Slightly OT: Hard Disk Backup program?

Ramon Gandia rfg8ta at
Sat Aug 29 23:32:58 CDT 2009

Richard Perry wrote:
> I need/want a hard drive backup solution....for my Inspiron 1420 and 
> three other Linux machines.
> Linux/Ubuntu will do this several ways, but none of them really seem to 
> work the way I want them to. What I'm looking for is a program I can 
> start up either in the OS or by booting from a CD/USB, then will allow 
> me to make a complete copy of the entire drive - OS, configurations, 
> drivers, everything from soup to nuts and save it to a different network 
> drive. Then if it ALL goes horribly wrong, I want to be able to boot my 
> machine from a recovery CD/USB and pull back the image from the network 
> drive.

There is such an animal.  It is called AA1BACKUP by Macles.

You get a USB stick or a USB external hard drive, large enough to hold
your backup.  Because of compression, a unit about half the size of your
drive will work fine.

You install this AA1backup to your external device, stick or USB HDD.

You boot your computer from the external.
A single screen comes up, with choice "Backup" or "Restore".
Select "Backup."  Press enter.
A progress Indicator will tell you how it goes.
When done, you can remove the external and proceed normally.

Sometime later, you need to backup.

Plug in the external.
Boot from it.
Select "Backup."
Press Enter.
Progress bar will tell you how it goes.
When done, unplug external and reboot normally.
Your prior configuration will come up.

Here are some details:

AA1Backup will restore EVERYTHING that was on the hard drive, be it 
Linux, Windows, VISTA, BSD, or any multi-boot combination.

The docs say it may not work on other than a SATA drive.  In my case, it
worked on an IDE just fine.

You can only backup the one, boot drive.  It is not a smart utility and
will not back up multiple drives.

In the external USB, there is a folder called, sure enough, "BACKUP". 
If you rename this folder, you can take other backups.  The latest one
will be "backup."   Say one of your copies is "backup.082909", you could
rename things so it is now backup, and restore from it.  Be careful you
do not get confused on names and end up messing up a backup.

Get it from Macles at

Look around, its currently on page 3.  It is called "Acer Aspire One 
Backup" but trust me, it is not limited to the Acer.  Works fine on
laptops, desktops, HP, Dell etc.

You can download the Windows or the Linux versions.  Read the post.  The
END result that goes into your external is the same regardless (Slax
Linux), but the installer is obviously different.

I have never tried the Windows installer since I have upgraded to Linux
back in 1995, but I guess it is possible.

This program, on my 320 GB external, has performed flawlessly and has
backed up ALL my computers here, with the exception of those that do not
boot from USB.


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