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Re: transfer disk

On 10/04/18 14:01, mick crane wrote:
Can you pop a hard disk that boots with a Debian installation on it into another entirely different PC and will the kernel try to make sense of its new hardware ?

Mostly. I once had a disk that often moved between a desktop and laptop. If the architecture is compatible (e.g. not amd64 <-> arm64) then most likely it can be made to work. Common things that require fixing:

- Disk uses Legacy (BIOS) boot and partitioning but support is not enabled on the motherboard. Fix: turn on your motherboard Compatibility Support Module or similar.

- Disk uses UEFI but ancient motherboard does not support it. Unfixable.

- Disk uses UEFI. Motherboard supports UEFI but has no boot entry and disk may need to be manually selected. Running update-grub should fix.

- Motherboard has secure boot enabled and is password locked. Fixable if you can unlock it.

- Failed boot because the kernel or graphics drivers do not like your new hardware. Supply fallback options at the command line, like noapic etc.

- Anyone using ancient kernels with Skylake or later is going to have a bad time. A recent kernel should improve compatibility.

- Hardcoded device paths in /etc/fstab might need to be changed. Most installers use UUIDs for portability.

- You might find yourself with no network, especially no wifi. If your new hardware is supported (e.g. by non-free), get the .debs you need on a thumb drive and install them.

It is usually safe to have unused drivers so feel free to plan ahead and install all drivers you need before you migrate.

Kind regards,

Ben Caradoc-Davies <ben@transient.nz>
Transient Software Limited <https://transient.nz/>
New Zealand

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