Disk-Copying issues

I’m trying to clone my SSD Linux boot drive to an on-board NVME. I use dd to copy, and it says it’s done, but when I look at the drives in Disks, the main partition on the NVME is 1G smaller than the one on the SSD ( 248 versus 247, and the NVME has a few gigs of free space), and it doesn’t recognize the partition type. I’ve tried it twice, and gotten the same result. Is there something I’m missing?

[Update a few minutes later]

Never mind.

[Update a while later]

OK, so it turns out that it did work, even though it wasn’t supposed to. When I rebooted and looked at the disks again, they were identical (except that the NVME had some free space on it, so apparently it was a little larger than the SSD). All seems to be well so far, and for the first time, I’m booting from the motherboard. So if someone tells you that you can’t clone a Linux boot drive to an NVME with dd, tell them they’re wrong.

14 thoughts on “Disk-Copying issues”

  1. OT FWIW: Ventoy creates a 2nd partition called VTOYEFI at the top 32MB of a 256GB drive when it makes a bootable thumb drive of type: EFI(FAT-12/16/32)(0xef). I checked this after the Ventoy installer was run on the drive and then was subsequently examined under Disks. The 1st partition is 257GB of exFAT and presents as an empty folder until you copy .ISOs or whatnot into it.

    I suspect that has something to do with its ability to be bootable. Although the Edit Partition checkbox for “Bootable” is unchecked. Non-MBR boot?

    1. For my 64Gb thumb drive, this partition sits at the top of the drive. I mounted it with Disks and saw that it contains EFI, grub, System Volume Information, tool, and ventoy directories.

  2. I have used Clonezilla to back up, clone, restore drives and partitions many times successfully, without the drama. It has the advantage of being able to fix incompatibilities and/or errors in partitions.

  3. Just one more comment. I once had to recreate a large Linux installation that was on an old style MBR boot system to an EFI boot system. There was a lot of legacy software and configuration built into the existing system and I just could not face doing a data back up and then a fresh install, along with hundreds of cases of software install and configuration. It turns out that it was possible to completely clone the system, but this involved a lot of the use of rsync and temporarily being a kind of super-super user (a hyper user?). The recipe for doing this is online. Anyway, it worked beautifully, but this was one case where the mighty dd just would not do the job.

      1. One of my better horror stories was getting VAX/VMS to boot on a VAX-11/750 with twin RL-02 drives (20.8 MB formatted across both drives, yeah you read that right, ‘M’ as in Mega).

        The RL-02s were mounted in a twin partition arrangement so that the two drives appeared to the O/S as one, because VMS in those days always assumed ONE boot disk. This was necessary because the paging file PAGEFILE.SYS was too big to fit in the first 10MB partition along with the rest of the O/S images.

        All the wonderful things ever said about Virtual Memory, the divine help you if you needed it, or if you accidentally dismounted it. What a dog.

        Our poor 750 eventually earned a 40MB RP05 drive, a lab left over. Much much better.

        I had to modify our 750’s boot prom to recognize it, cause officially the RP05 wasn’t a supported device on the 750. So for all you ultra-DEC-geeks out there who were about to correct me, my answer to you is “Yeah, I know, I fixed that. On one machine.”

  4. OT (again): Well the two new 256GB Samsung USB “thumb” drives arrived in the mail today.

    I’m well on my way to creating that bladed Swiss Army knife. I’ve installed Ventoy on one and I’ve got gparted-live-1.5.0-1-amd64.iso, ubuntu-18.04.5-desktop-amd64.iso, ubuntu-22.04-desktop-amd64.iso and windows-10.iso on it. Along with 4 versions of VirtualBox in its own directory. (May trim down to one).

    Will grab some of the other utilities Michicanuck mentioned in previous thread when I get home. Can’t tie up too much network bandwidth at work on downloads.

    Also want to grab ISOs of Windows 7 both x64 and x86 versions.

    Works well at USB 3 speeds.

  5. Unrelated OT Post:
    I had to say goodbye to Brave yesterday on my Ubuntu Linux system. I recently upgraded to latest 6.0.5 versions of kernel what-not and with all the upgrades, including Brave, it just rolled over dead. Can’t bring up multiple web pages in multiple tabs and other non functionalities. Sorry to see it go. I could go back to an old snapshot where it was working but I don’t want to be that far back on the update curve. Back to Firefox. Goodbye old friend. You’ll be missed…

    1. FWIW Ubuntu-22.04 LTS as you may recall. No I’m not willing to move to 24.04 LTS. Not just yet. Maybe Brave works fine there, I have no idea, but I’m not willing to move just for that. After all I’m a believer in the “LT” part of LTS… ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I have Brave running fine in both 22.04 (4 machines) and 24.04 (1). Other than checking things online (reddit, Brave and Ubuntu forums etc.), I’d suggest backing up all of your useful local (within home) Brave software info, then uninstalling and purging all traces of brave-browser throughout the system. Then do a fresh install of brave. If you still have the brave repository in your apt souces list, that could be as simple as sudo apt install brave-browser. I can’t recall the details, but I believe that it’s possible to restore you old profile to the new install. Friends don’t let friends use Firefox.

  6. Yeah I tried that, no joy. FWIW on my system it uses snap to install brave not apt.

    Be that as it may, I suspect there is more going on here that just Brave. I am behind some kind of proxy here at work that filters out websites. And I think it is persnickety about how the browser asks for things even if the sites are not blocked. Brave is probably being more careful about those issues than Firefox and hence I get a lot of timeout errors under Brave that I don’t see under Firefox. It’s not worth the effort to try to track down further…

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