Backup Experiments

In following up with my encryption experiments, I wanted to use the same virtual machine to do some backup experiments.  Here’s the basic thought:  I want to use the Redo Backup & Recovery CD to make an image of my virtual machine.  Then, I want restore that image on a brand new virtual machine.

It’s pretty straight forward.  Here are my notes…

Creating a Backup Drive

I added a new Virtual drive.  This drive will simulate a USB drive that I would normally use for backing up.  This drive won’t be “external” for the virtual machine, but it should work close enough.

Adding New Disk

I created a new disk as opposed to any existing disk that I had.

New Virtual Disk Dialog

I am not sure that these settings were super important.  I picked the VDI type.  I also picked dynamically allocated — that way I don’t have to know how much space I need and I don’t need to reserve a bunch of space that I won’t use.  I created a pretty large backup disk:

Virtual Disk Sizing

Using Redo Backup & Recovery

Next, I attached the Redo Backup & Recovery ISO to the virtual CD drive.

CD Image Selection

It boots to a Backup or Restore option screen…

Backup or Restore Screen

I tried to go through the backup, but unfortunately, I can’t at this point.  My new drive isn’t formatted or partitioned.  So, I went to the Disk Utility in the menu:

Opening the Disk Utility

I selected my “backup” drive on the left.  Then, I used the format button to format it.

Formatting the Drive

I kept the defaults for the formatting:

Format Options

Next, I created a partition:

Format Partition button

Again, I accepted the defaults other than giving it Name.

Create Partition

Backing Up

Now, I am ready to go back to that first backup/restore screen and proceed with backing up.

Backup or Restore Screen

I selected Backup of course.  Then, it asks which hard drive I want to backup.  For me, it was drive #1: that’s the one with Ubuntu 13.10 installed on it.

Drive Selection

I left both partitions selected to backup the whole drive.

Partition Selection Screen

Next, I selected the new Backup drive that I had created.  This is the point that I was stopped at until I formatted the drive.

Selecting Backup Drive

Then, the folder for that drive:

Folder for the backup

Lastly, a name for the backup:

Giving the Backup a Name

And, it’s off:

Backup Running

When it was done, it gave me the time — 7 min:

Backup Com[lete

New Computer

Now, it is time to restore my backup to make sure it is good.  So, I created a new virtual machine.  I tried to keep pretty much the same configuration.

New Restore Machine

I did create a different memory size for the machine, just so something would be slightly different.  I also created a different hard disk size (still dynamically allocated), so it would appear different from the original.

New Virtual Machine Drive Size

I attached the Redo Backup and Recovery ISO image to the CD drive.  And, I attached the existing virtual drive that I used for my backup disk on the other machine.

CD Attachment & Backup Drive


Now, I am ready to boot it and restore.  The Welcome screen comes up once it boots.

Redo Welcome Screen

Of course, I clicked Restore.  That brought me to selecting the drive that contained the backup: my backup drive that I attached from the other machine.

Selecting Source Drive for Restore

Next, I had to select the image file off that drive:

Selecting Restore Image

After that, it ran the restore.  It took it just over 5 minutes:

Restore Complete

New Machine Booting

Now, it is time to reboot, and see if we have a new machine!


The Redo program automatically ejects the CD.  You can’t see it since the drive is virtual, but if you look at the settings, you’ll see the ISO is no longer attached.  I just hit enter to continue…

Redo Rebooting

Fixing Boot Problems

Apparently, there is some problem with Grub.  When it booted up the first time, it wouldn’t start.  It just stuck like this:

Restore Machine Stuck Booting

To fix it, I opened a terminal (Menu > Accessories > Terminal).  Then, I ran these commands:

apt-get install python-software-properties
add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair && sudo apt-get update
apt-get install -y boot-repair && (boot-repair &)

That installed and brought up the boot repair program.

Boot-Repair program

I tried the Recommended repair button.  Unfortunately, that didn’t work because the base OS is 64-bit:

64-bit error message

So, I thought about downloading the Linux Secure disk.  I decided instead to use the Ubuntu Live CD that I had already downloaded.  I clicked “Try Ubuntu” and opened a terminal.  Then, I ran the same commands…

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair && sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && (boot-repair &)

And, it booted fine!  My secret file (from my encryption experiment) is in tact as well.

Restored Computer


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