Christopher Barry on 25 May 2016 16:38:00 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Backing up recovery partitions to a USB device, making bootable

Agreed. You can even pipe this through netcat to another host.

a nice comparison of netcat vs. ssh for this type of thing. If your on
your secure home lan, netcat's the way to go. Sending it a cloud host,
use ssh.


On Wed, 25 May 2016 15:28:52 -0400
"Paul W. Roach III" <> wrote:

>Why not just dd if=/source/partition of=outputfile.img
>You could store that image anywhere (dvd, external disk, crashplan,
>whatever) and if you ever need it, you just create an empty partition
>and do dd if=outputfile.img of=/new/partition
>On Wed, May 25, 2016 at 8:31 AM, Keith C. Perry
><> wrote:
>> I also use a different approach for myself and clients.  When I get
>> a new type of system in I take an image of it with qemu-img and put
>> it aside.  I build up the system and before I deploy it I sysprep it
>> and then take a another image of it with qemu-img.
>> The advantage here is that now I have a generalized **portable**
>> windows system image that I can use to restore a system when it has
>> become compromised or in the worst case becomes locked by
>> ransomeware.
>> This is process I do once a year for myself on my netbook (a dual
>> booted system with Windows and Linux).  This same image can be used
>> in virtualization as well- good for testing things in a sandbox.
>> ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
>> Keith C. Perry, MS E.E.
>> Owner, DAO Technologies LLC
>> (O) +1.215.525.4165 x2033
>> (M) +1.215.432.5167
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Steve Litt" <>
>> To:
>> Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2016 9:02:15 PM
>> Subject: Re: [PLUG] Backing up recovery partitions to a USB device,
>> making bootable
>> On Tue, 24 May 2016 20:34:16 -0400
>> Greg Helledy <> wrote:
>> > My new Dell 2-in-1 naturally didn't come with any recovery CDs.
>> > What it did come with are two partitions at the "end" of the 128
>> > GB SSD. Both are NTFS, one is 450 MB with a label of WINRETOOLS
>> > and one is 10.79GB with a label of Image.
>> >
>> > I want to get these off the SSD and onto a USB drive to free up
>> > over 11 GB of space before I partition the drive yet more and try
>> > to squeeze another OS onto it (the SSD came with a total of 5
>> > partitions).  
>> [snip the known problem that Windows sux]
>> > I guess I need to put a bootloader on the USB?  I looked into doing
>> > that with System Recovery CD but the directions focus on chroot,
>> > under the assumption that you have a working linux install on the
>> > drive you want to install GRUB on.  Is it possible to install GRUB
>> > on a drive that doesn't have linux on it?  How could I do that?
>> >
>> > Or am I doing this wrong, is there a better way to make the drive
>> > bootable?  
>> I'd take a different approach in two different ways.
>> First, I wouldn't trust a USB drive with something as important as
>> restore partitions long term. I'd burn them to a DVD, kept out of the
>> light, well protected from humidity and extreme temperatures. It's
>> cool to copy them to USB on the way to burning to DVD, but make sure
>> no bits are flipped in the transition (md5sum or similar).
>> Second, the technique I'd use to back up the restore partitions would
>> be that I'd boot System Rescue CD,
>> ( ) using CD
>> or DVD media, to achieve the backup. I'd use ddrescue to back up the
>> two restore partitions, and also back up the partition table, which
>> would be the first 512 bytes of an MBR booting disk (/dev/sda), or a
>> larger amount of a UEFI booting disk. I have a program to tell how
>> much to back up, but the program's not ready for prime time. My
>> experience tells me that 10MB would be more than enough, and since
>> you'd be restoring from scratch anyway, no worry if it overwrites
>> stuff.
>> I'd also put some instructions on the restore DVD telling how to
>> restore from the restore partitions. On some computers you just
>> press a physical button. On others, you go into the "bios" and
>> select "restore from restore partition". On others, you need to have
>> a running Windows OS, which of course would present you with a
>> buried shovel.
>> With the stuff stored safely on a DVD, the restore would be to boot
>> to a System Rescue CD CD, lay down the backed up first 10MB
>> of /dev/sda, then then ddrescue the backed up partitions back to
>> their newly made counterpart partitions on /dev/sda. I'm pretty sure
>> that would work although I only did it once, a long time ago.
>> I'm not guaranteeing that would work, but that's what I'd do.
>> SteveT
>> Steve Litt
>> May 2016 featured book: Rapid Learning for the 21st Century
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