Replace an Amazon EBS volume using a previous snapshot - Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud

Replace an Amazon EBS volume using a previous snapshot

Amazon EBS snapshots are the preferred backup tool on Amazon EC2 due to their speed, convenience, and cost. When creating a volume from a snapshot, you recreate its state at a specific point in the past with all data intact. By attaching a volume created from a snapshot to an instance, you can duplicate data across Regions, create test environments, replace a damaged or corrupted production volume in its entirety, or retrieve specific files and directories and transfer them to another attached volume. For more information, see Amazon EBS snapshots.

You can use the following procedure to replace an EBS volume with another volume created from a previous snapshot of that volume. You must detach the current volume and then attach the new volume.

Note that EBS volumes can only be attached to EC2 instances in the same Availability Zone.

To replace a volume

  1. Create a volume from the snapshot and write down the ID of the new volume. For more information, see Create a volume from a snapshot.

  2. On the volumes page, select the check box for the volume to replace. On the Description tab, find Attachment information and write down the device name of the volume (for example, /dev/sda1 or /dev/xvda for a root volume, or /dev/sdb or xvdb) and the ID of the instance.

  3. (Optional) Before you can detach the root volume of an instance, you must stop the instance. If you are not replacing the root volume, you can continue to the next step without stopping the instance. Otherwise, to stop the instance, from Attachment information, hover over the instance ID, right-click, and open the instance in a new browser tab. Choose Instance state, Stop instance. Leave the tab with the instances page open and return to the browser tab with the volumes page.

  4. With the volume still selected, choose Actions, Detach Volume. When prompted for confirmation, choose Yes, Detach. Clear the check box for this volume.

  5. Select the check box for the new volume that you created in step 1. Choose Actions, Attach Volume. Enter the instance ID and device name that you wrote down in step 2, and then choose Attach.

  6. (Optional) If you stopped the instance, you must restart it. Return to the browser tab with the instances page and choose Instance state, Start instance.

  7. Connect to your instance and mount the volume. For more information, see Make an Amazon EBS volume available for use on Linux.