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My purpose is to save/restore Clonezilla images to/from 16 GB drive.
Because images are weighty, I needed something else than FAT(32).
My choice was NTFS so I could access images from Windows machines without additional difficulties. So here I am, trying to write Clonezilla image to an NTFS USB-drive, and I fail on both Windows and Ubuntu, for example RUFUS says that Clonezilla's image is incompatible with NTFS partition type and suggests FAT32, and Unetbootin just won't list a mounted USB drive which is in NTFS as a usable (to write on).
So I used mkusb which is a nice GUI above dd command.
The result was a blank (unpartitioned) space and a 3 MB partition. Even though the space is "unpartitoned" (see selected line on picture) Fig.1 "dd'ed 16 USB" the USB drive is still bootable (no idea why dd'ing an .iso has such an effect)
So I created a 15 GB NTFS partition on the leftovers of USB and successfully stored some Windows's partition image to this freshly made part of USB drive.
Now, when I try mounting the NTFS part of USB drive as /home/partimag (default source directory for image saving/restoring), it asks for force mount in GUI (which has no effect), and honestly tells that "Resource sdb is busy" in console.
However all the same works if Clonezilla is booted from a separate USB/CD

My questions: First. Is it even possible to make Clonezilla boot AND restore images from same USB drive? Second: Are my problems related to the fact I'm using a not-so-good dd method (I feel like sdb becomes fully busy because that bootable 200MB part with Clonezilla in the beginning of drive isn't recognized as a partition which just makes mount lock ALL the USB drive partitions)? Or I missed something else?

P.S. this may be a stupid question, but is there a way to dd the 200mb Clonezilla image to only sdb1? I mean, maybe that would make Clonezilla normally mount the NTFS part of USB drive?

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  • if gparted doesn't explain much, I may provide any needed output
    – mekkanizer
    Aug 31 '16 at 0:11
  • Are you talking about the drive where you install Clonezilla or the drive where you will store your backups? The first one can be FAT. Aug 31 '16 at 9:37
  • @AndreaLazzarotto I'm talking about both, I want to place bothh images and clonezilla on one drive, but because for some reason clonezilla's .iso won't write to an NTFS partition, I have to create a separate NTFS partition n the same drive The question is how to do that to prevent Clonezilla from locking ALL partitions on a USB while booting
    – mekkanizer
    Aug 31 '16 at 20:41
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    There will be problems if you dd the ISO directly on top of the drive. Can you try uNetBootIn? The first partition needs to be in FAT, then after using uNetBootIn make a second one in NTFS. Aug 31 '16 at 22:12
  • @AndreaLazzarotto I tried what you said and something else. No results. If I create separate parts and use UnetbootIn, it just won't boot. If I use UltraISO or RUFUS and then resize the clonezilla part to make space for NTFS part it again won't boot. For some reason those stupid pieces of software HAVE TO write the .iso to the whole disk. So the FAT32 part takes the whole drive. Maybe you can suggest a resizing method (I tried both gparted and minitool part wizard) that doesn't break the booting?
    – mekkanizer
    Sep 1 '16 at 14:00
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Solution:

Proceed with FAT32 - 4gb limit wont cause you an issue.  You dont have to worry.

Reason:

  1. Clonezilla automatically splits large files into multiples of 4gb ones (even on NTFS ones)
  2. UEFI based systems wont allow boot code in NTFS (usually). This is the reason why Rufus and others suggest FAT32. This is because of the specs of UEFI.

Other Questions:

First. Is it even possible to make Clonezilla boot AND restore images from same USB drive?

Yes. FAT32 is required for boot (because of UEFI)

Are my problems related to the fact I'm using a not-so-good dd method (I feel like sdb becomes fully busy because that bootable 200MB part with Clonezilla in the beginning of drive isn't recognized as a partition which just makes mount lock ALL the USB drive partitions)? Or I missed something else?

It is not because of the iso/dd method. It is because of the non FAT32 formatted boot partition.

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Clonezilla live USB runs by default completely from your computer's RAM, which makes it very fast, and since Clonezilla live USB is portable, the same installation of Clonezilla live USB can be used on multiple computers.

Clonezilla live USB works very well with UNetbootin (Windows/Mac/Linux) and UNetbootin is also in the default Ubuntu repositories. Clonezilla is in UNetbootin's list of compatible distros in the UNetbootin == Select Distribution == dropdown menu. You should reformat the USB flash drive as FAT32 in GParted first if you have ever used the USB flash drive to boot a Linux distro.

UNetbootin has been dropped from the default repositories in Ubuntu 18.04 and later. When I tested the built-in Startup Disk Creator application as a UNetbootin replacement app with a non-*buntu live .iso image it worked in Ubuntu 18.04.

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