How to migrate between Synology NAS (DSM 6.0 and later)

Recently I bought a Synology DS216j to replace my Synology DS214se. The DS214se is a good entry-level NAS for personal use, but it was struggling to keep up with my 3 HD IP-cameras as well as acting as a Mail Server, mainly because of the single-core CPU. Since I didn’t want to lose my data, I had to perform a migration from the DS214se to the DS216j in order to retain the data. A quick Google search lead me into this Synology knowledge base article: https://www.synology.com/en-us/knowledgebase/DSM/tutorial/General/How_to_migrate_between_Synology_NAS_DSM_5_0_and_later

The title of the knowledge article above says that it’s intended for Synology NAS running DSM 5.0 and later. At the point of writing, DSM 6.1 is the latest available DSM version, so I had a suspicion that the knowledge base article might be out of date. Because my NAS models were not identical to each other, I had to follow section 2.2. of the article linked above; Migrating between different Synology NAS models. After doing so, I can confirm that my suspicions were right; the knowledge base article is out of date, the migration process between two Synology NAS just got easier!

Here’s a small writeup about what has changed in migrating between Synology NAS between DSM 5.0 and DSM 6.0:


Section 2.2. Migrating between different Synology NAS models starts with a word of caution, telling you that all packages on the target Synology NAS (i.e. your new NAS) will have to be reinstalled, which results into in losing the following data (…) Mail Server and Mail Station settings & Surveillance Station settings. This was applicable to my Synology NAS, as I had these packages installed and were actively used. However, after performing the migration to my new NAS as described in Section 2.2. (which basically comes down to update your old NAS to the latest DSM, switch it off, swap the drives to the new NAS and turn it on) my new Synology said the packages had to be repaired instead of being reinstalled. After clicking the repair button, all my packages came back to life on the new NAS, without any data loss; all my settings and files, including from Mail Server, Mail Station and Surveillance Station (emails as well as recordings), were still there! Needless to say, it’s still good practice to backup you data before performing the migration, as described in section 1 of the knowledge base article linked above.

However, what did change was the IP address of my NAS. I assumed that my new NAS would be using the same IP as my old NAS, as Synology instructs you to turn off your old NAS before powering up your new NAS, but that was not the case. So after the migration, use the Synology finder to find the new IP of your NAS and change it to your old IP after the migration, which can be in the Control Panel à Network.

Also, lastly, I had to re-register my DDNS hostname by re-logging into my Synology account, which can be done in the Control Panel à External Access.

That’s all folks!

PS. Should you have bought any additional Surveillance Station license keys in the past, don’t forget them down and to deactivate them on your old NAS before the migration, since the license keys can only be active on one Synology product at a time. Also, as an FYI, each license key can only be migrated just once.

3 thoughts on “How to migrate between Synology NAS (DSM 6.0 and later)

  1. Hi there
    I have a ds414j and have ordered a ds418
    I rely heavily on synocommunity packages like couchpotato, sabnzbd, sickrage, mylar, bbs.
    With your post and an archived discussion you had on reddit, I understand that if I use the migration method, I shouldn’t lose any settings for these packages even if the Synology tutorial is not clear About that. Is this it ? (English is not my mother tongue so I prefer to be sure before launching an operation like that)
    Thanks in advance

  2. Hi,
    Having just migrated 4 disks from an ageing DS411+II to a new DS1817+, I can confirm that your observation about the significant improvement in the built-in Synology disk migration process.

    There are 22 steps in the “2.2 Migrating between different Synology NAS models” section of Synology’s DSM 5.x migration knowledge base.

    The 4 disk migration under DSM 6.1 was 6 steps (I did follow some of the early steps in the knowledge base article because I did not know that they were redundant under DSM 6.1). It was over so quickly (less than 10 minutes), that I powered down the new NAS and powered it back up again expecting it to require more steps to complete the migration.

    None of the things that the knowledge base warned would be lost, were actually lost. The new NAS simply booted up and continued where the old one left off. All Windows machines were able to find it and users able to login even though it had a new IP address. All package, user and application settings and permissions were carried across without a hitch… even Download Station tasks that were in mid stride and media file indexing simply continued where they had left off as its nothing had happened.

    The configuration backup and restore, which seemed so critical and important in the knowledge base, turned out to be unnecessary because the entire configuration was automatically carried across in the migration – nothing lost, nothing broken.

    By the way, my set up consists of a 3 disk SHR volume, a 1 disk disk group with 2 volumes and a bunch of external USB disk volumes. Everything is up and running and it all took less than 10 minutes! For comparison, migrating Windows Server from one machine to another can take several hours of down time and a world of pain when there are as significant differences in the hardware.

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