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Old 08. Feb 2019, 07:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What program to create backup of dual boot setup

What backup program can you recommended to create a backup of Windows and Linux dual boot set up. This is so that the complete dual boot set up can be restored to a former state.
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Old 08. Feb 2019, 11:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Any disk imaging program should be able to create an image of the physical HDD/SSD which will include all the partitions and the boot setup.
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Old 11. Feb 2019, 07:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Here are two opinions I have come across on the subject.

1. Depending on the program I use I may not be able to mount and browse the linux partition, although I am able to restore it.

So I am looking for an answer from some one who has done this and who can tell me, using which backup program will enable me to mount and browse both partitions as well as restore the complete setup when I need to.

2. It is preferable to perform backup using a boot media since a backup software running under windows may not see the linux partitions and do sector by sector backups of linux partitions which will be slow and backup file will be large. A live boot media based on linux is better since it will see both windows and linux partitions.

Here also I am looking for opinions about this and what programs are suitable. I don't understand how to do this.
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Old 12. Feb 2019, 02:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Have you tried the products in Best Free Drive Cloning Software?

I've never had any need to have that much control on multi-boot systems. Macrium Reflect has been sufficient for me on those but it doesn't, AFAIK, allow the mounting of Ext partitions for restore of individual files.
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Old 17. Feb 2019, 02:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Dropbox solves my little worries about accessing files via Linux or Windows.
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Old 18. Feb 2019, 06:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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For what it's worth...

The way i dual boot:
1. install and run EasyBCD;
2. shrink Windows partition to make room for Linux distro.
3. install Linux distro on that extra partition.
4. if Linux distro displeases me, i go back to EasyBCD in Windows to write MBR and then delete its partition.

Usually this works well with most Linux distros.

Thus, no need to backup Windows.
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Old 20. Feb 2019, 05:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Dealing with something like EasyBCD is quite beyond my abilities. I have been using AMOEI and EaseUS. Both are so easy to use. I used Macrium before that but dropped it because I had to work my butt out to do it properly in Macrium

What I would like to find is a free Linux based program to back up the entire Hard Drive, a program that can read both Windows and Linux so that I don't end up with a sector by sector backup of the Linux partiton.
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Old 22. Feb 2019, 12:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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FYI, Best Free Linux Software recommends two terrible options because AFAIK the free options for Linux are not very good. Some useful projects are no longer developed so I wouldn't use them and some of the easiest to use are no longer free. So here's a list of those I can think of and reasons why they won't suit you.

1. Clonezilla with its legendary limitations:
  • The destination partition must be equal or larger than the source one.
  • Differential/incremental backup is not implemented yet.
  • Online imaging/cloning is not implemented yet. The partition to be imaged or cloned has to be unmounted.
  • Due to the image format limitation, the image can not be explored or mounted. You can NOT recover single file from the image. However, you still have workaround to make it, read
  • Recover Clonezilla live with multiple CDs or DVDs is not implemented yet. Now all the files have to be in one CD or DVD if you choose to create the r e c o v e r y iso file.

2. G4U totally ignores file systems because it simply creates a bit-by-bit image:
Quote:
5.1 Supported filesystems
One of the questions arising a lot is "what filesystems does g4u support". The answer is: "all of them". g4u reads the disk bit by bit, starting from byte #0 to the end. It includes any MBR, boot record, partition table and the partitions themselves without further investigating the structure of the data stored in these partitions.
The other options I know of don't meet your requirements either plus they are more difficult to use:

3. System Rescue CD uses GParted and PartImage so subject to same problems as those products.

4. GPartEd is primarily a partition editor but does partition and file system copies. It has the best file system support
  • but:
  • no incremental backup
  • no selective restore

5. PING (PartImage is not Ghost)

(It is a real pain trying to reply when "r e c o v e r y" is a blacklisted word. Each time my edit is lost when I try to go to the advanced view and the blacklisted words leave me with no means to get back to my draft post.)
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Old 25. Feb 2019, 02:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you for the detailed explanation. I can see there is no real solution to my problem except to simply clone the HDD and forget about 'reading' the Linux partition. Gparted might be a compromise though, if I can work up enough enthusiasm to deal with the difficulty of using it.

I am surprised about the poor response to my question. I know there are members here who not only dual boot but also triple boot with Linux!
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Old 25. Feb 2019, 04:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melita-s View Post
I am surprised about the poor response to my question. I know there are members here who not only dual boot but also triple boot with Linux!
I take objection to this statement of yours. Just because your question did not get answered, doesn't mean the response was poor. The members tried to help you with their posts and you should be grateful for that.

The members here did not perform the task that you want to do, and so, they are unable to provide you a specific answer, but, even so, they have given you helpful suggestions.

Did you try searching the internet yourself for the solution to your problem?

I searched for "disk backup windows and linux dual boot", and got several helpful links where this problem was discussed, on the first page itself. But yes, none of them talked about reading the Linux partition, because they didn't have any such need.

I came across this too on the first page of the search results:

https://www.backup-utility.com/res/b...stem-4348.html

It explains how you can backup a dual boot setup using Aomei Backupper Standard, and that the software supports the Linux filesystems.

Macrium Reflect, Aomei Backupper and Paragon Backup and Rescue, all have the feature of creating a bootable rescue media, using which you can boot the system and take a backup of the whole disk, including the MBR, so that you get a clone of the disk, and so restoring that image should restore the dual boot setup.

These software also support mounting the backup image and exploring it, from the software itself, so, it is my guess that you should be able to explore the Linux partition too. You will have to try that for yourself, since it is "your" requirement. No one is going to try that out for you, unless someone else too has the same requirement.

Also, if you backup the files on the Linux system on to the Windows hard drive or another hard drive, then you don't have to worry about reading the Linux partition in the image. Using a software like Diskinternals Linux Reader, you can read the files on the Linux partition. Or, just boot from a live Linux like Puppy Linux and transfer the files from your Linux system to Windows or any other hard drive.
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