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  • How to backup and restore disks on Linux and Mac computers using R-Drive Image

R-Drive Image is a Windows program. For this OS, it has all the necessary features for all advanced disk imaging, backup, copy, and restore tasks. But quite often it becomes necessary to service a non-Windows machine, running under macOS or Linux. There are similar programs out there for those operating systems, but are they worth paying extra money and spending some effort to learn them? With the startup version of R-Drive Image this is usually not necessary. It can work with Macs, Linux computers, and even with some Unix machines.

Moreover, the startup version of R-Drive Image has almost the same features as its Windows counterpart. The only exception is the lack of the built-in scheduler, tasks, scripts, and connecting images as virtual disks, although copying individual files from opened images is a good substitution for the latter. The other features useful for non-Windows computers like support for various Apple and Linux volume managers are fully intact.

As a benchmark, we'll use a real PC running under Linux Ubuntu Mate 20.04.1 LTS 64-bit with the file system of the system disk being ext4 fs. The procedure for Mac computers will not be much different from this, except for starting the computer.

In this article we'll show how the startup version of R-Drive Image can be used to service a non-Windows computer. We'll simulate the following scenario:

  1. Disk backup of a non-Windows workstation.
  2. Disk crash that completely corrupted data on that disk in such a way that the computer cannot start.
  3. Data restore on that disk from the image and attempt to start up the computer with the restored system.

Please also note that we'll take pictures directly from a real LCD monitor and make allowance for the image quality.

The partition scheme for the Linux disk is shown on the picture below.

The partition scheme for the Linux disk
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Some preliminary actions
1. Create a bootable USB stick with the startup version of R-Drive Image. You may do it directly from the main panel of R-Drive Image. See the R-Drive Image on-line help page "Create Startup Disks" for more detail.

2. Connect another disk large enough to store the disk image to the computer.

Image Creation
When we're ready, we can start creating the image of the Linux disk.

1. Start the computer with the bootable stick.

  • Make sure that the first startup device in the system BIOS is the right drive. Disable "Secure boot" in the system BIOS if your computer is certified to run Windows 8/10. Refer to your system documentation for details.
  • Connect the USB disk and start your computer.
    R-Drive Image startup
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    Select the R-Drive Image GUI (Graphic Mode) to run R-Drive Image in the graphic mode in which its user interface is similar to the Windows version.

    You may read more information on R-Drive Image help page "Load Computer into Startup Mode". This may be especially helpful if you need to start a Mac computer.
  • Accept the License Agreement and let R-Drive Image to finish its startup procedure.
    R-Drive Image License Agreement
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2. Select Create an Image on the Action Selection panel and click the Next button.
Action Selection panel, image creation
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3. Locate the disk you want to backup, select the entire disk icon, and click the Next button.
Partition Selection panel
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4. Select the place to store the image, specify its file name, and click the Next button.
Image Destination panel
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5. Select image options on the Image Options panel and click the Next button.
Image Option panel
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R-Drive Image can back up only useful information on disk. In other words, only sectors with actual data will be written to the image file. That may greatly reduce image size. It also can check the integrity of disk image right after its creation and report errors immediately.

The image file may also be protected with a password, but this feature provides only a relatively moderate protection against conventional unauthorized access.

You may read more about other image options on R-Drive Image help page "Create an Image".

6. Verify the image parameters and click the Start button.
Processing panel
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R-Drive Image will start imaging disk showing its progress.
Image creation process
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When the imaging is over, you may switch your computer off.
Image created successfully
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Disk crash simulation
We simulated the disk crash by deleting all disk partitions using a Windows disk manager. Obviously, the Linux computer cannot start after this operation. We need to restore data back to the Linux disk to revive the computer.

Restoring data to the Linux disk
1. Start the computer with the bootable stick as it's described in the Image Creation part of this article.

2. Select Restore from an Image on the Action Selection panel and click the Next button.
Action Selection panel, data restore
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3. Select the image file on the Image File Selection panel and click the Next button.
Image File Selection panel
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4. Enter the password if necessary.
Image File Selection panel, password request
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5. Select Restore disks or partitions on the Restore Mode Selection panel and click the Next button.
Restore Mode Selection panel
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6. Select the entire disk icon in the Image part and the entire disk icon in the Destination part on the Image Object Selection panel and click the Next button.
Image Object Selection panel
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7. Select Copy all partitions onto original places on the Restore/Copy Parameters panel and click the Next button.
Restore/Copy Parameters panel
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8. Verify that all restore parameters are correct on the Processing panel and click the Next button.
Processing panel
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R-Drive Image will start restoring data to the disk showing its progress.
Data restore process
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When data is completely restored switch the computer off.
Disk image restored successfully
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Disconnect the disk with images and bootable USB stick and start the computer again. It should load into the restored Linux OS.
Restored partition structure
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Conclusions
As our test has shown, the startup version of R-Drive Image can work not only with the Windows OS, but with Linux and Mac computers, too. In this article we have discussed some basic disk operations like creating disk images and restoring data back to the original disk. It also can perform more advanced actions like retrieving individual files from disk images of non-Windows computers.

Drive Image Feedback
65 feedbacks
Rating: 4.6 / 5
R-Drive Image is an awesome product that works flawlessly, every time.
Thanks
tried many backup products all failed and crashed. this backup made it easy and trouble free highly recomend it for simple easy use
Hi, we own r-drive image.
Clonning a hard disk feature works great. but is it possible to schecule the clone option? will be great improvement and ease and fast option to restore a computer.
I`ve just about used them all. I recently ditched Acronis. Most have failed me when I needed them to work. Only R-Drive Image has been consistently dependable.
Leon
I Have been using R-Drive for more than eight years. I had my file server wiped out two times in the past 2 weeks due to ZEPTO virus. (Both came from an email attachment). I do an R-drive full image backup each night. Both images rebuilt the hard drive perfectly. I have rebuilt several times over the years but I was in a real situation here and R-drive saved the day.