In this tutorial is written:

To regain unique UUIDs, use tune2fs /dev/sdbX -U random on every partition.

Ok, but how can I use it with this command?

dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=4096 conv=notrunc,noerror

Or do I have to use it after the dd command?

  • Note that if you have e2fsprogs 1.42.9 or later, you can use e2image instead of dd and it will be much faster as it skips unused blocks.
    – psusi
    Commented Feb 28, 2014 at 19:25

1 Answer 1


You use it after the dd commmand. Because you've copied over the partition table, you'll need to first inform the kernel of the change, e.g., by running partprobe /dev/sdb.

Basically, what's happening is that there is a unique value (a UUID) stored in filesystem metadata. When you copy whole partitions (as you're doing with dd), you wind up with two partitions (and thus two filesystems) with the same UUID. So much for it being unique! This is a problem if, e.g., you try to use a UUID to mount the filesystem.

In order to fix the problem, you change the UUID on the copy—that tune2fs line does so. You need to run it on each partition on the destination disk that contains a ext2/3/4 filesystem. You'll need different utilities for other filesystem types.

  • Ok, so after that I use dd comamnd, is have to use tune2fs /dev/sdbX -U random only in output file (of=) HD? Or I have use in all HD, (if=) and (of=)? Commented Feb 28, 2014 at 18:00
  • @VitorMazuco well, you'll need to put in partition numbers in place of X, but yes. And you need to run partprobe first. So, dd, then partprobe, then tune2fs.
    – derobert
    Commented Feb 28, 2014 at 18:01

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