Sorry to say does not quite work out........(I thought I had recovered my system but parts of it still do not work, eg KPM no longer exists on my system and cannot be found, although top does)
Clonezilla makes it easy to clone the root system partition, it is more difficult to recover a system properly.
A synaptic update will also effect the /home directory, so this needs to be recovered, including any data stored there (eg kmail mail directory buried deep in .kde4) .kde4 is a critical item and needs multiple backups, easy to foul up.
I used to clone my / partition and use rsync to backup /home and any data files. May not be the right way.
I now think perhaps a combined root partition encompassing the system and /home directories is needed to do a proper recovery, due to all the config files in /home. The / and /home bits need to be of the same time, the same point when the synaptic update was applied to both of them. If an update effects the /home partition a few weeks after a the / partition has been cloned there seems to be a problem.
A recent update caused my mic to stop working, problematical sound card on mainboard. I have mostly recovered with a combination of clonezilla and rsync, but I have some issues. Waiting for a usb sound dongle and may then try another update.
Clonezilla backup - easy - from memory fire up the disk, select the target place to save your image (for me my backup partition is sdb5), select beginner options, select saveparts to save a particular partition of a disk, select partition to be cloned which for me is sda1. Thats it, easy.
Clonezilla recovery - CARE - not so easy. If you go the beginner route you end up with a borked grub and problems in booting the system.
For recovery select EXPERT option, initial target is where you have saved your image, for me sdb5, you select recoverparts as you are recovering part of a disk, target for me is sda1, and to get back exactly as before you must select:
NO reinstall grub
NO NTFS fiddling
Then all is well and the system will boot as before.
If you get:
Grub loading Stage 1.5
Grub loading please wait........................................(and thats it)
In the words of the book "Don't Panic", it means that grub is borked.
Grab and boot from a live cd, log in as root, find the partition with grub on it (in my case sda1), find the file /boot/grub/menu.lst
Remove anything referring to UUIDs as they will be wrong. Only have the lines pointing to files, nothing else.
Then open a root terminal:
grub> find /boot/grub/menu.lst
grub> find /boot/grub/stage1
For me I get the answer (hd0,0), yours may differ
Then for me:
grub> root (hd0,0)
grub> setup (hd0)
Now retry to boot, if menu.lst is ok you will boot. Once done go to PCC, boot item, go through it, save and it will re-do the UUIDs properly for menu.1st
Synopsis - I think to use clonezilla to properly recover your system you need to save a partition with both / and /home which have been updated by synaptic at the same time. If not you are likely to encounter problems as I am. For data rsync is good. However, I also have my mail directory in my /home directory and I also have some data files on my desktop. I therefore need to regularly backup the data files there, which change frequently. The .kde4 is a directory which each user needs to back up multiple times, pain when it goes wrong.
If / and /home are on one partition and cloned at the same time I think recovery will be seamless. If /home has had synaptic updates after / then issues arise. Data needs to be done separately.
This is more difficult that I originally thought. Needs care and its easy to get it wrong. Clonezilla is good and does work, although the reversal recovery process needs particular care. You need to end up with an identical clone, otherwise broken grub. I re-iterate / and /home must have matching synaptic update times, otherwise issues arise. Data does not matter clone wise and can be copied back.
Roll on btrfs and rollback.....