Cloning boot drive - more details

Lowell Gilbert freebsd-questions-local at
Wed Apr 26 12:00:44 UTC 2006

nthwaver at writes:

> My system partitions (/, swap, /usr, /var, /home) are currently spread
> onto a 10GB and a 20GB IDE drive, but I'd like to save space by
> consolidating these along with some (not heavily accessed) data
> partitions into a larger 250GB disk.  The other drives (at this point
> a couple of SATA in RAID0) should be unaffected.  I'm a relative
> newbie and although I've read the handbook and the past months'
> threads regarding cloning, I still have a few questions.
> 1) Am I correct in understanding that I can simply connect the new
> drive to a spare IDE controller and boot from the old disk, using
> sysinstall to make the new partitions and give them temporary mount
> points (choosing "yes" to install bootmanager), then dump | restore to
> move each FS, and simply take out the old drives and switch over to
> the new one?  Will this boot and run seamlessly?  At what point should
> I edit the old /etc/fstab that was copied over?  If I *can* do this,
> then what are the benefits of doing a fresh install on the new drive
> first?
> 2) If I dump | restore from a *running* system, will the resulting
> clone be confused when it's booted up?  Are any crucial changes or
> balancing acts made upon shutdown that the new drive will miss?  Or,
> is its main purpose fulfilled when it's loaded into memory on boot?
> 3) The handbook also recommends using boot0config, but how necessary
> is this if I just plan on simply replacing the original drive?
> 4) How are the prospects of data recovery affected by FreeBSD's use of
> "slices" for filesystems on top of partitions?  Experience tells me
> that with traditional partitions, a corrupted file tree or data in one
> area needn't prevent retreival of the other areas.  Is this so with
> "slices" as well?

I suspect that a slice *is* what you mean by a "traditional"
partition.  Either way, yes, problems on one shouldn't affect

For the rest of your questions, start with the FAQ entry on "How do I
move my system over to my huge new disk?".

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