i'm doing this with my notebook.

Great.  What kind of drive?  And have you actually
had to do a restore?

some used 80GB 3.5" drive (Seagate) + noname USB-IDE jack (true noname, nothing written on it). the latter costed 6$ new, including disk power supply.

works very well.

i don't make any partitions on it, just

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/da0 bs=1m count=1

to clear things up

newfs -m 0 -O1 -i 16384 -b 4096 -f 512 -U /dev/da0

options for max of space, not performance, as i backup 120GB notebook drive.

then to make a copy i do:

mount -o noatime /dev/da0 /root/copy
cd /root/copy
rsync -avrlHpogDtS --delete --force --exclude-from=/root/copy.exclude / .
umount /root/copy

my copy.exclude file looks like that (change to your needs:


the /OLD file are on copy drive, not master, just to be able to have many generations done by cp -lpR

after copying first time you have to

bsdlabel -B da0

WARNING: when booting from copy, get to single user and fix fstab to have /dev/da0 as root.

other remarks: keep the copy plugged only when copying, then store in safe place :)
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