Migrating your disks from one ReadyNAS to another ReadyNAS on the same platform

There is a FAQ entry on the ReadyNAS forums: How do I migrate disks over from an existing ReadyNAS to another?

This explains the steps to migrate your disks from a Sparc ReadyNAS to another Sparc ReadyNAS or from a x86 ReadyNAS to another x86 ReadyNAS.

There are a few things that make it easy to remember which ReadyNAS units belong to which platform.

All Infrant (this company was acquired by NetGear) ReadyNAS are Sparc ReadyNAS.

To the best of my knowledge all NetGear ReadyNAS are x86 ReadyNAS except for the Duo, NV+ and 1100 (Sparc ReadyNAS)

At the time of writing x86 ReadyNAS are the NVX, NVX Pioneer, Ultra Series (Ultra 2/4/6), Ultra Plus Series (Ultra 2/4/6 Plus), Pro Business Edition, Pro Pioneer, Pro Series (Pro 2/4/6), 1500, 2100, 3200, 3100 and 4200.

If unsure after reading the FAQ and the above comment which ReadyNAS units belong to which platform, please ask for advice on the forum.

If the unit  you are migrating to is running an older version of firmware than the unit you are migrating from, you may run into issues.

For this reason if both ReadyNAS are in working condition I recommend the following procedure:

1. Backup all data

2. Verify backup is good

3. Upgrade to the latest RAIDiator (via System > Update in Frontview) on each unit. If the unit you are migrating to is empty, you could use a spare disk you have lying around (must not be from your array as you can’t migrate a non-redundant volume, note also that you may need to do a factory default – wipes all data, settings, everything if this spare disk is a used disk).

4. Do a System > Config backup (keep the zip file). Like the backup of your data, you shouldn’t need to restore this, but it’s nice to have a backup of the config just in case.

5. Power down both ReadyNAS Remove all disks from both ReadyNAS (label order).

6. Move the disks across keeping the ordering the same.

7. Power on. It wouldn’t hurt to do a firmware update (via System > Update) just to make doubly sure that the firmware on the disks is the same as that on the flash. Do the required reboot when prompted.

8. Be sure to recalibrate the fan under Status > Health in Frontview.

If the source ReadyNAS is not in a working condition:

1. Try to remember what firmware your dead ReadyNAS is running. If so, using a spare disk (must not be from your array as you can’t migrate a non-redundant volume, note also that you may need to do a factory default – wipes all data, settings, everything if this spare disk is a used disk) and check what firmware you see running on the replacement unit (this is displayed on the home page of Frontview, the web-interface of the ReadyNAS). Don’t downgrade the firmware, but if it is older than the firmware on your dead ReadyNAS be sure to do a firmware update. If you can’t remember what firmware version was running on the dead ReadyNAS update the firmware on the replacement ReadyNAS to the latest version.

2. Power down, remove the spare disk, then migrate the disks from the dead unit to the replacement one keeping the order the same.

3. Install the latest RAIDiator (over the top of itself if necessary) via System > Update. Reboot when prompted.

4. Recalibrate the fan under Status > Health in Frontview.

Q&A

1. Can I migrate disks from a Sparc ReadyNAS to a x86 ReadyNAS?

No, unfortunately. These are on separate platforms. They use different OSes and have partitions setup differently. You can reuse the disks in the new unit but data cannot be retained. I have a detailed recommendation as to how I would do this migration outlined in my guide available on my Online Store.

2. Does the firmware version really matter?

Yes. If the ReadyNAS you are migrating to is running older firmware than the ReadyNAS you are migrating from you may encounter issues.  Your data would still be O.K., but the NAS may refuse to boot.

3. In regards to the x86 ReadyNAS, does 32-bit vs 64-bit matter?

This is a good question. The NVX, NVX Pioneer and 2100v1  are 32-bit ReadyNAS (2100v1 is no longer in production, 2100v2 is a 64-bit ReadyNAS). These run a 32-bit kernel as opposed to the 64-bit kernel that the 64-bit models (all other x86 ReadyNAS) use. Personally, I wouldn’t migrate from a 64-bit ReadyNAS to a 32-bit one (I think this may possibly not work, your data should still be O.K., but the NAS may refuse to boot). If possible, I’d recommend transferring data across your network, rather than migrating disks across between a 32-bit and a 64-bit ReadyNAS.

4. The firmware in the flash in the replacement unit is newer than the firmware in the old unit, can I do a firmware re-install to update the firmware on the disks?

Yes you can. Please do make sure that the firmware is newer in the flash in the replacement unit. There are certain firmware downgrades that are dangerous (to your data) to attempt such as trying to downgrade a Sparc ReadyNAS from RAIDiator 4.x to RAIDiator 3.x (or earlier), downgrading a x86 ReadyNAS unit that runs 4.2.6 or later to earlier firmware, downgrading a x86 ReadyNAS running 4.2.16 to earlier firmware, downgrading firmware to an earlier version than what was current when your model was first released.

5. Is backing up data before a migration really necessary?

It’s not essential, but strongly recommended if the old ReadyNAS is in working condition. It is possible to damage drives when handling them bare without realising it (not to mention possible obvious accidents like dropping disks to the floor). You should backup your important data primarily stored on the ReadyNAS regularly anyway (see Preventing Catastrophic Data Loss).

6. What should I do in the highly unlikely event I have a problem with the migration?

Don’t panic, contact tech support and wait for their expert advice.

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