Move existing install from one SD to another?

Is there an easy way to move my current install/config from my smaller SD card to a larger one with out a complete reinstall?

I seem to be having space issues even after running the cleaner, which is causing database issues with my other applications.

I suspect but don’t know yet, that sonarr/radarr/sab or one of those is creating databases too large for the SD card.

While I determine what the problem is, and then fix it by probably moving the database to another location, I want a quick fix so I can get services up and running again. I thought the quick short term fix might be moving to a larger SD card.



many thanks for your message. You should consider to connect a HDD/SSD to your system an move your RootFS on it.

Do change SD card, you could have a look to this post.
Usually it describe how to move on a RPi4B from SD to SSD but it should work same way to move SD to SD. The Install section describe it very well how to create an image file and flash it on the new device.

Thanks as usual for your quick response!

I moved the userdata to an external drive I’m using with lots of room. That saved a little space. I uninstalled and ran the clean up on some other small items. I have almost 1GB of space available and things are working again, but I’m not sure for how long.

I have a couple follow up questions now. That link was good by the way and I may actually end up doing that same thing but I need to get the required hardware. Until then I do have a couple other questions.

Any recommendation on how to find out what’s eating up the space? I’ve used drive tools in the past that give a visual representation of large directories etc. Tools like Sequoiaview etc on PC/Mac.

If I move the rootFS to the external existing drive I have, is it formatted during the process? Don’t want to lose any existing data.

Also, i tried to set my swap files setting to 1, on the external USB drive installed but it doesn’t seem to be taking. I can’t read the output quick enough before it goes back to the drive manager. But it doesn’t list an X in the box as it does the userdata option.

I am running DietPi 6.33.3

Thanks again!

Any recommendation on how to find out what’s eating up the space?

This will show the larges files on your system

du -a / | sort -n -r | head -n 20

If I move the rootFS to the external existing drive I have, is it formatted during the process?

yes usually the drive should be format before moving RootFS. Some instruction how to move RootFS

I can’t read the output quick enough before it goes back to the drive manager.

if you are connected via SSH, just scroll up on your SSH client.


Thanks for all the help. I’ve found I had to add -x and my media library name to avoid listing all the media folders on the external drive. Once I did that I saw that almost my entire 32GB SD card which is used for the primary boot OS is taken up by plexmediaserver folder and sub folders. I’ll probably try a reinstall of plexmediaserver to an external drive as it’s going to be easier, for now, than moving my rootfs over to another drive. (as I don’t have one available yet)

Out of curiosity are there any negative implications with moving rootFS over to a SD card on a USB adapter on a pi-4? I could do that pretty easy and maybe that would save me a tiny bit of space, but with how PMS is filling up space as soon as it’s available… maybe less worth the effort.

using SD card on a USB adaptor might not be the most powerful setup compare to a HDD.

Do you know which folder is filling up with plex data? Probably something you can report to a plex specialised board. Maybe there are options to avoid creating so many data by plex.

Yeah it’s a few of the folders, but mainly it appears to be Album Covers for music. I tied Lidarr in with spotify and it started downloading thousands of albums.

So remember seeing an option to change the location of where the media art is located in another place on the PMS for ShieldTV but I’m not using that obviously, but it does lead me to believe that it’s an option on the linux build. I haven’t had much luck finding it but I haven’t searched it much either.

Right now, and I know this is all unrelated to this problem. I really have different priorities for this home system.

  1. I really need a UPS. Every time the power flickers here (and it’s a lot) it unmounts my primary media drive. So I really need to get some type of UPS setup so that I can power everything down gracefully. (Or move it to a laptop from the pi-4)
  2. I need a good backup of the previously mentioned Media drive. 6TB and I have no backup. Every time the power flickers I fear losing all the data.

I have 3 extra USB 2.0 2TB drives doing nothing. But when I was using one of them on the pi-4 for downloads and unpacking, then it would move it over to the 6TB drive for long term storage and viewing. I was having several lock up issues with the pi-4 until I removed that drive. No problems with lockups since. I know that’s not how you find a solution to a problem, but I was about to move and didn’t have time to keep messing with it. Not a fan of the slow transfer speed of the USB 2.0 either so I’m likely to buy a UPS and another 6TB drive for backups AFTER my wife finds work. (Thanks COVID)

You see… and again this is super unrelated. I’ve moved to a place with a population of 1000, it’s an island. Literally. The highest speed internet available here is 5Mbps down. So streaming anything is pretty much pointless. Even netflix streams at shit quality with this slow internet.

So… PMS and the DietPi and the Pi-4 are my slow internet saviours. My son and wife can watch all their favourite programs that download all freaking day and night and only arrive a few days late. Now with more music available to play we can stop streaming that as well, and save the bandwidth for further downloading.

It’s a good setup, just a couple minor ignored beset practices. So before I can spend any additional money on drives etc, I really need that UPS, or move the system over to one of the two old laptops I have sitting around (with good batteries)

It’s funny too, the move to a beautiful remote location with low fear of Covid is great. I never realized how much I valued high speed internet before this. What do I miss most? Stadia. Really loved Stadia. But… thats another story.

If I find the answer to the PMS I’ll post it here. Sorry for the long rambling response and topic drift.