best approach to clone a disk?

fbsd_user fbsd_user at
Tue Feb 14 09:51:00 PST 2006

I use the Norton ghost program. You have to first install ghost on a
window box and then create a  ms/dos bootable floppy with ghost on
it. Them boot your FreeBSD box with that floppy and ghost image the
hard drive with mbr to cdrom or dvd. You can then boot the target
box with that same floppy and restore the cdrom/dvd even if the hd
is bigger than the source one.

Using 2003 version of ghost I first zero out all the free space on
FreeBSD so ghost will compress it in the backup image which makes
ghost run faster on bkup and restore.

    dd if=/dev/zero of=/filler bs=1m ; rm /filler
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/filler bs=1m ; rm /tmp/filler
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/usr/filler bs=1m ; rm /usr/filler
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/var/filler bs=1m ; rm /var/filler

Of course this is a hands on method. You have to have physical
access to the source and target pc's to do this.

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-freebsd-questions at
[mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at]On Behalf Of Joe Auty
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2006 11:49 AM
To: freebsd-questions at
Subject: best approach to clone a disk?


In taking the advice of an earlier poster in suggesting that the
instructions located here:

Are rather old, allow me to make my question a little broader in

What is the best way to clone a disk in FreeBSD? Do you have any
by-step instructions? The instructions I used above (even replacing
the restore -r flag with a -x) produced a core dump.

Can I use DD on two disks of different size? Do you recommend Ghost
for Unix? Any other suggestions or recommendations should the dump
command just not work for me?

Thanks in advance!

Joe Auty
NetMusician: web publishing software for musicians
joe at

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