UBUNTU | Cloning your Hard disk with OS, data and programs to external Hard drive using Clonezilla

Weekend DIY Tech Task!

Cloning your hard disk with OS, data and programs to external hard drive ( as a bootable OS ) using Clonezilla.

The beauty of this is that I cloned the OS (from my 15′ old lappie) and then ran it from the USB External Hard drive on a new 17′ Lappie and Ubuntu adapted the new screen, the settings and all !

I have tried the below steps for cloning my Ubuntu OS but should be equally applicable to any of the OS supported by Clonezilla, the freeware Cloning tool (www.clonezilla.org)

Once you have your Ubuntu OS installed and have updates and programs and n number of customizations done, it becomes a pain to lose the OS customization, packages, applications installed in the event  of a disk crash or any other reason by which you may no longer be able to use your OS.

Cloning as a solution (keeping a copy handy!)

This article covers cloning your Hard disk OS, data and programs to external Hard drive using Clonezilla. An illustration of what all is needed for cloning a disk or partition to another disk or partition is given below. Here, in the illustration below, Clonezilla has been copied over as a bootable image to a USB Stick and will be used to clone (SOURCE) hard disk (with OS , programs and all) to (DESTINATION) an external USB Drive with Boot-Loader so that the Ubuntu (or any such cloned OS) can run from the (DESTINATION) USB Drive also.


The step-wise screenshots are shown below (Apologies for the pictures. The pictures are not exactly screenshots, rather phone camera clicks of the whole process !)

Assuming you already have Clonezilla as a bootable image on a USB stick, you must change the OS boot order to boot from USB.

When you boot from the USB, you will be presented with the Clonezilla screen as below


Choose Live and proceed

Select Default selected options as shown in screens below




Choose device to device option (as shown below) as we want to create a working and bootable OS on external hard drive.


Choose disk to disk , laptop hard drive (sda) to external hard drive (sdc)


Choose (Source) hda


Choose (Target) sdc or your USB external Hard drive.You must be doubly sure to see what is selected as the target as Clonezilla will WIPE clean the selected target.


You can check for or skip checking of source for bad sectors.



Clonezilla warns and asks twice for good confirmation about writing to the target.


Important : Next, Clonezilla will ask if you want to make bootable the target (USB external drive) , enter Y for yes and proceed.


Clonezilla now starts the cloning process.


When the cloning process is finished, Clonezilla will ask you to either poweroff , or to reboot so that target is finalized and disks in use are properly unmounted. This is important as not doing so may render the target unbootable.

Thats it! Now you have a copy of your OS, complete with all logins, programs, and customization, ready to work off the external hard drive. Carry your OS in your pocket. Use whenever and wherever you like !

Enjoy !