I’m assuming you have a Clonezilla Live CD or USB stick, a disk image in Clonezilla format on some portable medium (possibly the same as Clonezilla Live), a few hard disks to be imaged and a computer with sufficiently many IDE controllers and cables. Also you should be somewhat familiar with the command line. You have to mount the partition with the disk images and call a special script to do the partitioning. It should be possible to change the setup so that no command line usage is necessary, though. That’s on my TODO list.
- Install all the disks following Hard disk replacement howto. Of course there may be no operating system or boot loader on the disks, so just make sure you pass steps 1 through 4. Make sure that there are no unrelated disks in the computer.
- Boot clonezilla Live in default mode (press enter in the boot menu)
- Choose your language and keyboard layout when you’re prompted with the menu. Usually you’ll want english as language, then “select keymap from arch list” and choose qwertz → german → standard → latin1 (except if you have a non-standard or non-german keyboard, that is).
- Choose “start clonezilla”, “device-image” and “enter shell”.
- Now it’s time to mount your image space. If you’re using the combined live/SE system you may check the name of the clonezilla disk with “mount”. There is some /dev/sdX1 mounted on /live/image. That X is your device letter. You then have to mount the second partition of that same disk on /mnt. So if /dev/sde1 is mounted on /live/image, you’ll do “mount /dev/sde2 /mnt”. Then proceed with “mount -o bind /mnt/home/partimag /home/partimag” to tell Clonezilla live that it should use the same images as SE.
- Partition the hard disks. There is a nice script for doing that, /mnt/root/partition. The disks you’re going to image are most likely all the ones with lower letters than your Clonezilla disk. So for above example you’ll try
For each successful partitioning it will print out a line with the chosen partition scheme and the approximate size of the disk. If the scheme is “small”, then the disk is too small for anything useful. If you get error messages there either is no disk with that letter or it’s broken. You can try other letters but be careful not to repartition your clonezilla disk (i.e. don’t call the partition script with the letter you have mounted in the previous step)! The partitioning script will likely deny you that operation, but it’s better to be careful here. When you’re done partitioning, do “exit” to return to the clonezilla menu.
- Choose “Expert”, “1-2-mdisks”, just press enter at the USB disk prompt, then choose the image you want to restore and select all the disks you’ve successfully partitioned to a non-“small” scheme (press space bar to select in that menu and enter when you’re done).
- Do not change anything in the complicated long menu that comes up next but just press enter. In the next screen choose “-k” to not create a partition table on the disks. Choose anything in the next screen and then confirm twice by pressing ‘y’ to start the cloning.
- Watch the scene unfold. You may have to press enter several times and it may be confusing due to messages from different disks flowing into each other. If you suspect something is hanging, just press enter. If red text appears something is seriously wrong. When it’s done you may choose to do some more stuff or shut down.
The disks prepared like this should be ready to be used in any computer.