Allan Didier

Imaging with Clonezilla


Clonezilla will create an image of your system just like Windows Backup, but Clonezilla is more advanced. Windows Backup will only create an image of your Windows Partition to another drive, that’s it. Clonezilla can create an image of a partition or drive regardless of what information is on it. It can also clone a drive or partition (instead of copying the drive down to an image file, it just makes a direct copy of the drive). It can also do this across a network. So, Clonezilla is a more advanced tool. 

For this project students will demonstrate their ability to create and push an image file using Clonezilla.

Full System Image

The steps for using Clonezilla are similar to creating an image using Windows Backup.  

1. Partition Hard Drive

In order to create an image of the OS, you need to have a location to store the image. When you are installing Windows (or whatever OS), you need to create a partition on the drive where you will save the image file. This cannot be the same partition as the OS nor can it be the small reserved system partition that Windows creates for backup purposes. 

2. Install Windows

Install Windows (or whatever OS) to the first free partition of the hard drive. Leave the last partition for the image file. 

3. Prepare Image Drive

For Clonezilla, this drive must be formatted ExFat or Fat32. Clonezilla is a Linux based software and cannot read NTFS (Windows) or HFS (Mac) file systems. You can format the Image Partition using Disk Management (inside the Computer Management tool) in Windows. 

4. Create Image

Know how your hard drive is partitioned and formatted. Clonezilla sees and talks about the hard drive differently than Windows. Make sure you know the structure of your hard drive before continuing so that you don’t make a mistake. 

Boot into Clonezilla off the the boot disk.

  1. Follow directions to Start_Clonezilla
  2. Work with disks or partitions using images
  3. Use local device
  4. Mount Clonezilla Home Location
    1. Where is Clonezilla going to store the image file?
    2. This should be your image partition. 
  5.  Choose Clonezilla Image Repository
    1. Select a directory or choose none
    2. Choose done
  6. Run Beginner Mode
  7. Save_local_partitions_as_an_image
    1. Save disk aa a partition will back up the entire hard drive, partitions and all.
  8. Choose and image file name
    1. The default one is often fine as it gives you the date the image was create.
  9. Choose the partition with Windows on it. This is where you must know how your hard drive is configured. 
  10. Skip checking/repariing source file system. Clonezilla is Linux and cannot fix Windows -based systems.
  11. You can skip checking the image file. Checking it would be good if you were to rely on the image file.
  12. Not to encrypt the image. Encryption requires a password to read the image file. We will not use this in class, but if you were backing up stuff you didn’t want other people to see you should encrypt it.
  13. Reboot when done.
  14. It will take 15+ minutes to create the image file.

Verify the image file from Windows

  1. When the computer reboots, boot into Windows, not from the Clonezilla boot disk.
  2. Go to Windows Explorer and find the Image Partition. 
  3. The Image partition should be using up about as much hard drive space as the Windows Partition. It should be a little less as the image file is often compressed.
  4. Open the Image partition and look for the folder and files that Clonezilla created.
  5. If you cannot find the files or they don’t take up any hard drive space, creating the image file failed and you will have to do it again. 

5. Recover Windows (Push the Image)

When Windows dies or you just need to install Windows, follow these steps to get  Windows installed from the image file. 

Boot from the Clonezilla disk.

  1. Follow directions to Start Clonezilla
  2. Work with disks or partitions using images
  3. Use local device
  4. Choose image partition (where is the image file located?)
  5.  Choose the directory containing the image file. This should be the same folder that was created above when creating the image. You may have to tab over to choose <Done>.
  6. Beginner mode
  7. Restore and image to local partitions
  8. Choose the image folder. Tab your way to <Ok>.
  9. Choose the partition from the image that you will restore. You probably only have one partition unless you imaged the entire drive. Use the space bar to select the drive if needed. Tab to <Ok>. 
  10. Choose the target partition. This is where the image will be sent. (To what partition will you be installing Windows?). If you named your partitions, you might see the name here. You do not want to choose the ntfs_System_Reserved partition. That is the partition with Windows recovery information. 
  11.  You can check or skip checking. Generally it is a good idea to check to make sure the image is valid before doing this. If you don’t check and the image is not valid, you will copy garbage to the partition. 
  12. Let it run.
  13. Reboot and boot from the hard drive. Windows should now be re-installed.