Any suggestions for making an image of the Latitude 2100 (which lacks a CD drive) or rapid reimaging of the Latitude 2100 from USB external drives?
Update 02/26/2011 –
In response to my request (above) for help, I discounted some of the usual solutions, including:
To be honest, I haven’t had much luck with these solutions myself. They’ve been tough to learn how to use–for me, although apparently not for others–and that’s been a humbling experience in itself to hit the wall on those.
Yet, yesterday, I stumbled onto a solution that appears to have been “out there” all along and after investigating and testing, works just fine. What a shock! A solution I could figure out!
UPDATE 11/16/2009: You may want to read this summary article on a variety of backup/restore and reimaging options available for different operating systems.
The solution is PING. Here’s a description of it:
PING (Partimage Is Not Ghost) is the perfect choice to backup and restore whole partitions, an easy way (DVD or Network). It sounds like Symantec Ghost(tm), but has even better features, and is totally free.
Some of its features include:
- Probably the best available Linux toolbox for rescuing a system;
- Backup and Restore partitions or files locally or to the network (MS Network Shared directory, NFS, FTP or SSHFS);
- Backup and Restore the BIOS data as well;
- Either burn a bootable CD / DVD, either integrate within a PXE / RIS environment;
- Possibility to Blank local admin’s password;
- Create your own restoration bootable DVD (see the Howto Documentation);
- Partition and Format a disk before installing Windows (so to make sure your unattended Windows installation will happen on the right partition);
- Specific advantages PING brings you over DOS and Ghost :
- Most network cards automatically recognized by the Kernel (unlike DOS);
- Most CD/DVD readers automatically recognized by the Kernel (unlike DOS);
- You don’t have to run a Ghostcast server to receive images over the network;
- More supported filesystems;
- You can store an image on several CD/DVD (CD/DVD-spanning);
- You can backup and restore BIOS settings too;
- Much much smaller than WinPE / BartPE;
This tutorial was helpful but covers a lot…I cite the relevant part below. The tutorial also didn’t appear to cover how to burn the PING ISO (a CD image) to a flash drive so it would boot. Since I don’t yet have an external DVD/CD drive for the netbook, everything has to work from a USB flash drive.
As a result, as I was experimenting, I decided to follow these steps:
- Download PING ISO file – Get the 22meg Community Edition (email registration required, albeit free)
- Download Unetbootin (which I’ve used before)
- Use Unetbootin to create a bootable USB flash drive from the PING ISO (worked great and fast, too! A 1gig drive works just fine, especially if you’re going to use an external USB hard drive to back your netbook up to).
- Boot from the PING USB Flash drive you’ve just created on your netbook.
- Plug in your USB External hard drive (formatted to FAT32)
- Follow the process outlined by the How To Backup and Restore Your Netbook, relevant parts quoted below:
The following excerpt comes from the How To Backup and Restore Your Netbook:; kudos to the author for his great work in capturing this process! I’d also like to point out that the PING folks have done an excellent job with their tutorial…very easy to follow for the novice.
PING loads up through a small Linux kernel. When it’s ready, it’ll tell you to press Enter to start. The screens that follow guide you through either backing up or restoring your system, but the process isn’t perhaps as clear as it might be, so we’ll walk you through it. PING also lets you back up to a network store, which we won’t cover here, but isn’t so very different from archiving your netbook on a USB hard drive or Flash stick.
After an introduction screen, PING asks you what it should do when the backup process is complete: restart, shutdown or go to the command line. Use the arrow keys to highlight the reboot option and hit Enter. You’ll next be asked whether you’ll be backing up over the network or locally – select the ‘Local disk/partition’ entry and hit Enter.You’ll now get a list of drives and the partitions on them. The first entry in the list is special: it’s the one you select when you’re restoring your machine from a previous backup. For now, you’ll be looking for your netbook’s drive – most likely listed as
hda1and marked EXT2 or EXT3 if it’s a Linux machine, FAT or NTFS if you use Windows. Highlight the correct drive and hit the spacebar to mark it with an asterisk.
Note that the screengrabs below show typical set-ups – don’t expect what you see on your machine to match them exactly.
You’ll get a similar screen next – this time, you tell PING the drive on which you want it to store the backup. It’ll be listed as something like
sdb1, and you’ll probably recognise the drive’s label.
Now it’s time to configure your backup. On the next screen, you enter the name of the folder into which the backup will be saved. Just enter a
\to create the backup at the top level of the disk’s folder structure and hit Enter.
The following screen lists folders already present on the drive. It also gives you the chance to create a new one, so select Create_New_Image.
Next, you’ll be asked to enter a name the backup – the “name of the new Image”. How about
My_Backup? This will force PING to create a folder called
My_Backupat the end of the path you specified on the previous page.
PING will ask you now if you want to store detailed file information in the back-up. For most netbook users, it’s best to select ‘No’.
The next screen asks you which compression scheme you want to use:
gzipmakes for a quicker back-up process, but
b2zippacks the files in more tightly – handy if you’re backing up to a low-capacity Flash drive. We use
gzipto save time. Or you can select to use no compression at all.
Two more questions need to be answered before PING’s ready to back up your system: which utility do you want to use to create the archive, and would you like to minimise the file system? Stick with the default settings for both: the ‘Partimage’ option first and, on the following screen, ‘No’.
Finally, PING will do its stuff, and you’ll get a screen displaying the progress of the backup process, after which your netbook will shutdown or restart depending on the choice you made earlier.
With the back-up safely tucked away, you’re ready for any emergency. Should it become necessary, just connect the backup disk to your netbook and boot the machine from the PING disc again, but this time select the recovery option on the ‘Choose the partitions…’ screen: “### CHOOSE THIS if you want a RESTORATION ###”.
The process is straightforward: select the (connected) disk containing the backup then select the drive on your netbook. Select the location of the
My_Backupfolder on your external drive – remember we chose
\– then pick ‘My_Backup’ from the list of folders PING presents.
You’ll next be asked if you want to restore your Bios settings – try it without first, so select ‘No’.
Finally, PING will give a long warning screen that tells you what it’s about to do. If you’re happy to proceed, type
YESwhen you see the
>>prompt, and PING will restore your netbook’s drive from the backup.
I have to say that using PING sure beats booting from a SystemRescueCD and then running Partimage to get going. This was all menu-driven on the PING side, and FAST. Thanks to the PING folks and Nick Hawkesmoor for the tutorial!
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