I have this external USB HDD that I've installed Lubuntu 16.04 and Windows 10 on as a dual boot. They are portable installations that I can take around with me and use on a variety of computers and have all my apps and configurations with me. It's a real installation of Lubuntu, not a persistent live USB. Windows 10 was done through WinToUSB.

Can I use Clonezilla to make a backup of this drive? And if I then restore that image to another drive, will that second drive also be bootable in the same way?

  • Yes. this is what Clonezilla is for - cloning systems. The only "catch" is that the target disk/partition has to be the same size or larger. I used to use CZ for deploying windows desktops at work....went to a great deal of trouble to shrink the windows partitions as small as possible before cloning with CZ so we could have one smallish (10GB or so IIRC) image for each brand/model of computer no matter what size their HD. CZ can auto-resize the partition to make full use of the disk if required.
    – cas
    Jun 6, 2016 at 0:59
  • @cas So it doesn't matter if we're dealing with external, bootable HDD's?
    – Fiksdal
    Jun 6, 2016 at 8:11
  • nope. a bootable disk is a bootable disk. btw, try it and see. that's the only way to be sure that it works in your specific circumstances (it's not impossible that the way you set up windows or the way you're using grub may complicate things, requiring some changes to your methods)
    – cas
    Jun 6, 2016 at 8:17
  • @cas Sure. I will make the backup image. But I don't have any other external HDD to restore it to. I could restore it to the same one, but I don't want to try in case there's a small chance that something goes wrong. If in the future I have a blank HDD to restore it to, I will try it :) Also, thanks for the comments. Sounds like enough that you can write an actual answer.
    – Fiksdal
    Jun 6, 2016 at 8:21
  • if anyone else would like to borrow from my comments to make an answer, feel free. I don't have time at the moment to do it properly.
    – cas
    Jun 6, 2016 at 8:22

1 Answer 1


A Guaranteed way to do this is to use BIT 4 BIT Cloning. This makes an image the exact same size as this drive, but should guarantee that your new pen drive will act the exact same way.

When you get to the first Clonezilla screen

Choose Dev-Disk not Dev-part/image.

This takes more time and more space of course, but with a pen drive, I don't imagine it will take hours.

(I've done 500GB drives in about 3/4 Hours via USB.)

Clonezilla doesn't understand Windows partitions as well as Linux anyway, so if you have a dual boot system on a 16GB pen drive you don't specify size, then this would probably be the way to go. (Especially if it's just for small use/home use etc, if you were deploying to 100 Computers, you might want to take the time to learn the ins and outs of Clonezilla)

The only way to learn is to get a test HD really and test. (But is possible 100%)

No backup plan is good unless you have tested restoring the backup!

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