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Clueless Newbie needs guidance: convert Toshiba Canvio Home to Linux

Posted by DwayneR 
Clueless Newbie needs guidance: convert Toshiba Canvio Home to Linux
November 26, 2017 06:08PM
Good day to all.

Although I have been using and playing with computers since early 1980, I have thus far mostly avoided Linux. Not because I don't like it - just too many other things to learn and do.

I do have a minor passing acquaintance with Linux - playing with Ubuntu and the various flavors of Raspberry Pi. But I am no where near competent. DOS: yes. Windows: yes. Linux: no.

I purchased a Toshiba Canvio Home 2TB box several years ago but it has sat unopened until today. Lo and behold - Toshiba seems to have forgotten this device ever existed. Almost zero information at the various Toshiba websites.

Google to the rescue. I discovered this forum.

Thanks to R0B3r7, I was able to grab the Windows Installer and give the box a quick whirl. It seems competent.

But: I see that several people have managed to get Debian to run on the box.

Couple of questions before I start messing with this thing:

1) What are the advantages of moving this box to the current version of Debian? I assume security updates are a good enough reason but any other benefits?

2) I'm going to want to back up the original hard drive before I mess with it. I've gone through several Disk Imaging programs over the past 30 plus years but I'm currently using Acronis True Image Backup. Under Windows, of course.

Given that I've never messed with a Linux box previously, can I simply add the drive from the Canvio to one of my Windows boxes and use Acronis to get a good backup? The end goal is to be able to restore the Canvio to original if necessary.

Once I have a good backup of the Canvio drive, I want to start playing. I'm at https://forum.doozan.com/read.php?2,12096 and see that the procedure presupposes that I am already running Linux somewhere. I'm not.

Before I fire up a virtual machine with some flavor of Linux - can I use the Canvio itself to do the prep work? It's already running some version of Linux but I currently don't know how to get a console shell up and running.

I'm going to stop here and wait for comments. If you feel this is something that I shouldn't mess with, I'll quietly go away. But I'm willing to put some effort into this if I have your guidance.

Many thanks!

dwayne
Re: Clueless Newbie needs guidance: convert Toshiba Canvio Home to Linux
November 26, 2017 07:36PM
Dwayne,

> 1) What are the advantages of moving this box to
> the current version of Debian? I assume security
> updates are a good enough reason but any other
> benefits?

The benefits are countless. Hard to know where to begin!

> 2) I'm going to want to back up the original hard
> drive before I mess with it. I've gone through
> several Disk Imaging programs over the past 30
> plus years but I'm currently using Acronis True
> Image Backup. Under Windows, of course.
>
> Given that I've never messed with a Linux box
> previously, can I simply add the drive from the
> Canvio to one of my Windows boxes and use Acronis
> to get a good backup? The end goal is to be able
> to restore the Canvio to original if necessary.

That's a very good tool. Acronis will image the disk with Ext2/Ext3 partition exactly (older Acronis version cannot deal with Ext4). I had used this tool before a few years ago to backup and restore my Linux rootfs drives (there are many occasions that I need to use Win7, and I still use Acronis to backup my Win7 media player box). You can find out what files system on your Canvio when you log in to the stock OS, I'd bet it is Ext2 or Ext3.


> Once I have a good backup of the Canvio drive, I
> want to start playing. I'm at
> https://forum.doozan.com/read.php?2,12096 and see
> that the procedure presupposes that I am already
> running Linux somewhere. I'm not.
>
> Before I fire up a virtual machine with some
> flavor of Linux - can I use the Canvio itself to
> do the prep work?

Yes. Log in to Canvio stock OS.

> It's already running some
> version of Linux but I currently don't know how to
> get a console shell up and running.
>

Post in the Canvio thread, so Robert can guide you:
https://forum.doozan.com/read.php?2,35095

Usually we just hook up a serial console. The serial module converter is less than 3 USD, but it will take a while to get here if buying from China on eBay. Get it quicker from Amazon, but it will cost 3 times as much.

> I'm going to stop here and wait for comments. If
> you feel this is something that I shouldn't mess
> with, I'll quietly go away. But I'm willing to
> put some effort into this if I have your
> guidance.

Take it slow and ask questions. It is very doable for an experienced Windows guy. But first get a Linux VM (Ubuntu or Mint) running and create the Debian rootfs on USB thumb drive.

-bodhi
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