Rich Freeman on 23 Oct 2012 10:28:15 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] upgrading system hard drives

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 12:48 PM, Lee H. Marzke <> wrote:
> Try this:

It really depends on what you're trying to accomplish.  You can use
clonezilla, or even just dd to copy the disks at a binary level.
Clonezilla MIGHT give you some options for repartitioning, but I don't
think it does.

If you just want to do logical file copies, then you do need to set up
grub on the new hard drive.  Instructions for that vary depending on
whether your distro has an automagic way to do it, and what version of
grub you're using.

If you have a custom kernel build you also need to make sure that it
will support your new system, but for just a drive change that isn't
terribly likely to be a problem.

if you're going to do logical file copies you might give thought to
whether you really want to stay with ext2.  I'd probably bump that up
to at least ext3 if not ext4.  Journaliing is a big improvement in
reliability in general, and ext4 has a lot of improvements as well.
Anything beyond that is experimental - I wouldn't run btrfs/etc on a
server.  For some niches other options like xfs might be ok.

Oh, and don't run mysql on ext4 - I ended up moving that to ext3 as
mysql, ext4, and barriers operate VERY slowly together.  The mysql
team says to just turn off barriers, which I guess is a good solution
if you don't care about your data, and why you'd bother using a
relational database for data you don't care about escapes me.  I guess
the postgres crowd would say the same about mysql.  :)

If you're using LVM or mdadm there are also ways to move your data
over to the new drive with zero downtime (well, just a bit of downtime
if your hardware doesn't support hot swapping).  You don't have to be
down while the data is all copied over.

But the gist of the original proposal was about right.  Just make sure
that grub can find /boot and is installed on the new MBR.  Oh, and
mind device numbers with grub and if you aren't using labels for your
mount points - if you stick another drive in they might not match up
unless you pull your old drive.  You don't want to install grub
configured with root on hd1 and then when it boots it is now hd0.
That gets a bit arcane to work out.

Oh, and have a boot CD ready no matter what - it isn't that hard to
make little corrections if you have one.

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