How to change the hard drive attached to Lima


You installed your Lima with a hard drive, and for some reasons (expanding your storage capacity for exemple, or because it's not recognized), you'd like to either switch to a new one or start over with the same one.

How to do that?  

  • Eject your Lima Drive. To know how please click here.
  • When the disk is confirmed as ejected, you will see a confirmation message in the Lima menu > Preferences > STATUS. This may take a minute... Please be patient!
  • Unplug the USB drive to the Lima.
  • Unplug the ethernet cable between Lima and your router.
  • Plug the hard drive into your desktop.
  • Copy the .lima folder out of your hard drive: this step is very important! Do not copy the folders only.


The .lima folder is a visible folder when using Windows, but it's a hidden one on Mac (meaning you do not see it). You will have to set up Finder on your Mac to show all hidden files. Don't worry, it is easy to do!

Go to Applications >> Utilities >> Terminal

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Once the Terminal prompt is open, enter the following sentences:

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That should make all your hidden folders appear!

You can now find the .lima folder on your Lima drive, and copy it out of the Hard Drive (on your computer, or on an other external Hard Drive for exemple).

To set it back once you found the .lima folder (seeing all the hidden folders can be irritating), just switch TRUE to FALSE in the same Terminal prompt.

To finish the switch:

  • Format your new hard drive either to NTFS, HFS+ or Ext4.
  • Copy back the .lima folder in your freshly formatted Hard Drive.
  • Plug it back to the Lima.


On Windows you may need to use the command line. If the old USB disk is F: and the new disk is G:, the syntax will be:

If you don't have the old disk (e.g. you formatted it), please refer to this article.

You should be good to go! You should be able to recover your data from your new hard drive across your devices. 


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