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make a backup of recovery usb stick

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#1 makf1127

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 11:44 PM

Hi all,

 

I'm new here, so I hope this is the right place to post.

 

I recently got a new Dell machine, and it has the option to make a recovery usb drive which can restore the factory image. I made a recovery drive on my 16GB USB drive. I'd like to back it up to a file somehow so I can use the drive for other things.

 

I tried using dd to dump the entire drive to an image file. Although this worked, it isn't ideal because the recovery data only takes 7GB out of the 16GB on my drive, but if I use dd, the backup uses a full 16GB. Also, I don't think it would be compatible with other size drives (for example if I wanted to use an 8GB drive for recovery.)

 

If I do something more simple like just copying the files to a backup location, the drive wouldn't be bootable. 

 

Can someone recommend a good way to do this? I would prefer open source/free linux tools to get the job done, but I'm open to others.

Thanks so much!



#2 steve6375

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 03:08 PM

Copy the file contents to a folder somewhere.

 

To make a new backup, use RMPrepUSB (Windows app) and format as NTFS+Boot as HDD + WinPE 2 [Bootmgr] option set and the Folder box (5) set to the folder that you have the backup files in.



#3 dummkopf007

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 07:44 PM

   Welcome makf1127 ...do'nt you just love this site?  In the past I've used this freeware  which was recommended to someone by Wonko the Sane

from what I remember I believe it was backwards compatible with DD byteconverter

    Use the non-Gui version to achieve your needs!    get_bigthumb_file.php?album=11307857&fil

                                     

 

 

 

 

 

#4 makf1127

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 11:49 PM

Thank you both so much for your help!

 

Shortly after I made my post, I tried something which seems to work: I used dd to back up the MBR (first 512 bytes) of the USB stick. Then I copied the files to a folder. Then I cleared the drive (dd'ed another iso to it). To restore the dell recovery disk, I dd'ed the previously backed up MBR, then formatted the partition using ntfs, copied the files over, and sure enough it worked. I don't know a lot about MBR/bootloaders, so I'm not sure if this method would work if I tried to restore the disk on a different usb stick (certainly it wouldn't work on a smaller disk, but maybe it would be ok one on of equal or larger size?)

 

When I try the methods suggested by Steve6375 and dummkopf007, I'll post my results back here.

 

Steve6375, are you the programmer of RMPrepUSB? It looks like a really neat tool. I'd be curious to see what RMPrepUSB is doing "behind the scenes". Would you mind explaining what it does to my usb stick? Or maybe you could point me to some references on how this stuff works?

 

Thanks again,



#5 steve6375

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 02:02 PM

 

Steve6375, are you the programmer of RMPrepUSB? It looks like a really neat tool. I'd be curious to see what RMPrepUSB is doing "behind the scenes". Would you mind explaining what it does to my usb stick? Or maybe you could point me to some references on how this stuff works?

 

 

Yes, I am the author or RMPrep. It just formats (USB) drives. If you use FAT16 or FAT32 then it does this by direct sector access. If you select NTFS it uses the Windows API to format it as NTFS.

The FAT32 cluster arrangement is optimised to give approx 10% faster performance on file writes on Flash memory (under an OS) than other format utilities.

For the other functions I just call other utilities like grubinst.exe or syslinux.exe or WinContig.exe, etc.

RMPrepUSB does not actually format, it calls RMPartUSB.exe to do the actual format. This means you can use RMPartUSB.exe in batch/script files to format and prepare a USB drive without needing to use a GUI.

There is loads of info on my site... e.g.

http://www.rmprepusb...mpartusb-manual



#6 dummkopf007

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 03:41 PM

 

" When I try the methods suggested by.............."

 

   hi makf1127  .....if my memory serves me right restoring a smaller "used data" image to a larger usb stick, one may have to expand the volume using partitioning software without data loss afterwards, as the restored image size is set.

 

                              Alternatively type-in the Byte size command when restoring!  (ha)


Edited by dummkopf007, 04 February 2014 - 03:54 PM.


#7 erwan.l

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 05:28 PM

Hi There,

 

My 2 cents.

2 ways:

 

-the safe/easy way : make a 1 to 1 byte disk copy (use dd, rawcopy, CloneDisk, whatever)

or

-the "i dont have space" but more complex way : make a WIM (compressed) volume copy but then you have to also restore MBR and/or BS afterwards.

what is the bootloader by the way? bootice may be able to restore it fine without a need to backup the MBR and/or BS.

 

A third trick way (I often do that myself- but i dont recommend it for others) :

1-shrink (in windows disk management) your disk to smallest possible (8GB?).

Note : you may have to defrag first to move all clusters to the beginning of your disk.

2-make 1 to 1 byte disk copy using the "skip unpartitionned space" in ClonedDisk (one could argue it is no longer a 1 to 1 byte copy thus but a truncated copy).

Here you'll end up with a disk image which you can mount and restore all fine and that contains only the "partitioned" datas.

 

Regards,

Erwan



#8 makf1127

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 02:06 PM

Thanks everyone for the help!

 

I ended up making two backups (1. copy MBR using dd, and copy files into folder; 2. use dd to back up the entire drive) just to be safe. The method that I described in my post above seems to work, so I'm satisfied for now.

 

I will post back when I try the other methods suggested.

 

Thanks again!



#9 TheHive

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 06:30 AM

Can you try this program and see if it creates a compressed bootable img copy.

 

USB Image Tool 1.64

http://www.alexpage.de/usb-image-tool/

 

Download
http://www.alexpage....-tool/download/

 

 

USB Image Tool

Overview

USB Image Tool can create images of USB flash drives and MP3 players, that are mounted as USB drives. It allows you switch between images with different music styles on your MP3 Player or to make an exact backup image of your USB Stick.

Features

  • create image files of USB flash drives
  • restore images of USB flash drives
  • compressed image file format
  • show USB device information
  • manage favorite USB images
  • command line utility






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