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NTFSCLONE(8)                         System Manager's Manual                         NTFSCLONE(8)

NAME
       ntfsclone - Efficiently clone, image, restore or rescue an NTFS

SYNOPSIS
       ntfsclone [OPTIONS] SOURCE
       ntfsclone --save-image [OPTIONS] SOURCE
       ntfsclone --restore-image [OPTIONS] SOURCE
       ntfsclone --metadata [OPTIONS] SOURCE

DESCRIPTION
       ntfsclone  will efficiently clone (copy, save, backup, restore) or rescue an NTFS filesys‐
       tem to a sparse file, image, device (partition) or standard output.  It works at disk sec‐
       tor level and copies only the used data. Unused disk space becomes zero (cloning to sparse
       file), encoded with control  codes  (saving  in  special  image  format),  left  unchanged
       (cloning to a disk/partition) or filled with zeros (cloning to standard output).

       ntfsclone  can  be  useful  to  make  backups, an exact snapshot of an NTFS filesystem and
       restore it later on, or for  developers  to  test  NTFS  read/write  functionality,  trou‐
       bleshoot/investigate  users'  issues  using  the  clone without the risk of destroying the
       original filesystem.

       The clone, if not using the special image format, is an exact copy of  the  original  NTFS
       filesystem  from  sector to sector thus it can be also mounted just like the original NTFS
       filesystem.  For example if you clone to a file and the kernel  has  loopback  device  and
       NTFS support then the file can be mounted as

              mount -t ntfs -o loop ntfsclone.img /mnt/ntfsclone

   Windows Cloning
       If you want to copy, move or restore a system or boot partition to another computer, or to
       a different disk or partition (e.g. hda1->hda2, hda1->hdb1 or to a different  disk  sector
       offset) then you will need to take extra care.

       Usually,  Windows  will  not be able to boot, unless you copy, move or restore NTFS to the
       same partition which starts at the same sector on the same type of disk  having  the  same
       BIOS legacy cylinder setting as the original partition and disk had.

       The  ntfsclone  utility  guarantees  to  make an exact copy of NTFS but it won't deal with
       booting issues. This is by design: ntfsclone is a filesystem, not system utility. Its  aim
       is only NTFS cloning, not Windows cloning. Hereby ntfsclone can be used as a very fast and
       reliable build block for Windows cloning but itself it's not enough.

   Sparse Files
       A file is sparse if it has unallocated blocks (holes). The reported size of such files are
       always higher than the disk space consumed by them.  The du command can tell the real disk
       space used by a sparse file.  The holes are always read as zeros. All major Linux filesys‐
       tem  like, ext2, ext3, reiserfs, Reiser4, JFS and XFS, supports sparse files but for exam‐
       ple the ISO 9600 CD-ROM filesystem doesn't.

   Handling Large Sparse Files
       As of today Linux provides inadequate support for managing (tar, cp, gzip, gunzip,  bzip2,
       bunzip2,  cat, etc) large sparse files.  The only main Linux filesystem having support for
       efficient sparse file handling is XFS by the XFS_IOC_GETBMAPX ioctl(2).  However  none  of
       the  common  utilities supports it.  This means when you tar, cp, gzip, bzip2, etc a large
       sparse file they will always read the entire file, even if you use  the  "sparse  support"
       options.

       bzip2(1)  compresses  large sparse files much better than gzip(1) but it does so also much
       slower. Moreover neither of them handles large sparse files efficiently during  uncompres‐
       sion from disk space usage point of view.

       At  present  the most efficient way, both speed and space-wise, to compress and uncompress
       large sparse files by common tools would be using  tar(1)  with  the  options  -S  (handle
       sparse  files "efficiently") and -j (filter the archive through bzip2). Although tar still
       reads and analyses the entire file, it doesn't pass on the large data blocks  having  only
       zeros  to filters and it also avoids writing large amount of zeros to the disk needlessly.
       But since tar can't create an archive from the standard input, you can't do this  in-place
       by  just  reading  ntfsclone standard output. Even more sadly, using the -S option results
       serious data loss since the end of 2004 and the GNU tar maintainers didn't  release  fixed
       versions until the present day.

