The Ultimate MultiBoot PC - Backup
|| Krister's Blog |
krister at hallergard dot com
View Video 12 min
This is a review of my present MultiBoot system,
which has 18 partitions - most of them bootable. This is actually just as much about backup and cloning. I can mount Linux from Windows
after installing Ext2Fsd.exe and mount Windows from Linux with entries in /etc/fstab. Blog
Cloning of Linux Partitions
Dual-boot and later Multi-boot for me became a result of how I chose to do backup. First I wanted to backup the Windows registry,
easily done with xcopy from another Windows system than the one you are backing up.
Then I wanted to backup a whole Linux partition,
also easy using Partimage from another Linux system. Blog Vlog
For Linux I am now moving from file system ext3 to ext4 (when installing from
scratch), in which case I would use Partclone instead.
Then I learnt the hard way that disk drives conk out. So for me the
very minimum is 2 disk drives, 2 Windows systems and 2 Linux systems equals 6 partitions. I have 18 partitions, most of them bootable, but
only maintain 3 Windows systems and 3 Linux system regularly. The rest are backups ready to activate next time a disk drive conks out.
Linux Bootmenus (Grub2)
When generating Grub2 bootmenus, I have now completely stopped using the script /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober, and instead add other operating systems as menuentries in the script /etc/grub.d/40_custom,
as links to the menu files boot.cfg generated by update-grub in /boot/grub/ or /boot/grub2/ of the other operating systems. Alternative kernel command lines are only generated for the system performing
the update-grub with its /etc/grub.d/10_linux script.
This allows jumping between the bootmenus, which is kind of cool. More importantly, updated kernels can be reached straight away with all grub2 bootmenus, saving a lot of updating.
To the right are the windows bootmenus as created with EasyBCD.
Both MBR disks have the Ranish Partition Manager installed. On the sda Ranish picture Disk1 is sda, Disk2 is sdc and Disk3 is the GPT-disk sdb (cannot be accessed with Ranish)
sdb GPT 2TB Seagate
sda MBR ½TB Maxtor
sdc MBR 1TB Hitachi
Kubuntu 19.04 Bootmenu sdb6
openSUSE 15.0 Bootmenu sdb7
Fedora 29 Bootmenu sdb8
sdb GPT 2TB Win-10 Bootmenu
sda MBR ½TB Win-7 Bootmenu
sda MBR ½TB Ranish Bootmenu
sdc MBR 1TB Win-10 Bootmenu
sdc MBR 1TB Ranish Bootmenu
With Partimage (ext3) or Partclone (ext4) a Linux partition image can easiliy be restored to another partitions. In order to become bootable
these actions have to be performed:
- Change UUID (two partitions must not have the same uuid)
in /etc/fstab and /boot/grub/grub.cfg or /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
- Boot the cloned partition from another system's grub2 bootmenu (as the clone lacks a valid bootsector)
- Then “grub-install --force –root-directory=/mnt/sdxy /dev/sdxy"
- Then "update-grub"
For Linux having lost one of the drives, the disk designations will be changed. In the /etc/fstab file a partition mount point, like /mnt/sdc1, is defined with its UUID ,
so it does not matter if its designation becomes /dev/sda1, /dev/sdb1 or /dev/sdc1.
If the GPT disk conks out
Either of the two MBR disks can quickly become operational as main disk. For Windows all that is needed changing links from D:\path to C:\path, where the files have been
backed up with xcopy - such as Dropbox has to be reconnected to C:\Dropbox. A quicker solution is to use Ext2Fsd to add the D: drive letter to Drive C:
For Linux the links have been to /dev/sdb4 and now have to be changed to /dev/sda1 (or /dev/sdc1). A quicker solution is to create a symlink to /dev/sda1, but renaming
it to sdb4 and copy it over to the mount point directory /mnt, replacing the sdb4 mount point. For Linux /etc/fstab all entries to the sdb partition has to be hashed,
as not finding them would stop the booting process.
2 Drive Letters!