How do I copy my Manjaro installation (and Windows) when replacing SSD to the new one?

For disclosure, I have never replaced internal storage device before.
The laptop I am using dual boots on Manjaro KDE and Windows 10. I read some article on reddit that says that you don’t need to reinstall Linux when replacing SSD for a reason that has to do with OFC something. I find it difficult to understand because Linux installation is stored in disk, if this disk is removed out of the laptop, the new disk won’t know the content of the old one.

In case it helps, here is the result of parted -l

Model: WDC PC SN730 SDBPNTY-256G-1006 (nvme)
Disk /dev/nvme0n1: 256GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: gpt
Disk Flags:

Number  Start   End    Size    File system     Name                          Flags
 1      1049kB  274MB  273MB   fat32           EFI system partition          boot, esp
 2      274MB   290MB  16.8MB                  Microsoft reserved partition  msftres
 3      290MB   124GB  124GB                   Basic data partition          msftdata
 5      124GB   156GB  31.5GB  ext4                                          legacy_boot
 6      156GB   245GB  89.1GB  ext4
 7      245GB   256GB  10.5GB  linux-swap(v1)                                swap
 4      256GB   256GB  540MB   ntfs            Basic data partition          hidden, diag

This is correct. Whatever you read on reddit was either misinterpreted or plain wrong.

What you probably want is something like disk cloning, such as dd or clonezilla or similar.

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I see, so the right term is cloning rather than reinstall.
Now since there are two OS’s in my drive, when I clone it using whatever software you mentioned, does it take care of the entire partition present in the SSD (meaning the Windows part is included)? If this is true, then I don’t need to clone Manjaro and Windows partitions separately.

Yeah it should be … a clone.
As long as the filesystem, etc is supported … note the list on the wiki
For example, fsarchiver

  • FSArchiver — A safe and flexible file-system backup and deployment tool
    • Support for basic file attributes (permissions, owner, …).
    • Support for multiple file systems per archive.
    • Support for extended attributes (they are used by SELinux).
    • Support the basic file system attributes (label, uuid, block-size) for all Linux file systems.
    • Support for NTFS filesystem (ability to create flexible clones of Windows partitions).
    • Checksumming of everything which is written in the archive (headers, data blocks, whole files).
    • Ability to restore an archive which is corrupt (it will just skip the current file).
    • Multi-threaded lzo, gzip, bzip2, lzma compression.
    • Support for splitting large archives into several files with a fixed maximum size.
    • Encryption of the archive using a password. Based on blowfish from libcrypto from OpenSSL.
    • Support backup of a mounted root filesystem (-A option).
    • Can be found on the System Rescue CD. || fsarchiver

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And by clone, it means it doesn’t just move the files but also actually ‘clone’ the OS to the new storage, right? Sorry if this is a noob question.

Everything as it was … OS, files, permissions, etc.

Few months ago I successfully cloned a 250GB SSD to a way more spacious 2000GB SSD with Clonezilla.

Worked like a charm.

However, it has been Manjaro only no Dual-Boot, but a clone is a clone, i.e. everything is identical (except for the storage size of course)

Nevertheless, backing up your current systems before any cloning operation is still important!

For Windows, I always use the free Macrium reflect, for Manjaro a mix of TimeShift on external drive and manual copy of my Home folder (including hidden files)

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Why do you need to manually copy Home folder for a backup?

You can also choose a backup program, but this involves the risk of overwriting certain files in your home folder in case of recovery. Home folder content changes constantly.

For me, manual copy of the entire home folder and manual selection of the contents I need/want to recover is a safer method than trusting any backup program.

This does not matter so much for the root directory. If something goes wrong, I can just reinstall Manjaro and do the setup with my home folder backup. But when the home folder is not usable anymore, hours and hours of configuration work will be gone.

I replaced a 160GB spinner with a 120GB SSD on a triple boot MBP:

  • connected new drive externally via USB
  • booted from a manjaro boot stick
  • used Gparted to copy/paste (starting from the left) one partition after the other from the internal spinner to the SSD, resizing them beforehand if needed.

Had to edit the SSD’s fstab of the Manjaro install that was in charge of grub and had to reinstall grub, if I remember correctly, but apart from that, safe, easy and with a GUI I’m very familiar with.

I’ve never seen this way to clone a drive recommended so do your own research before trying this; I just noticed the copy/paste function when using gparted to reduce the size of the source drive partitions to fit them on the smaller SSD and thought it was worth a shot trying to drop them on the target drive straight away from within gparted.

After some research, I think I will go with clonezilla. I have a question though, practically in all articles I manage to find, you will only ever need to install clonezilla in a live USB. And this requires you to download its ISO image by choosing an architecture in their download page. It’s just that they do not include Arch - they provide Ubuntu-based and Debian-based only. So I looked up in Manjaro repo and there is community/clonezilla 3.35.2-3, which is newer than the stable version for download, v2.8.0-27. I tried to install it and it runs immediately on terminal. You can’t seem to install Manjaro repo’s clonezilla into a live USB. I am not sure how to proceed.

If you mean here:

Then those are ‘debian based’ ISOs … as in make a USB.
Use ventoy or any other image writing software and your USB becomes the tool.

Thanks for the fast reply. Yes I am referring to the page that loads after you click the stable option. As for image writing software, I have etcher already installed. But in order to create the clonezilla live USB using any of these softwares, you need clonezilla’s iso image file. The one I got from pacman installs the program right to your system (as it should), instead of just downloading an iso file.

Yes … so for example you could use Live USB manjaro with clonezilla added if you wanted to.
But those website files are for making a Live Environment provided by/with clonezilla (debian+clonezilla+tweaks).
See for example also

Sorry I am not sure I get your advice accurately. So are you basically saying that I can just download whichever ISO file from that clonezilla’s download page, disregarding the architecture type associated with the ISO file, and create a live USB out of this image file. And this is possible because the live USB will only be used to boot clonezilla which is a standalone environment/system so to speak, and thus is independent of Linux distro you are running?

I guess if you care about which one is official or ‘stable’ and whether you like ubuntu might change your exact choice, but yes.
It wont matter for the cloning that the live system is ‘debian’ … as long as the tools work.
(which they should)

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