I’m gonna explain another method to backup your whole hard disk. We are going to make an exact clone of our hard disk. In this howto, we will use a very useful command: dd. If your hard disk is /dev/hda and you have a spare hard drive being external in /media/sda1 or internal, just type:
dd if=/dev/hda of=/media/sda1
Be careful, sda1 must be of the same or greater size than hda. If you want to make an image of the whole hard disk into an image file, just type
dd if=/dev/hda of=/media/sda1/image.img
Then, this .img file can be mounted as a loopback filesystem to see its contents.
To restore it, then proceed the other way round:
dd if=/media/sda1/image.img of=/dev/hda
When restoring, the best way is to boot from a live cd and restore the hard disk. There are lots of live cds out there, but I recommend using Knoppix.