Moving Hard Drives to New Motherboard

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Is there anything special I need to do if I want to move my whole FreeNAS box (Hard Drives and USB Stick) to a new machine?

I want to move my 6xWD20EARS drives from 4 year old AMD based box with 4GB of ram to a new Intel Core i3 & H67 box with 8GB of Ram.

I'm pretty sure I had tried FreeNAS on the Intel box before I pulled the processor to use the PC for my main box until now.

My assumption is that all I need to do is plug in the 6 hard drives and my current USB stick (that's running FreeNAS) and power it up (just have to make sure to boot off USB.

Even if I wanted to go a step further and just backup my config and do a fresh install on a different USB stick, should everything go smoothly?

I had done similar upgrades to this with linux raid 5 (mdadm) years ago when I was using Ubuntu as my NAS server. And since mdadm basically detects the raid5 on boot everything went very smoothly. Although I was very careful with my swap, I made sure to disable the automount in fstab for the first couple boots so that I could make sure everything was good by manually initializing the RAID and manually mounting it for the first boot or two, but like I said everything was detected on the new machine without any work required when switching to the new system.

Is there a recommended process for doing this hardware upgrade?

What I was thinking of doing was a fresh FreeNAS install to USB stick on the new machine, and don't load any of my config from the old USB stick until I'm sure all my hard drives are detected. Like I said before, I'm pretty sure FreeNAS worked well with my H67 Motherboard.

I'm still relatively new to FreeNAS and ZFS, as I've only been using it for a few months now, and am just curious for some direction here.



Aug 19, 2011
Make sure you export the zpool before you start swapping parts. The import on the destination end should be pretty much painless if that's done. Oh, and back up all your data! Sorry, knee jerk comment :D.


Oct 30, 2011
I actually just did a similar upgrade to my FreeNAS8 box today and it went really smoothly.

The greatest issue I've had with FreeNAS8 initially was with FreeNAS sometimes not correctly defaulting to the IP set to the NIC card, but that was fixed in RC2 (and the latest release version). I'm using an Intel server NIC in my system, and when I moved the drives and USB stick to the new system, it picked everything up and started running without me having to do anything to it.

Truth be told though, my upgrade was probably easy because I was going to similar newer hardware.

I went from an Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe board (nforce4 based) w/a socket 939 Opteron 185, and 4GB of RAM to an MSI NF980 (nforce 980 based board), Phenom II X6 1090T, and 16GB of RAM. I moved the NIC and two-port SATA card over to the new system and it picked everything up without a single hitch.

I did back up all the data on the server (as well as my config) just in case, and like Durkatlon, I recommend you do that before migrating everything over. It's better to be safe than sorry on this one.

All the same, *for me*, it was a rather painless upgrade. In fact it was the easiest I've ever done in the 20 years I've been working on computers. Since I was going to another nforce based board I didn't even have to reconfigure the NFE0 NIC port that I use for the iSCSI service between my FreeNAS box and my WHS2011 box.
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