Update: It appears JDK 7 API has drasctially changed over several iterations. The current javadoc doesn't contain the mentioned method.
dd, while an excellent tool to back drive / partition images, copies entire hard drive including unused blocks and even bad blocks (where possible). I have found another way to backup which not only creates an exact duplicate as far as operating system is concerned but also allows you to elongate and extract the remaining life out of your existing hard drive or, if you want, to retire it gracefully.
a. Use gzip An example command: dd if=/dev/hda1 bs=1k conv=sync,noerror | gzip -c | ssh -c blowfish user@hostname "dd of=filename.gz bs=1k" Notes: 1. gzip ensures less storage requirement for the image 2. blowfish algorithm is used while transferring the data because it reduces overhead, which leads to faster transfer, for the SSL connection
Behold the wonders of mdadm: mdadm --manage /dev/md1 --add /dev/sdb2 Notes: 1. Replace md1 with the name of the raid array 2. Replace sdb2 with the name of the drive
Sometimes a little code is worth a thousand words, no? mdadm --manage /dev/md1 --remove /dev/sdb2