I have a disk with 1000gb and ~7partitions that take about 210 GB, and I'm trying to clone those partitions to 240 GB disk. I've tried doing it with clonezilla boot up USB. Using dd if=/dev/sdc of=/dev/sdb bs=512 count=1 it says that it creates the partition on target sdb disk, so I turn it off and boot up again, and the partitions aren't there. Any ideas how to make it work?

  • You have to make the partitions smaller so they fit on the smaller disc , then clone using any tool you wish.
    – Panther
    Dec 1 '18 at 19:08

The dd command that you are using isn't copying any partitions in particular but the entirety of /dev/sdc which isn't going to work because /dev/sdc is ~4 times the size of /dev/sdb.

What you need to do is create partitions of equal size on /dev/sdb and then use either dd or cat to clone the partions separately.

Make sure that there are no mounted filesystems on /dev/sdb. After creating the partitions on /dev/sdb:

dd if=/dev/sdc3 of=/dev/sdb3 bs=2M

dd if=/dev/sdc4 of=/dev/sdb4 bs=2M

For better (and quicker) performance, use cat:

cat /dev/sdc3 > /dev/sdb3

cat /dev/sdc4 > /dev/sdb4

And so on and so forth.

  • @roaima cat does indeed give better performance unless other options are used with dd (which I forgot to include). I've just always used dd. I'll add cat to my answer. Jan 12 '19 at 19:04

Generally you cannot clone from a bigger drive to a smaller drive.

But there are workarounds.

  • You can shrink (and maybe move) the partitions on the bigger drive, so that they all reside within the limits of the smaller drive (with a small amount of drive space reserved for a backup partition table at the tail end in case of a GUID partition table, GPT).

    Beware, that if you move the head end of a boot partition (the root partition may be a boot partition), the bootloader must be reinstalled in order to find it. This is possible, but a complication.

  • Then you can clone this part of the bigger drive, and if a GUID partition table, GPT, afterwards fix the backup partition table for example with gdisk.

    I would still recommend to clone the 'whole' drive, from /dev/sdx to /dev/sdy, where x is the device letter of the source drive and y is the device letter of the target drive. Cloning with dd or similar tools will be truncated, when the target drive is full.

  • There are also other things, that can create problems. A few minutes ago I wrote a list of things to watch out for, when you intend to clone a drive. See the following link, Cloning from one drive to another drive.

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