I’m sure many people have been frustrated with the premature failure of a hard drive, or corruption of an operating system. When that happens most people have no backup or contingency plan in place and are faced with data loss, and starting over from scratch.
In a corporate environment, many companies use tools like Norton Ghost to make restore images, to mitigate the loss, and reduce the downtime of a failed system. But what about the home users who don’t want to buy expensive software to make complicated backups of their computers?
Enter, CloneZilla, the free and open-source product that makes system backups easy to do. When making the bootable media for CloneZilla you can chose three different options. You can burn the iso to cd, USB or install it directly to the system as a dual-boot option. Personally, I use bootable USB media because I can reuse the same USB key for any updated images, without needing new media like you would with cd or DVD.
To install to USB, download tuxboot from tuxboot.org. You will find install packages for windows and Linux, so chose your flavor. Once installed, insert you USB media, and launch the application. You can select the version of CloneZilla you would like, then chose the right USB drive from the drop down selector. Click ‘ok’ and let tuxboot work it’s magic.
Once the image has been applied, it will present you with the option to reboot. Do this if you want to continue now, and make your backup, otherwise, close the window and save your USB for a later time.
To use your copy of CloneZilla boot to your copy (either cd, DVD, or USB) and you will see an easy to navigate menu system. Make sure to read the on screen instructions, and you’ll find it’s a very straight forward program to use. The first partition or drive to mount is where you will store your backup, it’s important to use a different drive than what you are backing up, so either use a second hard drive, or an external.