How to upgrade HDD for one bay model
This page aims to give FULL step by step instructions on how to upgrade to a bigger HDD for your one bay synology disk station.
1. Although the below mentioned proccess is not considered risky, create a full backup of all your data is always recomended.
2. It is always recomended to upgrade your firmware to the latest version before this proccess for lesser compatible issue with your new HDD.
3. Although it is very very unlikely, I still need to mention DO NOT update the firmware of your diskstation while cloning your HDD (of course you will need an extra HDD to do so). Because the firmware of the synology product contains data for both the EEPROM and the system partition. If the firmware version of the EEPROM and the system partition don't match, the diskstation would not boot and you will have to reinstall everything.
The method I am using to upgrade the HDD is called disk cloning. Specific software was used to copy namely everything from one HDD to another. The software I am going to use is Acronis True Image.
Why not following the official method?
The official method is in the storage section of FAQ. It simply instruct users to install a completely new operating system (firmware) to the new HDD, and then connect the old HDD via USB or eSATA port to copy all the old data to the new HDD.
What is the problem of the official method? The major problem is that it leaves many important things behind. Such as the user and group accounts and their privileges, the share folders and mysql databases, network setup, backup settings, etc. Recreating the exact same configuration as before after changing to the new HDD could be a huge nightmare for most people. Even the configuration backup function is not backing up everything.
This method may also be good for software mod users becase all your mods would work fine on the new HDD. No need to reinstall, no need to worry about different firmware/mod versions. Sometimes you might find it harder to get the older versions of the stable firmware/mod than getting the newest untested versions when you really need to reinstall.
Another problem is the slow performace of the internal copying proccess due to slow CPU, lack of RAM, etc. Using a PC to transfer the files must be a lot faster.
What would you need before upgrade?
1. A PC with ability to connect 2 HDD (SATA/IDE depending on your original HDD). A Notebook computer with 2 USB to SATA/IDE adaptor also consider OK.
2. A Acronis True Image Boot CD. For instructions to create the Boot CD, please go to here. Or other similar disk cloning tools.
3. The Indispensable new HDD.
Compatible Disk Station Models
All Disk Stations with single drive bay are compatible with this method.
Warnings: DO NOT attempt to clone any RAID disk array using this method.
Models tested out successfully by aLEC:
Step by Step instructions
This time I am going to use my DS-108j as an example. The original HDD size is 160GB. The new HDD size is 1TB. I used one of my old computer as the cloning platform. It has only 2 SATA port but it is alright. I can unplug the original HDD because we boot from the CD directly, no other OS is needed.
1. Switch off your Disk Station, unmount the original HDD.
2. Unwrap your new HDD.
3. Make sure your PC is off. Connect both HDD to your computer. You may connect them directly to the on board connector, or via eSATA/USB adaptors. It is a general believe that using the on board connector would be faster than using other adaptors.
4. Put the Acronis True Image Boot CD in your optical drive and then boot your PC. Make sure your optical drive is set to boot first in BIOS.
5. Select Acronis True Image (Full Version) from the menu. Full version is always recommended for better support for various USB and other controllers.
In my own personal experience, the newer the controllers(usb chipset, usb to SATA controller, etc), the greater chance that it is not supported by the software. If your HDD is not recognised(usually only happens in using USB adaptors), you may consider changing the cloning platform to an older computer or older adaptors.
6. Select Tools >> Clone Disk from the pull down menu.
7. The Clone Disk Wizard start, click next.
8. Select the hard disk clone mode: Manual, and click next.
9. Select the original HDD, in my case, the 160GB HDD, click next.
10. Select the destination HDD, in my case, the 1TB HDD, click next.
11. If the destination HDD is nonempty, the follow screen will show. We need to delete all existing data on the destination HDD. Select Delete and click next.
12. Old HDD usage, select Keep data in case of anything happen. (I would recomend user to keep the old HDD unchange for at least a week after the upgrade. If your new HDD is crashing or not stable, then you can jump back to your old HDD.) Then click next.
13. Select Data moving method: Manual. Only the manual option will allow you to reallocate the partition size in the destination HDD. Click next. You may need to wait several minutes before the next screen show up. If your source HDD is big, like 1TB, it might take up to 30 mins to show the next screen.
14. If the partion layout on the new HDD is OK to you, click next. Or you can check the Proceed relayout and click next to resize the partitions like me.
There are basically three partitions in synology disk station HDD. The System partition, the SWAP partition and the Data partition. In my case, the size of system partition in the original HDD is 2.3GB, the size of the SWAP partition is 509.9MB and the size of the Data partiton is 146.1GB. The sizes of the partitions for the destination HDD is 14.9GB, 509.9MB and 916.1GB respectively. Actually we don't need more disk space for the system partition and SWAP partition, more disk space won't improve performance. We should contribute most of our extra space to the data partition.
So, we check Proceed relayout and click next.
15. Select the system partition (14.9GB), click next.
16. Change the partition size to 3GB, click next.
17. Then move the SWAP partition to the front, and repeat the proccess to expand the Data partition to use up all space. You can see we gain about 12GB space for the Data partition.
18. After reallocating the partition space, you can uncheck proceed relayout and click next to the finish page.
19. If everything looks fine, click proceed.
20. It will pop up a warning message, but it's not related to our situation, so just click OK to proceed.
21. The operations are running one by one.
22. It might take several hours to complete the cloning proccess if your HDD is big.
23. Nearly finish... Actually It takes less than 60mins for the whole proccess in my case because I have only 45GB data in the old 160GB HDD.
24. After the cloning proccess, click OK and then turn off your computer.
25. Remove the HDDs and plug the new HDD back to your disk station. Turn the power on and it is done. Running nicely and smoothly after the upgrade.
Although the original intention of this article is to upgrade to a bigger HDD, but the exact same method can be used to clone data to a smaller HDD, if the data size can fit on the smaller HDD.