Portable Clonezilla Backup Drive

I’m a supporter of open source software and one package I’ve been working with lately is called Clonezilla.  It’s a program much like Norton Ghost that is used to backup and restore the contents of entire hard disks. My goal was to create a complete backup solution using an external hard drive that I could transport to a number of locations for backups and restorations.  I’ve been using Western Digital external drives but I’m sure the instructions below will work for for just about any type of drive.

To create a Bootable USB backup drive:

  1. Boot the computer using Gparted Live
  2. Make a single partition on external drive using fat32 formatting
  3. Set the “boot” flag on the external drive, clear the “lba” flag
  4. Restart into Windows
  5. Copy Clonezilla Live files onto external drive maintaining folder structure
  6. Open Command window
  7. Switch to the external drive and change to the “utils/win32” folder
  8. Run “makeboot”
  9. The drive should now be bootable

To perform an image backup, restore, or live-cd creation:

  1. Boot from the external drive
  2. Start Clonezilla
  3. Select “device-image”
  4. Select skip (the external hard drive is automatically selected)
  5. Select “Beginner”
  6. Select the option for what you want to do and follow the prompts


  • For some reason, making the partition with Windows doesn’t always work
  • Make sure the LBA flag is cleared, for some reason it causes a problem making the drive bootable
  • The beginner option automatically segments at 2GB
  • For restorations there is no easy way to restore to a smaller hard drive, restoring to a larger drive is not a problem

This is still a work in progress but Clonezilla paired with a reliable USB hard drive has provided exactly what I needed in a backup solution.

Amateur Radio – Getting Started With Linux – Science News | Science & Technology | Technology News

It’s been a while since I posted anything new and I felt somewhat inspired to touch on a news article from a little over a year ago.  For anyone who knows me it should not be a shock that I’m somewhat of a computer security buff.  I don’t consider myself an expert by any means but I do try to stay up with the latest news.  I’m also a Linux user.

I will admit right up front that I don’t use it exclusively, as a matter of fact I’m using Windows XP to write this article, but it is my preferred operating system.  My perspective is that Microsoft has tried to do so much with Windows that they’ve really spread themselves too thin on the quality control front.  The result is that quite a few security vulnerabilities make it through to our computers and diligence is required to keep them updated and safe.

Linux does also end up with vulnerabilities however there is a much larger and more diverse pool of eyes pouring over the code.  I think problems are discovered and corrected more quickly as a result.  Linux is also somewhat safer as a result of the permissions model applied to user accounts.  Microsoft has finally started to work on this problem with the introduction of their Vista operating system but it is far from perfect.

Better security and lower operating cost however don’t really seem to be the key factors in grabbing market share.

We HAM radio operators need to encourage authors to port their software for use on Linux systems.  True there are some great programs already available but many have stagnated.  A free OS that we can tinker with should be a perfect fit.

If you have never used Linux before, please read the article above and consider it.  If you have used it before but don’t anymore then please consider trying it again.

Source: – Getting Started With Linux – Science News | Science & Technology | Technology News