Home » Cloning a hard disk to a smaller hard disk

Cloning a hard disk to a smaller hard disk

I have 2 identical laptops. One had a hard drive failure and I had to replace the 80 GB disk with an extra 60GB disk  that I had lying around. I wanted to clone Laptop A to Laptop B. I had a working install of Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic and so far I dislike how Ubuntu 10.X (10.04 and 10.10) runs on my laptop. Plus the b43-fwcutter wasn’t as easy for my b43legacy as it was previously.

I fought this problem for days and days. I tried partimage from a knoppix live CD and even tried Clonezilla (live CD). To no avail. I just couldn’t clone this disk.

Ghost would probably have worked, but I didn’t want to:

  1. Format my usb drive to a Ghost readable filesystem (fat32 or NTFS)
  2. Buy or pirate ghost (I’m cheap and try to use opensource tools in every situation possible).
  3.  Mess around making a live cd or bootable Ghost disk with usb support (for usb hard drive).

How did I finally beat this? I used GParted to shrink my almost unused homedir down to 5GB (instead of 60ish GB) then used the Clonezilla live CD to back up the drive to my external usb hard drive.

Once I booted laptop B off of the Clonezilla live CD it was able to fully restore the image from Laptop A. Laptop B booted up and was running Ubuntu 9.10. I must sadly say that this is probably the latest version of Ubuntu I’ll be running on these laptops. The 10.X stuff seems to bloated and slow on them, the good news is, I was missing the light goodness of Debian anyway. Debian Testing, I’m coming home… did you miss me, Debian?

Now I have to figure out why Laptop B is running so hot.

Tools used:

Knoppix, of course, gets honorable mention for being one of my main go-to software tools!

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One comment

  1. Now we know who the seisbnle one is here. Great post!

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