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Thread: Easiest way to move working MythTV backend to larger hard drive?

  1. #11
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    Re: Easiest way to move working MythTV backend to larger hard drive?

    My $0.02 ... Clonezilla is awesome for this: Just follow the numerous howtos; you can image your current, installed hard drive to a USB "toaster," then use Gparted to extend the partition to encompass the entire new drive's capacity; move the swap file to the end of the newly expanded partition; finally, activate the swap file. Done.

    Disclaimer: I only use Linux, but I think this should be the same for a Mac.

    Clonezilla is really simple to use and I've recently donated to its creators (but it's really priceless).

  2. #12
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    Re: Easiest way to move working MythTV backend to larger hard drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by bullwinkle2 View Post
    If you have no connection whatsoever to Acronis then I apologize for my snarkiness, but I have seen too many cases where people come into a forum and try to push some commercial product and then if you do some digging, you find out that they are in some way connected to that company and a really just spamming on behalf of the company. And anyway, IMHO you really should have mentioned up front that it's a commercial product AND that you need to have at least one system running Windows to utilize it.
    No, I don't have any connection with Acronis. I simply bought their product, and found it to be a 1-step, GUI solution for cloning and resizing hard drive contents.

    In fairness, you didn't say you were looking for a totally free solution. You asked for "Easiest way to move working MythTV backend to larger hard drive". Acronis is the easiest way I know.
    I usually start it cloning before bedtime and check on it the next morning.

    I have been learning how to do more and more with Linux over the last 7 years, but I've not been able to totally replace Windows for EVERYTHING I do. So, there are Linux machines and Windows machines in my life.

    Please, let the forum know what method you end up using, and how the clone went.

    Eric

  3. #13
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    Re: Easiest way to move working MythTV backend to larger hard drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by neutron68 View Post
    No, I don't have any connection with Acronis. I simply bought their product, and found it to be a 1-step, GUI solution for cloning and resizing hard drive contents. In fairness, you didn't say you were looking for a totally free solution. You asked for "Easiest way to move working MythTV backend to larger hard drive".
    In that case I retract some of my criticisms, but still I would think it somewhat obvious that if I'm posting in a Ubuntu forum, asking about about the easiest way to clone a Ubuntu derivative, I am NOT looking for a solution that requires Windows. I still don't like it when you ask how to do something and people start offering for-pay solutions - that might be appropriate on a Mac OS X forum. because those folks are used to be treated that way, but many if not most Ubuntu and Linux users love their free software, particularly when it comes to utility software. But I was really more put off by the fact that Windows was involved in any way, shape or form.
    Quote Originally Posted by neutron68 View Post
    Acronis is the easiest way I know. I usually start it cloning before bedtime and check on it the next morning.
    I get that it works for you, just saying that it couldn't be more wrong for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by neutron68 View Post
    Please, let the forum know what method you end up using, and how the clone went.
    Actually, just as a test I wound up backing up using both Redo Backup and Clonezilla Live. While both worked to make a backup, I wound up using Redo Backup to restore. Personally, I just liked that program better, although either would likely have worked. But I encountered a few issues with Clonezilla Live. First, it offers three different versions for different systems, and the first I picked wouldn't boot, and I finally had to download and burn a CD with the "lowest common denominator" i486 version (I had originally picked the i686 version). Redo Backup didn't give me any problems in that regard, it offered one version that just booted right up.

    Also, Clonezilla Live asked a few annoying questions during bootup (questions you would normally be asked when installing an operating system), and when it finally did boot it was a bit more difficult to figure out what to do. Redo Backup makes it very clear how to proceed, and their user interface is more pleasing.

    Both would let me back up to the network, but neither could see my shared directory on the computer I wanted to send the backup to. Redo will let you backup to an FTP server, so I set up an FTP server temporarily and let it backup to that. Clonezilla Live gave the the option of backing up via SSH, so I used that to back up to a different computer on the network. On that score I would tend to give Clonezilla Live the point. And Clonezilla Live does offer to verify the backup after it's finished, which Redo Backup didn't. But ultimately, when it came time to do the restore, I decided to try Redo Backup first, because I knew it would be less hassle and let me get the job done quickly, and besides, I'm a bit of a sucker for a nice-looking GUI.

