Old hard drive seen as allocated space

I have an old trusty 20.04 system and it's time to grow into a bigger machine.

The new machine is all set up with fresh 20.04 and bigger drives.

Everything looks good.

So I bought a SATA/USB dock, pulled out my old hard drive, put it in the dock, and connected to my new system.

I expected the new system to just "see" it and it does (as dev/sdd), but as all "unallocated space".

I didn't want to risk doing something to the drive/partition table so I pulled it out and put it back in my old system.

Works fine there. (PHEW!!!) Everything is ext4 and I've got about 6 terabytes of data to move.

Any suggestions? Copying across my home network is estimated at 165 hours.


  • usb docks can be problematic. try plugging the drive in with a sata cable Apr 17, 2021 at 3:51
  • 2
    You have not said how big the hard drive is. If it is the 6 terabytes implied in the question are you sure the USB dock can support that size?
    – David
    Apr 17, 2021 at 5:53
  • 1
    PHEW!!! does not matter here. Even if this is 6 TB of data, you have a backup if you care about the data at all.
    – vanadium
    Apr 17, 2021 at 6:37
  • Something similar happened to me a long time ago, and it turned out (in my case), the SATA/USB dock was broken. Are you able to try the dock with another spare hard disk? Or maybe borrow another dock from a friend? (I'm hesitant to ask you to go out and buy a new one as I could be wrong.)
    – Ray
    Apr 17, 2021 at 14:40


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