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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Additional Software (PETs, n' stuff) » Utilities
Gnost - backup, restore, clone NTFS, ext, FAT partitions
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9106
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Mon 05 Apr 2010, 15:04    Post subject:  Gnost - backup, restore, clone NTFS, ext, FAT partitions  

Gnost is a partition backup/restore system. It can create image files of NTFS/EXT/FAT partitions. It can also copy a partition directly from one drive to another.

Install the PET below. It creates the folder /usr/local/gnost containing two items - the clickable script "gnostmenu" and the folder "gnocode". It also adds a menu entry under Utility that is a link to this document.

NTFS Partitions

Gnost is a reliable solution for backing up your Windows partition. Assuming that you have Windows installed in an NTFS filesystem, here are the steps.

You will need another partition to hold the backup image files. Ideally, it should be formatted as ext2 and the safest place is on an external USB drive . However, your "backup drive" could be another ext2 partition on the same internal hard drive as Windows. You can also use an NTFS partition as the backup drive, if your USB HDD is already formatted that way. (But this alternative has not received extensive testing.)

Go to the folder /usr/local/gnost and copy the two items onto your backup drive. If you plan to store the image files in a subfolder, copy the Gnost items there instead.

Boot the target Windows computer off your favourite Puppy Live CD. Connect your USB drive and open the backup partition.

Click on the "gnostmenu" file. Select #1 from the menu.

Read the initial instructions. Select the type of operation (create or restore an image) and the name of the image file. I like to use the extension ".gno" for my NTFS image files. The image will be saved in the current folder.

Ordinarily, you will use Gnost to backup/restore an image to the same Windows partition. But you may eventually need to upgrade your hard drive or replace a failing unit. In this scenario, you will be transferring the image to a new drive whose geometry may be different than the original. So some extra steps are required.

Before running Gnost, you must prepare the new drive by making an NTFS partition and setting the boot flag. Make sure that the new partition is at least as big as the original.

After Gnost restores the image, it will expand the NTFS filesystem to fill the new partition, update the boot sector and write a new WinXP MBR.

[Update] If you have Vista or Win7 and need the matching MBR, get the newer ms-sys program here. Run either
Code:
ms-sys -i -w /dev/sda   # for Vista or
ms-sys -7 -w /dev/sda  # for Win7

If you have the right hardware setup, you can copy the whole Windows partition directly from the old drive to the new one without making an image file. Run Gnost from the Puppy folder /usr/local/gnost and select #2. Be very careful that you specify the correct source and destination partitions. Getting them backwards will destroy your Windows!

Although Windows is usually installed in the first partition of a drive, Gnost can move it to a different partition. However, you will need to edit the c:\boot.ini file and update the partition numbers.

If you need a simpler, one-click procedure for backing up Windows, read here.

Gnost also works with Samba shares. Just copy the Gnost files into the share and run Gnost from inside the share as if it was an external hard drive. The Samba server could be as simple as a shared folder on a Windows machine. Or you could set up a Puppy Samba server using the method here.

Also, read here for another way of backing up Windows data across a network.

Ext Partitions

If you have a basic Puppy frugal install, your backup procedure is easy. You already have the core Puppy files on its Live CD, so you just need to back up your pupsave file. However, if you have a full install or have content stored outside of the pupsave, you can use Gnost instead.

You will need a separate ext partition to hold the backup image files. The safest place is on an external USB drive. However, your "backup drive" could be another ext partition on the same internal hard drive as Puppy. You can also use an NTFS partition as the backup drive, if your USB HDD is already formatted that way. (But this alternative has not received extensive testing.)

Go to the folder /usr/local/gnost and copy the two items onto your backup drive. If you plan to put the image files in a subfolder, copy the Gnost items there instead.

Boot the computer off your Live CD using "puppy pfix=ram". This ensures that the Puppy partition is unmounted. Connect your USB drive and open the backup partition.

Click on the "gnostmenu" file. Select #3 from the menu.

