Greg Helledy on 9 Mar 2017 09:36:54 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] Best tool to image a dynamic disk?

Brent gave a better, more detailed answer. I just want to point out that
if the only purpose of these disks is to act as physical disks for
mdadm, you're probably better off reformatting to standard mbr/gpt.
There's no reason to use a proprietary and poorly documented partition
layout, especially if there are no pluses to doing so. It's actually
hindering your flexibility.

This is what ClearOS set up for us. I wonder why it did that. I certainly didn't mean to choose an option that was more complicated.

If the raid array you have setup is empty, then it'll be easy to
reformat. If it's not empty, you could back it up, redo the array, then
restore. Otherwise you'll have to fail one disk, reformat it, add back
to the array, then let it rebuild. Then repeat for each drive. Unless
your using RAID 0, in which case you're hosed. :)

I'm not inclined to disturb anything on a working system.  It is RAID 1.

If there are other partitions used by Windows that you're dual booting
this system with, then things get complicated. You'll just have to live
with it unless you can change things to basic disks. You'd have to
backup the Linux stuff as the mdadm partitions can't be "converted" by
Each drive has three partitions: swap, /boot and /. There is no Windows on this machine. I am curious how things ended being configured this way...I may have chosen an option at setup time if it was described as better or more-capable, without understanding what it meant. I am certain I didn't choose anything for reasons of Windows compatibility.

I checked, and my favorite imaging tool (Clonezilla) can technically
back up dynamic disks just fine. It can't restore them though, so no
real point to it then. ;)

If I can make a backup, that should be good enough--if the hardware dies, I'll slap the backup drive into a new system, update the data files and run a system update, and go from there. I shouldn't need to do a restore.

Greg Helledy
GRA, Incorporated
P:  +1 215-884-7500
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