Martin DiViaio on 11 Sep 2004 01:58:02 -0000

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Re: [PLUG] Backing up a HD using dd

> I have a--very nice--Toshiba laptop that I dual-boot WinXP and SuSE 9.1. I'm
> trying to backup the Linux partitions (five of them) from the machine's HD to
> an external firewire HD using dd so I can reinstall WinXP. Like many people, I
> still have occasion to use WinXP for work and school <sigh> and I only have
> the install CDs provided by Toshiba; in other words, I do not have an actual
> WinXP CD. This process would be very easy if I were able to use Knoppix with
> this machine, however, Knoppix will not run well enough to copy the five
> partitions. Knoppix boots well enough but doesn't handle acpi/apm correctly so
> the machine heats up during the copy process and eventually just crashes. I
> have some other bootable CDs that I could use but I'm stuck on mount issues.
> For example, I tried the F.I.R.E. CD ( and although its
> dated, the CD booted nicely and ran well without acpi/apm issues. Trouble is,
> it does not use ramdisk like Knoppix does so I'm not able to mount an external
> device to copy my data to, an external device such as a firewire HD.
> Is there another way to copy the data--as in dd--from the five partitions? I
> wanted to use dd to copy the partitions to external media. Is there another
> way to mount external media using a bootable CD so I can copy data to it?
> Any suggestions?

Why are you trying to mount the firewire drive?

It's not necessary for dd to write to it. All you need to do is make sure
that the drive is recognized by the kernel and what it's node name (in the
/dev directory) is. dd will happily write to it without mounting it.

If you are just trying to copy certain partitions, you should have the 
firewire drive already partitioned, though. A quick scan with fdisk on the 
firewire drive will tell you for certain.

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