Sometimes Ghost is truly the best tool

HDD stackLately I’ve been loving Clonezilla for rolling out refurbed Dell workstations. It’s been really cool, boot from USB “liveCD”, clone disk to disk directly over gigabit ethernet, reboot, repeat. But after doing 10 of them, I ran into the true limitation of Clonezilla. Clonezilla relies on ntfsclone and partimage (great tools) but they share a key weakness: neither can restore an NTFS drive or partition image to a smaller target – in my case it was a matter of a dozen sectors. It’s ironic because both tools only copy the used blocks and seem to support resizing but they just plain don’t do it. Needless to say I couldn’t accept that fact until I was done pounding my head against the issue thoroughly, then I used the de facto Windows imaging tool: Norton Ghost.

So, its 4:00 AM and I’m in the lab finishing up my Ghost disk-to-disk imaging on the remaining machines…

Total time to break remaining boxes and yank HDs + Ghost imaging time = 30 mins.

Time wasted to get to this point = 3 hours.

If anyone can prove me wrong concerning the shortcomings of Clonezilla, please do (and comment, duh).