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Old 10th March, 2010, 01:55 AM
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Problems ghosting a partition using dd

I just ran into an INTERESTING problem.

I recently upgraded my laptop from a 100 GB drive to a 250 GB drive. When I got the new drive, I pulled the 100 GB drive from the lappy and hooked both drives up to my desktop machine, which had two SATA ports (I forgot to mention that both drives are SATA).

I then used the following command:

dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb

to clone the old drive and partition structure over to the new drive. This resulted in about 150 GB of unused space, but that wasn't a big deal, as I knew I could format the unused space as a new partition and mount it, or even use parted and grow the partition if I wanted.

Problem was, the clone was riddled with errors. I discovered this when the clone refused to boot. Very, very odd.

I tried a number of different variations, but every time, I'd end up with a clone that either wouldn't boot, or wouldn't boot properly.

After some trial and error and careful reading of the info pages for coreutils and dd, I came across the oflag=direct parameter. Apparently, this parameter bypasses all of the system buffering and writes directly to the drive.

I used this option along with bs=131072 (to give a reasonable write rate) and the clone successfully completed.

Weird.
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Old 10th March, 2010, 09:40 AM
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I had the same when moving drives. Windows, especially, is a little bit fragile if any of its various disc structures are reassembled out of order.

I've tended to use ddrescue instead as it doesn't fall over if it does find a bad block. Syntax is a little easier, too.
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Old 10th March, 2010, 03:05 PM
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I never had much success with dd myself. I just tar up my old drive minus the uneeded stuff, create partitions and mount points on the new and untar. Not the easiest or quickest, but works without hassle.
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Old 10th March, 2010, 03:49 PM
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I've tried dd, never with any luck. I thought it was me, now I'm glad others are a stoopid as I am .

Then I found clonezilla. I boot it from a cd, so it doesn't work while logged onto an OS, but it has worked great for me. With clonezilla I can restore a whole OS or certain partitions. Probably as easy or easier than tar and untar, Cliff...
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Old 10th March, 2010, 08:38 PM
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I use Acronis...so go ahead and laugh! LOL
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