This guide will help you create a complete disk-image backup of your linx/lamina tablet.
Technically, it should work for any x86-based tablet with UEFI. It'll also work for regular PCs though some parts will be obviously different.
Disclaimer + tip
This guide deals with data recovery on an image basis. If you accidentally recover from an image after making some changes that you wish to keep, your data will be lost - the system's state including disk content will be returned to the time at which the backup was taken. Make sure you know you have nothing important on the device that you wish to recover an image to.
It is possible to interrupt the backup or recovery when inside clonezilla at any point by pressing CTRL+C multiple times or simply by force-shutdown by holding down the power button. Generally, clonezilla will prompt you if you want to rerun the whole process or if you just want to shut the system down. Please note that doing this during a recovery will leave your system in broken state where another - successful/uninterrupted recovery will be the only way to make the system work again
This backup is perhaps not suited for individual file recovery, but it's perfect in case you want to experiment with your device (install linux or try some crazy stuff with your system that could make it unbootable or potentially cause severe data loss).
This way, you will be able to create a restore point where you will be able to go "back in time" to exactly how your device was at the moment of the restore point creation. Unlike windows' own restore points, this method of backup is foolproof as it's stored elsewhere than on the disk you will be experimenting with and doesn't depend on windows being bootable - so accidentally overwriting your eMMC storage won't affect you.
It is technically possible - and not that difficult - to do this using wifi + otg keyboard, therefore you can actually avoid the need for a usb hub; for now however, I will assume you have a usb hub and go with the easier (and faster) method.
It is actually also possible to use your microSD card for this, but I prefer something you can then also easily plug into a different computer and make a secondary copy of.
Things you will need:
- your tablet, preferrably fully charged
- usb hub
- usb keyboard
- 2 usb drives or 1 drive with two partitions. Note that depending on compression used, you may want to have a somewhat large usb drive. I recommend a 32GB+ as everything should fit on such drive. In case of using two, one of them can be very small (256MB+) and the other should be big enough for you to store a complete copy of your device onto, so around 16-32GB)
Stage A: Preparation
Note: I assume you want to create a backup of a working system, so whilst I'm going to say "on your PC" in several steps below, you are completely free to do this on the actual tablet with a usb hub plugged in.
1) On your PC, go to the Clonezilla website and grab their latest iso from the "testing" branch. For the linx/lamina tablets (and I reckon for all of the bay trail tablets in general), you'll want the
i686-pae architecture, iso file. Leave the source set to auto, it doesn't really matter. I guess some of their other images/versions might also work, but this is the one I've had the most success with.
2) Once you have the iso, grab a copy of another useful tool - the "
Universal USB Installer". You can find it at the address below.
3) Plug in the usb that you want to boot from and start the Universal USB Installer. If you've never used this program before, it will look like an installation - but don't be worried. It's not installing anything; the GUI just looks this way.
4) After agreeing to the licensing, select "Clonezilla" in the first listbox. It's somewhat far down the list, in section called "Other distros alphabetical". Click "Browse" to select the image you've downloaded earlier, it should be something like
clonezilla-live-2.4.6-3-i686-pae.iso . Afterwards, select the destination drive (the usb you inserted earlier). I also recommend checking the "format the drive" checkbox as you'll rule out any possibility of bootloader being broken because of entries being stuck in the master boot record of the volume.
Create and wait for Universal USB Installer to do its magic. When it finishes, close all of the dialogues and use "safely eject USB drive" to dismount the disk from your system. Obviously not necessary if you're using usb hub on your tablet as you'll be needing the drive right after reboot anyway.
6) Plug in the second USB drive. You don't necessarily have to format it, but make sure it has enough free space. I also recommend making sure it's formatted as NTFS as that's the most hassle-free way of making the backup. FAT32 will also work but you'll have to specify a size splitting parameter to work around the 4GB filesize limit on FAT32 filesystems. TL;DR, NTFS is your best bet. ( There is some CPU overhead for linux implementation of NTFS, but it's negligible.). Once it's set up, unplug the "big" usb drive.
7) If you were using a different to PC to make the bootable usb flash disk with clonezilla, plug in the usb into your tablet's hub. Don't plug in the "big" usb yet, but make sure that the keyboard is connected, and reboot / power on your tablet.
8) Mash DEL or ESC to get into the boot menu. Navigate to the "Save & Exit" section using arrows and then navigate down the list to locate the UEFI: usb to make the tablet boot from your clonezilla usb. If you are having trouble (for example, the UEFI does not show your usb drive in the list), follow the "PHASE C" section from this thread, post #68 : http://cd-rw.org/t/linx-and-lamina-7-8-10-tablet-owners-thread-drivers-included/43/68 , the commands are exactly the same, as the efi boot file is always located in the same place (because of the specification).
9) Once you manage to bootstrap, you should see a screen similar to this one:
The offered resolutions may differ, but the 640x480 and 800x600 options should work just fine. Just press enter and wait for a while as the linux core loads.
10) Once the clonezilla distro loads (takes about 60 seconds from most drives), it will ask you about language and keymap - personally, I just leave both as they are; "English" and "Don't touch keymap". After a few moments, you should be prompted with an option to "Start Clonezilla". Confirm it.
11) On the next screen, select the "device-image" mode.
