USB Bare Metal Restore: Advanced Partitioning



This article gets you started with the Advanced Partitioning schemes available in the Datto USB BMR environment. It assumes that you have already completed the steps in USB Bare Metal Restore: Booting the target machine from USB, and that you are in Advanced Partitioning.

Linux Partitioning

If you are performing a Bare Metal Restore of a Linux system, keep the following differences in mind while you go through this process:

  • The file system type will be ext2, ext3, ext4, or xfs, unless the partition is for swap, in which case the file system type will automatically populate in the partitioning interface.
  • If there is only one partition, it will be bootable by default.
  • If there is a separate /boot partition, set it to be bootable, and make sure it is the first partition listed.

Figure 1 - Linux system partitioning

Getting started

At this point in the process, you should be looking at the window as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2 - Advanced Partitioner

Figure 3 shows the Advanced Partitioner UI. See below for an explanation of the various options.

Figure 3
 - Advanced Partitioner UI

A. sda is an example of a physical drive.

B. sdc1 is an example of a partition on the physical drive sdc.

C. Once you've clicked on a physical drive, the partition table is shown in this section. You can click on the partition name to see details in the window below.

D. Click the Update button to save your changes along the way. This button does not commit the changes or delete any data.

E. The Delete button deletes the selected partition. You will be asked to confirm this action.

F. The Commit button commits the changes. Do not click this button until you are done editing your partitions.

G. The Reset All button reverts all changes back to the existing disk structure.

If you do not see your expected drive structure in this view, troubleshoot that before continuing with this process.

If all of your arrays and drives are showing up as expected, determine if you want to restore to the entire disk, or restore just an OS or data partition. Then, proceed to the appropriate section below. If you are restoring both, start with the OS partition section, and then follow the procedure in the data partition section.

Setting up an OS partition

Your next steps depend on whether you want your target machine to use Master Boot Record or GUID Partitioning Table (GPT). The advantages of GPT include EFI booting and creating volumes over 2.2 TB in size. Make sure that you have hardware that supports EFI before you choose this option.

Setting up an MBR OS Partition

To set up an MBR OS partition, follow these steps:

Delete the existing OS partition and any existing system reserved partition, as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4 - Delete a partition

Create only the OS partition in MBR format. Set the size to be 20% larger than the OS drive that you are restoring. Quick Format the partition as active/bootable, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5 - Creating an OS Partition (Windows)

Click Add to continue. Then, set the Restore Volume to the volume you are restoring from.

If you need to create a data partition, go to the Setting up a data partition section below.

If you are done with partitioning, click Commit.

Then, proceed to the article USB BMR: Data Transfer.


Setting up GPT OS partition

To set up a GPT OS partition, follow these steps:

Delete all partitions involved in the boot process. This includes the EFI system partition (512 MB), the MSR partition (128 MB), and the Windows partition.

On the physical drive that you want to use for the OS, set the partition scheme to GUID Partition Table, as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6 - GUID Partition Table

Create a primary GUID partition in EFI format with a FAT32 file system. The size must be exactly 512 MB. It can be tricky to set the size. Use the slider bar and the left and right arrow keys to get the exact partition size. See Figure 7.

Figure 7 - EFI Partition

Create a primary Microsoft Reserved (MSR) partition that is exactly 128 MB in size. See Figure 8.

Figure 8 - Microsoft Reserved Partition

Create the OS partition as the Primary boot partition. Set the file system to Microsoft Basic Data and file system type to ntfs. Check in Quick Format, and Active/Bootable. Set the size to at least 20% more storage space than the system you are restoring. See Figure 9.

Figure 9 - OS Partition

Click Add to add the partition. You will see the window as shown in Figure 10.

Figure 10 - Partition Scheme

Set the restore volume on the OS drive to the OS drive that you are restoring from.

If you need to create a separate data partition, go to the section Setting up a data partition.

If you are done with partitioning, click Commit. Then, proceed to the article USB BMR: Data Transfer.

Setting up a data partition

To set up the data partition, follow these steps:

Delete the existing data partitions that you wish to overwrite, as shown in Figure 11.

Create the new partition scheme in MBR or GUID format, as desired. See Figure 12.

Figure 11 - Setting the Partition Scheme

Choose NTFS for the file system, and do a Quick Format. Make the size at least 20% larger than the existing data set that you want to restore. See Figure 5.

Figure 12 - Adding a data partition

Click the Update button to apply the partition changes, and then click the Commit button.

If you want to set up another data partition, repeat the steps in this section.

If you are done with partitioning, click Commit. Then, proceed to the article USB BMR: Data Transfer.

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