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

Joined: 15 Dec 2008
Posts: 4439
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK

PostPosted: Tue 19 Jan 2016, 13:28    Post subject:  

Used the new Gnost v3.0...
To make a backup image...
Of WinXP installed on the internal HDD sda1 NTFS formatted 20GiB partition.
10.87GiB used.

Destination is /mnt/sdb2/gnost3.0 folder on 785GiB NTFS formatted partition on an external USB2 connected HDD in an external enclosure.
Completed image file size = 2997 M [MiB?]

Everything was routine, and the image successfully completed quite simply and quickly.
Again, I'm impressed by Gnost.
Especially the speed.
And the GUI makes it even nicer/easier/simpler to use.

No filename extension added, so no indication that it's an IMAGE file.
Cannot mistake it when there's an .img on the end.
The icon suggests it's a compressed archive file.
Is a compressed archive the same as an image?
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 13129
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue 19 Jan 2016, 15:02    Post subject:  

Sylvander wrote:
Destination ... NTFS formatted partition

Excellent. Thank you for testing this.

Quote:
No filename extension added, so no indication that it's an IMAGE file.

You can name the files anything you want. I like to use extensions like .ntfs, .ext4 to remind me where the image originated.

Quote:
The icon suggests it's a compressed archive file. Is a compressed archive the same as an image?

Gnost compresses the image data with gzip, so that's what the icon shows.
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nilsonmorales


Joined: 15 Apr 2011
Posts: 973
Location: El Salvador

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jan 2016, 02:35    Post subject:  

Spanish locales
MoManager-es.tar.gz
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Filename  MoManager-es.tar.gz 
Filesize  1.27 KB 
Downloaded  202 Time(s) 

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ebisu

Joined: 25 Sep 2013
Posts: 176

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jan 2016, 02:53    Post subject: Re: Gnost - backup, restore, clone NTFS, ext, FAT partitions  


Last edited by ebisu on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 04:06; edited 1 time in total
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gcmartin

Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 6730
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jan 2016, 03:38    Post subject:  

Quote:
...Would it be possible that the GUI selects the suitable filesystem type for the user?...
Rather nice idea. There are several system utilities which already employ the showing the users partitions and their filesystems.
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ebisu

Joined: 25 Sep 2013
Posts: 176

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jan 2016, 05:48    Post subject:  


Last edited by ebisu on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 04:05; edited 1 time in total
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 13129
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jan 2016, 09:53    Post subject:  

@Everyone: Thank you for testing this new generation of Gnost. For newcomers to Gnost, here are some important concepts.

Gnost is a portable app. You install and run it from the drive/partition where the image files are located. So when using a USB hard drive, the program comes along as you move to different machines. If you boot a target Windows machine off a Puppy CD, you don't need to install Gnost - it's already there on the USB drive.

Gnost only works with files in the current directory. Backup image files are too important to get lost or mixed up. You need to know exactly where your files are. That's why you ONLY run Gnost from within the destination directory by clicking on the Gnost program icon. Running Gnost from /opt/gnost3 or from the Puppy menu would create an image file INSIDE your Puppy save file/folder. You don't want to put a multi-GB file there by accident.

So why doesn't Gnost have a file chooser button like other programs? Because after using Gnost for many years, I have concluded that the current method works best. It also adapts nicely to running backups via remote Samba shares.

Regarding Pudd: Pudd doesn't care about the filesystem type of the partition you are backing up. It just uses the dd command to copy everything in the partition, including the unassigned areas that contain no data. That's why it takes hours to back up a modern hard drive.

But Gnost only backs up the areas of the partition that are actually in use. It uses tools that are specific to the filesytem type - NTFS partitions are processed differently from ext partitions. So it's important that both you and the program are aware of the filesytem type in play - hence the radio buttons in the second box. This is crucial if you ever need to restore the image. The target partition MUST match the filesystem type of the original.

I agree that the label on the second box is vague. So I am posting a new version 3.1 that makes this more clear. See the new screenie. Thank you for pointing this out.

However, it seems to me that anyone performing image backups should already have a reasonable idea of what partition types they are dealing with. Just doing a mouseover of the drive icons at the bottom of the screen provides good information. Or you can run Partview from the system tray.

Regarding the List button: because Gnost does not have a file chooser mechanism, I wanted an easy way to select an image file without having to type in the name. Instead, you can copy/paste a filename from the List screen. Some users will complain about this because it's not the conventional method of selecting a file.

Quote:
But how good are they to restore things? I don't want to mess with my computer and test the restoring functions.

I would never have released Gnost if I didn't have confidence in its ability to perform a restore. I have successfully restored images many times. Gnost uses the same tools as well-known apps like Clonezilla. But no operation working at the hardware level can be guaranteed.

@nilsonmorales: I have changed the two messages at the top of the screen, so they will need re-translating. Sorry about that.

Bill

Last edited by rcrsn51 on Thu 21 Jan 2016, 08:49; edited 4 times in total
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nilsonmorales


Joined: 15 Apr 2011
Posts: 973
Location: El Salvador

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jan 2016, 12:08    Post subject:  

rcrsn51
Is ok glad to help, keep the code moving
MoManager-es.tar.gz
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Filename  MoManager-es.tar.gz 
Filesize  1.3 KB 
Downloaded  177 Time(s) 

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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 13129
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jan 2016, 17:24    Post subject:  

For experienced users, Gnost v3.2 lets you control the speed/compression of the backup procedure.

