Confirming how to move music to a new hard drive


Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)
iMac, OS Big Sur 11.6/Roon 1.8 Build 756

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)

Xfinity Gateway Router with Ethernet connection (and a home Wi-Fi setup)
Also 2 TP Link EoP devices

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)

PS Audio DirectStream DAC connected via Ethernet

Number of Tracks in Library


Description of Issue

Confirming the steps necessary to move most of my library from one external hard drive to another.

I have read this article but want to make sure I understand a few steps:

Apologies but I’ve learned that often instructions on Roon are not as simple as they appear. So please respond to these 5 questions:

  1. In storage I see that Roon is watching my music files on two different hard drives:

A: My external HD with most of my library (842 GB).
B: My internal MacHD Music folder with 58 GB.

Because I intend to move the 58GB on my internal drive, to the new external HD, I assume this instruction:

“In Roon’s Settings > Storage, remove all old storage folders that contain the files that are being relocated.”

means I can remove ALL the current storage folders.

  1. At that point I assume I should quit Roon as the article instructions state:

“if you are adding a large amount of music (1000’s of tracks), quit Roon…”

  1. I will then move ALL my music files from the old external HD and the internal HD to the new external HD.

  2. I will then restart Roon and make the new external HD the source for all the folders Roon is to watch in the future.

Am I missing anything? Are there problems I should anticipate, and if so, anything I can do to solve them without coming back here to ask for help?

  1. This change in no way affects my Tidal library on Roon, correct?


All I am asking for here is a confirmation of the steps I need to take, so that I do not have to ask for more support after I make a mistake.

When might I receive a response?
Thank you.

I am not official support, so… you still might want to wait.

However, it looks like you have the steps right. I would definitely follow the suggestion to stop Roon, it is just cleaner. You want to avoid Roon “seeing” two locations at the same time of the same content.

And, moving the physical files and their storage locations have nothing to do with Tidal library tracks.


I’ll try to approach it carefully:

You have a Mac as core and just over 100,000 titles in the Roon database. The larger part of it (842GB) is already copied to the external hard drive. Only 58GB are still in the music folder on the Mac.

Both places are recognized and read by Roon, but about 5,000 to 6,000 music tracks you would rather have on the external hard drive and not on the Mac anymore.

Roon recommends deleting the folder as shown.

Exit Roon, move the data to the external hard drive and then start Roon again. Then Roon will automatically find the external hard drive again and read in the moved ones as well.

After that you can clean up your library. Even earlier something may have been moved, which is now no longer there. Library maintenance is very easy.

Why do you want to delete everything before? Should all be moved to a third still unknown hard disk? If there are already over 95,000 songs in the right place, there is no need to remove or delete this folder.

Because the songs will not be in the right place after I move the files from the external hard drive they are now on, to a new SSD external hard drive.

Perhaps I didn’t make this clear. The current external hard drive is old. I am replacing it. That is the main reason for my questions.

Thanks very much!

Then I would remove both folders, quit Roon, move the remaining music to the SSD, start Roon again and add the new SSD as source.


Thanks. That’s exactly how I understand the instructions. Just making sure I’m not missing something.


Hi @Geoff_Mirelowitz ,

I can confirm that @Uwe_Albrecht 's last post here is correct. One thing which I will also advise you to do is create a Backup of your database before starting to move the files. If there are any issues, you have a backup to revert to. Let us know how it goes, thanks!


@Noris please clarify one thing. What do you mean by “create a Backup”?

I have an entire folder of Roon Backups as a result of regularly scheduling my backups. Is that not sufficient? Are you saying I need to do something more?


I took the plunge , my 4 Tb library drive was getting very full so I decided to split my Rock and Classical files. Seeing as Roon has less trouble IDing Rock, I elected to move the Rock files to another drive H in this case

My structure was an A … Z split by Artist so I Cut and Pasted each Letter folder from F (current) to an identical structure on H , the new location

It took ages but Roon carried on working fine and caught up with the changes. I must admit I closed Roon down for most of it to conserve resources , but it caught up happily one I restarted

The end result is fine I now have 1.5 Tb space on my F drive, I am just tidying up the File BU to reflect the new structure

It took the best part of a week , lots of waiting/copying time , not to mention the BU time

I must admit I was expecting a lot more catch up from Roon , I assume it was storing a Rename file location rather than a full import and analysis.

