Best way to replace a drive with a clone

Steven Stern subscribed-lists at
Sat Jul 31 23:45:30 UTC 2010

On 07/31/2010 03:21 PM, Jussi Lehtola wrote:
> On Sat, 2010-07-31 at 12:59 -0500, 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.
> What I normally do is boot the system e.g. with the Fedora install CD in
> rescue mode, which automatically mounts the old system, and then I
>   1. partition new drive
>   2. format partitions on new drive
>   3. mount new filesystem tree in e.g. /mnt/newroot
>   4. run
>       # rsync -au /mnt/sysimage/ /mnt/newroot/
>   5. edit fstab in new etc to reflect new partitions
>   6. install grub on new drive
>   7. unmount and reboot
> This way you can easily change the sizes of partitions and also their
> file systems, which can be handy if you want to take advantage of new
> file system features. And, you only copy the data, not empty space (I
> don't think dd does this, although smarter tools should do it).
> Also, if you're running SELinux run
>   # touch /mnt/newroot/.autorelabel
> before rebooting, since rsync doesn't preserve security contexts..

Cool. Thanks.

-- Steve

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