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Thread: Harddrive failing - steps to migrate to new one

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    116

    Harddrive failing - steps to migrate to new one

    HI all,

    A have a harddrive that is giving me bad sectors and is probably on the verge of failing. Can anyone help outline the plan to have it replaced?

    Here's the setup.

    sda = 2 TB seagate. failing drive
    sda1 = 490 GB old ubuntu install. I don't really need this one, but I have it.
    sda2 = 32 GB swap
    sda3 = 1.5 TB home (this is shared between sda and sdc)
    sda4 = 10 GB fat EFI boot partition


    sdb= 2 TB seagate with windows installed. Shouldn't need to touch this one
    sdc = 500 GB SSD
    sdc1 = 1 GB fat EFI boot partition
    sdc2 = 499 GB ubuntu install

    Yes, I know I have a lot of wasted space with the EFI partitions
    Yes, I know I don't need multiple ubuntu installs. I just like the freedom of knowing if something mucks up on one drive, I have another one I can quickly just boot into.


    My plan:
    1. Purchase a 2 TB ssd drive to replace sda

    What would you recommend I do to replace sda with the new SSD?

    Is there a clone utility as the drives are the same size? Is this method reliable?
    Or would you recommend me just setting up the new SSD with a fresh partition/install and then copying the /home over manually?

    Once that is copied though, I assume I'd need to change my sdc Ubuntu install to point to that new /home?
    Would I also need to 'refresh' GRUB to handle change of drive, or would this be transparent?

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    SW Forida
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    Ubuntu

    Re: Harddrive failing - steps to migrate to new one

    I always suggest new install, others may suggest clonezilla.
    Do new install & restore from your backup. This also confirms your backup includes everything you need to restore system as sometime drives just crash without warning and a restore from backup then is only option. At minimum you need /home, and list of installed apps. You may edit some system files in /etc. I copy the few I change into /home for backup.

    New install also does major housecleaning of old log files & other cruft that builds up over time.
    And allows changing partitions around.

    If using multiple installs, often better to have /home inside / (root) and have a large data partition with all the data normally in /home. Then you can have different settings in /home but mount data & have same data. I have multiple installs, so I can test changes without corrupting main working install. And I like to install each new release, but keep current LTS as main working install. Every install then has same data, but no conflicts with settings in /home.
    UEFI boot install & repair info - Regularly Updated :
    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Beans
    116

    Re: Harddrive failing - steps to migrate to new one

    Thanks Fred,

    I think i will do that.

    How does this plan sound:

    1. connect the new SSD via a USB enclosure.
    2. Partition and install Ubuntu on it.
    3. Copy the current sda /home to the home partition on the USB enclosed SSD.

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Pa...ng/Home/Moving
    This seems useful for changing which is a mount point of /home. I'd have to

    4. Turn off PC, unplug sda. Plug in new SSD into sata for sda.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Beans
    1,156

    Re: Harddrive failing - steps to migrate to new one

    I tend to use ddrescue on failing drives. It can create an image and clone the drive exactly. It can retry weak sectors and sometime recover the data. The only problem is that the new drive must be exactly the same size or larger. even a little smaller won't work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Beans
    116

    Re: Harddrive failing - steps to migrate to new one

    Right now the drive still appears fully readable/working. It just has 1 bad sector and I'm seeing some stalls as it reads from the disk. I don't think there's been any data loss right now. But the HD looks to be going bad.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Switzerland
    Beans
    2,907
    Distro
    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Harddrive failing - steps to migrate to new one

    Just copy away /home onto an external disk ... you don't really need the rest. Install a fresh OS onto a new SSD and then carefully restore your old contents from your old /home into your new one.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
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    3,597
    Distro
    Xubuntu

    Re: Harddrive failing - steps to migrate to new one

    Whenever I suspect a HD is failing, the very first thing that I do is to copy anything and everything that I might need from that drive.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    U.K.
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    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Harddrive failing - steps to migrate to new one

    You already have one point of failure. Your failing hard drive.
    As a general rule I try to at least duplicate my drives (n+1 rule) so that if one goes I have at least another (setting aside backup devices).
    So instead of a single 2TB SSD, I purchased two 1TB SSD's to place in a Startech dual docking bay with its own power supply.
    Each SSD is also placed in an SSD container so that it can be plugged into the dual docking bay (as can your SATA drive).
    You can install SSD's internally in the host PC, but this external docking bay is more convenient. The only point to watch is to use USB 3.0 port for additional performance.
    Windows 10 still sits in the old internal hard drive.
    I have read recently that future Windows 11 insists that secure boot is always on in bios whereas with dual boot so far it can be switched off. But Windows 11 is still some time away.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Squidbilly-Land
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    Ubuntu

    Re: Harddrive failing - steps to migrate to new one

    +1 for ddrescue if the source HDD is failing and you have 24 hrs to let it copy. The source and target HDDs need to have the same size sectors (512b or 4Kb) and the target needs to be at least the same number of sectors or more.

    If not, backup the stuff you want to keep and do a fresh install onto the new storage, then restore the stuff from your backup. Ideally, that backup should already exist from last night. Lots of threads here say what is important to backup and the technique to capture the list of installed applications so those are easy to add back in.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Beans
    116

    Re: Harddrive failing - steps to migrate to new one

    My data is pretty well backup now. I sync most documents using OneDrive and have a NAS locally.

    I just like to have everything going. I *could* pretty easily wipe and reinstall everything. But I like to have my computer always ready to go because it is so crucial for my work and most of my life.

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