To my knowledge Windows does not like being booted from USB devices and doesn't include the drivers/configuration to do so. If you wanted to check you can move the USB drive out of its case and run it directly on the SATA/IDE cable that your current drive is on which might give you better results.
Originally Posted by himrockffan
For what it's worth though if I wanted to duplicate a full install I wouldn't copy the partitions, I would copy the entire disk. That means the MBR and TOC would be included too ;) Generally I use dd and I think there are a few graphical apps to that if you are uncomfortable using it on the command line. I wouldn't blame you in that case, you get the drive order wrong and you write a blank disk to your current one!
You know, you have a point about not being able to boot from a copy. However, I AM trying to boot the same machine it's just from a different partition and on a different drive. Maybe the Windows software knows that and will not allow it to boot. A while back I did the same thing with '98 (see below) and it worked well for me. I could boot from the backup drive. But maybe XP won't allow that somehow. With that thought in mind it's all together possible that if I copied the backup (USB) back onto the primary (internal) it would then boot, thus restoring the entire system, which is the way I would prefer to do it but I'm not going to try that until I back up another way first.
I was dual booting some time ago and used the following command to copy everything, bit by bit. /backup was a FAT32 partition
primary partition onto the backup partition ...
find . -xdev | cpio -pBdmV /mnt/backup
They both were IDE HDDs and the backup would only boot, of course, if it were the master device on the bus.
I would think Pmagic is copying partitions in this way as well. Every single bit.
I am using a laptop and the backup HDD is an external IDE sent through USB and the linux kernel designates it as SCSI (sdb). I don't think I can use this backup drive as an internal device.
I'm doing it in kind of a dodgy way... I have XP Home on my MSI Wind, and it's inexplicably gone cuckoo, so I've reinstalled XP and set it up, and I want to backup the file system.
I booted up the netbook with a live cd, networked the netbook with my desktop, mounted the XP partition via sshfs, and I'm doing a "cp -av " of the whole lot. I figure if I do a recovery, I'll just clean out the NTFS partition and copy all the files back, so I don't see any problems with what I'm doing. It's just not very elegant.
What does anyone think about this?