Cloning Windows server - using RIP and ntfsclone

Jephe Wu

RIP(Recovery Is Possible) CD can also be used for cloning Windows NTFS partition. If the source and destination servers have the same kind of hardwares, you can use the RIP and ntfsclone which comes with RIP CD to clone Windows NTFS partition.

Use ntfsclone to clone Windows server through network

on the source server(HP DL360)
1) properly shutdown your Windows. Boot from RIP CD, choice the second bootup option which loads everything in memory and skip keyboard map
2) ifconfig eth0 up (you can set any ip address, I use here)
4) passwd root (to change root password for remote ssh login later)
5) /usr/sbin/sshd (startup ssh daemon)
6) check ntfs partition information with commands below: (optional)
ntfsinfo -m -v /dev/cciss/c0d0p1 | less
ntfsinfo -i -v /dev/cciss/c0d0p1 | less
7) you might need to use command 'ntfsfix' to fix some basic problems such as Windows didn't shutdown properly before cloning.
ntfsfix /dev/cciss/c0d0p1

on the destination server:
1) boot from RIP CD too, same as what you did on the source
2) use 'fdisk' to make new partition(the size must be equal or greater than the server) (use id 7 (hpfs/ntfs).
you can also use 'sfdisk' to clone the partition table over like below if you'd like to have the exact same partition size.
ifconfig eth0 up
ssh 'sfdisk -d /dev/cciss/c0d0' | sfdisk /dev/cciss/c0d0
3) clone over the MBR code first(excluding partition table info)
ssh 'dd if=/dev/cciss/c0d0 count=1 bs=446' | dd of=/dev/cciss/c0d0
It might doesn't bootup properly if the destination server has the different kind of hard disk, you can try step 5 then to install MBR.
4) clone the ntfs partition content over
ssh 'ntfsclone -s -o - /dev/cciss/c0d0p1' | ntfsclone -r - -O /dev/cciss/c0d0p1
5) in case it doesn't boot up. try to boot from windows CD to recovery console mode to run 'fixmbr' to install the proper MBR

Note: if it doesn't boot up, in order to find out it's due to MBR or ntfsclone issue, you can boot with the RIP CD, then choose 'Boot MBR on first hard disk' option to check if Windows can boot up properly.

note: you can also use RIP and MBRFix program to easily fix the MBR, please refer my another article at

Use ntfsclone to backup Windows ntfs partition
If you want to do backup for the source Windows ntfs partition, you can do the following on the source after booting up with RIP CD

a. backup partition table
sfdisk -d /dev/cciss/c0d0 | ssh remoteserver 'cat > /path/to/c0d0_sfdisk-d'
for restore, use
ssh remoteserver 'cat /path/to/c0d0_sfdisk-d' | sfdisk /dev/cciss/c0d0

b. backup MBR
dd if=/dev/cciss/c0d0 count=1 bs=512 | ssh remoteserver 'dd of=/path/to/mbr_dd'
for restore, use
ssh remoteserver 'dd if=/path/to/mbr_dd' | dd of=/dev/cciss/c0d0

c. backup ntfs partition /dev/cciss/c0d0p1
ntfsclone -s -o - /dev/cciss/c0d0p1 |gzip -c | ssh remoteserver 'cat > /path/to/c0d0p1_ntfsclone.gz'
for restore, use
ssh remoteserver 'gzip -dc
/path/to/c0d0p1_ntfsclone.gz' | ntfsclone -r - -O /dev/cciss/c0d0p1

note: If the original hard disk is bad, you might want to use the parameters below during backup.

--force --ignore-fs-check