How to migrate between Synology NAS (DSM 5.0 and later)

Overview

When you purchase a new Synology NAS, your existing data can be moved from the old Synology NAS to the newly acquired one. This simple process is called "migration" but needs to be performed with care, so please read the instructions below to avoid any accidental data loss due to human error.

Depending on your Synology product or individual setup, there are several methods to perform migration. This article explains the basics and important information regarding migration and will guide you through the procedure of smoothly migrating data from one Synology NAS to another.

Contents

  1. Before you start
  2. Perform migration
  3. What if migration fails?

1. Before you start

1.1 Source and target Synology NAS

Performing migration moves data and drives from one Synology NAS to another. In this article, the original Synology NAS from which data is moved shall be called the Source Synology NAS, while the new one shall be called the Target Synology NAS.

1.2 Always back up your data

The migration procedures mentioned in this article allow you to keep most of your data. However, to prevent any accidental data loss, we strongly recommend backing up the following data:

Item Backup Method
Shared folders and packages (MariaDB, Photo Station, Surveillance Station) Go to Backup & Replication > Backup and click Create > Data backup task. Follow the wizard instructions to perform backup.
System configuration Go to Control Panel > Update & Restore > Configuration Backup and click Back up configuration to back up the following configurations:
  • Users and groups
  • Workgroup, domain, and LDAP
  • File sharing services (i.e. Windows File Service, Mac File Service, NFS Service, FTP, and WebDAV)
  • Backup services (i.e. Network Backup, Shared Folder Sync, and Time Backup)
  • Others (i.e. shared folders, web services, SNMP, user homes, password settings, task scheduler, disk usage reports)
Surveillance device license keys
  • Using an account belonging to the administrators group, go to License > Show and write down the license key(s).
  • To successfully install licenses on a new Synology product, please uninstall the licenses on the previous Synology product first.
Blog posts Go to the Settings page of Photo Station. In the Backup section under the Blog tab, click Start.
Note:
  • Performing migration requires Synology Assistant 5.0 and DSM 5.0 or higher. If you are using an older version of DSM, please see Section 3.2 Copying data across the network for instructions on performing migration.
  • The Surveillance device license key can only be applied to one Synology product at a time, and each license key can only be migrated once.

2. Performing migration

This section provides steps to perform migration. Before you attempt this procedure, we recommend reading each section of Before you start. In addition, to prevent accidental data loss, please pay special attention to Section 2.3 What if Synology Assistant displays a warning message?

Once you are prepared, please see the sections below for instructions on how to perform migration.

2.1 Migrating between two identical Synology NAS models

This section explains how to perform migration between two identical Synology NAS models, for example, migrate from an old DS713+ to a new DS713+.

Before you start:
  • Prepare a temporary SATA hard drive. This temporary hard drive will be used to update DSM on the target Synology NAS.
  • Make sure both Synology NAS are plugged into a power outlet and connected to the same network as your computer.
  • Make sure the source Synology NAS is running and the target Synology NAS is turned off.
  1. Log in to the source Synology NAS.
  2. Go to Control Panel > Update & Restore.
  3. Make sure the source Synology NAS is running the newest version of DSM. If a newer version is available, please download and install before continuing.
  4. Install the temporary hard drive in the target Synology NAS.
  5. Turn on the target Synology NAS and wait for it to boot up.
  6. Open a web browser on your computer and go to find.synology.com.
  7. Find the target Synology NAS and double-click it.
  8. The welcome screen is displayed. Click Next to continue.
  9. Use Synology's Download Center to download and install the newest version of DSM. Click Install Now to continue.
  10. Continue installation by creating an administrator account. Click Next to continue.
  11. When installation is complete, shut down both Synology servers. Wait for both Synology servers to shut down completely.
  12. Remove the temporary hard drive from the target Synology NAS.
  13. Remove the hard drives from the source Synology NAS. Please take note of the order each hard drive was installed in.
  14. Install the hard drives in the target Synology NAS. Hard drives must be installed in the same order as they were installed in the source Synology NAS.
  15. Turn on the target Synology NAS and wait for it to boot up. Log in to DSM and your data will be successfully migrated to the target Synology NAS now.

2.2 Migrating between different Synology NAS models

This section explains how to migrate data between different Synology NAS models. However, this method requires reinstalling DSM and all packages on the target Synology NAS, which will result in losing the following data:

  • Directory Server database
  • Photo Station/blog content
  • Auto-block settings
  • Video info content in Video Station
  • Mail Server and Mail Station settings
  • Surveillance Station settings
  • Download Station tasks and temporary storage
  • All media files will be re-indexed after migration

Please refer to section 1.2 Always back up your data to avoid any accidental data loss.

