Disaster Recovery

OK, you just had a disk crash. System will not boot, nothing! But you are prepared. You have a Clonezella backup of root and a backup of /home both on an external device. You also happen to have a spare HDD laying around. And, you have kept a bootable Mint USB flash drive.
?? How do you recovery your system ??

2 paritions, slap /home to one and / to the other, done.

  1. Install Mint, as usual.
  2. Replace both custom partitions with the ones from the images.
  3. Don’t replace the new /boot.

With BorgBackup this would’ve been much easier and safer, as all you would need to do is install Mint and extract the backup’s content to the new Mint installation, except the /boot folder. Done.


I have spent a several hours reading & testing but can not get my system restored. This is only a test. I did not really loose my system. I feel that I am close, but maybe barking up the wrong tree.
What I have done;
1 - Boot the live Mint USB and using Gparted prep the HDD. Deleted all the old partitions except /dev/sda1. Created new partitions for ‘/’ root, swap, and /home. Formatted root & /home to ext4.
2 - Using Clonezella, restored my backup root to /dev/sda2.
3 - Using Mint USB restored /home backup to /dev/sda5. Swap is on /dev/sda4.
4 - Build new MBR Grub to point to the restored root - Failed!
The closest I have come, easy one to follow, and made sense for my recovery was located at
at Via Chroot.

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The provided link shows the common way of dealing with GRUB2 on an external OS. If you follow each step as described, it will restore GRUB2, as requested.

What exactly do you mean by “disk crash”? It is not the same thing as system crash. A system crash is where the system fails to boot correctly and disk crash is where the disk does not load even onto the bios. One is a software problem and one hard ware problem.

In Mint if it is a software issue the easiest way of doing a recovery is by booting into the recovery mode - a full explanation is here from the Official Mint site - https://linuxmint-installation-guide.readthedocs.io/en/latest/boot_options.html That will recover the system back to when it was last used without problems, but may not recover any unsaved items. Nor will Timeshift as that will only restore from the last timeshift you did.

If the hard drive has failed the it is just a simple a matter of changing it and putting in a new drive and installing Mint and then using your back up to restore things. Again it will only restore from the point of your last back up and nothing more.

Mint is simple and there is always a simple answer to things with it, it is stable and robust and if things do go wrong with it, there are simple answers to repair it. Personally I am amazed at how complicated people make things on the internet and others accept them, rather than the simple answers which work every time.

I was thinking of a hardware disk crash. Where the system will not even read the hard drive.
Murphy’s Law. “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
And yes, if you know the answer, things seem simple.
I have installed Linux Mint several times to the new disk. And yes, it boot great every time.
And every time (5 now) I restore my Conezilla backup, the system will not boot.
Yes, simple. But it’s not working for me.

The Grub menu comes up.
I even get the LM logo. Then I get “Tpm tpm01 A tpm error(6) occurred attempting to read a pcr value”
“Welcome to emergency mode!”

So, maybe the best recovery is none! Just re-install.

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since clonezilla will make a backup of the entire disk, is there any particular reason you are only using it to clone root?

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More details.
Current HD is a 450 gig SSD. It is in dual boot mode. Windows 10 in /dev/sda2.
Root is at /dev/sda9. Root partition is 20 gigs. I know how to run update-grub b/c I had to add Windows 10 into the boot menu after installing Linux Mint 18.3.
So my thinking was why backup the entire 450 gigs when (1) I don’t want it all and (2) I want to recover the system, not the whole disk. Plus, it a lot easier & faster to backup 20 gigs vs 450 gigs.
The recovery disk is a HDD 500 gigs. No dual boot. I try restoring to /dev/sda2 and also to /dev/sda9. Re-install of Mint works just great. Every time! I then try restoring the backup on top of the new Mint install. I even try saving the boot directory from the install and replacing it after I finish the restore.

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I’m going to look into BorgBackup today. I am about to give up on Clonezilla.

I’m not sure I am using Grub or Grub2. Is there an easy way to tell on Mint 18.3?

OK, the line reads; “grub-install.real (GRUB) 2.02~beta2-36ubuntu3.14+linuxmint1”
so I suppose I have Grub2. Does it really matter what Grub I have. They both do the same thing, right?

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grub-install --version should work. from: here


I’m going to close this thread. I believe my restore procedure was faulted by 3 factors and therefore not a ‘true’ example of a disaster recovery.
A true recovery would be (IMO) recovering the disk in the same way that the it was or as the backup was taken.
Thanks to everyone who was trying to help.