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Windows 7: Linux users - easy built in command to Image Windows partitions / disk

25 Apr 2014   #1

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
Linux users - easy built in command to Image Windows partitions / disk

Hi there
If you have access to a Linux system anywhere (including bootable USB live distros) and you want to image your Windows disks / partitions you can use a very simple Linux built in command

assume the Windows disk is mounted as /DEV/SDA and the device you want to copy it to is mounted as /DEV/SDB

Then open a terminal as root / super user / sudo

simply type in DD IF=/DEV/SDA OF=/DEV/SDB

It will do a byte to byte copy of the entire partition. Might take a little while but it's totally Free - and you can let this run while say you are watching TV. A Huge disk copy might take a couple of hours.

Doesn't care whether Disk is GPT / UEFI or what -- any type of partition is handled too = Linux just sees the disk as a collection of BYTES.

IF = Input file, OF = Output file --- don't get them the wrong way round or you'll kill your data !!

There's loads more operands but that's the basic and easiest command. The output device must be at least as large as the input one. - If it is a lot bigger then after you've done your backup you can re-size the partition with GPARTED or whatever to free up disk space.

To restore simply reverse the operands.

(I'd really go for a decent Windows backup solution - but ANY backup is better than none and this one while REALLY BASIC always give an exact copy byte for byte).

As I said -- ANY BACKUP is better than none so if you don't have any decent Windows Backup software this is as good as it gets -- Free macrium needs you to BOOT from a CD which is a bit annoying if you don't have any CD/DVD devices !!! the DD command can be run from any Linux system even a LIVE distro running from a USB device.

I think also FREE MACRIUM doesn't handle GPT drives either.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2014   #2
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Free macrium needs you to BOOT from a CD which is a bit annoying if you don't have any CD/DVD devices !!!
Of course Macrium can be booted off a USB drive...its been like that for years now. The FREE version also handles GPT formatted drives.

Read more:
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Linux users - easy built in command to Image Windows partitions / disk

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