Does technology exist which allows you to take an instantanious snapshot of a drive?

At the moment, I am using dd which takes a few minutes to create an image of a usb drive to my hdd. Is it possible to somehow take a snapshot instead?

Not sure if this is technologically possible, but thought I should ask.


Such technology exists, but it you would have to format your USB device either with ZFS file system, or use a LVM instead of normal partitioning. Both of these solutions are incompatible with Windows use, so you wouldn't be able to use your USB stick on Windows computers anymore.


There are filesystems that have snapshot possibility (zfs or btrfs), but that doesn't copy any data at first. It creates a copy-on-write (lazy copy) on THE SAME drive.

So if you do want a copy on another drive, then dd is the most exact definition of a snapshot I can think of. Also, dd is loop-back mountable, so it IS your flash drive in every sense.

If you want incrementally updated dump on your hard drive, you could also use rsync to only copy files that were changed from the previous version.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.