   The Special Image Format
       It's  also  possible,  actually  it's recommended, to save an NTFS filesystem to a special
       image format.  Instead of representing unallocated blocks as holes, they are encoded using
       control  codes.  Thus,  the  image  saves space without requiring sparse file support. The
       image format is ideal for streaming filesystem images over the network  and  similar,  and
       can  be  used  as  a replacement for Ghost or Partition Image if it is combined with other
       tools. The downside is that you can't mount the image directly, you  need  to  restore  it
       first.

       To save an image using the special image format, use the -s or the --save-image option. To
       restore an image, use the -r or the --restore-image option.  Note  that  you  can  restore
       images from standard input by using '-' as the SOURCE file.

   Metadata-only Cloning
       One  of  the  features of ntfsclone is that, it can also save only the NTFS metadata using
       the option -m or --metadata and the clone still  will  be  mountable.  In  this  case  all
       non-metadata file content will be lost and reading them back will result always zeros.

       The  metadata-only image can be compressed very well, usually to not more than 1-8 MB thus
       it's easy to transfer for investigation, troubleshooting.

       In this mode of ntfsclone, NONE of the user's data is saved, including the resident user's
       data  embedded into metadata. All is filled with zeros.  Moreover all the file timestamps,
       deleted and unused spaces inside the metadata are filled with zeros.  Thus  this  mode  is
       inappropriate  for  example  for  forensic  analyses.   This  mode  may  be  combined with
       --save-image to create a special image format file instead of a sparse file.

       Please note, filenames are not wiped out. They might  contain  sensitive  information,  so
       think twice before sending such an image to anybody.

OPTIONS
       Below is a summary of all the options that ntfsclone accepts.  Nearly all options have two
       equivalent names.  The short name is preceded by - and the long name is preceded by  --  .
       Any single letter options, that don't take an argument, can be combined into a single com‐
       mand, e.g.  -fv is equivalent to -f -v .  Long named options can  be  abbreviated  to  any
       unique prefix of their name.

       -o, --output FILE
              Clone  NTFS  to  the  non-existent FILE.  If FILE is '-' then clone to the standard
              output.

       -O, --overwrite FILE
              Clone NTFS to FILE, overwriting if exists.

       -s, --save-image
              Save to the special image  format.  This  is  the  most  efficient  way  space  and
              speed-wise  if  imaging is done to the standard output, e.g. for image compression,
              encryption or streaming through a network.

       -r, --restore-image
              Restore from the special image format specified by SOURCE argument. If  the  SOURCE
              is '-' then the image is read from the standard input.

       -n, --no-action
              Test  the  consistency of a saved image by simulating its restoring without writing
              anything. The NTFS  data  contained  in  the  image  is  not  tested.   The  option
              --restore-image must also be present, and the options --output and --overwrite must
              be omitted.

       --rescue
              Ignore disk read errors so disks having bad sectors, e.g. dying disks, can be  res‐
              cued  the most efficiently way, with minimal stress on them. Ntfsclone works at the
              lowest, sector level in this mode too thus more data can be rescued.  The  contents
              of  the  unreadable  sectors  are filled by character '?' and the beginning of such
              sectors are marked by "BadSectoR\0".

       -m, --metadata
              Clone ONLY METADATA (for NTFS experts). Only cloning to a (sparse) file is allowed,
              unless used the option --save-image is also used.  You can't metadata-only clone to
              a device.

       --ignore-fs-check
              Ignore the result of the filesystem consistency check. This option is allowed to be
              used  only  with the --metadata option, for the safety of user's data. The clusters
              which cause the inconsistency are saved too.

       -t, --preserve-timestamps
              Do not wipe the timestamps, to be used only with the --metadata option.

       --new-serial, or

       --new-half-serial
              Set a new random serial number to the clone. The serial number is a 64  bit  number
              used to identify the device during the mounting process, so it has to be changed to
              enable the original file system and the clone to be mounted at the same time on the
              same computer.