Read the initial instructions. Select the type of operation (create or restore an image) and the name of the image file. I like to use the extension ".egno" for my ext image files. The image will be saved in the current folder.

Gnost will run an initial filesystem check on the source partition. Because Puppy does not always shut down cleanly, you may be asked a Yes/No question before continuing.

Ordinarily, you will use Gnost to backup/restore an image to the same Puppy partition. But you may eventually want to move Puppy to a different drive or partition. In this scenario, you will be transferring the image to a new location whose geometry is different than the original. So some extra steps are required.

Before running Gnost, you must prepare the drive by making an ext partition. Make sure that the new partition is at least as big as the original.

After Gnost restores the image, it will expand the ext filesystem to fill the new partition.

If you have the right hardware setup, you can copy the Puppy partition directly from the old drive to the new one without making an image file. Run Gnost from the Puppy folder /usr/local/gnost and select #4. Be very careful that you specify the correct source and destination partitions. Getting them backwards will destroy your Puppy!

Note: If you move a Linux partition to a new location, you might have to reinstall its GRUB bootloader to make the drive bootable.

FAT Partitions

Use the same procedures as with an ext partition.
gnost-2.0.pet
Description  Updated 2012-04-20
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Last edited by rcrsn51 on Tue 23 Apr 2013, 08:10; edited 13 times in total
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Flymo


Joined: 12 Jul 2008
Posts: 4
Location: Mandurang VIC or Bedford UK if not happily afloat

PostPosted: Sat 10 Apr 2010, 20:17    Post subject:  Reinstallation of Grub  

Thanks very much for that - 'egnost' is new to me, and looks to be seriously useful now that EXT4 is with us.

For those confused by Grub, there is a fairly simple solution called 'SuperGrubDisk' available at: http://www.supergrubdisk.org

Yes, it is possible to boot a regular live CD, loop mount the partition, then chroot into it and run grub, but..... this CD is script-driven with menus, and the Grub 1 version (0.9799) is very fast and easy to use, even on a P3 with 256M RAM. Worked well for me.

Have not tried the Grub 2 SuperGrubDisk since it is still deprecated at the moment, worth checking that on their website. Not impressed by Grub 2, yet. I'll give it some more time. Wink

All the best, Ben
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Sylvander

Joined: 15 Dec 2008
Posts: 3444
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK

PostPosted: Sun 10 Jun 2012, 10:07    Post subject:  

1. Tried Gnost, and it was successful.

2. See:
Post #437...
And...
Post #438...
Showing the results.
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9106
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Sun 10 Jun 2012, 10:26    Post subject:  

Thanks for testing.
Quote:
Ave. Rate: 110.3MB/min

For some reason, backing up a FAT partition is slow. With NTFS or Ext partitions, I get more like 500MB/min to a USB drive.
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Hotdog


Joined: 29 Sep 2011
Posts: 109
Location: Georgia USA

PostPosted: Mon 11 Jun 2012, 23:55    Post subject: Gnost - backup, restore, clone NTFS, ext, FAT partitions
Subject description: Using a backup to restore to a different computer
 

Puppy 5.2.8 full HD install is my main OS. It has a load of add-ons, too. It has been my interest for quite a while to find a utility such as Gnost which would backup this installation and then restore it to a different machine with Puppy and all the add-ons intact. It has suddenly occurred to me that everything on the new machine will be different. There will be a different disk drive, network adapter, video card or chip, audio, optical drives, CPU and just about everything else.

It is now my opinion that it is better/easier to install from scratch again on the new machine. Gnost and other such fine programs are best left to rescue us from disaster on the machine that originated the backup.

Have any of you found it easy to backup from one computer and restore to a quite different one using Gnost? Or, anything else?
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9106
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue 12 Jun 2012, 06:50    Post subject: Re: Gnost - backup, restore, clone NTFS, ext, FAT partitions
Subject description: Using a backup to restore to a different computer
 

Hotdog wrote:
It is now my opinion that it is better/easier to install from scratch again on the new machine. Gnost and other such fine programs are best left to rescue us from disaster on the machine that originated the backup.

