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Re: MBR partitioning, and content after partition table but before first partition

On 03/10/2017 12:49 AM, Jonathan Dowland wrote:
On Thu, Mar 09, 2017 at 09:04:56PM -0800, David Christensen wrote:
I use LUKS swap (random key) and root (passphrase).  I think it's the piece
of the boot chain that gives me the LUKS prompt for root (before the GRUB

You get that prompt *before* GRUB?

I use LUKS everywhere and only get it after, because the prompt is (normally)
issued from my initrd.

You're right, I mis-remembered -- I get the Grub menu and then the LUKS passphrase prompt for root.

(although I historically put /boot outside of the
encryption. Maybe this is some newer scheme I am not familiar with).

My boot partition is also unencrypted.

So, the moral of the story appears to be:

    When taking an image of a Debian system drive, be sure to copy the
    blocks between the partition table and the first partition, as there
    may be boot loader code there.

I'd always put a step 0) in there: is imaging what you want to do? Consider
a file-level backup with rsync (etc etc, as discussed elsewhere in this

I do imaging for system disks.  I do backups and archives for data.