How To Swap Drives in NAS542?

I can't seem to find an answer to my question on my own.

I have a NAS542 with four hard drives of differing capacities, set up as JBOD, no RAID whatsoever. I have a spare large-capacity hard drive I'd like to insert into the above NAS, and I want it to hold the files contained in the previous hard drive. My OS is Windows 10.

Do I simply insert the new drive in place of the old, let the NAS initialize it, then copy the contents of the replaced drive onto the new one? IIRC, Windows won't recognize the contents of UNIX-based drives, so that could/would be a problem?

Does cloning do the trick, because it basically just copies one drive's contents onto another, regardless of file system and disk contents? If so, should the cloning be done BEFORE inserting the larger disk?

Does Windows have built-in cloning capabilities and, if not, what's the best/easiest way to clone hard drives without having to buy software with a large install footprint?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Best Answers

  • JockeSve
    JockeSve Posts: 59  Ally Member
    Answer ✓
    When I had to do similar disk-swap before I bought the current one I replicated the old drives to temp. storage (External USB) with a pretty simple RoboCopy script so all time/date stamps were preserved.
    No additional SW required but it as quite slow process .
    On the other hand it' all free and You can customize copy/sync options very detailed and get a good log of progress.
  • JockeSve
    JockeSve Posts: 59  Ally Member
    Answer ✓
    If for any help; this is how the command-line looks.
    (prerequisites that Source is mounted as "S:" and Target is mounted as "T:"

    ROBOCOPY S:\ T:\ /E /MIR /COPY:DAT /DCOPY:DAT /MT:8 /NP /LOG:SyncLog.txt

  • JockeSve
    JockeSve Posts: 59  Ally Member
    edited May 2021 Answer ✓
    I'm not sure that's the correct or even possible way...

    (BTW: RoboCopy should be available on all Win10 releases as command-line tool.)

    I used an external USB drive as temp. storage;
    1. Backup to external drive with RoboCopy
    2. Swap disk
    3. Restore back from USB with RoboCopy

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All Replies

  • GandalfTheGrey
    GandalfTheGrey Posts: 13
    edited May 2021
    Hey, thanks!

    so Robocopy is built into Windows and runnable from the command prompt?

    I have Linux on a laptop, if not. 

    I’ve never cloned disks before. Assuming it’s a strict 1:1 copy (hence ‘clone’), how are different disk capacities dealt with? Will I have to re-allocate/add the additional space in the new drive, or is this irrelevant?
  • I'm running robocopy as I type. Seems to be working well, but slow, as you said. Thanks again for the great suggestion.
  • Just a quick question, because I MIGHT be doing it wrong:

    I've left the source disk in the NAS, and am using robocopy to transfer its contents to the replacement drive on an external USB port.

    I have a nagging feeling I may have had to insert the new disk first, let the NAS initialize it, then copy from the source on an external USB port onto the disk in the NAS?

  • Podo
    Podo Posts: 28  Freshman Member
    It will work. I suggest you backup into RAID5 or RAID6.
  • I've gone the "messy" route :)

    I interrupted the robocopy process, because I checked the NAS's Storage Manager and saw that the disks inserted are formatted to ext4. I remembered trying a similar thing YEARS ago, only to have the full NTFS disk I'd inserted formatted to ext4 and, thus, lost my data.

    So I took out the source disk and inserted it into a USB enclosure, and replaced it with the target disk in the NAS. Of course, now the problem was having an external source that Windows couldn't read. So I tried ext2fsd, which I downloaded, to give Windows the ability to read Linux-formatted data. For some reason, I could mount the largest of the three partitions on the drive, but clicking on it only produced an empty folder named "File System" and a large 1,2TB file that I assumed was the data partition on the source disk.

    I was afraid copying that file directly to the target would lead to just that: a 1,2TB file being on the target drive, instead of the "real/actual" separate files, so I downloaded and tried Linux Reader, even bought the "Pro" version that would let me mount Linux drives Windows can't read, but that, too, produced "unexpected" results.

    I had previously omitted that I own TWO NAS542's, so my "messy" solution was to place the "old" source drive into an empty slot in one of them, and the new, ext4-formatted and initialized drive into the other, then copying the content from source to target.

    I call it the "messy" option, because, once inserted, you have to discern which disk is where and what, especially come time to applying permissions, re-mapping network drives in Explorer, etc.
  • JockeSve said:
    I'm not sure that's the correct or even possible way...

    (BTW: RoboCopy should be available on all Win10 releases as command-line tool.)

    I used an external USB drive as temp. storage;
    1. Backup to external drive with RoboCopy
    2. Swap disk
    3. Restore back from USB with RoboCopy

    This makes absolute sense. My bad. I don't have an empty disk as the intermediate disk to backup to. And I hadn't even thought of it this way. Hence my confusion about how to prevent data loss when inserting a new disk that then gets initialized as ext4.
  • Something went wrong, and I don't even remember exactly what. I thought I'd deleted old, "lost" shares, with the additional typing in of "DELETE" to state clear intentions of doing so, and now BOTH disks are in their respective NAS, but wiped clean. This is part of what I vaguely remember about the last time I did something similar. Why does something that seems so harmless (despite the "DELETE" warning) cause so much damage? It's a share I'd set up myself, after all, and - as far as I understand - it's just to set up WHERE the disk is visible, under WHAT name, and WHO can read and/or write to it. I STILL don't understand removing that basically wipes a drive...

    This deserves a heartfelt "F**K!", but it's OK. Gotta learn to let go, be patient and/or follow instructions given by people who know better.

    I'd like to say: "the next time I'll do this, I'll remember what I did wrong", but I guess/hope it will be so far down the line, that I'll have forgotten the correct method, so I'll be seeing/asking you gentlemen again, I guess :)