste
    4. Repeat for each partition on the 1TB
    5. Expand the partition(s) on the 4TB to fit the space available
    6. Alter the labels and the UUIDs as needed using blkid and tune2fs -U
  • Create partitions then copy contents with tar pipe

    1. Create a GPT partition table on the 4TB
    2. Create partitions using GParted or another partitioning tool
    3. Mount partition on 1TB as /mnt/oneTB
    4. Mount partition on 4TB as /mnt/fourTB
    5. Copy while preserving permissions with a tar pipe:

Tar pipe

tar -C /mnt/oneTB -cvpf - . | tar -C /mnt/fourTB -xvf -


-C [directory] specifies output directory    
-v verbose enables listing file progress (slows task)
-p preserve permissions
-f [file or directory] specifies input
-c creates a tar archive
-x extracts a tar archive
.  shorthand for the current directory
-  shorthand for send output to standard output (as opposed to a file)
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It sounds like you are worried about the need to use GPT to partition the new disk, and it sounds like clonezilla is going to use MBR instead, as that is what the old disk is using. Instead of cloning the whole disk, partition the new disk as GPT first, and use clonezilla to clone each partition.

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