patrick wrote:


> any other way of backing up a bootable partition so all files and
> links are preserved and ready when i blow it back on?
>


I use the following for making a copy of any directory tree (including full
partitions):

(cd source_dir; tar cvf - .)|(cd dest_dir; tar xvf -)

Since you're running off a cd, you mount your / partition to somewhere like
/mnt/hda1. Then, in your particular case, the command would be

(cd /mnt/hda1; tar cvf - .)|(cd /extern; tar xvf -)

The destination partition will of course have to be formatted with same
filesystem as the source partition before doing this.

To convince yourself this really is a full and correct image, try updating
your bootloader to boot into the copied / partion e.g root=/dev/hdc2 w/
GRUB and confirm everything is working as expected (not very scientific,
but it gave me peace of mind when I first tried this). I happen to have
everything under one / partition, though. If you have your /usr or /var in
separate partitions then this method will copy them as well, so YMMV.