NAS Migration Guide – Synology Edition

/ 10 months ago

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There can be many different reasons why you’ll want to migrate from one NAS to another, but the two most common ones are probably that you’ve run out of space and want more available drive bays and the second is that you want more features and functions that newer models bring along. In today’s little guide, I will be showing you some of the ways that you can migrate your data from one NAS to another.

This guide is called Synology Edition because I’ll be using three Synology NAS models for it. In the future, I’ll also be creating similar guides with other brands and cross-brand switching. When it comes to NAS’, most users are highly brand oriented and they prefer to stick to what they know. It is easier to stay within the same type of system as you know where what is and how to use it best and that’s probably the main reason for this.

The three NAS systems that I’ll be using today are the Synology DS116 which will be my first source system. From the DS116 model, I will move onto the Synology DS216j two-bay model before I will take that as a source and move onto the Synology DS916+ which will be the final target system. I’ve chosen to use three models in this guide as the move from a 1-bay Synology NAS will create a little problem due to the way Synology’s DSM operating system is installed and it will prevent the easiest migration of just moving the drives to the new system.

Systems with just one drive bay are set up slightly different system wise, which will prevent me from just unplugging the drive in the source and add it to the target – but in a way, that’s the fun part of this article. Having a problem and finding a way to work around it is something that just is more satisfying – at least for my ego.

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Before we start, there are a few things to keep in mind and the first is one that I’ve mentioned before in some of my articles – and it is probably the most important one. Always have an extra backup of your files. In theory, we won’t need this, but there’s always the possibility that things could go wrong. The second one is just as important and I can’t stress this enough. A RAID setup is no replacement for backups. Period! A RAID setup is for redundancy, providing resiliency against a failed drive in your setup, allowing you to continue operation without downtime while you replace the failed drive. Nothing more, nothing less.


Before I start to migrate anything, I need to create a setup on my source system. I’ll be creating a list of users, install the basic key apps such as Photo Station and Video Station and load them with some files in order to see what I can migrate and how easy. I’ll also dumb myself down and pretend that I’m a normal user that never did this kind of thing before in order to make it as easy as possible for other users who are in the same situation.


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