12) On the next screen, select "local_dev". (Alternatively, you can use a samba server, if you want to use wifi or if you have a usb lan card, but I'm sticking with usb local device for this guide. There would be several extra steps but they're all somewhat self explanatory). Once you select local_dev, Clonezilla will prompt you to plug in your device.
13) As per the text, before confirming, plug in the "big usb" (the one where you plan to store the copied backup). If it's a regular usb flash disk, give it several seconds and then confirm that you have plugged in the local device. If it's something more heavy-weight like a usb harddisk, give it some time to spin up before confirming that you have plugged the device in. Clonezilla will then rule out "busy" devices and present you with a list of partitions on various devices that you can use. (Note, sometimes clonezilla will instead present you with an entirely black window where you can see the currently available devices - the list updates every 3 seconds. Press CTRL+C on the keyboard to close this list and continue with the procedure). You should be able to easily spot the "big" usb - by the offered partition size. Highlight the proper option and confirm it. It will generally be at the very bottom of the list.
14) On the next screen, select the directory you want to use for clonezilla backups. In general, you can just press enter and leave it in the "Top level directory" AKA the root. Clonezilla will then list the currently attached filesystems, just press enter to go to the next screen.
15) On the next screen, select the "Expert" mode.
Stage B: Backup
1) On the following screen, select "savedisk".
2) You will be prompted with a possibility to rename the output folder. You can leave it as-is but I recommend giving it a name that you'll immediately know what it means. For example, something like "prior-to-crazy-linux-experiments". Avoid using spaces or weird symbols - instead make use of dashes and/or underscores.
3) Highlight the internal storage of the tablet. It usually has some weird name like "mmcblk0" (mmc block device 0). Make sure only this one is highlighted - you can see the highlight by the star in the square brackets. To toggle your selection, use the spacebar, so that you end with just the mmcblk0 device highlighted before pressing enter.
4) On the next screen, leave the priority as-is.
5) On the next screen, leave the options as they are. Optionally, you can opt to toggle-enable the removal of page/hibernation file, but remember that these are important to w8/10 due to "fast boot" - hibernation file is being used for storage of pre-loaded binaries that are used to speed up the boot process. I recommend leaving it off.
6) On the next screen, select your compression. Mostly, z1p (fast, decent) and z5p (slow, but much better compression) are good. If you want to make your backup as fast as possible and have enough free space, select z0 (no compression).
7) On the next screen,
- enter "100000" if your "big" usb drive uses NTFS. Othervise
- leave the value as-is ( "4096" ), if your "big" usb drive uses FAT32.
8) On the next screen, select "skip checking/repairing the source file system"
9) On the next screen, select "No, skip checking the saved image.". Optionally select checking the saved image - but keep in mind that this will increase the time it takes to perform this activity - all the while your tablet is running from battery and generally using a lot of the CPU.
10) On the next screen, select "Not to encrypt the image". Optionally select whichever option you like, depending upon whether or not you have an sensitive data on the device. Encryption will add an additional set of steps related to the password, but it's very self-explanatory and I will not delve into it here.
11) On the last screen, select "Do nothing when the clone finishes". Optionally select whichever option you like.
12) after pressing enter, clonezilla will ask you a few more times if you are sure you want to proceed. type "y" and confirm.
--- wait for clonezilla to finish its magic, and then power off or restart your device depending upon the option you selected in step 20
Yay! Backup done! You should now have a folder on your "big USB" drive. I recommend making another copy of this folder to a safe location, just in case.
Stage C: Recovery
This guide will help you recover your device from a backup. The guide assumes you took the backup as per the instructions in the first part of this post.
Initially, carry out the "Stage A: Preparation" part of this guide, as they are the same regardless of whether you're restoring or creating a backup. Obviously, you can skip the steps that you've already done, so for example don't reformat your usb drive if you have the backup on it. Once you finish with the preparation stage and get to the "main" clonezilla menu, you should be prompted with a set of options.
1) Select "restoredisk"
2) On the next screen, select the image you wish to use for the restoration. If you have pointed clonezilla to the right device and directory, it should already show you a list of valid images for restoration. If you only have one, simply press enter.
3) On the next screen, select the target device - the one you want to restore the image to, so for the tablets this will be the internal storage. It should probably be the only option on the list, but if not, it will again have that strange name, mmcblk0 (or similar).
4) On the next screen, you can actually leave all of the options as they are. Optionally, untoggle options
-g auto ,
-r . Since leaving them on doesn't harm anything, I recommend simply leaving everything as-is. Once you've made your choices, press enter.
5) On the next screen, select "Use the partition table from the image".
6) On the next screen, select "No, skip checking the image before restoring". Optionally - if you want to be sure - leave this option set to yes and proceed.
7) On the next screen, select "-p poweroff". Optionally select whichever option you like.
8) Press enter to confirm the helpful message from Clonezilla about how you can run this command from the commandline next time.
9) Clonezilla will ask several times if you are really sure you want to overwrite your tablet. If you are sure you set everything properly, press y and confirm.
10) The restoration process will begin. It will take some time. Don't be alarmed even if you see some red lines saying that some EFI changes have failed, this is normal and as far as I can tell it doesn't affect the restore in any way.
11) If you've selected poweroff option in one of the choices before, the tablet should power off when the procedure is done.
12) Unplug all the flash drives and boot! Everything is now the way it was when you created the backup.
If you have any questions, let me know and I'll try to update or fix up this guide, but it should be pretty complete. Phew!