Easy Backup and Restore

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Are you still not doing backups on a regular basis--or at all? With this easy-to-follow procedure and ready-made scripts, you're out of excuses.

Until recently the extent of my backup efforts was to take the occasional CD copy of my home directory and keep copies of important files somewhere else, usually on another disk partition or a floppy disk. All of this changed with the need to run some Windows legacy applications. The only machine really suitable for this work was my main workstation, a 1.2GHz Athlon machine, multibooted with four distributions. I decided to free up the first primary partition, which held Mandrake 9.0, and set up a Windows partition.

I freed up the first primary partition by transferring its contents to the seventh partition, overwriting an expendable Vector Linux 3.0 Distribution. To be totally safe, I booted into Debian 3.0 and mounted both partitions to individual mount points in /mnt. Then, as root, I used tar and a pipe to copy everything, including all links and permissions, from the source partition to the target partition. A few minutes later, after changing my GRUB boot menu, I was able to boot into Mandrake 9.0 Linux in the seventh partition and verify that everything worked as expected.

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