Transfering OS to another HD?

I want to add a NAS to my set-up and move my OS to another, bigger HD. Not on the NAS but swap my internal HD’s around. I currently have my OS on a 500Gb HD and want to know if I can somehow move it over to my 1Tb HD. Is it possible?

Yup … Use something like the Clonezilla LiveCD to clone the smaller disk to the larger one … it should automatically resize the partition(s) … or you could resize them manually with gparted after the clone.

Clonezilla website:

See here for a Clonzilla Disk-to Disk cloning tutorial:

I currently have my OS on a 500Gb HD and want to know if I can somehow move it over to my 1Tb HD

I second Mark, Clonezilla will do the job just nicely.

On the other hand have you considered (assuming you are keeping the old 500gb HDD in the same machine)
to move your /home to the 1Tb HDD disk instead?
There are several benefits to this arrangement see (bit old)
instructions how to move your /home to new partition

That sounds brilliant.
What exactly is left on the boot drive then? When I update programs or the system installs updates, where do they go, the old 500Gb HD or the new /home folder on the 1Tb HD. Note: all I want is anything further added to the system to be puy on one drive, preferably the 1Tb HD. I want no further need to increase or move the system to another HD.

If you put /home on the 1TB drive, system updates and freshly installed software will (generally) go on the 500GB drive.

The only things contained in /home are (generally) your “user” folders, which contain your saved docs/music/pics etc. and some hidden files/folders containing config files for applications and customisations to the UI (for each user).

The hidden config stuff is so each user can have their own UI/App customisations, and settings … things like your web browser bookmarks, email setting/storage, desktop shortcuts, etc.

So in reality it’s like in Windows, where you can move the My Documents folder and other stuff…

Yes, kind of, though Windows assigns a different drive letter to an added drive or partition … Linux just mounts the drive/partition as a directory as part of the directory tree (that starts at /), so the path remains the same even though /home is now on a different drive … ie. once done, it’s invisible to the user (and software), so if you save something to your home directory, it is automagically saved to the other drive without you having to remember anything.

So (in this case) “Yes”, it’s similar but it’s implemented better in a unified filesystem (as used by Linux)

OK, maybe that’s a little hard to understand, so for a better explanation of the “unified filesystem” hierarchy and how it compares to the Windows drive:\directory hierarchy see here:

Here’s an example … try moving your C:\Program Files (or C:\Windows) directory to another physical drive or partition in Windows, and see how easy it is to get anything to work … actually DON’T … but you get my meaning … the path to all the files contained there will have changed, so the system won’t know where they are, and you’ll have an impossible time telling it.
(DO NOT actually try the above, you WILL break Windows … this is only meant as a hypothetical thought exercise)

In Linux, you could easily move /usr (or any other directory) to another drive or partition then just edit fstab (or grub in the case of /boot) to mount it … its path would remain as /usr irrespective of which physical drive or partition it’s on … it doesn’t even have to be on the same PC, you could mount it across a network.

The unified filesystem is a much more flexible system that allows you to easily expand your filesystem capacity (by adding another drive) without changing your directory hierarchy.

Here endeth the lesson for today, any questions ? … No ? … OK the bell’s rung, schools out, you can go home now :slight_smile:

I think what he means is, he’s taking the 500GB hard-drive out and not putting it back in. So how would one “clone” a hard-drive if both hard-drives aren’t in at the same time because it would be impossible to do this via SATA on a laptop. It’s possible by using a USB>SATA converter I’d imagine…

If I have understood your point correctly Mark, what your saying about the /home directory is that, if I have my /home directory on a seperate partition (which I do), I would not have to move it when installing a new Linux distro. Instead I could just install the distro to the root partition as /home is just a directory of root itself, but in the user group of the user?

So for example, if I go ahead an install peppermint, I can install peppermint to “/” instead of mounting the home directory to “/home” and “/” to “/” during installation?

Erm, nowhere did he state it was a laptop did he ? … I assumed from his sig that we’re talking about a desktop.

I’m unsure what you mean with the /home thing … I was just saying it is unimportant which physical drive or partition contains /home … as long as it’s mounted (by fstab) as /home , it will appear to be in the same place, ie. /home

If you’re talikng about deleting everything except /home , then installing peppermint … yes I suppose that’s possible, but I’d move it to its own partition first (just to be safe).

Then if you install peppermint and it mounts home on the same partition as / … it will just be a matter of editing fstab and rebooting.

BE AWARE … using the old /home in a more recent version may cause some config issues as some configs are in there too … doubly so with a different distro with a different desktop … it may just work, it may not.

I assumed that from is recent postings we were talking about a laptop, perhaps both? Either way, I was referring to my laptop anyway.

What I ment was will my /home partition still work if I install Peppermint, but you’ve already cleared it for me. I’ve already copied everything I need from the /home partition, so I’ll just mount it as /home when I install Peppermint in a fews days.

Heck, quite a lot of info but I basically understand it.
This is my current setup.
500Gb - Boot drive
250Gb - Win-MyDocs
250Gb - Win-Storage
1Tb - Win-Video
Basically the 2 250Gb and the one 1Tb HD are full of video files. What I want to do is;
500Gb - Boot Drive
250Gb - Free for anything
250Gb - Free for anything
1Tb - Documents from boot drive such as pictures and word processor stuff, like the My Documents folder in Windows.
12Tb NAS - All the Video files from the 2 250Gb and the 1Tb HD’s.


Yes, to clone a laptop HDD, you’d use a USB → SATA adapter, or a USB external HDD enclosure.


You have a TON of options, that only you can decide on.

You could use RAID (or Logical Volume Management, aka. LVM) to stripe the drives together into one 2TB drive, or mount them as previously mentioned (/home on 1TB, rest of OS on 500GB, and mount the 2x250GB as say /home/user1/Storage and /home/user2/Storage), or use RAID to stripe the 2x250GB into another 500GB then use them to mirror the original 500GB (for failover) then just backup /home to the NAS … or use the 2x250GB for other distros in a quad boot, or mount one of the 250GB as /var and the other as /usr or /etc … or stick the 2x250GB’s in external closures and mount them as /home/user1/portable-storage and /home/user2/portable-storage … or … or … or … etc.

Get the picture ?

Be sure to use Gb ethernet to connect the NAS though, or it will take FOREVER to transfer a TB :wink:

Using them as multiple boots sounds a good idea, even reinstall XP on one of them. Going to be quite a while before I do all this due to the price of the NAS - take a look at my first post as I have included a link to the site that it’s on.