My 2tb drive uses mbr and my new drive must use gpt as it's 3tb. Normally I use DD to do a copy like this from one drive to another, but how can I do this have have the 3tb drive be gpt and actually boot up after the copy process completes.

Can anyone give me some terminal command examples on how i'd clone my 2tb drive to my new 3tb drive? I am fine with extending the partitions later or just adding another 1tb partition to the new drive. I just want to get all 3tb available to my system.

  • Clone the drive to the 3TB then convert it from MBR to GPT and extend the partition. There are pleanty of questions on how to do that. – Ramhound Jan 16 '14 at 17:24

You can still clone it with dd and then afterwards boot up in a liveCD and re-size the partition if thats what you want. Gparted should be able to do this.

An example would be something like:

Find your drives:

df -h

Outputs something like:

Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda2        46G   18G   27G  40% /
none            4.0K     0  4.0K   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
udev            3.9G  4.0K  3.9G   1% /dev
tmpfs           790M  1.1M  789M   1% /run
none            5.0M  8.0K  5.0M   1% /run/lock
none            3.9G   76K  3.9G   1% /run/shm
none            100M   24K  100M   1% /run/user
/dev/sdb2       917G  282G  590G  33% /media/HD2
/dev/sda4       2.4T  1.3T  1.1T  54% /media/HD3
/dev/sda3       275G   58G  204G  23% /home
/dev/sdc1       917G  780G   91G  90% /media/HD1

If your drive is not mounted, you can find it with fdisk

fdisk -l

When your found your drives, you can clone them with dd:

dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=32M

where sda is your old 2tb drive, and sdb is your new 3tb drive.

When done boot up in liveCD and use gparted or any other software you like to resize the partition.

  • I'm familiar with dd and it's what I usually use. I tried clonezilla and though the interface seems good, it just would not work on my last system, so I shy'd away from it. DD is running now and I'll post back my method when done. – user277244 Jan 16 '14 at 23:11
  • @xmrkite Cool. I have used CloneZilla a lot too, and it is very easy to use as well. But it will basically do a dd for you and give you other options such as backup to image files etc etc.. So its pretty much the same, just with a nice/simpler GUI. – Bolli Jan 17 '14 at 1:42

A better bet here is to get a fresh copy of linux up on the new drive, and recreate the system from scratch. This isn't as difficult as it seems.

You can dump out the old package list with dpkg --get-selections and load packages with dpkg --get-selections, copy over /etc/ and other files (or even do a full cp copy ), recreate old users and copy over /home/ and so on.

Since its a fresh install (and you can run these side by side initially, which is a big help!), you can format the drive beforehand to a gpt format. You can even, with a few small manual fixes if there's changes in how things are configured, fairly painlessly do this with a newer version of the OS.

( Based off this answer, which I also wrote)


I strongly suggest using a clonezilla live install for such tasks. Although you might have to resize the partition afterwards.

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