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I need a Full backup solution (restore and boot)

The usual ones are no longer working



5:43 am on May 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Hi there, been using Easus Todo-Backup (it's free) on my Windows desktop and laptop. Even used on dual boot configs (Win + Xubuntu). I was very happy because it was a one step solution, my OS, documents and applications were backed up on the fly and I could restore the whole disk (along with diff partitions) and just "boot" again.

Ended up using it after trying Clonezilla, Redo Backup, Ghost and many more. What I need is to forget about reinstalling the OS, just backup and save, then in case of need restore and boot. I was happy but this is not working anymore.

Why not reinstalling?I'm a webmaster and software developer. My configuration includes local web servers, frameworks, cross platform development tools and of course diff operative systems (Mac, Windows and Xubuntu). It is a royal pain in the b... to set each OS. Sure there are tools for backup on each platform but doesn't back up things enough to just boot, and doesn't backup applications.

My current config involves triple boot, the bootloader is Chimera 2.2.1. I also tried using Xubuntu Grub, both worked but every attempt on backup and restore broke things and the laptops won't boot.

It used to work. During my research I found a post, someone saying something changed since Ubuntu 12 and these kind of backups stopped working. I didn't pay attention because I wasn't sure it was true but now I think that guy was right. I also tried cloning disks but no luck. I know I could reinstall but it is very difficult and time consuming to get the computer ready with so many settings.

Any ideas? any help? I'm interested on simple solutions, I don't like trying 1Gig isos to download and burn, only to find out those backup tools don't work. I hope others understand my nightmare.

Thanks in advance.


6:19 am on May 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I use vmware workstation on my developer machine. All my development and testing is inside virtual machines. Just copy the vmware files to my nas for backup or sharing images with other workstations. Of course this can be automated with a simple backup program.

Also using snapshot technology inside vmware i can test new versions of tools/framework and revert back if needed.


4:19 pm on May 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

If Xubuntu is your main OS, then this may be of use:

[askubuntu.com ]

If you also backup selected directories for /etc/ restoring should be pretty easy.

Otherwise, I would go with VMs as bhukel suggests. Especially useful for cross browser testing with IE as MS provides FREE downloads of Virtualbox compatible VM images with every possible combination of Windows version and IE version from XP + IE 6 onwards.


5:05 pm on May 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member


bhukkel: I have Mac running on VM while Win developing apps that I use run great over Wine (and compile binaries), but the need to keep the Xubuntu system alive remains, with easy backup restore solution.

graeme_p: that info sounds very useful. I'm considering partitioning the drive to keep my OS/boot Xubuntu far from my data, data is just data, but the magic of the booting OS is different, that's what I'm after.

Xubuntu 12+ users: I'm finding more and more threads of people having problem restoring their backups, they won't boot. Just found official forum answers on Easesus about not supporting multiboot (I had one working perfectly but now with W7 and Xubuntu doesn't work). RedoBackup also has a forum page about Xubuntu 12 not working after restore.

Remastersys sounds amazing, it creates a live ISO out of your install but my final configuration weights more than 10Gigs, when RemasterSys ends up creating the ISO it weights more than 4G, and that's a limitation of the ISO so it fails. This tool works great as long as your system final iso is less than 4G.

Thanks again for the help.


3:23 pm on May 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Update: I'm finding more and more threads with issues regarding backups / remastersys / clonezilla / easeus backup / Redo backup, etc and failing to boot on restore, most of those threads are cases using EXT4 filesystem.

I managed to create a custom install of Ubuntu with all the apps I need including Boot Repair and RemasterSys, now I can create a Live DVD with all my data as if it was my HDD, but fails to install back to HDD (when installing packaged) so it's just a live DVD of my HDD.

I'm now using Fsarchiver to back up my entire partition, restoring fails to boot but Boot Repair fix it. I tried the same approach with Clonezilla, Easeus and Redo backup with no luck, so it's gonna be Fsarchiver + Remastersys custom live DVD.

Why so much trouble? some jobs demand to be able of continuous work after a disk failure, with this option I can go on and on even on diff computers.


3:34 pm on May 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

+1 for VMWare. Make a clone of the VM and you have an instant, bootable copy of it that you can easily startup or copy to a new machine.

My new Dev box has ESXi as the "host OS" with multiple VMs for the various "servers" I am developing in-house and for clients. I currently have 3 on there now (1 Windows, 2 Ubuntu) and am in the process of transfering over the previous VMs I created on my VM workstation on Windows.


6:40 pm on May 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Oh yes I forgot to add that, I have Linux as the base, Windows developing tools running just fine on Wine (compiling too) and Mac on VmWare.


8:27 am on May 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I thought you said it was triple boot? Do you have triple boot and use WINE and VMWare under linux.

Also, does it boot using BIOS or UEFI?


10:37 pm on May 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Oh yes it was a triple boot so I could develop software for 3 platforms and compile binaries without using 3 diff computers (mac, win, Xubuntu).

Now I have Xubuntu as my main OS
my windows tools run over Wine
MACOSX runs on VMWare

My laptop doesn't have UEFI, plain normal BIOS only. I already had triple boot working but any failure on the system was a pain in the butt to fully backup or recover the system. I'm only interested on full one step backups (not just the documents), you know, restoring and booting again where I was, this was impossible using any backup tool.

I now use fsarchiver to backup my Xubuntu partition and I already tested restoring the backup on the same and other computers, on smaller and larger hard disks, no problems, everything working just fine. I even ended saving a lot of hard disk space. I was using more and more Xubuntu over the years so now I don't think I'm going back to Windows.

* Partimage it's an alternative on backup/restore BUT can't deal with Ext4 filesystem and can't restore to diff partition/disk sizes.


5:07 pm on May 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Restoring a file system to a partition of a different size is very useful. FSarchiver looks very interesting.


2:13 am on May 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Yes it is useful, you can even convert on the fly, I already tried backing up Ext4 and restoring it as Ext3, it worked, pretty simple.

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