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Need comments on my 'Parted as Norton ghost replacement'

From: andreas t
Subject: Need comments on my 'Parted as Norton ghost replacement'
Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2001 17:52:23 -0000


I am using dd and parted as a replacement for norton ghost with what appears to 
be success. however I thought I'd check with you if something is wrong or if 
you think I may encounter any obvious problems down the road from doing things 
this way;

I start with a machine (master machine) running a clean install of win98 on a 
fat32 partition.

1)  I defrag it from within windows to move all data to the beginning of the 
disk. Let us say the partition is 2 GB and the data on the partition is 300 MB.
2) I boot my custom Linux boot floppy on the same machine and use (for example) 
"dd if=/dev/hda1 of=/mnt/imagefile.raw bs=1M count=310" to make an image of the 
actual data (with the 10MB extra just in case). I burn my image on a cd-r.

3) I boot my _new_ machine (slave machine), the one to receive the cloned 
partition, with my custom Linux floppy. I create a single partition that is of 
a different size than the original partition, say 800 MB using parted or cfdisk.

4) Using "dd if=/mnt/cdrom/imagefile.raw of=/dev/hda1" i dump my image from the 
cd-r to my newly created partition.

5) Now there is a problem. The fat32 file system on my new partition thinks 
that the partition is 2 GB (from the original geometry). I start parted which 
alerts me th
at the file system and the partition table doesn't agree. I use "print" in 
parted to get the partition geometry, then I use parted to resize my partition 
to the exact same values reported by the "print" command. This doesn't seem to 
resize anything since I resize to the same size, but the funny thing is that 
the file system's info about the partition geometry is synced to my actual 
partition geometry making Win98 think that the partition is 800 MB as it should.

6) The end. Everything seems to work. I have used this method on a few well 
used computers at work and I have not experienced any problems. However I am 
not very into file systems and I do not want to run into troubles down the road 
from this. Do you see any problems doing what I do here?            

I was kind of surprised that Win98 would work after taking an image of the 
actual data on my master machine. I would expect it to run into problems since 
defrag doesnt seem to be able to move ALL occupied blocks to the beginning of 
the drive and thus missing these blocks on the slave machine.

thoughts, suggestions and comments are very welcome

kind regards

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