asqwerth wrote:I'm not sure if this is a practical solution for you since your home partition is at least 65 GB and I deal mainly with partitions no larger than 20GB, but here is a simple but time-consuming way: Run Gparted from another distro on your hard disk (ie, a distro that is not on the partition you wish to backup) or from a live disk, to carry out resizing, copy and paste operations:
1. create a partition on your spare drive such that the size of the new partition is just slightly bigger than the size of the partition (your root, home etc partitions) to be backed up.
2. right click on the partition to be copied (in the Gparted interface) and select "copy" in the context menu.
3. right click on the partition in the spare disk you are using to store the backup and select "paste" . It'll take some time but the copy will be made.
4. then, resize the backup partition to make it smaller - I reduce the size to just a little bigger than the used portion of the partition.
5. partition your new disk so that the destination partition is bigger than the resized backup partition.
6. copy over the backup partition to your new partition.
If your home partition is on a separate partition as your root partition, you'll have to repeat the process. If all your music, pics, documents and other data files are all stored elsewhere, it's likely your root and home partitions aren't that big and the process won't take that long. However, if your intention is to back up your large data partition, you might want to use one of the other recommendations in this thread.
I have used the cut and paste method to back up 6 to 7 distros in one sitting, when I decided to do some shifting and resizing of the partitions on my hard drive. I pasted them all back later without any problems. Even their UUID identities didn't change (I checked with blkid) after pasting back except for the relocated swap partition.
Grub has to be updated. I didn't touch my distro that holds the controlling grub, so I just booted into that to do so.
If you are transferring your home and root partitions to a fresh hard drive that's going to be your replacement drive in your computer, I think you'll need to install grub in your new drive afterwards. you could probably use the tools on the live Mepis disk, PartedMagic or SystemRescue to reinstall grub.
Again, since I have a copy of my home data, would I need to copy that, or just the root partition? My backup drive is only half the size of the main drive.
Or should I take out the backup drive and just partition the new drive and copy directly to it? Then once the copying is done, remove the old drive and boot to the new drive?