Tucking Windows Away

Since installing Ubuntu, I’ve not looked back once (I think I’ve booted to Windows once to attempt something I read about online, and it didn’t work ::slight_smile: ).
So it’s incredibly annoying that Ubuntu is limited to just 21 GB while Windows takes up almost all of the space on my laptop. No space for my Music or Videos, and I’m running out even then :o
However, I don’t want to completely get rid of it - I paid good money for it and if ever I should need Windows, I don’t want to be stuck.
Therefore I decided to tuck Windows away on my external hard drive - and to keep it small and unbootable, I used clonezilla to turn it into an image (namely sda1 and 2, WinRE and C)
Obviously, I don’t want to suddenly find that I can’t restore it from the image, so I then used clonezilla to work out the procedure for restoring them.
The one thing I’m unsure about is that if I’m restoring an image of 2 partitions, do I need to have the partitions set up first or can I restore to sufficient unallocated/unused space?
Also, will WinRE and C be enough to restore Windows?

AFAIK, clonezlla does a sector by sector copy so there should be no need to create the partitions first for restoration.

And if those are the only Windows partitions you should be OK, except you’ll need some way to boot them, so if you’ve installed Linux to the same drive, you’ll now have stage 2 of the GRUB bootloader on the Linux partition… so you would need some way of restoring the Windows bootloader… ie. a Windows “Installation” disk, or one of the Vista/Win7 “Recovery” disks… or back up the Linux partition and MBR too, but then you may as well do a “whole drive” backup.

Personally with the price of hard drives so low, I’d just get another one… and keep the old one safe somewhere.

if those are the only Windows partitions
Well, there's a D partition but D isn't integral, right?
so you would need some way of restoring the Windows bootloader
Yes, but isn't the recovery disk a free download anyway?
Personally with the price of hard drives so low, I'd just get another one... and keep the old one safe somewhere.
I considered this, but everything would be easier for me to manage myself if I store it on my existing hard drive. I'm no good at detaching/attaching internal stuff - pushing a USB into a port is about as hardware savvy as I get.

So get an external drive and do a FULL drive backup to it :wink:

You are right about the rest (depending on what’s on D:) … I personally though would be happier with a WHOLE drive image, that way I wouldn’t need to worry about bootloaders etc.

Ok, I agree, I’ll do a full image

I just wanted to check something - I did a full copy of my HD onto the external one (using copy and paste in GPartEd) and when it finished it said there were two warnings. I saved the details to post here - are these errors important, and what should I do?

I have no idea, but I wouldn’t trust it… what was wrong with using Clonezilla to either make an image of the drive, or even better, clone the drive ?

To tell the truth, I didn’t even realise you could do that in Gparted :o

Clonezilla wouldn’t let me clone the drive, as it only allows drive to drive, so it would have overwritten everything on the external drive - and I wanted to clone rather than make an image as it felt safer. The only other option was partitions, and I didn’t want to set up all the partitions first…

How do you suggest I should clone the harddrive using clonezilla?

Only you can answer that…

What is the purpose of the backup ?

Are you likely to ever need to extract files from it ?

Have you got a spare drive you can do without ?

Do you need to be able to update the backup ?

How important is speed of getting back up and running should your main drive fail ?

How important is the data ?


If it’s about having a “tested as working” copy of the drive (at this point in time), I’d get a spare drive and do a drive ↔ drive clone, as this can be easily tested… then store the drive somewhere safe.

Second best, a complete drive image… preferably (again) on a drive that won’t be used and can be stored… Clonezilla images CAN be mounted for file extraction, but it is a slow process and will probably require enough free space to unpack the ENTIRE achive.

To be (as close as possible to) 100% safe, you’d need multiple backups stored at different sites/locations.

So it really depends on your personal requirements, and other backup strategies.

Backup strategies by their very nature tend (at least at first) to have to be customised to “perceived” requirements.

OK, thanks. None of it is really that important to me so I’ve made and image of the disk - I was just wandering how you rate my chances of succeeding if ever I want to restore it… have you ever use clonezilla for device-image processes before?

Yup… whole disk image restored perfectly for me :slight_smile:

But again if you have a spare drive lying around, it can’t hurt to verify it works by doing a restore :wink:

OK, thanks