[kwlug-disc] Using linux to fix Windows

Rashkae rashkae at tigershaunt.com
Sat Jul 4 19:04:03 EDT 2009

Rashkae wrote:

> Use ntfsclone with the system image file option, pipe through
> compression, (gzip, of if you have multi-core cpu's, use 7zip, which is
> threaded and will be nearly twice as fast.)  Unlike dd, ntfsclone will
> only copy used sectors of the hard drive, which is important, since a dd
> copy of a hard drive will include lots of data from deleted files
> (remember that a deleted file is not physically zeroed out on disc, but
> is only casually eventually overwritten)

It should be easy to create a small linux install with the desired tools
mentioned.  I've been using system rescue cd (as opposed to having a
bootable partition.) but have been meaning to experiment with the Ubuntu
minimum install.  Once you have all the tools and a few homebrew scripts
to your satisfaction, installing the rescue partition should be a simple
as create the file system (use label instead of UUID to mount root fs
for easy cloning) and untar your custom linux in the chosen parition.
run grub install, but *important* install grub in the superblock of the
filesystem, not the hard drive.  That way, grub will never interfered
with windows booting, and windows will never destroy it when it
'repairs' itself.  This will work just like the factory image restores,
if you need to boot your restore partition, you will have to make that
partition 'active' so the Windows/dos bootloader chainloads it..  You
can still then install grub on the hard drive mbr as well (the standard
place for grub to go), but by installing it on the file system as well,
it should always be possible to boot into linux even if you only have a
dos fdisk tool at hand to fix boot after the fact.

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