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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Robotics Engineer Moderator
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1788
2020-05-30 10:12 pm  

I just came in from mowing the lawn.  The SD card has been successfully cloned.

This was just a Raspbian card for the Raspberry Pi though.   But it booted right up after being cloned.  So this is pretty good.  A cloning machine that gets the lawn mowed. 🤣 

I still have to push the mower, but at least the grass is cut.  And I just backed up my Raspbian system.

This system card has eSpeak and PocketSphinx installed plus all my GUI code for accessing the dictionaries.   So I'm all caught up.  Now if I lose the system card I have all my work backed up.   And I'm still working with a 16GB system card.   I just bought (10) 32GB cards for use for Raspberry Pi system back-ups.  So pretty soon I'll be so well backed up that I won't be able to move forward anymore. 😊 

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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codecage
(@codecage)
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Posts: 721
2020-05-31 12:21 pm  
Posted by: @robo-pi

It's works GREAT!  I can do SD cards with it now too because I bought two of those SD to SATA adapter cards.

Would this item be similar to what you use: Sata to SD Card Adapter

SteveG


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1788
2020-05-31 2:11 pm  
Posted by: @codecage

Would this item be similar to what you use: Sata to SD Card Adapter

Yep that's it.   I had to buy two of those, and I also already had the cloning/docking station to clone them with.  So if you need all three pieces that's quite an investment.   But if you clone a lot of SD cards like I do it may well be worth it.

I have several different system cards for my Jetson Nanos, my Raspberry Pies with Raspbian, my Raspberry Pies with Ubuntu, and I have 8 older Raspberry pies that I have special system cards that I like to back up too.  So I'm making clones of SD cards all the time.   So for me it's well worth it.

By they way, I discovered that you can indeed back up system images using the "DISKS" utility on the Raspbian Raspberry Pi.  I haven't actually done it yet by I'm pretty sure that will work.   It requires an extra step.

First you need to make an image file of the SD card you want to clone.  And then you need to flash that image file back out to the new SD card.   So you basically need to do it twice to clone a single card.   I think you can install "DISKS" (gnome-disk-utility) on the Jetson Nano too.

Like a say, it's a two-step process, but it's totally FREE so it might be the way to go if you only want to back up a few system cards.

I like having the dedicated cloning machine because I clone a LOT of SD cards.  I have 2 Jetson Nanos, 4 Raspberry Pi 4's, and 8 other Raspberry pies (i.e. 3 zeroes, 4 A's, and 1 B).   So, as my mother would have said, "I'm pi-eyed". 🤣  A Raspberry pi drunkard.

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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codecage
(@codecage)
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2020-05-31 2:50 pm  

@robo-pi

With a SATA docking station would one of these cards maybe allow you to 'copy' the SD card in the SATA adapter to an actual SATA drive in the other slot of the docking station?  Obviously the docking station has to be connected to a computer, but maybe windows would see the SD card as a SATA drive now and not just a plain SD Card.  Or am I way off base?

SteveG


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codecage
(@codecage)
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2020-05-31 2:54 pm  
Posted by: @robo-pi

Yep that's it.   I had to buy two of those

Amazon currently only has one in stock. Or did as I went ahead and ordered it!  I already have one of those SATA docking stations, although it's not the kind that can initiate cloning, but maybe I can try the process I outlined in my last post.  At least find out how off base I am!

SteveG


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Robotics Engineer Moderator
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1788
2020-05-31 5:28 pm  
Posted by: @codecage

With a SATA docking station would one of these cards maybe allow you to 'copy' the SD card in the SATA adapter to an actual SATA drive in the other slot of the docking station? 

Ok, this is really crazy.  Prepare yourself for this one,....

I never actually tried to access an SD card directly through the docking station.   I did it just now since you mentioned.  It doesn't appear to work.

I tried it with both a Jetson Nano system card, and just a regular new SD card.   It won't recognize either one!

I actually never even tried that before.  I usually just use a standard USB card reader when I want to read an SD card.

Fortunately those adapters do work for cloning.   I guess I lucked out on that one! 

