Attempting to use Clonezilla to clone my server

My main server, Tanukimario, has a 120GB hard drive in it and it’s started to become annoying to butt up against that limit. I have an 512GB SSD that I only used for a couple years that I wanted to use as a replacement. In order to reduce the annoyances that come from setting things up from scratch, I decided to try and use Clonezilla to copy the drive over. Since the hard drive is so small, it told me it would only take 40 minutes, so I was jazzed I’d be able to do it in the afternoon while everyone was out and I wouldn’t be inconveniencing anyone.

I came back after 40 minutes to see that it had died after 6 minutes beacause there were damaged sectors on the source drive. I tried telling it to run fsck first and then clone, but that didn’t fix it. So, as a final attempt, I used the -rescue option in the expert clone in Clonezilla. That actually completed after about 60 minutes and I was pretty excited when it booted. But, unfortunately, it would just crash out. I was getting fsck errors. I tried running it a few times (each time the text blurred past the screen for 3 or 4 minutes). After doing that a few times without anything getting fixed, I figured that at this point, if it actually booted I would probably end up with a bunch of weird glitches I’d never be able to figure out. So I aborted this attempt for now.

So where do I go from here? The server does use lvm, so I could technically do an lvm clone to the disk because if things are running, then at the userland level there shouldn’t be that much damage. It’s just that doing a dd was causing issues. But since that server started its life as the guest computer, there’s a lot of cruft on there despite my attempts to remove all the desktop software. So I think I’m just going to use this opportunity to do a fresh install of the Fedora Server spin. That way I’ll have the minimal packages (great for upgrades) and I’ll also probably eliminate a few little glitches that I’m dealing with for having been slowly upgrading this computer since Fedora 16 or so. Also, on the plus side, I’ve learned there are damaged sectors on the disk and so I shouldn’t take too long to migrate over. (And should be sure to keep good backups).

So while my immediate goal was a failure, overall it’s a good thing I finally tried it this weekend.

Published by Eric Mesa

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