Migrating Synology DiskStation DS1515+ to DS1621+

This is the second installment of the series of blogs on NAS upgrading.  For the first article on the consideration of upgrading your NAS and also the hardware review of the Synology DiskStation DS1621+, please click here.  After talking about the factors to consider before deciding to upgrade your NAS, the next step is to plan and decide on the method to perform the upgrade.  However, before we begin on our upgrade/migration journey, I cannot stress enough the importance of backing up the contents and configuration of your existing NAS.  Make sure you have at least one good copy of your configuration and important data of your existing NAS at an alternative location.  In case your migration fails, your data can still be recovered from the alternative location.  Please do not ignore or skip this important step.

How to Migrate to a New NAS?

If you look up the Knowledge Centre on Synology’s website on how to migrate data between NAS, you will certainly come by this article entitled “How do I migrate data between Synology NAS (DSM 6.0 and later)?“. This article provided a set of systematic steps to determine which of the 3 migration methods is most suitable for the reader. The 3 methods suggested include, (a) HDD migration, (b) using Migration Assistant, and (c) using Hyper Backup. It also provided detailed steps to prepare your NAS for the migration and also the steps to perform for each of the 3 migration methods.  The article also pointed out very detailed considerations and pointers of which method is suitable and which are the models of DiskStations that allow for migration methods of HDD migration and supports Migration Assistant.  For each of the methods, the article then goes through a very detailed step-by-step guide on exactly what needs to be done and the things to look out for at each step.  There are also screenshots for reference in case a novice user needs more guidance.  I would strongly recommend everyone (novice or expert) to go through this article before performing any migration of their NAS.

I’ve always used the backup and restore method to migrate my NAS.  However, this usually means I would have sufficient HDDs to move the data around.  For example, brand new sets of  HDDs for the new NAS that I can set up on before copying the files over or use Rsync (before the days of Hyber Backup).  However, this time around, due to the high cost and shortage of HDDs, I have to use method (a) or HDD migration to set up the new Synology DiskStation DS1621+.  As this is the first time I’m using this method, frankly, I do have my worries that the migration would result in some data corruption in the process.  Nevertheless, there is always a first time for everything, and I do have confidence in Synology products. 🙂

The Migration Process

Before unplugging my old NAS, the Synology DiskStation DS1515+, and pulling out the 5 x 10TB HDDs, I did a final check on the version of DSM that is running on the Synology DiskStation DS1515+.  Surprisingly, I’m still not at the latest version of DSM and have to perform an upgrade of DSM.

Hmmm.. still have to update my DSM.

As usual, the prompt to confirm to continue with the upgrade.

The upgrading process including reboot took less than 10 minutes for sure

Yes! Finally ready for migration.

Oh wait, I forgot to check the Package Center.  Need to update 4 packages.

Packages updated without any hitches.

OK. Finally all are ready.

Oh, wait.  I nearly forgot to back up the critical files just in case.

Next, after confirming that all the critical files have been copied successfully to my Synology DiskStation DS918+, I shut down my old Synology DiskStation DS1515+. Next, I pulled out the HDDs one by one, move them into the disk enclosure of the Synology DiskStation DS1621+, and plugging them into the new Synology DS1621+, taking note of the order of the HDDs. As the old Synology DiskStation DS1515+ only has 5 bays whereas the new Synology DiskStation DS1621+ has 6 bays, I would have one empty bay on the new Synology DiskStation DS1621+.  Keeping my fingers crossed, I plugged in the network and power cable and pressed the power button on the new Synology DiskStation DS1621+.  The LEDs on the Synology DiskStation DS1621+ started flashing and the familiar beeps were heard.

The bootup of the new Synology DiskStation DS1621+ looks successful except for the orange status LED which was expected.

Check on my Unifi switch what’s the IP address of my new Synology DiskStation DS1621+.  You can also use DS Finder for this.

Upon accessing the IP address of the new Synology DiskStation DS1621+, I was presented with this migration screen.

The migration options include keeping the data or a fresh setup.  DO NOT SELECT WRONGLY!

Prompt to install DSM on the new Synology DiskStation DS1621+.  I thought there is already a copy inside?

Once again, it will take 10 minutes for the DSM installation to complete.

Restarting the Synology DiskStation DS1621+ after installation of DSM completed.

The login screen of the new Synology DiskStation DS1621+ after reboot.  Notice that the NAS name still remains as DS1515+.

DSM Desktop looks ok.  No warning or errors from System Health too.   I went on to update the NAS name.

Checking the DSM Update @ Control Panel.  All looks good.

See the details of the new Synology DiskStation DS1621+ running the AMD Ryzen CPU and 4GB RAM.  Next is to upgrade these RAMs to 16GB or more!

All the Shared Folders look intact with all the settings and permissions too.

The volume and the HDDs look ok too.  The temperatures seem lower than when they were in the old NAS too.

I also ran SMART and Ironwolf tests on the HDDs to make sure all are still good.

Finally, the status LED is green!


I’m glad that the entire migration process via HDD migration went on without any hiccups or glitches.  Kudos to the work well done by Synology for their hardware and software.  As mentioned before, this is the first time I have used the HDD migration method to upgrade to a new NAS.  With proper backup and preparation work, and also careful step-by-step execution of the process of migration, I believe that anyone can also perform the migration safely and successfully.   I hope this article will be useful and bring confidence to all those who need to go through this process like me.  If you wanna find out more about the consideration of upgrading your NAS and also the hardware review of the Synology DiskStation DS1621+, check out my previous article to this series.

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