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Preparing for a Fedora 19 laptop installation

The safest way to migrate from F18 to F19 on a laptop is to first
extract its hard drive and use dd and ddrescue to copy everything to a
very large disk on another system. You'll need at least as much free
space on that disk as the size of the laptop's drive -- 256 GB in this

        # fdisk -l /dev/sda > /backup-path/F18-fdisk.txt
        # dd if=/dev/sda of=/backup-path/F18-mbr.img count=1
        # ddrescue -v /dev/sda1 /backup-path/F18-part1.img
        # ddrescue -v /dev/sda2 /backup-path/F18-part2.img
        # ddrescue -v /dev/sda5 /backup-path/F18-part5.img

In my case the last line took just under two hours with an eSATA
external drive connection for the 193 GB /home partition that
is /dev/sda5. The nice part about using ddrescue to back up partitions
like this is that you can mount their image files using the -o loopback

        # mount -t ext4 -o loop /backup-path/F18-part3.img /mnt
        # mount -t ext4 -o loop /backup-path/F18-part1.img /mnt/boot
        # mount -t ext4 -o loop /backup-path/F18-part5.img /mnt/home

and reassemble a virtual copy of your laptop's hard drive. The
permissions for all those files will be correct, but they will probably
have different uid/gid ownerships because /etc/passwd and /etc/group are
different on the laptop and storage host machines.

If something goes disastrously wrong during the F19 installation, you
can restore the contents of your laptop's hard drive very precisely
using those dd and ddrescue images. Just reverse the outfile and infile
orders on the command lines. This is especially true for the Master Boot
Record (MBR):

        # dd if=/backup-path/F18-mbr.img of=/dev/sda count=1


One thing I've learned already is that a Fedora 19 x86_64 Live DVD does
not boot on my W700 ThinkPad. It thinks there's "No valid operating
system". Not sure why this is because the sha256sum for the ISO file
matches the value in the CHECKSUM file. That means the Live DVD's boot
code itself is wrong for my ThinkPad. A side-effect of F19's UEFI
compliance perhaps?

The Fedora 19 x86_64 NetInstall CD boots and tests its integrity just
fine. So does the Fedora 19 x86_64 Installation DVD. When I'm done
backing up that fifth partition, I'll re-install the hard drive in my
ThinkPad and boot with the Fedora 19 x86_64 NetInstall CD and point it
to my local copy of the F19 release repo on my big ZFS RAID6 array.


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