"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." (Robert A. Heinlein)

Monday, 2 February 2009

Backing-up the EEEPC with Clonezilla


I'm going to install EEEBuntu to but first I decided to back-up my current installation. I decided to use Clonezilla, the 'live' distribution, mainly because it promised to be a clean and fast tool.
I used one 1GB USB pen drive as boot device and an external 250GB USB hard drive as backup device.
I first downloaded Clonezilla, the zip format distribution, (from here) and uncompressed it to my USB pen drive. Then, following instructions from Clonezilla site,  I made my USB drive bootable using Live USB Helper.
I then started my EEEPC from the usb drive, by pressing  ESC key at boot time and choosing the pen drive from the boot menu.
I proceeced with backup operation following Clonezilla site instructions (here). No screenshots, sorry, but there is no real difference between what I did and screenshots published in Clonezilla how to pagesThe only real difference is the disk naming: on the EEEPC internal disks are usually named "sda" and "sdb" while external disk names may change (in this case it was "sdc").
Here are my selections, in the order they appeared:
  • "Clonezilla Live (Default settings, VGA 800x600)" in boot menu options
  • Language: "English" (Italian is also available)
  • Keymap: first 'qwerty' then 'italian' and 'standard'
  • "Start_Clonezilla" option
  • Mode: "device-image" to backup source diskto an image fale in destination disk
  • Mode: "local_dev" to select a local device (the usb external drive) as target device
  • Destination device: "sdc1" this is the name given to my external drive and mounted by Clonezilla as "/home/partimag"
  • Backup directory: "Top_directory_in_the_local_device"
  • Mode: "savedisk" to save the whole EEEPC disk to an image
  • Image name: "2009-02-05-23-img" the default name
  • Source disks: "sda" and "sdb"
  • Clone programs priority: "-q : ntfsclone > partimage > dd
  • Advanced extra parameters: none changed from default
  • Compression: "-z1 Use gzip compression"
  • Split size: "0" EEEPC (disks are small so why to split the image?)
  • Action after cloning: "true do nothing"
In conclusion I think Clonezilla is really a valuable fast and clean tool. It took only 15 minutes to backup my EEEPC disks (not very full indeed) to an image a little bigger than 3GB. Clonezilla interface may seem a little primitive but, while using it, I never felt the need of a more complex one. So I, definitely, have no escuses for not to backup my system at least before any major upgrade.