Episode 712 – Disk Cloning and Offline Maps

Week 1 of the Hack Across America series begins with a look at a bare metal disaster recovery plan. Darren talks Hard Disk cloning the free and open source way, while Shannon investigates a number of tools for offline Google Maps usage.

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The latest from the road

Not much to report on the Hack Across America trip so far. By day 2 the only minor emergency has been a broken GPS. But to answer the question we keep getting: No, Hak5 isn’t going away. Don’t be silly. And trust your technolust, fools.


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Snubs Report: Offline Google Maps

With Darren beginning his Hack Across America this week I figured it would be apt to point out a few tools that every geek may come to rely on at one point in time or another — offline use of Google Maps

In this Snubs Report I review the following paid, free and open source apps for offline Google Maps usage:

  • Google Maps Downloader
  • Offline Maps
  • Google Maps Saver
  • Google Map Buddy
  • Gmap Catcher
  • What do you think? Drop me a line at [email protected]

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    Hard Disk Cloning the free and open source way

    While I love using online “cloud” backup, fast reliable Internet access is difficult to come by on this trip. And losing data would be catastrophic. While I overnight myself a replacement laptop, the data is what is of true value

    And what’s more, I don’t have time to sit around installing windows, a dozen programs and my data. So thats why on this trip I’m using disk cloning as my backup and recovery strategy.

    This basically allows me to make a bit for bit copy of my laptop hard drive to a near identical external disk. If anything should fail it’s merely a matter of swapzies and I’m good to go.

    In this segment I discuss disk cloning uses, commercial applications, DD, and free and open source distributions that make this bare metal backup a breeze.

    I also demonstrate my favorite tool, Easus Disk Copy

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    Details on Darren’s journey across North America can be found at HackAcrossAmerica.com.

    And finally if you’d like to suggest a topic for a future show feel free to hit up [email protected]


  • anon

    “Irvine Underground is Orange County’s premier security and hacking association open to those who crave technology.”
    Darren, stop by on your Hack Across America if you can.

    Other hard drive related things that might help:




  • kzs

    I like learning about new tools I didn’t know I needed, such as the google maps downloaders. This show is always a good encapsulated info source.

    As for in-use drive image backups, there’s also Terabyte Unlimited. It costs less than Ghost or Acronis, and I’ve found much lighter-weight install. Image files are small and fast. Plus you can run under a PE.

    The trouble I found with all image tools (in Windows) is cross-hardware support. So, if your laptop got soaked in beer, how will your imaged drive boot on a new computer?

    Also, consider keeping your backup HD in another hard box on your bike or better yet, run the image over the network to a backup destination far away and do differential updates over the wire to keep the data transfer low. Just in case you get distracted by some beer truck crossing your path. Heaven forbid!


  • James

    the Superman, good catch ! I don’t think very many people caught that. What did happen the to Mubix segment ?

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    I fear the Hak5 era has ran its course. Most of everyone has “grown up” and moved on with their lives. Hang it up, guys. You had a good run, but it’s time to move on.

  • pman860507

    nice segment. i use my WHS to backup my drives. though it wouldn’t do me any good if i had to recover on the road since i couldn’t connect to the vpn. i will have to try out this software thanks man.

  • Richard

    Just wanted to comment on the review of hard disk cloning tools. That was a very indepth and comprehensive review. I know I am on the right track regarding backup methods. So thanks for that! I shall be checking your videos out some more. 😉

  • Jenny


    As an alternate faster method, you may consider making (2) partitions on each drive; your ‘system’ and your ‘data’. You could then more quickly clone your much smaller system partition, and use rsync or Grsync in windows for mirroring your data to the external usb drive.

    This might give you the best of both worlds and allow you to save time by backing up only the new/changed files via rsync, which you could also verify with the -c switch to ensure transfer integrity.


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