Blog - Migrating Data from one Hard Drive to Another

Sep 03 2011

A short while ago I had a failure in my MythTV server.  Luckily, all of my data was ok so I just transplanted the hard drives and tuners into my development system and was on my way again.  While I had everything open it quickly became obvious exactly how loud my OS hard drive had become.  I knew that it was noisy but the P180 case did a good job of keeping things quiet.  So I figured that now is a good time to replace it as long as I had everything all strewn about anyway.

To give you a bit of background, the OS hard drive that I am starting with is a 10GB PATA drive that is about 10 years old.  The "new" drive is a 250GB drive that is only a couple of years old.  The utility that I used to image the drive is called Clonezilla.  This is a tool that you load on to a bootable drive (i.e. a CD or a USB flash drive).  With both the old and the new drive installed in the PC you boot into Clonezilla, select the drive or partition that you want to back up (clone), select the new drive or partition and wait till everything is copied.  Depending on the amount of data being copied this can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours.

Once everything was copied I pulled the original drive from my system, plugged in the new drive and away I went.  The only problem that I ran into in this process was the drive order in the BIOS.  My PATA drive is recognized first by my BIOS and all of my data drives were found after.  However, when I plugged in my new drive I took the next available SATA port.  While I was able to change the boot order in the BIOS and boot from it, my software RAID device was unable to load because it was looking for the drives on the second, third and fourth devices but they were now (and always had been) connected to the first, second and third SATA ports on the motherboard.  Since it couldn't find the drives to make the software RAID device, the system refused to fully boot.  After quickly reordering the SATA cables making the new OS drive first everything was up and running and the OS was none the wiser for being cloned.  And in addition to being much quieter, which was my original goal, I've also found the new drive to boot a bit after (on the rare occasion that I need to reboot my MythTV server) and also load data from the database faster.  All-in-all I think that this was a great success.

Comments

Wow! 10GB HDD! You must have more patience than a Tibetan monk to have used it for so long Laughing out loud

Yeah I "upgraded" from a 5 gig a couple years back.  What can I say, I'm cheap... er frugal.  Besides, replacing the drive would require me to turn off the system.  I would have lost my uptime count.  It was a contest with myself to see how long I could go without rebooting.  I think that I was up over a year before things crashed on me.

I had to re-read it twice to make sure I read it properly.  I consider a mechanical hard drive over 3 years old a liability.

That is why I have all of the data on other drives.  I have 3 400GB drives in a software RAID 5 setup and two 1.5TB drives as individual recording drives.  Right now the RAID setup is empty.  I intended to put pics and music on it but I've been a bit lazy for a while now.  But after having a motherboard/CPU fail on me I think it's time to be a little more proactive about my data backups.  I think my wife would kill me if I lost all of the pics of our kids due to a hard drive crash.  I must be prolific with the picture backups...

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