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Can LiveCD be used as a backup method?

asked 2013-03-30 13:38:02 -0500

datajunkman gravatar image


At the Fedora LiveCD page (normally I would link, but I have "insufficient karma") it says:

You can use Live CD technology for backup and recovery of your installed hard drive.

I have experience with another distro which had a large perl script based on genisoimage. Using this, I could burn a livecd of my installed system that I could reinstall and (with a few trivial exceptions) find my system as it was, with all changes, configs, etc. intact. I did not need to be online for this, since the script only touched my installed system.

Can Fedora livecd be used in this way? Or have I misunderstood what the Fedora LiveCD page was saying?

Right now I'm just trying to establish if this is possible, though tips and advice would be gratefully received.



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answered 2013-03-30 21:39:13 -0500

ThomasMcA gravatar image

Yes, a LiveCD can be used as a backup method. Actually, I use a LiveUSB created with YUMI, which allows installing multiple boot images onto one USB (such as Bart, UBCD, multiple linux choices, AV recovery tools. etc.)

I recently had a failing hard drive. The replacement drive was larger, and of course I wanted to use a different partition setup. So I chose to reinstall/rebuild Fedora. I setup a 15 Gig boot partition, an 8 Gig swap partition, and the rest of my drive was used as home/data. During my rebuild, I found that I could easily brick Fedora. By brick, I mean I could not login via a console or a gui - when I tried, the login would reappear, with no helpful errors in the log. This happened because of mysql bugs, Apache bugs, and from my own mistakes with custom scripts. During my rebuild, I backed up my boot partition by booting to a LiveUSB, then using this command:

dd if=/dev/sda1 bs=4K of=sda1_backup_after_crontab.img

Backing up 15 Gig onto another partition of the same drive took about 5 minutes using dd. I also documented my build steps. When something bricked Fedora, I would restore my boot partition using my most-recent backup with a command similar to this:

dd if=sda1_backup_after_crontab.img bs=4K of=/dev/sda1

I had multiple backups, and my installation log told me what I had to redo after I restored an image. I could then troubleshoot the last few things that I changed or installed.

During my install process, I created about 8 dd backups. I must have bricked Fedora at least 3 times, and the restore process worked great each time.

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answered 2013-03-30 21:32:40 -0500

I used LiveCD to solve technical problems and perform backup before formatting Windows computers without any problem, I used brasero in most cases and also mkisofs, you should have no problem to do what you say.

There are "LiveCD" better prepared, but for now I dont needed them.

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Asked: 2013-03-30 13:38:02 -0500

Seen: 644 times

Last updated: Mar 30 '13