    And Redo delivered - the restore worked with no hassle at all. But what it did not do, and what the version of Clonezilla Live probably would not have done either, is to resize the partitions so that the extra space on the new drive would be used. So, I downloaded GPartEd Live and burned it to a CD. And GPartEd is one of those programs that if you've ever used it a few times, you know exactly what you need to do and could probably accomplish it quickly. But as a first-time user I was mystified as to why I could not grow my data partition to use the new space on the drive. GPartEd would allow me to shrink it, but not grow it. It took looking at a few web pages to understand that the swap partition, which normally sits at the far end of the drive, was right after my original data partition and had to be moved to the end of the unallocated space - something that GPartEd can easily do, but they don't exactly make it intuitive for a new user. This is a case where a simple popup informing the user of why the partition cannot be expanded would make a huge difference. Anyway, after I got the swap partition moved out of the way, I was then able to grow my data partition with no problem, and then the new drive worked great, and everything was as it had been except I had a lot mode storage.
    Last edited by bullwinkle2; November 3rd, 2013 at 01:36 AM.

  4. #14
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    Re: Easiest way to move working MythTV backend to larger hard drive?

    Thanks for the update. Your impressions of Clonezilla are line with what I thought.

    I usually clone from one physical hard drive to another physical hard drive.
    I'll have a look at Redo Backup and see how I like it.

  5. #15
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    Re: Easiest way to move working MythTV backend to larger hard drive?

    My recommendation, for anyone building a future system is to put everything, except the MythTV storage stuff, on one small SSD. Put MythTV's storage - video,recordings,liveTV, music, banners, etc (anything defined on the storage groups page) on a large mechanical drive. This way in the future, you can move everything (if you need to) simply by using the tar command. You won't need to worry about affecting the OS, bootloaders, whatever. No special software needed as tar will do it all. Of course is you are building a system, use a case that can take more than one drive. Then you can add it to the storage group as suggested above.

    A couple of other comments about the SSD/Storage Drive 2 disk solution.
    I'd keep the DB and and Mythtv or Mythtv user home drive on the SSD. Make sure the SSD is mounted with the options for SSD.

    I'd also recommend formatting the large storage drive with XFS as described in the MythTV wiki. If you are buying a new mechanical drive then something slower like a WD Green drive works fine with Mythtv. It uses less power and is quiet.

    -------------------

    Though I wouldn't expect that a Myth system would have one, IF there is a Windows 7 partition on your system, take care not to resize or move it with gparted. If you do, you might find that it will no longer boot and there isn't a clear way to fix it.
    Last edited by topcat5; November 4th, 2013 at 12:43 AM.

  6. #16
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    Re: Easiest way to move working MythTV backend to larger hard drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by topcat5 View Post
    My recommendation, for anyone building a future system is to put everything, except the MythTV storage stuff, on one small SSD. Put MythTV's storage - video,recordings,liveTV, music, banners, etc (anything defined on the storage groups page) on a large mechanical drive. This way in the future, you can move everything (if you need to) simply by using the tar command. You won't need to worry about affecting the OS, bootloaders, whatever. No special software needed as tar will do it all. Of course is you are building a system, use a case that can take more than one drive. Then you can add it to the storage group as suggested above.

    A couple of other comments about the SSD/Storage Drive 2 disk solution.
    I'd keep the DB and and Mythtv or Mythtv user home drive on the SSD. Make sure the SSD is mounted with the options for SSD.

    I'd also recommend formatting the large storage drive with XFS as described in the MythTV wiki. If you are buying a new mechanical drive then something slower like a WD Green drive works fine with Mythtv. It uses less power and is quiet.
    I agree with this. My master backend uses a 64GB Samsung 830 series SSD with the Database and home directory on it. All the recordings, videos, backups reside on 4 mechanical drives (Two 2 TB and two 1 TB drives). The mechanical drives use XFS file systems and the SSD uses EXT4 with options enabled (noatime,discard).

    I also use the same SSD on a separate frontend with fantastic results. Fast booting on both machines and no lag bringing up recordings or videos.

  7. #17
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    Re: Easiest way to move working MythTV backend to larger hard drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by novellahub View Post
    I agree with this. My master backend uses a 64GB Samsung 830 series SSD with the Database and home directory on it. All the recordings, videos, backups reside on 4 mechanical drives (Two 2 TB and two 1 TB drives). The mechanical drives use XFS file systems and the SSD uses EXT4 with options enabled (noatime,discard).

    I also use the same SSD on a separate frontend with fantastic results. Fast booting on both machines and no lag bringing up recordings or videos.
    How do you accomplish this?
    1. Can you do this to an already-installed Mythbuntu system, or must it be done at the time of install?
    2. What steps (typed commands) and software tools do you need to accomplish the move?

    Thanks.

  8. #18
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    Re: Easiest way to move working MythTV backend to larger hard drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by neutron68 View Post
    How do you accomplish this?
    1. Can you do this to an already-installed Mythbuntu system, or must it be done at the time of install?
    2. What steps (typed commands) and software tools do you need to accomplish the move?

    Thanks.
    I did the partitioning at the time of install. I did it as part of my migration from Mythbutu 10.04 to 12.04.

