Originally Posted by theif519
If I have to do a fresh reinstall, is it possible to keep all of my settings by backing everything up? How do I find a free online backup program?
I started with a hard drive well over double the size I initially needed. I think most people do (because hard drive pricing tends to suggest doing so). Did you?
When I have needed a fresh reinstall but preserving settings etc. (not for the reason you might, but the reason is irrelevant), I used the GUI partitioner while booted in a liveCD to shrink my partitions to leave enough unpartitioned space for the complete new install.
After doing a new install turning that unpartitioned space into additional partitions (and enabling dual boot with the old install). I mounted the old partition into the new system and copied everything that I knew I wanted to preserve. Then I tried to use it and noted unintended differences. Then I could reboot the old system and figure out what made something work the way I wanted in the old system that I hadn't understood needed copying to the new one (then copy it).
A complete bootable old system to retest after testing the new system is a great resource for anyone who doesn't 100% know what they need to get a migration right.
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs
seriously consider buying another hard drive,
I much prefer the idea of repartitioning as I described above.
But if your hard drive is so absurdly small that on an apparently fairly new Linux install you don't have room to repartition enough space for a redundant install, then I have roughly the same advice as sundialsvcs: Buy a decent size disk drive. They don't cost very much.
I'm not changing my main advise in this thread: Staying with 32 bit and switching to PAE is much easier. The performance difference is probably trivial. The 3GB per process limit almost certainly won't matter.
But when you do decide to reinstall (now for this reason or whenever for whatever reason) it is best to repartition so you can still retest the old install after initial test of the new install.