Best way to replace a drive with a clone

Andrew Haley aph at
Sat Jul 31 19:16:12 UTC 2010

On 07/31/2010 06:59 PM, Steven Stern wrote:
> According to the SMART stats, the single drive in my Fedora server is 
> starting to fail.  Rather than backup, do a clean install, and rebuild, 
> I'd like to try to clone the existing drive to a new one, then swap in 
> the new one.
> What are the restrictions on doing this and the best way to accomplish 
> it?  I have the Clonezilla Live CD that I use for backup.  Will that do 
> it?
> Or will a straight dd do it?
>      add new drive as PATA slave /dev/sdb
>      dd -if /dev/sda -of /dev/sdb
>      remove /dev/sda
>      change the jumpers on /dev/sdb to match what was /dev/sda
>      reboot
> In the dd procedure, I'm not sure what to do if sdb is larger than sda.

You can resize the FS later to occupy the whole partition.
It's worth doing an fsck first.

Alternatively, a recipe I always use to copy a partition is:

cd /newfs
dump 0f - /oldfs | restore rf -

This duplicates all the files, but onto a clean new filesystem.


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