    Here is a overview of my system partitioned on with the mount points:

    64 GB SSD - /
    1 TB HD - /myth
    2 TB HD - /myth2
    1 TB HD - /myth3
    2 TB HD - /myth4

    Under each mount point I keep my recordings under a folder named "tv" (Except for the SSD). I did this using the advanced partitioning tool built into the Mythbuntu installer. I keep my backups under the "backup" folder under /myth (Backup of my custom scripts, tuner firmware, and database backups).


    Here are the steps I did migrating from Mythbuntu 10.04 to Mythbuntu 12.04 (I was previously using a 500 GB drive for the OS install):

    1. First I did a backup of the database http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/Database_Backup_and_Restore and saved it on my backup folder under the /myth mount point.
    2. I removed the old 500 GB hard drive
    3. Installed new 64 GB SSD
    4. Started the Mythbuntu install and chose the advanced partitioning option
    5. I set up the partitioning as stated above. I chose ext4 for the SSD and left the /myth type mount points using XFS.
    6. After the install was completed I did the restore of the database http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/Database_Backup_and_Restore
    7. I then had to do some ownership chown for the /myth type partitions using the following command "chown -R mythtv:mythtv myth" (without quotes)
    8. I also had to do some chmod of the files so mythtv can write to the tv folders "chmod -R 775 /mythv/tv" (without quotes)

  9. #19
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    Re: Easiest way to move working MythTV backend to larger hard drive?

    And Redo delivered - the restore worked with no hassle at all. But what it did not do, and what the version of Clonezilla Live probably would not have done either, is to resize the partitions so that the extra space on the new drive would be used. So, I downloaded GPartEd Live and burned it to a CD. And GPartEd is one of those programs that if you've ever used it a few times, you know exactly what you need to do and could probably accomplish it quickly. But as a first-time user I was mystified as to why I could not grow my data partition to use the new space on the drive. GPartEd would allow me to shrink it, but not grow it. It took looking at a few web pages to understand that the swap partition, which normally sits at the far end of the drive, was right after my original data partition and had to be moved to the end of the unallocated space - something that GPartEd can easily do, but they don't exactly make it intuitive for a new user.
    I'm in the process of cloning Mythbuntu 12.04 to a larger hard drive and using gparted to stretch the partitions to fill the disk.
    In this case, Acronis True Image 2011 would not see my destination hard drive, so I had to try something else.
    Redo Backup 1.0.4 could not see my destination hard drive either! But, Clonezilla 2.2.4-12 could. Since Clonezilla can't clone and stretch in one automatic operation, I have to use gparted for the partition stretch portion of the task.
    I'd like to fill in the blanks of what was referenced above, in regard to using gparted to move the swap partition to the end of the disk.

    In a default (single hard drive) install of Mythbuntu, the Linux swap partition is within an extended partition (2GB on my system), not inside the primary partition (EXT4 in my system).
    When you clone a 1TB drive to a 2TB drive, there is a lot of allocated space after the swap partition of the 2TB drive. In order to get the swap partition to the very end of the disk, you need to perform the steps listed below.

    NOTE: If you don't perform the disk tasks 1-at-a-time in gparted, the time needed to complete will be in the HOURS.
    Perform tasks 1-at-a-time in gparted.

    1) Select the extended partition (2GB on my system) and grow it to end of the disk. Click Apply and let the task finish.
    2) Drag the swap partition to the end of the enlarged extended partition. Click Apply and let the task finish.
    3) Resize the extended partition so that it is the original size again (2GB on my system), by sliding the left boundary, to the right. Click Apply and let the task finish.
    4) Select the primary partition, and grow the primary partition to fill the unallocated space. Click Apply and let the task finish.

    If you do this as I suggest, the process will take around 10 minutes.

    Speaking from experience, if you select a bunch of tasks (7, for example), gparted, will take HOURS to perform them.
    I tried the same list of tasks I detailed above to be performed after a single APPLY button press.
    It took 6 hours!
    see:
    http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/a...ps0715ca4a.jpg

    The difference doing it 1-task-at-a-time is striking!
    Last edited by neutron68; October 20th, 2014 at 04:16 AM. Reason: added detail

  10. #20
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    Re: Easiest way to move working MythTV backend to larger hard drive?

    I just did this with my combined frontend/backend. It was easy. I booted with a gparted livecd with both drives attached. First thing is to identify which drive is which. gparted can tell you this. Then, just use dd to copy the old drive to the new drive. Once that finishes, reboot with the livecd once more with just the new drive attached. You can then grow the / partition to the size of the new drive. In my case, I had to remove the swap partition and re-create it. That will require you to edit /etc/fstab to mount swap, but other than that, no issues.

    I can give more info if necessary.
    Matt

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