In addition, please see the below requirements and limitations before migrating data between different Synology NAS models:

  • Number of drive slots: The target Synology NAS must have enough drive slots to accommodate all of the drives belonging to the RAID volume on the source Synology NAS. For example, if you have a DS214 with a RAID 1 volume consisting of two hard drives, then your target Synology NAS must have at least two hard drive slots.
  • Single-bay and multiple-bay models: Due to differences in the disk partition system, single-bay models cannot migrate hard drives to multiple-bay models and vice versa. For example, hard drives from a DS114 cannot be migrated to a DS214 or DS414. Likewise, you cannot migrate hard drives from a DS214 or DS414 to a DS114.
  • DSM version: If the target Synology NAS is not in the brand-new out-of-the-box status, the DSM version running on the target Synology NAS must be the same or newer than the version on the source Synology NAS. For example, you cannot perform migration from a DS411 running DSM 5.1 to a DS411 running DSM 5.0.
  • Advanced system services: Some advanced system services are not supported in all Synology NAS models. You will not be able to use the following services if they’re not supported by the target Synology NAS, including:
    • iSCSI LUN/virtualization support
    • SSD cache/TRIM support
    • HFS+ read/write support on external drives
    • Packages that are designed for specific Synology NAS
  • SSD cache: If there are read-write SSD caches on the hard drives to be migrated, you will need to manually remove those caches on the source Synology NAS before migrating its data to the target Synology NAS to proceed.
  • Single volume size beyond 16TB: Most Synology NAS models in the J Series and Value Series support a single volume size up to 16TB. If the single volume size in the source Synology NAS is larger than 16TB, please select a target Synology NAS that supports a single volume size of 108TB before migration.
Before you start:

Make sure both Synology NAS models are plugged into a power outlet and connected to the same network as your computer.

  1. Log in to the source Synology NAS.
  2. Go to Control Panel > Update & Restore.
  3. Make sure the source Synology NAS is running the newest version of DSM. If a newer version is available, please download and install before continuing.
  4. Go to the Configuration Backup tab and click Back up configuration. A configuration file named [DiskStation Name]_[Created Date].dss will be downloaded to your computer. Keep this file in a safe place.
  5. If you need to back up any data mentioned above, please go to Backup & Replication > Backup and click Create > Data backup task. Follow the wizard instructions and continue to the next step once the data is successfully backed up.
  6. Shut down both Synology servers. Wait for both Synology servers to shut down completely.
  7. Remove the hard drives from the source Synology NAS. Please take note of the order each hard drive was installed in.
  8. Install the hard drives in the target Synology NAS. Hard drives must be installed in the same order as they were installed in the source Synology NAS. For details regarding drive slot numbering, please refer to the Quick Installation Guide available in Synology's Download Center, or try checking on the drive slots of your Synology NAS.
  9. Turn on the target Synology NAS and wait for it to boot up.
  10. Open a web browser on your computer and go to find.synology.com.
  11. Find the target Synology NAS and double-click it.
  12. The status of the target Synology NAS should be Migratable. Click the arrow to continue.
  13. Important:

    If you see a warning message, similar to Note: All data on the hard drive(s) will be deleted, this means data on the installed hard drives will be deleted. In this case, please stop, close the browser, and make sure you have installed hard drives in the same order as they were installed in the source Synology NAS.

  14. Choose the option to migrate files and settings. Click the arrow to continue.
  15. Choose the option to download and install the newest version of DSM. Click the arrow to continue.
  16. Enter a new password for the admin account and click Install Now.
  17. Once installation is complete, log in to the target Synology NAS.
  18. Go to Control Panel > Update & Restore.
  19. Go to the Configuration Backup tab and click Restore configuration.
  20. Click Browse and choose the backup file that you saved on your computer earlier. Click OK.
  21. Choose the All System Configurations option. Click OK.
  22. A warning message will appear. Click YES.
  23. Wait for system configurations to be restored. When finished, your data will be successfully migrated to the target Synology NAS.

2.3 What if Synology Assistant displays a warning message?

During the migration procedure described above, you might encounter a warning message when using Synology Assistant to install DSM on the target Synology NAS. If you see any of the following warning messages, please abort the migration procedure immediately, and see Section 3 What if migration fails?.

  • Note! All data in the hard drive(s) will be deleted: This message means that all data on your hard drives will be deleted.
  • Note! All data on the hard drive(s) [number] will be deleted: This message means that only data on the mentioned drive will be erased. Data on the other drives will remain intact.

3. What if migration fails?

This section explains how to perform migration in situations where the migration methods mentioned above cannot be performed. These methods can move data from one Synology NAS to another by backing up or copying them.

