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Our server is hosted out of the country, I just have SSH access. I want to take an image backup of my server. I found the e2image utility to take an online backup of that server, but when I run e2image -r /dev/sda1 sda1image, the command does not run, instead it shows this error:

[root@server ~]# e2image -r /dev/sda1 image
e2image 1.39 (29-May-2006)
e2image: Bad magic number in super-block while trying to open /dev/sda1
Couldn't find valid filesystem superblock.

Could any one help me, how I can take my whole server backup?

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The error "Bad magic number in super-block while trying to open /dev/sda1" indicates that /dev/sda1 is most likely not an ext2/3/4 filesystem. Do you us LVM? Is it some other filesystem, such as FAT, reiserfs, XFS, swap, etc.? Maybe you should also post the contents of /proc/mounts ? – jsbillings Jan 24 '11 at 16:12
Better /etc/mtab than /proc/mounts since then the entry for / will be correct. – James Youngman Mar 6 '12 at 7:59
Perhaps rsync may be more appropriate. You'd probably want the options -axHAX to preserve everything about the filesystem. Or perhaps just tar -zc / | ssh foo.bar "cat > output.tar.gz" – tylerl Mar 15 '12 at 10:01

As stated by @jsbilling, e2image is looking for an ext filesystem, while the one you are giving it most likely isn't.

According to what I'm reading online, e2image has a very hard time with LVM, if that's your case.

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e2image does not know or care about LVM – psusi Jun 8 '12 at 23:17

As Max said, you seem to be running e2image on a filesystem that is not ext[234]. More importantly, e2image is not a backup tool. It only stores the fs metadata in the image file so that you can send it to a developer to debug what went wrong with a corrupted fs. It explicitly leaves out your data.

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