Cloned Ubuntu 12.04 from defective WD 1TB to new Seagate 1TB using Clonezilla

The brand new Western Digital 1TB drive that I bought had developed a harmonic squeal which began about 2 days after I started installing software on it. It sounded like a high-pitched tuning fork.  Before returning this WD drive to the store for a refund, I would want to clone it sector-by-sector to a new Seagate 1TB drive. I had installed Linux Ubuntu 12.04.02 64-bit O/S on the WD drive and had also installed Zpanel web hosting control panel, with Apache web server, MySQL database server, Roundcube Webmail and Postfix / Dovecot email SMTP, POP3 and IMAP mail protocols. I needed to clone the WD onto the new Seagate replacement drive because I didn’t want to make a fresh install of everything (Ubuntu and the Zpanel package) going onto the new Seagate. So, I looked for a good cloning solution.

EaseUS To Do 3.0 booted nicely from CD, but it reported that it could not clone the entire disk-at-once (going disk-to-disk all in one step) because EaseUS reported that the source drive (WD) was larger than the destination drive (Seagate). The source disk had more than one partition. Instead of trying to clone each disk partition separately from source to target, I decide to look for a better cloning solution than EaseUS.

I downloaded the 64-bit ubuntu-based version of Gparted Live, which I read that I could use to resize the source partitions on the WD drive, and hopefully to make them a little smaller (combined) so that a cloning program might allow me to do disk-to-disk at-once, or at least clone the separate partitions one at a time without exceeding the target Seagate total disk size.

The operating partition on the WD drive was quite empty. Probably only 10 percent of the partition actually contained files. I thought that I could use the Gparted Live CD to shrink the operating partition on the WD, and then try to use Clonezilla cloning software to clone the WD partitions (one at a time) over to the new empty Seagate Drive. Little did I know that the Gparted might not be necessary for my particular job.

When I finished burning the Clonezilla Live AMD-64 (64-bit) ISO onto a blank CD (creating a boot utility CD), I decided to try again cloning disk-to-disk at-once without first using Gparted to shrink the OS partition on the WD source drive. CLONEZILLA WORKED!!! It actually reported that the WD source drive was exactly 1.0 Terabyte in total size and that the Seagate drive was 1.2 Terabytes in total size!!! The source drive was actually larger than the destination drive!!! This meant that there was absolutely no reason to resize and shrink any partitions on the WD source drive. EaseUS was wrong. Maybe the free version of EaseUS that I was using had a 1 TB limit and the new Seagate exceeded that self imposed limit! Who knows? Not sure. But, I love Clonezilla. It actually rebuilt the Grub2 boot loader and re-sized (expanded) the operating partition on the target drive to utilize the extra 0.2 terabytes of space located on the destination Seagate drive.

After cloning, I booted to the Seagate OS and everything works just fine — so far.

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