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HOWTO: Restoring to a smaller disk. Eg, 1000GB HDD to 500GB SSD

Shasheen Ediriweera edited this page Jun 6, 2021 · 12 revisions

Introduction

Rescuezilla does not yet automatically shrink partitions: currently the image's final partition must always completely reside within the destination disk for the restore to succeed. This means that cloning and restoring an image to a destination disk smaller than the original (when there is sufficient free space) requires a careful workaround that uses the GParted Partition Editor to shrink the final partition on the source disk.

If you are not familiar with GParted Partition Editor, please make sure you have saved an unmodified Rescuezilla backup image to a third drive and be extremely careful.

HOWTO

  1. Boot Rescuezilla, close all applications and launch GParted Partition Editor
  2. Shrink the final partition on the 1TB source disk so the total size doesn't exceed let's say 400GB
  3. The next step depends on if you want cloning or imaging. 'Disk cloning' is the process of making a direct copy without needing a third drive for temporary storage. 'Disk imaging' is the process of making a backup of your computer's hard drive which is managed as files stored on an external hard drive.
    • For cloning (direct device-to-device) mode:
      • Use Rescuezilla's "Clone" button to clone the newly-shrunken disk to the new drive (which will now succeed). This will overwrite all data on the destination drive.
    • For the imaging (backup/restore) mode:
      • Use Rescuezilla's "Backup" button to backup the whole newly-shrunken disk using Rescuezilla onto your third temporary-storage drive
      • Use Rescuezilla's "Restore" button to restore this pre-shrunken image your new hard drive (which will now succeed). This will overwrite all data on the destination drive.
  4. Use GParted to expand the 400GB partition on your new drive to the full 500GB

Future development

I have determined a pathway to implement the ability to restore to partitions smaller than original (task #18), but it won't be completed for some time.

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