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View Full Version : Easiest way of transferring 6GB from one computer to another, then back?



Old Pink
October 16th, 2007, 11:00 PM
Basically, I want to store the 5 to 6 Gigabytes in my laptop's hard drive temporarily elsewhere while I install a new 20GB hard drive before transferring it all onto that.

Only viable option seems to be putting it on the 80GB desktop temporarily.

No CD drive, DVD drive, for reading or writing on the laptop.

Ideas?

rfruth
October 16th, 2007, 11:04 PM
A Thumb (USB) drive ?

p_quarles
October 16th, 2007, 11:15 PM
I'm working from the assumption that the 5 to 6 gigs is all or most of your home folder.

On the desktop:
First, make a directory for the backup files in your home folder. Then,

sudo apt-get install openssh-server
On the laptop:

scp -r ~/username username@desktop-IP-address://~/username/backup_dir
Once you've got the laptop completely reconfigurded, get the files back by using scp again, only this time reverse the order of the two filepaths.

Then you should probably remove the ssh server unless you need it for anything else.

Old Pink
October 17th, 2007, 12:05 AM
No no, it's the whole /

Root. 5GB. On a 6GB hard drive. Hence the upgrade.

And thumb drive is a good idea, but I only have a 2GB, so it'd be at least 6 copy/pastes. Not too bad, I suppose. Might be quicker than wifi.

Samba seems slow whenever I've used it. Painful slow...

p_quarles
October 17th, 2007, 12:10 AM
No no, it's the whole /

Root. 5GB. On a 6GB hard drive. Hence the upgrade.

And thumb drive is a good idea, but I only have a 2GB, so it'd be at least 6 copy/pastes. Not too bad, I suppose. Might be quicker than wifi.

Samba seems slow whenever I've used it. Painful slow...
Well, then just replace "~/username" with "/"

Seriously, scp is going to be the simplest way of doing this. Depending on how fast your wifi connection is, the thumb drive might be faster, but a 6 gig transfer would take about 12 minutes on my 54 mbps wifi connection. If your laptop has an ethernet jack, of course, that will be faster.

Old Pink
October 17th, 2007, 12:21 AM
OK, thanks.

So say I've got the 6GB stored on the desktop.

I take out my 6GB drive, insert my 20GB drive, but have no operating system.

How do I then transfer to something with no operating system?

Will I need DSL or Puppy on a pen drive? Or not?

With WiFi not working here, looks like thumb drive is the option for me.

What's the best way to boot a Linux terminal from nothing? Bash on a pen drive, type of thing? Just need to mount, and mv or cp into / from the USB?

p_quarles
October 17th, 2007, 12:28 AM
Duh. No operating system. I didn't even think of that. '](*,)

Yeah, you're going to need to boot up from a flash-drive version of LInux, and install the system before you do anything. Just copying the contents of the old hard drive won't work -- you won't have any formatted partitions to copy anything onto.

Old Pink
October 17th, 2007, 07:56 AM
OK, here's the plan, help me find the flaws?


Take everything off the laptop, onto the desktop, using two USB transfers (after cutting down to less than 4GB)
Remove 6GB (old) drive
Insert 20GB (new) drive
Boot Feisty live CD using plug in CD drive (works, installed from it a while back)
Format a partition & swap partition
Take everything off the desktop and copy it onto the laptop using two more USB transfers.
RebootNow I understand I may need to configure GRUB or something in there? But if I'm not changing the MBR and /boot is in the same place it should be OK?

Anything else I need to do?

saulgoode
October 17th, 2007, 08:17 AM
How can you not be changing the MBR if you have installed a new hard drive?

smoker
October 17th, 2007, 08:22 AM
easiest way is to use an adapter cable like this:
http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=28724&criteria=ide%20adapter&doy=17m10

slave your laptop drive to your pc, copy your drive with some image app, put your new drive on as a slave, and restore the image you copied, this should make your new drive as good as your old, except more space,

best of luck

ssam
October 17th, 2007, 09:05 AM
as you will be opening up the laptop anyway a USB caddy would work. it is an enclosure with ide or sata on the inside and usb on the out side.

proalan
October 17th, 2007, 11:23 AM
Best investments i've made is one of those portable usb harddrives without external power supply. Made things easier all those times i've had to install fresh OSes.

There was even a time i ran ubuntu from the usb harddrive.:guitar:

bigken
October 17th, 2007, 11:26 AM
Best investments i've made is one of those portable usb harddrives without external power supply. Made things easier all those times i've had to install fresh OSes.

There was even a time i ran ubuntu from the usb harddrive.:guitar:

totally agree for the sake of about 8 then you also get an external usb hdd

popch
October 17th, 2007, 01:19 PM
No no, it's the whole /

Root. 5GB. On a 6GB hard drive. Hence the upgrade.

And thumb drive is a good idea, but I only have a 2GB, so it'd be at least 6 copy/pastes. Not too bad, I suppose. Might be quicker than wifi.

Samba seems slow whenever I've used it. Painful slow...

If both computers have an ethernet interface, you can connect them with a crossed ethernet cable, if you have no bridge or hub. Much faster than Wifi.