3.1 Backing up data to another storage device

This explains how to copy data from the source Synology NAS to a storage device, and then copy the data from the storage device to the target Synology NAS.

Before you start:

Make sure you are using the latest DSM and Synology Assistant. Both are available at Synology's Download Center.

To back up configurations:

  1. Log in to the source Synology NAS.
  2. Go to Control Panel > Update & Restore.
  3. Go to the Configuration Backup tab and click Back up configuration. A configuration file named [DiskStation Name]_[Created Date].dss will be downloaded to your computer. Keep this file in a safe place.

To back up data:

  1. Log in to the source Synology NAS.
  2. Go to Backup & Replication > Backup.
  3. Click Create and choose Data backup task to back up data on the source Synology NAS to a local or network storage device.
Important:

Make sure you complete the steps above before continuing.

To erase data on your drives:

  1. Remove the drives from the source Synology NAS.
  2. Delete all partitions and data on the drives by doing any of the following:
    • Install the drives into your computer, and then use the computer's disk utility to delete all partitions on the drives. Deleting data on drives with your computer should lower the chances of errors occurring. After that, install the drives into the target Synology NAS.
    • Install the drives directly into the target Synology NAS and let Synology Assistant delete partitions and data on the drives during DSM installation.

To install DSM and restore configurations:

  1. Open a web browser on your computer and go to find.synology.com.
  2. Find the target Synology NAS and double-click it.
  3. The welcome screen is displayed. Click Next to continue.
  4. Use Synology's Download Center to download and install the newest version of DSM. Click Install Now to continue.
  5. Continue installation by creating an administrator account. Click Next to continue.
  6. Once installation has finished, log in to the target Synology NAS.
  7. Go to Control Panel > Update & Restore.
  8. Go to the Configuration Backup tab.
  9. Click Restore configuration to upload and restore configurations using the backup file you exported earlier.
  10. Open Backup & Replication.
  11. In the Restore page, click Restore from... and choose Data to copy the data from your storage device to the target Synology NAS.

3.2 Copying data across the network

With the network backup feature in Backup & Replication, you can copy data from one Synology NAS to another without going through the hassle of migrating hard drives.

Before you start:
  • Set up and install DiskStation Manager on both Synology NAS. Connect them to the same network as your computer.
  • Log in to the target Synology NAS, go to Storage Manager > Volume, and make sure there is a volume with twice the amount of storage capacity as the amount of data on your source Synology NAS. For example, if you want to migrate 100GB of data from your source Synology NAS, then your target Synology NAS must have a volume with at least 200GB of storage capacity.

To copy data across the network:

  1. Log in to the target Synology NAS.
  2. Open Backup & Replication.
  3. Go to the Backup Services page and check the box Enable network backup service. Then click Apply.
  4. Now log in to the source Synology NAS.
  5. Go to Backup & Replication > Backup.
  6. Click Create and choose Data backup task.
  7. Choose the Network Backup Destination option. Then click Next.
  8. Enter the server name or IP address, admin account, and password of the target Synology NAS. You can also quickly find the target Synology NAS by clicking the arrow in the Server name or IP address text field. Then click Next.
  9. Choose the Back up data to remote shared folder option. You can also specify the backup destination name as well as which shared folder to back up data to. Then click Apply.
  10. Check the box of each folder you want to back up. Then click Next.
  11. Check the box of each application you want to back up. Then click Next.
  12. Note the name of the directory that will be created (e.g. DiskStation_1). Then click Apply.
  13. Now choose the newly created backup task and click Backup now.
  14. Wait for the backup task to finish backing up data to the target Synology NAS.
  15. Now log in to the target Synology NAS.
  16. Open Backup & Replication.
  17. In the Restore page, click Restore from... and choose Data.
  18. Choose the Local restoration option. Then click Next.
  19. Choose the Restore data from local shared folder option. The directory should be the same one that was created earlier (e.g. Directory_01). Then click Next.
  20. In this example, we will check the boxes Overwrite conflicting settings and All System Configurations, because we want to restore all settings from the source Synology NAS. Click Next.
  21. In this example, we will check the box Shared Folder, because we want to restore all shared folders from the source Synology NAS. Click Next.
  22. In this example, we will restore the application data for Note Station. Click Next.
  23. A confirmation message may appear depending on which applications you want to restore. Click Yes to continue.
  24. A summary of the restoration task appears. Click Apply to continue.
  25. Wait for the data to be restored to your target Synology NAS. Click OK to finish. Once you have confirmed all data and settings have been successfully copied and restored to the target Synology NAS, you can delete the shared folder used to restore the data.