How do I copy files from one NTFS drive to another NTFS drive via a Linux drive retaining all metadata (Timestamp etc.)?

I am replacing one NTFS drive with another in a dual boot Linux Mint/Windows 7 system. 512 GB of data needs to go to a 3TB drive. Both are NTFS. Because one replaces the other, they cannot be mounted in the system at the same time. The only drive I have left that has enough space to store the data temporarily is the QNAP NAS. This of course, runs on Linux, I believe it is formatted in EXT4.

What I want to do is: temporarily store the data from the 512 GB NTFS drive on the NAS and then after I remove this drive and install the 3 TB NTFS drive, I want to 'restore' it to the 3 TB NTFS drive. I want all the metadata to stay intact. The NAS drives are mounted as regular drives through the FSTAB file.

How do I copy the files? If I need to use the CLI, please, tell me in as much detail as you can.



  • There are many tools for that. Any tool that can backup a partition to an image (ISO) should preserve everything irrespective of the file system where the resulting image will be stored. – user772515 Nov 6 '17 at 0:06
  • Probably a duplicate of superuser.com/questions/735788/… – Vermilingua Nov 6 '17 at 0:45
  • "many" is a bit vague. Could you name one that will do the trick? – Thomsterdam Web Design Nov 6 '17 at 0:47
  • Maybe just zipping the directories would be enough... And easy to test by zipping and unzipping to the current drive. – xenoid Nov 6 '17 at 12:22
  • I am trying this at the moment – Thomsterdam Web Design Nov 6 '17 at 17:21

I thought it might be helpful if I came back to this to tell you what I decided to do in the end. I zipped all the data per folder to a zip file on my Qnap NAS. After replacing the hard drive I unpacked the folders/files to the new drive. The result was identical files including all the metadata such as creation date, etc. I worked like a charm.


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