How can I set my SSD as my boot drive and my HDD as my storage drive?

Hello. I recently switched from windows 11 to Manjaro. In other words I’m a newbie so be patient with me. I had Manjaro installed to my HDD, prior to recently getting an SSD and the TL:DR is I want to migrate my OS from my HDD to my SSD without losing data like installed applications or settings, but I don’t know how. It’s also worth noting that I want to set up my SSD as my boot drive and my HDD as my storage drive.

1 Like

The thing is, depending on how you installed Manjaro the first time, “migrating” the OS on a separate drive while keeping your user data on the same one can be tricky.

Have a read at this so you understand what partitioning entails…

… and provide your current system partitioning, so we may plan something.

lsblk -af

When you recently installed it will be less hurdle to reinstall than to move the install to another disk, especially if you are a noobie and most likely mess the processure up, easily even if explained step by step. Can’t be that much settings worth to keep and not to set up again.

1 Like

In addition to this, if you just backup you $HOME/.config directory along with $HOME/mozilla and possibly others, we wouldn’t know, it’ll save you a lot of time restoring the settings.

I’d say it’s not worth the time and trouble to move it compares to just reinstalling and setting everything up again.

1 Like

if you are up for the challenge it is possible with minimum fuss. i would agree with everyone about starting from scratch if you had a pretty much stock manjaro setup. but i have been tweaking mine for last 3 years now, had no choice to clone partitions when i wanted manjaro moved into a SSD. your trouble is what are you going to do with your EFI partition and windows. i found manjaro having no issues installing bootloader anywhere, but windows not so much.

assuming you dont bother about windows as much, my advise would be install fresh windows 10 on SSD, make sure it creates a new EFI partition on it. clone the manjaro partitions and then install manjaro bootloader onto new EFI partition. here is a very highlevel course i took to get it done.

By recently I mean a week ago, since then I have installed a bunch of games, files and programs that I don’t want to lose. Additionally my internet is quite slow so I don’t want to have to reinstall everything all over again because it will take a lot of time.

Sorry for answering a day later, I didn’t get any notifications for the forum sdb is my second drive (it being my SSD) it’s not formatted currently. As for how I installed Manjaro initially I used the ‘Erase disk’ option.

[remi@remi-PC ~]$ lsblk -af
├─sda1 ext4 1.0 6d1158e5-3997-4f8f-ae8d-74129b8b54fe 538,6G 16% /
└─sda2 swap 1 swap 34d57d9f-5657-4437-bbb5-82001cdf1e21 [SWAP]

So, this shows that your current whole system, including your user files, are on a single partition. This shall be taken into account for the migration.

What’s that drive? Is it large enough so you may use it as (temporary) backup drive for your current?

from what I understand it is an unallocated partition that shows up in gparted

It doesn’t end with a number, so it should be a drive.

inxi -D
inxi -D
Drives:    Local Storage: total: 922.22 GiB used: 105.26 GiB (11.4%)
           ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Seagate model: ST3750528AS size: 698.64 GiB
           ID-2: /dev/sdb vendor: SanDisk model: SSD PLUS 240GB size: 223.58 GiB

The highlighted partition is what I think sdc is

@remisence Here you can select the device (drive):


@remisence As you are on a live session, /dev/sdc must be the flash drive, which is locked for such operations. So your SSD must be /dev/sdb.

No I am on a Manjaro installation. And yes /dev/sdb is my SSD

ok well, then the loops here must be snap applications… ?

I don’t know what you mean by “snap applications”, please elaborate.

That’s weird… Well, we’ll do without.

So, for safety sake, since you don’t seem familiar with partition tweaking yet, i suggest the following plan:

  1. Export your current list of packages.
    This will save the list of the currently explicitly installed packages in a packages.txt file in your home folder. The dependencies will be excluded, as they shall be automatically installed when you want to install them back.
pacman -Qeq > ~/packages.txt
  1. Install Manjaro on your SSD. Do a basic installation.

  2. Boot into BIOS, change the boot order so that it uses your SSD first.

  3. Reboot into your new installation, confirm it works. Do a full update.

  4. Mount your HDD, you should be able to do so through your file manager as if it is a removable drive.

  5. Install your previous packages. (Replace the placeholders as relevant.)
    :warning: If you have errors, do read them. Some packages may not be available to today, or have conflicts with your new installation. Alternatively, you can install those packages manually through your package manager, from the list in the file.

cat /usr/mnt/<hdd>/home/<user>/packages.txt | pamac install 

At this point, there are two ways you can use your HDD.

A. as your main user storage – though you will unlikely fill your whole SSD as a system partition in my opinion

  1. Move your user folder so it sits at the root of your HDD.
mv /usr/mnt/<hdd>/home/<user> /usr/mnt/<hdd>/
  1. Delete everything at the root of your HDD, except your user folder.
    :warning: This is where you can lose all your user data! If you prefer, you can do so manually through your file manager.
cd /usr/mnt/<hdd>
ls . | grep -v <user> | rm -rf
  1. Define your partition on your HDD as your soon-to-be new home partition.
sudo echo 'UUID=6d1158e5-3997-4f8f-ae8d-74129b8b54fe /home ext4 defaults,noatime 0 2' >> /etc/fstab
  1. Reboot. Enjoy!

B. as extra storage, keeping your main user storage in your SSD.

  1. Copy the content of your old home folder into your new one.
cp -f /usr/mnt/<hdd>/home/<user>/* ~
  1. Reboot. You should have your old configuration back.

  2. Now we can clean the HDD to make it an extra storage. The fastest way to do this is to reformat it. You can do so with gparted.

  3. If you want to, you can setup your cleaned drive to be mounted at boot. I’ll let your follow my guide on that part, where and how you want to do it.
    [HowTo] Use multiple partitions / drives in your Manjaro installation

  4. Enjoy!

1 Like