What do people use to clone all sorts of HDDs?

I have a need to clone and restore various SCSI, SAS and SATA HDDs, for backup reasons.
It is a pain trying to repurpose numerous old servers with the right interfaces. it is also a pain trying to use CloneZilla, it picks and chooses what HDDs it wants to see!

What are other people using, in a small scale enterprise environment to clone HDDs?

Clonezilla :slight_smile:

I suppose there’s also Clonedeploy. But I mean it’s Linux. If you’re running into problems with Clonezilla, you’ll likely run into them with Clonedeploy.

I’ve also used Windows Deployment Services. I’ll eat my gun before I go back to that.


rsync, cat or dd. Acronis True Image also sometimes.


I’ve heard of Carbon Copy Cloner being used for macs. I personally have only ever used dd.

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Just dd to a file? I guess you can’t do any verification with this sort of backup?

Personally I am leaning towards True Image, or something similar. Norton Ghost was a staple for years, but it has issues with newer partition types i think.
CloneZilla seems to work, but not without some issues detecting drives etc. If you need to get into the command line with it, thats probably a bit harder than it needs to be.

What about hardware? Does anyone know of any super docks that take all these HDD types, hot-swappable etc?

For a super dock, I imagine you’d need a SCSI controller, SAS controller, and SATA controller (actually, you might be able to forego SATA as SAS should read SATA). That would make the dock rather expensive, I imagine.

A quick search on Amazon isn’t bringing up any super cloners. :frowning:

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Yeah it looks that way, no turn-key solutions. Still, good to hear what wisdom others have in this area.

What sort of verification are you talking about?

Clonezilla uses dd itself when the file system is unsupported, otherwise it uses Partclone which strips unused blocks from the image. I am not seeing any verification features listed.

Yes true, we could with ghost. A verification that the image we have matches the data on the HDD. So, it works when we restore it. Otherwise we would have to shag around and test the image. We just started using clonezilla as a replacement to that.

It would be bad to find out the backup is bad when you really need it, that old chestnut!

Any idea what the “verification” that Norton Ghost did was? Did it just read twice and compare checksums?

Hmm looking into it, it seems to CRC32 the data as it is read. When you verify an image, it does a dummy restoration, checking the data against the CRCs as it is unpacked.
It either CRC32s each file or the partition itself, depending on the file system. It is an old program after all.

It assumes the data has been read correctly in the first instance. Probably not super bomb proof, but better than nothing.

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Just DD.


EaseUS Partition Master Free


I also use Clonezilla. I actually got to meet some of the developers/maintainers at Linuxfest Northwest 2016. Cool guys. they gave me a 32GB USB/mini USB convertible thumb drive.

Despite some recent aggressive marketing from these chaps (so many spam emails), their software is pretty good!

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just dd.


i like rsync

I like the way that Partition Master is basically just writing Linux scripts.
It reboots into Linux to execute disk operations, then reboots back into Windows.
It has saved my butt when other methods have failed.

last I heard… rsync can only copy files…

Cloning a disk would also copy the mbr/boot loader.

Another vote EaseUS Partition Master. I like the interface and it’s very easy to use.