Clone brand new laptop ssd to external


I'd like to know how to make a 100% clone of 512 GB - M.2 SSD TCG Opal Encryption 2, NVMe drive installed in my laptop to an external drive - so that:

  • I can boot the laptop from the external drive if needed
  • I can restore the laptop drive with the previously cloned copy

The user case scenario is truly a basic one :slight_smile: I got a thinkpad t480s from work. It has windows 10 Pro preinstalled. I don't want it there. I mean at all and want convert the whole drive to manjaro. But, when once a year i have to bring this laptop to the IT at work I'd like to restore it to the windows state and back again to linux when I can.

The "boot from clone copy" option I mentioned would be useful If I need to log in from time to time from the windows environment to "show myself" in the local network.

Is there any approach I can try here? Please note - replacing the drive with a personal one is not an option.

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use timeshift

Hi Stephane. Could you evaluate?
Given I want o clone a machine with only windows inside I'm not sure how could I do that. And how would timeshift allow me to boot from the clone?
Would it keep track of all windows / lenovo recoveries etc?

I came to the newbie corner for a reason :slight_smile:

you want to copy all the disk it's not the same
only a clonezilla can do that , be careful size a UUID partitions are the same , at the end
shutdown and retire external

Grub can boot from external but required a specific install

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Any hints on how to do it with clonezilla? And what special install I need for grub?

Probably preferable not to clone ... as the installer recognizes the ssd and makes certain system configs based upon that. Cloning is fine ... just know you also have some legwork afterwards.
So I still see backing up, clean install, move back as probably easiest.
[Id rather tick some boxes and change my panel than muck around in fstab and sysctl ..]

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you can't boot correctly with 2 identicals UUIDs , you don't know which disks will be read/write...

Stephane, would you be so kind and write a step-by-step guide do that all of this would be possible?
For me cloning / copying are synonyms.
I'd really appreciate that.
Thank you

The idea of taking a snapshot of the system/files exactly and storing then pasting it over current system ... thats cloning.

When you make a duplicate of all of your photos then thats just copying.

[a 'clone' of the whole body ... or 'copying' the stomach for transplant elsewhere]

..sorta.. make sense ?

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Well yes, but that I'd still say I'm after cloning not copying.

Now the ssd is in factor state with windows 10 preinstalled - I want to clone that state somewhere else, than clean this drive, proceed with my manjaro install and WHEN I have to, I'll copy / deploy / install what I cloned before so that it looks like there is only windows and no traces of linux.

Actually I'm not really into sematics here. I'd like to know how to do something so that I can keep a 100% copy/clone/whatever on a external drive with a possibilty to revert back to it when needed. Keeping in mind, in the mean time a completly different OS will run whole laptop.

For example - im not sure if a copy - like with the photos example - can restore all mbr / recovery partitions / etc.
I need those restorable as I wipe my whole drive completly.

OEM Computers running W8 onwards have an EFI capsule containing the windows activation string. You don't actually need to clone the drive for recovery of that OS in the future. You can download an install media for W10 from the MS website and use that which would save the pain of installing a April/October Update over the top.

Any drivers that are missing can be sourced from the Lenovo website but again the majority will be available from Windows Update.

If you insist on cloning the drive, make sure whatever you use supports nvme devices properly, check if clonezilla does. if not, and the drive is recognised by manjaro live media you could actually use dd from the terminal. dd will do the same as clonezilla but you need to make sure the destination drive is of equal size or larger or the clone will fail.

Third party paid option I know works with nvme and all the hidden windows partitions - Acronis True Image 2019


Now it starts to be more clear, thank you :slight_smile:

So, since I only need a win10 iso from Microsoft to restore the laptop to original state I got that covered.

Than, how can I proceed with make a copy / snapshot (or whatever) of the drive, after a separate admin account was set for Windows by my IT (I have my own admin as well), and I still want to wipe the drive completly but keep an option to restore it to the state before wipe ?

I may be using inproper terms (wipe / clone / copy) - sorry for that, but here is what I have and what I'd like to have.
I have:
Laptop with Windows 10 Pro on a nvme ssd with 2 admin accounts - one created by IT at work, one mine.

I want:
Backup current state of the laptop to an external drive.
Install manjaro as the only OS on the laptop and manage it by myself

When needed restore the laptop to current state (of what I have now).

Couple of years ago I was simply swapping drives. IT guys did what then wanted on the original, I replaced it with my own, and when needed I was changing physical drives, for example for checkups.

so it's a work laptop? either way you'll need to clone it then as using the W10 ISO alone won't restore whatever customisations or accounts your work IT put in place.

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