Rich Mingin (PLUG) on 26 May 2016 07:52:39 -0700

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

So I've been lurking as I'm busy, but I wanted to mention that most recent recovery partitions are EFI based. If you want that USB backup to be bootable, you should clone the entire hard disk, at the very least you need an image of the UEFI ESP, the unformatted following partition (type MSR, size=128MB), and the two recovery partitions. One is MS's standard WinRE environment (~450MB), the other mostly just holds the stock image file. Depending on how Dell implemented their recovery environment, it may not function correctly without copying those partitions back to the target disk first, and creating the main NTFS partition on the host. A lot of recovery environments look for the NTFS partition that's supposed to hold Windows, and if they don't find it, will throw an error. Stupid and bad design, but it is what it is.

I personally make a non-booting backup of the recovery partitions, and pair it with a USB with gparted live, clonezilla, or both.

I also have an external hard disk set up specifically for Clonezilla work, it has CZ on a tiny partition at the front and then a massive FAT32 partition for holding the backup files. Clonezilla segments backups by default, so the 4GB limit is no problem.

TL;DR: This is likely more complicated than you think, but should be manageable with planning.

On Thu, May 26, 2016 at 12:13 AM, Keith C. Perry <> wrote:

While dd and some math will work, if you just want to backup partitions, I would highly recommend ntfsclone.  I've used that and the ntfsresize program quite often to reorganize Windows partitions.


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