I have my OS on an SSD and my 'storage' on a spanned volume spanning two 2TB HDDs. I'm looking at moving everything from the 'storage' volume onto a single 6TB HDD.

As it's a spanned volume, it isn't as easy to clone onto a new disk.

As such I was wondering if just a simple copy/paste will suffice?

The storage volume contains a few programs, music and videos etc. I know the music and videos will be fine to copy accross, but could there be any files on there that won't get copied across?

As far as I am aware there are no system files on there (only the page file if that counts). The rest is just media and program installs.

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    Look at the contents, of the storage device you plan to replace, does it contain system files? If it does you will have to be more specific with your question. – Ramhound Jun 13 '17 at 20:56
  • I've edited it. As far as I'm aware there aren't. – RJSmith92 Jun 13 '17 at 21:00
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    The only file that cannot be copied, and should not be copied, is your page file. The page file would be recreated when it was required. infact any .sys file ( which includes pagefile.sys ) would be created. Only your system partition has system files that Windows actually requires in order to be booted – Ramhound Jun 13 '17 at 21:08
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    Depends (on your OS, too). You might unintentionally modify file ownership, permissions, ACLs, and timestamps, by using copy/paste, or create non-functional links. Even if all files are transferred, incorrect meta-information might prevent certain programs from running, make changes to the rights an executable will run with (setuid), and so on, or leave files writable to the current user. – jvb Jun 13 '17 at 21:12
  • I'd use a robust copy application like robocopy for windows or rsync for linux. that way you can abort and resume the process as needed, perform indepth verification, etc. – Frank Thomas Jun 14 '17 at 1:49

Without knowing your OS, it's hard to say if copy/paste is sufficient - as jvb commented, you could have all sorts of problems with ACLs/ownership/whatever (though usually, that's unlikely), but it's also a reliability-issue.

I've seen Windows Explorer (from WinXP to Win10) silently aborting larger file-operations many times. I have seen the same behavior with OS X and its Finder just as many times. Ubuntu/Linux...not yet, although that's perhaps because I don't frequently move/copy files with it. To clarify: that's not something only one computer has ever done or something that only happens with WiFi-connections or with one particular file - it's not something that happens very often, but if it does (and in my experience, the more files -> the more likely it crashes), you end up some files copied but without any information as to what happened or which files were copied without problems and which file was only half-way-finished.

Solution: Use some third-party-GUI-tool like Free Commander (FreeWare, Win)| Total Commander (ShareWare, Win) | Midnight Commander (FreeWare, *NIX), or use OS-built-in CLI-tools like Robocopy (Win) | XCopy (Win) | cat (*NIX) | ... .

Syntax is varying from tool to tool, e.g.:

robocopy d:\ f:\ /copyall /e /z /r:5 /w:15 /v
xcopy d:\ f:\ /e /c /h /k /o /x
cat /dev/sdb >/dev/sdf

(d:\ & sdb resemble your old 4TB-volume, f:\ & sdf your new 6TB-volume.)

Code-sources and additional information: Robocopy - XCopy - cat

I never had issues with any of these tools - however, it's always wise to double-check everything:

  • At least check if all files were copied successfully by checking the file/folder-counter and the overall size,
  • to avoid the possibility of damaged files (because of bit-errors) it's also wise (yet very time-consuming) to check file-hashes (MD5/SHA1 will do in this case, as we're not looking for malicious manipulations of files). Some of the tools mentioned above can do that on-the-fly when copying.

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