All in all a happy experience :sunglasses:

PS yes everything was backed up before I started :smiling_imp:

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Yes this should be every computer user where important as the programs and data themselves.

In this regard, then also Geoff_Mirelowitz has continuously done everything right and can build the new SSD and Roondatenbank with less worries.

However, this doesn’t help as much anymore, if everything is really on a different hard drive, it’s like a complete rebuild after all.

I would have set to work with 100,000 music titles like the previous speaker and depending on the speed of the system, it would be done in 2 to 5 days.

However, there can be a downside when moving. If you have always created your own image, text, tags or anything else for each artist, you will have to repeat this for the new location. Therefore, good long-term planning is important. Nothing should always be set up in such a way that it has to be overturned every year. This is life planning for decades or joyful tinkering for decades. The many texts, images and other metadata that Roon has contributed so far are always there and get better day by day, but if you tinker a lot, you should take this tinkering into account.

Good luck, I think moving takes the longest. I still have old computers with USB 2 and even with that I have written 3 TB hard drives full over many days. With USB 3 it is faster and there again there are gradations and Apple is looking for its own ways to make data transfer faster. Roon will cope much faster with the new situation.

@Uwe thanks for your help. Although I’ve purchased lifetime use of Roon and have used it for a few years, I am unfamiliar with many aspects of it. As long as I can see my library and find the albums I want to play, I’m happy.

So I have to admit I don’t understand what this means:

As far as I know I have not done any of that. All I want from the change of hard drives I am planning, is the same operability I have had up until now.

I am using Carbon Copy Cloner to create the new library on my SSD (from the library that existed on the previous external HD). After that completes I will make the change. Unless I am missing something in your comments that affects what I plan to do.

Please let me know. Thanks again for your help.

No one can know everything, no matter how long they’ve been around. Carbon Copy Cloner is already getting good reviews, but I haven’t used the program myself yet. It is described as doing what is possible on Linux and other operating systems with Clonezilla. But it also has a file-only mode, where you can select any music folder or file to put on the new hard drive.

If you haven’t manually inserted any pictures, texts or other things yourself, it’s practically just a reboot with Roon from another hard disk.

For this you don’t even need a backup of the old situation, because it won’t exist afterwards.

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Thanks again. Although I’m not sure what this means:

@noris said it was necessary. In any event, I have all the previous Backup files, which I assume I can delete once a Backup file of the new library is created.

Yes that’s smart, not giving up old until you have something new functional and secured in front of you.

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Hello @Geoff_Mirelowitz ,

By this, I mean to have a Backup created from within Roon, under Settings → Backup.

We have sometimes seen issues if you make a backup of the “Live Roon Database” using 3rd party cloning tools (namely Apple Time Machine), so I just wanted to ensure that the backups you have are proper backups created through the Roon app and not copies of the live database.

Other backup applications

Because the Roon database is frequently being updated in the background with new metadata, cover art, artist information, and more, backing up your “live” Roon database using external programs can result in corrupt backups. We strongly recommend against using Time Machine, Crashplan, Backblaze, or other backup applications to backup your “live” Roon database. If you would like to use any of these applications to back up Roon, set up a Scheduled Backup and tell your backup program to backup the RoonBackups folder.

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@noris I want to be certain I understand your caution here.

  1. My Roon backups were created by Roon. They are regularly scheduled in my Roon settings.

  2. I was – mistakenly I now believe – keeping the folder with those backups on the old external hard drive that held my music files. I have since copied the entire Backups folder to my desktop. I did not use Carbon Copy Cloner for that operation. I copied the original Backups folder with a normal “copy and paste procedure” on my iMac.

  3. However, and I want to be certain this is NOT a problem, I am using Carbon Copy Cloner to copy my music files from my old external hard drive to the new SSD external drive. Does that invite problems? Should I copy those files to the new drive in a different way? If so how?

  1. Roon Backups to an external drive are just fine. The Backups are static files. Noris was warning about backing up the Live Database using those tools. Too many different uses of backup going around.

  2. You can copy your music files any way you want, from drag and drop from drive to drive, or using a syncing program. Roon doesn’t care how you move the actual music files.