backup msdos slice

Roland Smith rsmith at
Mon Mar 2 12:30:20 PST 2009

On Mon, Mar 02, 2009 at 02:10:42PM -0500, Jerry wrote:
> Hi,
> I hate to start this potential storm, but...
> I have a machine with both an MS and FreeBSD slices on it.
> I can easily back up and recover the FreeBSD slices using dump(8)/restore(8)
> But, that won't work for the MS slice (which happens to be FAT32 on this
> machine) because there is no superblock and inode structure.
> So, what I would like is something that would dump the MS slice
> to a FreeBSD file or media written in the FreeBSD world and that
> I could then pick out files and directories somewhat like I do
> using restore on a dump file.   

> I suspect that tar might not keep enough meta information to be right
> for this job. Is that a valid concern?

Just mount the FAT32 fs, and use any achiver you like, e.g. zip, tar,
cpio. All can save all metadata that FAT32 has. If you use zip, you can
even use winzip on windows to extract files from it, if that is
important to you.

Some time ago I wrote a utility called dosrestore (available on my
website) that could extract files from backup floppies made with MS-DOS
5 or thereabouts. I haven't tested it beyond my own backup floppies, though.

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