NAS Migration Guide – Synology Edition

/ 3 years ago

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One-Bay NAS to Two-Bay NAS

Backup and Preparation

The backup isn’t as important in this first part of the migration guide as it would be with two or more drive bay models due to the previously mentioned issue: We can’t just move the previous drive into the new system and choose the migration option during initialization of the new system.

On the other hand, since we’ve just bought a NAS with more drive bays that we previously had, then there’s a very good chance that we also bought more drives to go along with it. So we could simply install the new NAS with those drives and copy those files over. While that’s more or less what I will do here, I will also try to move over as many of my previous settings as possible – especially my users and user groups.

To make sure that the transition is as easy as possible, it is recommended that you update both NAS’ to the latest, or at least same version, of the firmware. This will give us the best possible compatibility between the two.


So, let us say that we have created a backup of our files although not really needed, so it is time to export our settings. You can find an easy-to-use one-click function for this within the Control Panel under the Update and Restore function where you also went to update the DSM itself.

This function will export the users, user groups, shared folder, workgroup, domain, and LDAP settings along with the Windows, Mac, and NFS file service settings. FTP settings, Network backup, user home folder settings, password settings, SNMP, and Task Scheduler settings will also be exported. All this will end up in a single file that will be provided as a download for you to save on your PC.


Now that we have created a backup of our settings, we can move onto our new NAS which we already installed and updated the same way as I’ve demonstrated in all my previous Synology reviews. In this case, I have equipped the new 2-bay NAS with two drive, assuming that I not only want a new and bigger NAS but that I also want new and bigger drives.


Now that my new system is up and running, it is time to import the settings from the previous NAS. For this, we go to the same section in the Control Panel and simply choose the Restore function instead of the Back-Up function.


We get to choose which parts of the previous backed up items we want to restore in groups and we can pick whether we want to overwrite conflicting settings. Since this is a brand new setup, we’ll select everything as we want to move everything.


Before the changes get applied, we get a final warning that our previous settings will be overwritten and that all services will be temporarily stopped until the process is completed.


A few seconds later the NAS is done and we get a confirmation for it. Depending on how much it has to restore, this might take a little longer for a full setup that has been running a long time.


To verify that the users and settings have been moved, we can double check that before we continue.


Both my users and my shares have all been restored, so I’m happy with that and we can continue to move the files over.


File Transfer

There are multiple ways to move our files from the old NAS and onto the new. We could copy them in our Windows Explorer the way we usually do that, but that will tie up the system for some time and Windows itself has one of the slowest methods of file copy around.

Another easy way to do it is via an FTP program. Synology’s Disk Station Manager has a built-in FTP service which also supports FXP transfers from one server to another. With this method, only control packages are sent to the system from which you run the client on and it is a very effective way to copy files from one system to another.

My favourite application in this regard is FlashFXP by OpenSight Software. While it isn’t free, you get a 30-day trial which is plenty for our need. I also got a full license myself and also one for eTeknix, so I’m fully covered anyway. Should you decide to keep using it longer than the 30-day trial, then it’s a cheap app to purchase and well worth the asking price in my opinion. With over 20 languages and full support for FTP, SFTP, and FXP, it does it all. It also supports on-the-fly compression, SSL/TLS, HTTP, SOCKS 4/5, and much more.


Using this method, my 123GB of TV shows, images, and music were copied in 27 minutes and 25 seconds which is an average of 76.59 MB/s. Depending on the amount of data you have on the original system, it might require you to have your PC running with FlashFXP for quite some time. So while it is a very easy way to do it, it might not be the optimal one for you. It does however not require any more hardware on your part than you already have in use.


Another method to do it would be with an external docking station, either USB or eSATA depending on what your new NAS has at its disposal. You should also make sure that it supports the size of your drive, some older docking stations don’t support drives above 2TB capacity which could create a problem. Modern docking station, especially those with USB 3.0, don’t have this problem and would be an optimal choice.


Using this method, you only need to plug the docking station into your new NAS with the HDD from the old and start copying the files via the built-in File Station app. It’s as easy as using your normal file explorer in Windows. Select files and then hit the Copy To function from the Action menu.



And that’s really it. You’ve got your data and your settings from your old NAS on your new one. The old can now be used in another place, as an extra backup target, or you could sell it or give it to someone who doesn’t have a NAS yet.

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