              The  option  --new-half-serial  only  changes  the upper part of the serial number,
              keeping the lower part which is used by Windows unchanged.

              The options --new-serial and --new-half-serial can only be used when cloning a file
              system of restoring from an image.

              The serial number is not the volume UUID used by Windows to locate files which have
              been moved to another volume.

       -f, --force
              Forces ntfsclone to proceed if the filesystem is  marked  "dirty"  for  consistency
              check.

       -q, --quiet
              Do not display any progress-bars during operation.

       -h, --help
              Show a list of options with a brief description of each one.

EXIT CODES
       The exit code is 0 on success, non-zero otherwise.

EXAMPLES
       Clone NTFS on /dev/hda1 to /dev/hdc1:

              ntfsclone --overwrite /dev/hdc1 /dev/hda1

       Save an NTFS to a file in the special image format:

              ntfsclone --save-image --output backup.img /dev/hda1

       Restore an NTFS from a special image file to its original partition:

              ntfsclone --restore-image --overwrite /dev/hda1 backup.img

       Save an NTFS into a compressed image file:

              ntfsclone --save-image -o - /dev/hda1 | gzip -c > backup.img.gz

       Restore an NTFS volume from a compressed image file:

              gunzip -c backup.img.gz | \
              ntfsclone --restore-image --overwrite /dev/hda1 -

       Backup  an  NTFS  volume  to a remote host, using ssh. Please note, that ssh may ask for a
       password!

              ntfsclone --save-image --output - /dev/hda1 | \
              gzip -c | ssh host 'cat > backup.img.gz'

       Restore an NTFS volume from a remote host via ssh. Please note, that ssh  may  ask  for  a
       password!

              ssh host 'cat backup.img.gz' | gunzip -c | \
              ntfsclone --restore-image --overwrite /dev/hda1 -

       Stream an image file from a web server and restore it to a partition:

              wget -qO - http://server/backup.img | \
              ntfsclone --restore-image --overwrite /dev/hda1 -

       Clone an NTFS volume to a non-existent file:

              ntfsclone --output ntfs-clone.img /dev/hda1

       Pack  NTFS  metadata  for  NTFS experts. Please note that bzip2 runs very long but results
       usually at least 10 times smaller archives than gzip on a sparse file.

              ntfsclone --metadata --output ntfsmeta.img /dev/hda1
              bzip2 ntfsmeta.img

              Or, outputting to a compressed image :
              ntfsclone -mst --output - /dev/hda1 | bzip2 > ntfsmeta.bz2

       Unpacking NTFS metadata into a sparse file:

              bunzip2 -c ntfsmeta.img.bz2 | \
              cp --sparse=always /proc/self/fd/0 ntfsmeta.img

KNOWN ISSUES
       There are no known problems with ntfsclone.  If you think you have found  a  problem  then
       please send an email describing it to the development team: ntfs-3g-devel@lists.sf.net

       Sometimes  it  might  appear  ntfsclone  froze if the clone is on ReiserFS and even CTRL-C
       won't stop it. This is not a bug in ntfsclone, however it's due to ReiserFS being extreme‐
       ly inefficient creating large sparse files and not handling signals during this operation.
       This ReiserFS problem was improved in kernel 2.4.22.  XFS, JFS and ext3  don't  have  this
       problem.

AUTHORS
       ntfsclone was written by Szabolcs Szakacsits with contributions from Per Olofsson (special
       image format support) and Anton Altaparmakov.  It was ported to ntfs-3g  by  Erik  Larsson
       and Jean-Pierre Andre.

AVAILABILITY
       ntfsclone is part of the ntfs-3g package and is available at:
       http://www.tuxera.com/community/

SEE ALSO
       ntfsresize(8) ntfsprogs(8) xfs_copy(8) debugreiserfs(8) e2image(8)

ntfs-3g 2015.3.14AR.1                     February 2013                              NTFSCLONE(8)

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