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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I've got a rather complicated setup on my MacBook, including multiple partitions (BootCamp Windows). In addition to standard backups, I will occasionally reboot with an Ubuntu Live CD, plug in a large USB2 disk, and issue the following command:

    sudo dd if=/dev/sda of=/media/usbdisk/macbook_2008_01_23.img

    It creates a perfect bit-by-bit copy of the entire disk into an image file. The image file is, of course, huge, but you can compress it afterwards with gzip of bzip2. It compresses any empty space on the disk nicely. The USB2 disk should be *really* big if you want to hold multiple backups. The imaging speeds along at about 2GB/min, so it usually takes less than an hour to complete on my system.

    This approach saved me when I had a physical disk failure and had to replace my MacBook's drive.

    • Once SuperDuper finally releases their Leopard-compat version, I think I'll be fine still using that. It was wonderful before 10.5

      Really, if I have now found the two things that get hosed by Time Machine, that's fine. I just need to remember.

      Doing a dd-based backup seems like it will take too much time for me to rely on myself doing it. :)