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Old 17 May 2002, 01:09   #1
rlake
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Backup/Restore Hard Drive

It occured to me that if my hard drive and workbench floppy disks fail I might have a problem if I want to get my system up and running again. I'd like to be able to transfer my Amiga's SCSI hard drive into my PC and create a disk image I can burn to CD-R with the hope that I could reverse the process as required.

Linux supports the file system so I could just zip/unzip the files which would get round the problem of restoring to a different sized drive from the original. But, to start fresh on a new hard drive I'd have to manually partition the drive under Linux in order to mount it and restore files.

So, does anybody know anything like "Norton Ghost" that'll perform these tasks if I give it a SCSI id or select a device from a list? Presumably such a tool wouldn't be Amiga FFS specific but I'm having trouble finding one!
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Old 17 May 2002, 01:28   #2
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Both Norton Ghost and Drive Image Pro will support filesystem formats that it knows of, ie., FAT16/32, NTFS, Linux Ext2 but I'm afraid that they do not support the AmigaDOS filesystem, either OFS/FFS nor do I believe they support the alternatives, SFS and the other one PFS(?)

Basically if either of these tools supported the filesystem then yes you could easily make an image of the drive and back it up onto a network drive or even a CD-R/W disk.
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Old 17 May 2002, 02:03   #3
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Only Amiga Makes it...

Another solution could be to put your CD writer on your amiga and directly burn a cd of all your partition. Then you could do a kind of emergency disk with needed file to mount a cd-rom. Basically C:Mount, Devs:Atapi.device, L:CacheCDFS and Storageosdrivers/CD0
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Old 17 May 2002, 02:30   #4
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Using a CD writer / CD ROM on the Amiga would be great but the bootable floppy is still a point of weakness unless it's possible to boot off a CD using a GVP HD+ controller for the A500? Unfortunately I'm unlikely to get a CD drive for the Amiga any time soon so I'm stuck with the concept of the PC doing all the backup/restore work.

I think I may take a chance asking a question in a Linux newsgroup, especially with regards to how I might "prep" a drive - currently assuming a format command will invoke the device driver to do the right thing after a partition is created. A few hacked together shell scripts ought to be able to do the job - if only there was something like "Ghost" under Linux, I don't think there's any need to limit to file systems with such a utility!
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Old 17 May 2002, 02:40   #5
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There may actually be something like this under Linux, I'd ask about that too
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Old 19 May 2002, 02:19   #6
rlake
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Well, I've found something of use under Linux. The "dd" command on "/dev/<whatever>" will load/store an image of the drive. So, that does what I want for drives of the same size.

For drives of different sizes AFAIK the cluster size (and perhaps other information) will need changing, something requiring knowledge of FFS. I've found some good docs on Aminet on this but need time to study them to see if it's feasible! :smileek Of course, if the drive image will work on a larger drive without modification that would be fantastic but somehow I suspect this won't be the case...
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Old 19 May 2002, 02:25   #7
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This is what's nice about Norton Ghost and Drive Image Pro, they both allow you to write back the image to larger or even smaller drive(s) and/or partitions as long as the image will fit of course. Since these apps employ compression to make the image size smaller you sometimes have to watch this, I'd check in on that *nix app you're thinking of using and see if it supports this or not as well as compression.
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Old 19 May 2002, 04:24   #8
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The program dd ("disk dump") really is just a raw block read/write utility so it'll work with any block device be it a hard disk, floppy disk or whatever. To create an image of an Amiga hard disk, it reads absolutely everything from block 0 through to the end, and just directs it to a file. So, the file is very similar to a HDF used by UAE except that a "real" hard disk is a superset of an HDF because it also contains partition information.

There is no chance the image is compressed/modified by dd but thanks for the concern anyway - of course, there's nothing stopping the use of zip/lha etc. on the resulting file but it's not worth it.

After a bit of reading I now believe block size conversion won't be necessary for 2 reasons:

- Commodore seem to have allowed scope for change but using a "fixed" size of 512 bytes would appear to be fine. I may be wrong about this but it doesn't matter because it's unaffected by the following...

- When restored, the drive and its partitions will have the same configuration as when it was backed up. The only difference is that restoring a 100 MB backup to an 8 GB drive will leave 7.9 GB of unpartitioned space at the end. Hopefully such waste can be avoided simply by running HDtoolbox or similar to create new partitions!
:laugh

Anyway, it looks like dd will do the job and I seem to have discovered an answer to my own question and managed to convince myself it'll work!

As long as there is Linux, SCSI, and my trusty Amiga HD backup CD I should be able to get my Amiga up and running in no time following FD/HD failure!
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Old 20 May 2002, 03:52   #9
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What about tape dump - any such tool?
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Old 20 May 2002, 13:17   #10
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Of course, that's what a tar file is... commonly compressed with gzip to make a tar.gz file. However, as well as storing as a file, the tar utility can write to tape drives too. Actually, I can't think of any reason why dd wouldn't work with a tape drive as well so not even intermediate storage is required...
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Old 21 May 2002, 00:20   #11
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So if I could dump the 2 gigs from my dats, that would be step 1. Then I would need a tool that would do what ExoticRipper does (only instead of saving mods, it would save DMS and LHA files...)

Any budding programmers ready to code such a beastie?
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