BTW: I do not think that simply copying all of the contents of a disk drive to one of a different size will result in a bootable disk. I am, however, still a Linux novice, so I would like a second opinion on that.

notwen
October 17th, 2007, 01:54 PM
BTW: I do not think that simply copying all of the contents of a disk drive to one of a different size will result in a bootable disk. I am, however, still a Linux novice, so I would like a second opinion on that.

I don't believe this would work either, but I'm no expert either. =]

bigken
October 17th, 2007, 01:56 PM
what you need to be looking for is some kind of cloning software have you tried google ?

Tom Mann
October 17th, 2007, 04:31 PM
Have you considered using disk imaging?

Ghost4Linux (i think) or dd (if you're pro)

Old Pink
October 17th, 2007, 04:35 PM
I've never used the ethernet ports on these computers though, no idea if they're working with Linux.

I then just connect the two computers ethernet to ethernet and.... ?

And why won't it be bootable? What if I do as I said before, put everything back on the 20GB, then reinstall/update GRUB?

And yeah, made a mistake about MBR.

Crashmaxx
October 17th, 2007, 04:58 PM
Sounds like you mostly have a default Ubuntu install you're trying to save anyway. I'd just do a fresh install on the new hard drive.

The only stuff I'd bother keeping on the current install is a copy of /home, maybe /etc if you have custom settings there, and a list of installed packages.

Oh, and since Gutsy is coming out tomorrow, maybe you'd want to just wait and do a fresh install of that. A lot of people prefer that to upgrading anyway.

bigken
October 17th, 2007, 05:02 PM
you could use APTonCD do a clean install and then run the APTonCD :)

Old Pink
October 17th, 2007, 05:20 PM
It's not a clean install.

Already using Gutsy RC.

Fresh install is awkward, need to download 700Mb of Gutsy alternate CD? No thanks.

Backing up onto the iPod now. Will then extract into root. Trust me, this will work. :)

bigken
October 17th, 2007, 05:25 PM
I doubt it :(

pennygov
October 17th, 2007, 05:30 PM
Read this about backup and restore using a tarball. It works. You would just install the same verstion of ubuntu on your new drive (it would install grub in your mbr). Then within your new install you can extract your tarball backup.

Here is the link: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=35087&highlight=howto%3A+backup+restore+your+system

I guess you could use an ethernet connection between your desktop and your laptop to make the backup tar (think of your desktop as an external hd). If you can burn the backup tar on a cd (using your desktop?) you can then restore it (by extracting from the cd).

Good luck :)

koenn
October 17th, 2007, 07:46 PM
Basically, I want to store the 5 to 6 Gigabytes in my laptop's hard drive temporarily elsewhere while I install a new 20GB hard drive before transferring it all onto that.

Only viable option seems to be putting it on the 80GB desktop temporarily.

No CD drive, DVD drive, for reading or writing on the laptop.

Ideas?
How about this :
put the old laptop-disk and the new one in your desktop ; say that's /dev/hdb for old disk and /dev/hdc for new disk.

clone the old disk on the new disk :

dd if=/dev/hdb of=/dev/hdc

This will include MBR, partition table etc.
Use GpartEd to change partition sizes on new disk (because the'll be the same sizes as on the old disk so you'll have some unused space. Or just add a partition - depands on what you want)

put new disk in laptop, and boot as if nothing has changed, except for a whole lot of space.

alternative : if you can connect 2 hard drives to your laptop, you can do it there : clone, then put the new disk where the old one used to be.

pitfall : if there are UID's in /etc/fstab, you might want to replace those.

I've done this a few weeks back in VMware, it worked there (notes : http://users.telenet.be/mydotcom/howto/linux/disks1.htm). If it doesn't : you still have the old disk unmodified, so it's quite safe.

Old Pink
October 18th, 2007, 05:23 PM
It won't copy. Or back up. Or anything. Followed many guides, but there are always folders in the end tarball/folder missing (home, boot, a few others)

I've ordered an external USB hard drive case thing, so I can plug two in at once. In which case I'll just try
dd if=/dev/hdb of=/dev/hdcright?

koenn
October 18th, 2007, 05:51 PM
I've ordered an external USB hard drive case thing, so I can plug two in at once. In which case I'll just try
dd if=/dev/hdb of=/dev/hdcright?
well, sort of.
the disks might be called sda, sdb, ... in stead of .hda, hdb, ...
also, you'd have to be sure which is which, i.e. check that your old disk is really hdb and not hda or hdc.
Also, I've never done this with usb drives and I don't know how their dev names are made ...
But it's worth a shot, as long as you make sure you're not writing anything to the original hard disk, nothing is lost.
Personally, I'd prefer to use the desktop machine, if it has connectors for 2 extra disks.

bionnaki
October 18th, 2007, 07:01 PM
copying / and then transferring it to another computer, expecting it to be a bootable and working system will be a failure.

koenn
October 18th, 2007, 07:07 PM
dd doesn't copy files, it copies blocks, below the filesystem. that's how it is capable of copying boot sectors and partition tables and thus 'clone' or 'mirror' disks.