I need OS-independent, bootable software that can create full disk backups of bootable drives.

I'm going to use Microsoft Surface Pro 2 with Ubuntu: instead of dual-booting, I'll just erase Windows that comes with the device and install Ubuntu on it. Before that, I'll back up Windows, so, should anything go wrong with Ubuntu, I'll always have an option to restore Windows to its initial state, just as it was after the installation. I would also like to be able to back up Ubuntu in the same manner.

Software should have a compression of some kind, so that backup of 512 GB drive won't take up 512 GB, but less than 64 GB instead, so it will fit on widely available 64GB USB/micro-SDXC cards. I know it is doable, because Surface Pro 2 comes in a variety with 64GB disk, so there should be less than 64 GB of actual data, same goes for Ubuntu.

I'd like to install that backup software on a micro-SD or USB flash bootable drive and be able to put my backups there; it will be my all-in one rescue-and-restore drive. I'm looking into creating a multi-boot drive with all kinds of boot disks I would like to put on it.

I don't want to rely on proprietary software for that, so open-source is highly preferred, but is not a strict requirement: if a proprietary application does the job better, I'll consider it.

1 Answer 1


Try Clonezilla Live:

Clonezilla is a partition and disk imaging/cloning program similar to True Image® or Norton Ghost®. It helps you to do system deployment, bare metal backup and recovery.

  • Bootable from CD/USB
  • OS independent
  • free and open-source
  • disk to disk or disk to image clone

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Screenshots from http://clonezilla.org/

  • 1
    Forgot to say: last time I googled around, I found Clonezilla and used it, but I found it not without fault. I used some option or other that I thought would result in a usable backup, but actually didn't. I am not sure whether ny complain is legit, but it looked to me like there are to many confusing options: should I save local disk as an image or save local partitions as an image? Should I restore an image to local disk or local partitions? Some of the answers are wrong. May 3, 2014 at 16:49
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    I am ok with command line and pseudo-graphical interfaces, though. For a while I thought about modifying my Clonezilla image to streamline it by removing the unnecessary (for me) options, but never got around to doing it. So, now I am looking for other options to consider, but if I won't find a better one, I'll turn to CloneZilla. Should I update my question? May 3, 2014 at 16:52
  • OTOH, yours is a legitimate answer to this question and Clonezilla might be useful for others who will find this question. May 3, 2014 at 16:55
  • No other options and only 37 views in a month. That's sad :( Jun 4, 2014 at 20:51

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