Help Failing Disk Problem

Warren Block wblock at
Mon Nov 5 13:05:08 PST 2007

On Mon, 5 Nov 2007, James wrote:

> On Mon, 2007-11-05 at 11:53 -0800, Sean Murphy wrote:
>> I have a FreeBSD 6.2 Release box with a single ide that has user data
>> and the FreeBSD OS on a hard disk that is failing.  I need advice on the
>> best way to clone the entire disk (or at least the data) onto a larger
>> ide disk drive, then pull the failing disk and replace it with the
>> clone.  What is the best way in FreeBSD to do that?
> The best way is to do it regularly before the hard drive is failing.
> Given that you haven't done that, there're a few methods. I'm a big fan
> of rsync,  which is the nectar of the gods, but a lot of folks seem to
> prefer dd for this kind of thing.

rsync is too high-level, and may not do exactly the right thing with 
links or sparse files or who knows what.  dd is too low-level--you get 
the same partition table/bsdlabel and the exact same slice/partition 
sizes.  That's okay on an identical hard drive, but a pain on one that's 

dump, on the other hand, is just right.

-Warren Block * Rapid City, South Dakota USA

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