Did you actually try it? Or are you just speculating?

Linux is not like Windows. You might have to re-run the video/audio/network wizards. But that should be sufficient to get the image working on a different machine.
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Hotdog


Joined: 29 Sep 2011
Posts: 109
Location: Georgia USA

PostPosted: Wed 13 Jun 2012, 00:33    Post subject: Gnost - backup, restore, clone NTFS, ext, FAT partitions
Subject description: Using a backup to restore to a different computer
 

I have tried using the utilities on Ultimate Boot CD, the multi-talented linux dd command, etc. So far the results have ranged from not being able to boot at all or applications that will not run or run and fail.

The problem is of my own making. When I was a gun-ho CentOS user I installed the OS on each machine (3) then when I added something to one I took the time to update the others also. Then I discovered Puppy 5.1.1 followed by Puppy 5.2.8. The CentOS boxes gathered dust while the Puppy box gained one favorite application after another. Now that Puppy 5.2.8 is all I want or need on all my computers, I regret not keeping the other two caught up as I did with CentOS.

Gnost is new to me. Will try it next.

BTW, my last Microsoft OS was Windows 98 so Linux being like or not like Windows doesn't mean much!
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9106
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Wed 13 Jun 2012, 05:13    Post subject: Re: Gnost - backup, restore, clone NTFS, ext, FAT partitions
Subject description: Using a backup to restore to a different computer
 

Hotdog wrote:
I have tried using the utilities on Ultimate Boot CD, the multi-talented linux dd command, etc. So far the results have ranged from not being able to boot at all....

If you move a bootable Linux partition to a new location, you will also need to reinstall its bootloader.
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eps

Joined: 03 Jul 2010
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Wed 13 Jun 2012, 07:50    Post subject: gnost-backuo,restore  

i have a copy of puppy to another partition an is ok
eps
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Sylvander

Joined: 15 Dec 2008
Posts: 3444
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK

PostPosted: Sat 23 Jun 2012, 16:55    Post subject:  

@rcrsn51
1. I wonder if you could help me in my present difficulty?

2. My old PC failed on Thursday past = June 21st.
I bought a new PC, and have a couple of Puppies working on it OK, but I need to Get Windows [my previous Win2000Pro?] working on it to be able to access my Family Tree, and all the emails of the past years stored by Outlook Express, and, and...

3. Might it be possible [easy?] to restore the Gnost backups I made of sda1=C: [2000Pro partition] and sda5=D: [data files for Windows and various programs installed therein].
These backups were made on June 10th, and the old PC failed on June 21st, so they're fairly recent.
(a) Since the hardware is very different [much more up-to-date], would I need to "repair" the installation prior to attempting to boot it?
The "Recovery Console" was installed to C: within the 2000Pro installation.
A normal boot offers me the choice to load that.
Don't have the original 2000Pro CD that includes the Recovery Console.
(b) Or might I boot into "Safe Mode" and use the driver CD supplied with the ASRock H61M-S mobo to install all the drivers?
The guy who sold the new PC said: XP drivers are included on the disk, and those should be OK for Win2000Pro.

4. Here's my thread about the old-PC/new-PC situation.
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9106
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Sun 24 Jun 2012, 14:09    Post subject:  

It sounds like your new PC did NOT come with Windows installed?
Quote:
Don't have the original 2000Pro CD

Did it come with a new Windows disc?

A Windows image contains all the hardware information about the machine on which it was made. If you try to restore it to a significantly different machine (like yours) it is highly probably that it won't boot at all.

You might be able to boot it in Safe Mode and run the installers on the driver CD. All you can do is try.

However, you can still get the data out of the D: image by creating a data partition on the new drive and restoring the image to it.
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Sylvander

Joined: 15 Dec 2008
Posts: 3444
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK

PostPosted: Sun 24 Jun 2012, 14:55    Post subject:  

1. "It sounds like your new PC did NOT come with Windows installed?"
Correct.