[Update] Now that Gnost has switched from gzip to lzop compression, this modification has less value. From Line 4:
Code:
export GZIPARG="-3"      # this is the standard compression for lzop

For greater speed, try "-1"

-----------------------

Last edited by rcrsn51 on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 20:58; edited 4 times in total
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Sylvander

Joined: 15 Dec 2008
Posts: 4439
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK

PostPosted: Thu 21 Jan 2016, 02:23    Post subject:  

So where is Gnost v3.2?

The latest version available at the 1st post is v3.1
I have that making a backup right now, but I see no difference in operation between it and v3.0

Whoa, now it's at v3.2 [in the 1st post], how does that happen?
Anyway, I'll now download that pet and install ASAP, and run yet another backup.

OK, I'm making a backup right now using v3.2, BUT...
I see no difference in operation to v3.0 and v3.1.
No method evident to "control the speed/compression of the backup procedure".
Backup now complete.
Completed image file size = 3835 M, whereas with v3.0 it was 2997 M [MiB?]
Actually v3.0 backup now shows 3835 M. How come?
Content on sda1 is unchanging.
Seems to me that Gnost is REALLY FAST! Very Happy
I've grown accustomed to the making image backups being pretty slow [e.g. PUDD seemed unusually slow in the past, on older PC], but not with Gnost on this newer PC.
Perhaps I should re-try PUDD on this newer PC.
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ebisu

Joined: 25 Sep 2013
Posts: 176

PostPosted: Thu 21 Jan 2016, 03:18    Post subject:  


Last edited by ebisu on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 04:07; edited 2 times in total
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Sylvander

Joined: 15 Dec 2008
Posts: 4439
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK

PostPosted: Thu 21 Jan 2016, 03:53    Post subject:  

1.
ebisu wrote:
rcrsn51explained it. Edit the "gnost" file.

Ouch!
How dumb I am.
I see it now, changed the value to -3 in the gnost file for v3.2.

ebisu wrote:
2 different solutions for different purposes. Pudd creates an image of every sector, bad or good, used or not. This makes a true clone. Use it for forensic analysis of a partition or for data retrieval. There are times when speed is irrelevant.

Thank you for clarifying that.
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gcmartin

Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 6730
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Thu 21 Jan 2016, 14:48    Post subject: Types of Backup-Restore systems is important.  

There are as was nicely explained by @Ebisu 2 DIFFERENT types of Backup Programs. There are:
  • Image Backup - This creates a "Cloneable" copy of a drive where when it restores, it will restore, datablock by datablock, EXACTLY what you started out with to the same or a new drive. In other words, it REPLICATES what it found, when restored somewhere. This has a VERY important need especially for those OSes that require filesystem to be in a specific place. (Will get to that later) So, image backup has a necessary need and brings a guarantee of data replication.
  • Files Backup - This looks at a partition's filesystem and copies files. It is primarily needed to make a copy of the files. And excepting for the Backup programs from vendors, does NOT care about file positioning in the filesystem. Thus, when restored, it will place the files back and does NOT respect the physical locations like an image backup does. It is this reason when any attempt to restore a bootable Windows system requires a repair (thus the original CD and other tools) to "fix" file positioning once a files backup restores a drive.

This thread's title's use of "clone" is a misuse ... unless of course, this Partition File Backup program has been designed to know and respect the locations of files that each version of Windows, for example, requires so that boot integrity is preserved.

In Image Backups, this is unnecessary and the restore will in most every case boot once it is restore to a drive without fanfare.

And yes, PUDD does what it is designed to do for image backup. As I remember, seems that it may also do a files backup of a partition's data as well. These 2, PUDD and Gnost, probably should not be compared as their design approaches are very different.

Most files backup can/does allow the user to restore to a completely different filesystem should they choose. In fact, I have done this many times in the past. Use a files backup program to capture the files from one filesystem, then restore those files to a completely different filesystem.

In most cases, a filesystem backup of a data only partition or a non-bootable partition (no matter the OS) will yield safe restorations of one's files. For a bootable partition/disk, awareness is required. Otherwise user support is needed.

RAID systems has it own nuances.

Hope this brief explanation is helpful.

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Sylvander

Joined: 15 Dec 2008
Posts: 4439
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK

PostPosted: Thu 21 Jan 2016, 20:06    Post subject:  

@gcmartin

In the past...
I have used folder/file backup->delete->restore...
As a simple/quick means to defragment the folder/file system [of the windows partition contents].

Could you explain your understanding of how that fits into the whole.
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gcmartin

Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 6730
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Thu 21 Jan 2016, 21:50    Post subject:  

I assume you may have done this using a Linux. Correct?

If done in one Windows for another, Windows is smarter than one imagines.

If not, then, you have had success because the critical files for boot integrity were not moved. Not sure how you accomplished your restore.

But, should you have wiped the boot partition in Linux and did a write with the files restore program using Linux, you probably had problems in booting Windows: again, assuming this was done to a Windows boot partition with its boot flag set on a Windows PC containing the Windows boot manager. File restore programs not designed for Windows use, suffer from this problem. The internal data of the files contain all the information of each individual file. We are talking about "where" ... not what which causes the problems.

You can find much on this across the web. This has been discussed and diagnosed in more ways than there are stars in the sky over the past 2 decades. Review.

None of what I have shared says to NOT use this utility. The intent is to expand on couple items mentions by members for our understanding.

This utility does what the author indicates in preserving and allow the preserved to be written out/back.File content integrity will be preserved. And, it takes a simplistic approach. Useful in several situations I know of.

There are many other utilities in and OUT of Puppyland which do drive-partition backup/restores, also over the past few decades. One of the most famous in Linux is Clonezilla which does similar (but more) to what PUDD does: file backup/restore and image backup/restore.

Hope this is helpful.

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