But they don't seem to work in the docking station to just access the SD card directly.  I don't understand why that's the case.  If I had bought them for that purpose I would have been seriously disappointed.  If you bought it from Amazon you can at least send it back if it doesn't do what you expect.

I bought two of them from Walmart for $11.95 a piece which wasn't bad.  Under $25 for the pair.  Unfortunately the price went up considerably.  They want almost $40 a piece for them now!  It's the same card you just bought on Amazon for $20.

I took a chance at $12 a piece and just bought two of them for cloning and thank goodness they do work for that.  They've been working fine for cloning SD cards.  But I never tried to use them as a card reader since it's just as easy to plug in a USB card reader.

Anyway, worse case scenario you can always use the Gnome-Disk-Utility to make an image of the SD card and then write it back out to a new card.  At least I'm pretty sure that should work.  I haven't actually tried it yet myself.

All I know is that if I plug two of these SD-to-SATA adapters into my cloning machine they do serve to clone one SD card to another.   I guess I lucked out on that deal.  I took a guess, and it works.  At least it works on my Aukey cloning station.  It may not work on other brands?  Who knows?  It's hard to say what will work and what won't work anymore.  Can't trust manufactures to all be on the same page with anything anymore.

That's why I bought two Jetson Nanos and four Raspberry Pi 4s all close together.  I wanted to get systems that will remain compatible with each other.   I hate it when you buy a new system that has been "upgraded" only to discover that it's no longer compatible with your previous work!  That's hardly and "improvement" if you ask me.

Anyway, best of luck with your journey. 🥂   Maybe it will work on your docking station?  Who knows?

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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codecage
(@codecage)
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2020-05-31 7:04 pm  
Posted by: @robo-pi

I never actually tried to access an SD card directly through the docking station.   I did it just now since you mentioned.  It doesn't appear to work.

Well darn, but I'm going to keep an eye out for an additional one.  I'm hoping to get the same brand and model.  I could have bought a second at the same time but it would have been a different manufacturer and model (Interestingly enough there was only one of those in stock as well. If they had had two, I would have just bought those two right then and there).  I'll pick up one of the clone capable SATA docking stations a little later.

SteveG


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
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Posts: 1788
2020-05-31 7:52 pm  

@codecage

It is crazy that is isn't working as a SATA drive, because after all, that's exactly what it's supposed to do.

I have no clue why a brand new SD card doesn't show up in the docking station.    It shows up in a USB card reader.   It should show up as a drive in the docking station.  I never even tried that before because I wasn't interested in using it for that.  But it SHOULD WORK!  That's what they advertise it to be!

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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codecage
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2020-05-31 9:31 pm  
Posted by: @robo-pi

It is crazy that is isn't working as a SATA drive, because after all, that's exactly what it's supposed to do.

How does it work to "clone" from one card to the other if it doesn't even look like a SATA drive to the  OS?

Yes very puzzling!

SteveG


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Robotics Engineer Moderator
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1788
2020-05-31 11:59 pm  
Posted by: @codecage

How does it work to "clone" from one card to the other if it doesn't even look like a SATA drive to the  OS?

I don't know.  Apparently the cloning box can recognize the SD cards.  But for some reason the OS doesn't.

This could be another problem specific to windows.  I'll bet if I plug the docking station into a Jetson Nano the Nano will recognize the SD cards in the SATA adapters.

I'm starting to like Linux over Windows.   There will always be a few things Windows does better, but overall Linux seems to have less problems.

I was liking Windows for writing GUI programs using C# and Windows Forms.  But the more I learn Tkinter the more I see that it has pretty close to the same capabilities.  Not quite.  But the nice thing about writing programs using Python and Tkinter is that they are portable to Raspberry Pi and Jetson Nano.  So that's a big plus for me.  I'm guessing they should also run on Windows too.

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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Spyder
(@spyder)
Prominent Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 820
2020-06-17 11:59 am  

@robo-pi

Update on the cloning box thingamajig

It worked just fine on my win7 desktop hard drive. I was down to only 5 gigs free and it really needed some breathing room, so I cheaped out and only brought it up to a 250gig SSD, and HOLY MACARONI, what a difference !

It boots faster, it runs faster...

Yea, cool


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