2. "Did it come with a new Windows disc?"
No.
No OS of any kind installed, and no OS disk supplied.
Just a blank 250GB SATA internal HDD.
I partitioned and formatted the partitions with FAT32 using the "Seagate Disk Wizard" bootable CD...
[Windows installations won't work unless its partitioning/formatting is done with Microsoft program]
...then used Puppy->GParted to re-arrange.
Only sda1 was unchanged.
sda1[boot, lba], sda2[lba], sda3[no lba!] all FAT32.
sda4 = extended partition.
sda5, sda6 ext3 partitions.

3. "If you try to restore it to a significantly different machine (like yours) it is highly probably that it won't boot at all. "
My understanding is:
When Windows is installed, the Setup program detects all of the connected hardware it can see, and...
If it has suitable drivers on the Windows CD, it installs them.
If it fails to initialize an item of hardware, the setup stalls.
Each time this happens...you are expected to shut down, restart, and at next run the Setup will continue where it left off, but auto-skip the item of problem hardware.
Once all detected hardware items have been initialized or skipped, provided Windows has enough initialized hardware to get to the desktop...
If you then go into the Device Manager, you willsee all the problem devices identified.
It's then that the drivers for those can be installed.
However, see the alternatives below...

4. "You might be able to boot it in Safe Mode and run the installers on the driver CD"
(a) True.
This is the safer alternative to 3 above [when there are problems].
This method [if it works] would provide a new/fresh install, but takes a lot of work/fiddling/frustration.
An easier, but less perfect alternative, is to restore an image of the Windows partition as it existed on the other hardware, and...
REPAIR the installation prior to any attempt to load/boot it.
BUT...
(b) Not sure how best to do that.
I wonder if "FalconFour's UBCD" includes a "Recovery Console" [or whatever] so as to repair the restored image of the old Windows installation.
Or else...

5. "However, you can still get the data out of the D: image by creating a data partition on the new drive and restoring the image to it."
(a) I have some slightly older [snap2 and/or Xfe] copies of the folder/file contents of the C: D: E: partitions.
In fact, I've already restored older copied of D: and E:
But I'd like to restore the newer [10-day-old] Gnost image backups.
Besides...
(b) I notice you said regardin NTFS partitions [mine are FAT32]...
"After Gnost restores the image, it will expand the NTFS filesystem to fill the new partition, update the boot sector and write a new WinXP MBR."
This sounds good! Very Happy
Would it do the same for FAT32?
If it doesn't...
I think my "Emergency Boot CD" [EBCD] is capable of writing a FAT32 MBR.
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9106
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Sun 24 Jun 2012, 17:04    Post subject:  

Sylvander wrote:

My understanding is:
When Windows is installed, the Setup program detects all of the connected hardware it can see, and...
If it has suitable drivers on the Windows CD, it installs them.
If it fails to initialize an item of hardware, the setup stalls.
Each time this happens...you are expected to shut down, restart, and at next run the Setup will continue where it left off, but auto-skip the item of problem hardware.
Once all detected hardware items have been initialized or skipped, provided Windows has enough initialized hardware to get to the desktop...
If you then go into the Device Manager, you willsee all the problem devices identified.
It's then that the drivers for those can be installed.

That's true, but it's irrelevant to your situation. You don't have a Windows install CD so you aren't running a Setup procedure.

After you image the new computer off the old image, you will reboot it. It will boot up expecting to see the old motherboard which is completely different from the new one. So there's a good chance it won't even start.

But there is only one way to know.

Quote:
I wonder if "FalconFour's UBCD" includes a "Recovery Console" [or whatever] so as to repair the restored image of the old Windows installation.

I don't know.

IIRC, the FAT32 procedure cannot expand the image to fill the partition.

There is nothing lost if you try to image the new drive and it fails. You haven't broken the new drive. So go ahead and try something.
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