Moving existing FreeBSD system to a new harddisk...

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at
Wed Apr 18 20:35:02 UTC 2007

On Wed, Apr 18, 2007 at 05:46:50PM +0200, Christian Walther wrote:

> On 18/04/07, Amarendra Godbole <amarendra.godbole at> wrote:
> >Hi,
> >
> >I have FreeBSD 6.2 installed on a Dell Latitude D400 laptop. The
> >harddisk is 40G, with FreeBSD occupying about 25G, and remaining to
> >Windows. I have received a replacement for this hard disk, which is a
> >bigger capacity one - 80G. I have to move the existing FreeBSD system
> >from the old to the new hard disk. I did find something here:
> > Still, I'd like to hear
> >someone's experience regarding the same. Thanks!
> I recently replaced a dying Hard Disk with a newer and bigger one. To
> move the data to the new disk I used dump/restore, and stored the data
> on my server.
> 1. dumped all slices from the machine to the server
> 2. replaced the disks
> 3. did a basic FreeBSD install from CD ROM to get a proper disk layout
> and a boot manager. Because of this installation I got the same slices
> as on the old disk, just with a new size matching the new disks
> specification. So the slice names remained the same.
> 4. restored the previously dumped slices to the new disk

Just a comment here.    You seem to be switching around the terms
a little.   You would dump a partition, not a slice.   In FreeBSD,
slices are the primary divisions, of which there can be up to 4 and
the subdivisions of each slice, upon which filesystems are built
are called partitions.   It is popular to get these turned around.
Even the man pages have goofed up in a couple of places.

It is handy to refer to the division that gets dumped and restored
as a 'filesystem' since by that time it has already been not only 
divided but new-fs into a read/write-able filesystem.   By doing 
that, it reduces some of the opportunity for confusion in terms.

Otherwise, what you explain here is reasonable.


> BTW: As long as you don't remove/destroy the data on the original disk
> there's nothing desastrous that can be happen to you. If the method
> you choose doesn't work somehow, you can still create another backup
> of the original disk.
> >From all possible and existing methods you should choose the one you
> feel most comfortable with, e.g. that you understand completely, and
> where you know the needed tools most.
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