Posts Tagged ‘Clonezilla’

Fixing your drive size

Last weekend, my computer froze up out of the blue, and then refused to boot. Since I got the dreaded “Unmountable boot volume” error, I figured it was the hard drive. My C: drive was a 250GB beast from when I built my first computer in 2005, so it was clearly getting a bit old. I used a diagnostic tool on the Ultimate Boot CD to determine that it had a few bad sectors. Just a few, but every techy knows that once you get a couple, they will spread quickly like a malignant cancer. Thus, it was off to get a new drive.

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Customizing Clonezilla’s custom-ocs

In a (very popular by search engine standards) previous post, I talked about moving from Norton Ghost to Clonezilla. Part of the move from Ghost to Clonezilla was creating a method of automatically determining the computer model I was imaging, and selecting the right image. This is possible by changing the custom-ocs file, and here are the changes I made to do it.

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Moving from Ghost to Clonezilla

Update: In addition to this post, check out my guide on customizing custom-ocs.

In a previous post, I talked about using disk imaging software for setting up Windows in a corporate environment. For years, I’ve used Symantec Ghost, specifically Ghost 8. I’d previously manually run Ghost from a network drive, booting from a custom floppy bootdisk with a DOS Novell client to allow me to log into our network (we still use Novell). A couple of years ago, I switched to running Ghost from an external USB hard drive that stored all the image files. To make it even more automatic, I wrote a tiny utility in assembly that reads the model info from the computer’s BIOS and uses the correct image file.

As time went on, though, the shortcomings of Ghost became apparent. The biggest one is speed: by running Ghost in a DOS environment, I was limited to USB 1.1 speeds. Ghosting a 20 GB Windows 7 partition would take around 40 minutes. When you are ghosting many machines at once, the quicker you can do it, the better. I knew of a great, free alternative in Clonezilla, but would it work for what I needed?

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