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Re: [PLUG] plug Digest, Vol 148, Issue 16

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On Mar 9, 2017 3:00 PM, <> wrote:
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Today's Topics:

   1. Re: Best tool to image a dynamic disk? (Greg Helledy)
   2. Re: Best tool to image a dynamic disk? (Christopher Barry)


Message: 1
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2017 12:36:56 -0500
From: Greg Helledy <>
Subject: Re: [PLUG] Best tool to image a dynamic disk?
Message-ID: <">>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed

> 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
> Windows.
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
F:  +1 215-884-1385


Message: 2
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2017 12:55:21 -0500
From: Christopher Barry <>
Subject: Re: [PLUG] Best tool to image a dynamic disk?
Message-ID: <">>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII

On Mon, 6 Mar 2017 16:01:07 -0500
Greg Helledy <> wrote:

>We have a couple of servers using dynamic disks with GUID partition
>tables.  They hold mdadm volumes (linux software RAID).
>A co-worker suggested making an image of the drives, to have something
>to start with in case of a major failure.  We went to use a tool he's
>relied on called Paragon, which boots off a DVD into a Windows OS to
>perform the operation.  But it cannot do dynamic disks.
>Does anyone have a recommendation for the best tool to use to make
>images of the dynamic disks on our servers?

Personally, I like to use the raw disk with LVM. There really is no
need to partition it at all, and it simply adds an unneeded layer and
constraint. Installers often make you think it's required, but it is

Also, dd | netcat to another host is useful as a disk image backup tool
run from a bootable DVD or USB rescue image.



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