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I have a 2TB RAID5 of which 700GB is used and a 1TB empty hard drive. I'd like to image the RAID onto the drive (so I can later rebuild it using a different set of drives).

Looks like dd images the entire array, which won't fit. Is there a way to only image the used part?

dd on entire disk, but do not want empty portion lists a few ways, but there are some concerns about scalability and writing back using the image, and whether the approach works for RAID.

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Do you really need an image? rsync will let you copy the contents of the filesystem to a filesystem on the empty hard drive, or to a filesystem on a loopback device if you need the data to be packaged up into a single file.

Imaging is nice if you need to preserve data that sits outside the filesystem (eg. boot sectors or partition tables), but that's not a common situation if you're using RAID 5. It's overkill if you just need to clone the file tree.

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