Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2023 11:14 pm

Cloning to include unchanged 'empty' sectors

Fri Jan 27, 2023 12:30 am

I want to clone a 32 GB sd card containing a Raspberry Pi system,
so that at leisure I can do some search and possible recovery of some
Claws mail files that seem to have mysteriously disappeared.

I've run SDCardCopier and got a bootable system from it, but I'm doubtful
that this 'clone' will contain exact copies of empty sectors and be of any use
for deleted file recovery. I'm also unsure that some other recommended cloners
will be any different.

Any firm knowledge and recommendations please, both as to the cloning and
for any public domain file recovery software? The latter's probably the
priority, now that I have the system copy to swap in (I'm using it now - seems fine),
though I'm still keen to get on top of the cloning question.

Posts: 3148
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:29 pm
Location: US

Re: Cloning to include unchanged 'empty' sectors

Fri Jan 27, 2023 1:33 am

dd will get you an exact copy, including the empty/unused sectors, but you can't copy live/running/mounted media with dd (it will perform the operation, but the result may not be a reliable copy). You'll have to boot from another SD card, place the SD card you want to clone in a USB adapter, and then use dd to copy it from there.

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