Making an image copy of your system disk is a great way to create a backup. With the cost of portable USB drives at all time lows, you could keep a couple around for rotation purposes. If your main drive does crash, you could be back up and running in a matter of minutes. Now all that’s left is making the actual image copy. There are lots of ways to accomplish this task, and we’ll spell a few of them out to help you along.
The biggest issue with making an image copy of your system disk is that you must boot from another device to get a true copy. Options include a “live” CD or bootable USB. You probably have a copy of your favorite distribution’s installation disk lying around somewhere, so that would be an obvious choice. For our purposes we’ll use the Ubuntu 10.4 distro on a USB disk. The second option would be to use an actual disk duplication distro like Clonezilla. This turns out to be one of the easier ways to get the job done, especially if you’re not too comfortable with the command line.