Upgrading the NVMe storage

One of my servers has been running low on disk space and after a row of half measures I finally did something about it. A few months ago I added a second NVMe drive to another server and it was easy peasy since it had a second M.2 slot for NVMe drives. The server I upgraded yesterday only had one M.2 slot for drives, the other slot was meant for WiFi devices and has a different contact.

Yesterday I got a 4 TB NVMe drive which I bought cheaply because it is using the older but still quick enough for me PCIE 3.0 standard. I was not keen on reinstalling the OS and simply wanted to have the new 4 TB drive replacing the current 1 TB drive. The server runs a few VMs and I also wanted to minimize the downtime. Some quick research showed that Clonezilla still (initially released 2007) gets the job done so I installed it on an UEFI bootable USB drive. The new 4 TB drive I put temporarily in one of those NVMe-USB 3.0 cases and plugged them both in the server’s USB 3.0 slots and rebooted. Clonezilla is intuitive for someone used to TUIs and after about 20 minutes the 1 TB drive was cloned to the 4 TB drive including partition table and all.

Since the partition drive is cloned the root filesystem partition had to be increased to utilize all the new free space but that was easily done in GParted. After replacing the 1 TB drive with the 4 TB drive in the M.2 slot I was prepared to have to tell the BIOS where to boot from but it booted straight away from the new drive and it just worked exactly as before, but with 25 % of the disk space used instead of nearly 100%. Success at the first shot, not every time but nice with a positive surprise for once.

I have seen that there are devices for this specific purpose but paying for such a device seems unnecessary if you only do some cloning occasionally. For professionals with a walk-in “I quickly clone your NVMe drive shop” it probably makes sense though…

What to do with the leftover 1 TB drive? For now I leave it in the NVMe-USB 3.0 case and have it as a 1 TB USB 3.0 stick (which at the time of writing goes for about 100 bucks).

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