Backup took about 2 hours to take, plus a lot of set up time because of networking issues... It was to much bugger working with the install disk as a subsitute R&RO disk.
So booted and dropped to single user, mounted stuff RO after having fsck'd it with the install disk. Dumped it 'cross the network after sorting out a minor issue with PF ! Alls good but next time I think I need more compression and less speed on the gzip.
Only problem is I need to get the archive to a partition I can trust, that would be a FAT32 one but the max file size is 4GB and the backups a bit fatter then that. Tried to copy it to an ext3fs so I could test doing a restore to a Linux partition. While ext3 I think can handle files 16GB++ to a few TB. I could only create a 2GB file on it so bonkers.
If I can bzip or 7z it down to the right size I might be able to burn it to DVD-R. I think my best bet would be to *try* and copy the the dump from the ufs2 slice to my ntfs one using an ifs driver for it on XP.