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#1 2022-03-23 16:59:49

Registered: 2016-07-18
Posts: 10

Clone System (Laptop --> Desktop)

Hey guys,

i use currently my Laptop with Arch for work and my Desktop with Windows for Gaming but i need more performance for my work (laptop is throttling to much because of heat).
So i bought a new 2 TB Nvme Disk and i would like to clone my current Laptop system on this Disk and then use it in my Desktop PC.

SSD in laptop is a Samsung 970 EVO 2 TB, New SSD is a WD SN850.
I noticed that fdisk shows "Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes" for the Samsung and "Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes" for the new WD SSD:
Logical is the same, so it shouldn't make any issues, right?

My system uses UEFI (2G EFI Partition), SWAP (48 GB) and the rest is an encrypted Luks Partition with btrfs on top.

I thought about copying the partition table, creating the filesystems and LUKS and the just copy data but then i realized that it is probably much easier to clone the whole disk via dd (or should i clone paritions instead, if yes, why?).

Most important question:
Can i boot arch from an usb stick and just clone the whole disk with dd? I guess i have to boot from usb in my Desktop also and then recreate the EFI entries...right?

Less important question:
I have another NVMe in my Desktop with windows. I am not sure how UEFI actually works. How can i choose between Windows and Linux on boot if both are on their own SSDs. Via grub entry or via EFI boot?

Least important:
I do also have a second GPU that is currently not in use. Does anybody here run Windows in a VM on  Arch and passes an own SSD and own GPU to the VM? Does that actually work fast & stable?

Thanks guys.


#2 2022-03-23 21:20:13

From: Cruise Ship Earth
Registered: 2012-02-13
Posts: 25

Re: Clone System (Laptop --> Desktop)

I recently did something similar. I would assume that the 'boot from USB and dd the drive' method would be the smoothest, especially since both drives are the same size. This will copy the partitioning, data, EFI, encryption all in once piece. Worst case scenario is that it doesn't work and you start over with a more manual method, but this I would say is a good place to start.

I believe most EFI systems scan all drives for an EFI partition, then it scans those for EFI stubs that it adds to the boot menu selector. Dual booting Windows and Linux with EFI has been a bit of a pain in my experience, but doable. may be work looking into if things don't go super smoothly in that regard.

I have done a 'direct disk passthrough' for a VirtualBox and it was running pretty well. I've not attempted the same for a GPU though, I'd assume you'll want to configure X11 to not use that card so that your virtualiser can grab full access to it.


#3 2022-03-23 21:26:51

Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 29,350

Re: Clone System (Laptop --> Desktop)

Cloning 2 TB with dd is easier?  Are you using most of that 2TB space?  If not, moving the actual data would be far easier than cloning terrabytes of "empty" space.

"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman


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